Getting Started With Home Automation Lighting Control (Part 1)

Chris Lanier has ventured beyond the PVR world and into the Home Automation end of things. He takes you a few of the options that are available and a quick overview of the advantages and disadvantages of each. In the end, he went with an INSTEON setup combined with the MCE software mcontrol.

From the article:

Next, you will want to pick up some switches or
dimmers.  One of the cheapest ways to get started with INSTEON is
to either purchase the Plug-In
Dimmer INSTEON Starter Kit
for $99 or Dimmer Switch INSTEON Starter Kit
for $129 (includes v2 SwitchLinc’s, not ICON’s).  Both of these
Starter Kits include two Signal Enhancers I talked about above (SignaLinc RF’s)
and also include either two v2 SwitchLinc’s Dimmers or two plug-in
dimmers.  They also include a Tabletop Controller which you don’t
have to use since your Media Center PC w/ mControl will be the center of
control.  It’s cheaper to buy a Starter Kit in most cases, so get
one even if you don’t need to Tabletop Controller.

I had the opportunity to do a few HA/MCE reviews while at HTPCnews but could never get the time. You can guarantee I will be doing something like this with That is, as soon as I figure out my Media Center setup.