Insteon can be used to perform a wide variety of monitoring and control functions in smart homes. These include switching light switches on and off, dimming lighting, remote control of electrical devices, building monitoring by motion detectors, room monitoring by presence sensors, temperature control by thermostats, and many more. In the concept, data transmission can be carried out by radio in the ISM band at 868 MHz (915 MHz) or by means of Powerline in Cenelec Band C via the existing electrical installation. If transmission takes place via the ISM band, then the electrical cabling is available as a backup transmission medium. On the other hand, if the electrical cabling is used, the radio technology is available as a backup medium. Dual-band technology makes Insteon robust to microwaves or other interference.
An Insteon network is a mesh network where each individual component can repeat messages over the network. This avoids bottlenecks that occur when a component in a routed network fails. In addition, the Insteon network can transmit over the air and over the home electrical system. The network has no routers or other control components. Any device can control or be controlled by any other. With simulcast, Insteon can address hundreds of nodes simultaneously without complicated and expensive transmission technology. An Insteon network can theoretically consist of an unlimited number of devices. Practical networks can operate with several thousand components.
Such an Insteon network can be centrally controlled, but it can also operate without it. Events and problem messages can be recorded and handled via central control with smartphones and tablets.