I have an older assortment of x10 modules. Obviously, they work with
incandescent bulbs, but not so well with CFLs. (I did buy 1 of the new
appliance modules with no local control and that does work with the CFL).
Anyone know if the LED bulb would work with an old fashioned lamp
module? And would it be the dimming function work with them? With the
LED prices getting better, it might be cheaper to buy those than to buy
new appliance modules.
Can one dim an LED? Two ways to dim that I know of, put a resistor
in series with the lamp, or turn the lamp off part of the time while
applying full voltage the rest of the time. Or with incandescent,
put a diode in the circuit.
What does X-10 do? If it has only one level of dimming, it's
probably a diode. I don't think a diode will dim another diode,
even a Light Emitting Diode.
Dimmers usually work by turning the power either on or off at
differing points on the sine wave - and they DO make dimmable LEDs -
they are a bit more expensive than the non-dimmable ones (which will
just flash if you attempt to dim them)
LED bulbs, even dimmable ones, will NOT work with a two wire (no common)
X-10 switch because the switch works by continually sending a small
amount of current through the circuit when the light is off. This will
cause the LED bulb to flicker when it is in the off mode. Only the type
of X-10 switches that will work with CFLs will work with with LEDs.
On Thursday, December 19, 2013 11:29:22 PM UTC-5, Marilyn & Bob wrote:
Someone finally answered the actual question, kind of. But he actually
asked if it will work with the basic X -10 lamp module, which isn't a switch.
Those have a neutral available, so powering it isn't a problem,
but they are still only rated for use on incandescents or similar
resistance loads. CFL, LEDs etc have transformers which are not pure
resistance loads. You can use an X-10 appliance module, but it won't
have dim capability. A regular X-10 module isn't rated to work, it
might work if he's lucky with some LED's. But even if it does, how
long it will last is anyone's guess, because it's not designed to
switch inductive loads.
Would adding an incandescent light like you do when using an appliance
module with fluorescent tubes help in any way?
I had to add a small "Christmas candle" off an X-10 module so the
fluorescent shop light wouldn't turn off immediately after the motion
sensor turned it on.
On Friday, December 20, 2013 11:35:41 PM UTC-5, DerbyDad03 wrote:
Maybe. If what you're saying is that you did that with a standard
X-10 incandescent only module and it worked for a fluorescent, then
it may work for an LED too. They are designed for resistance loads
and the more a load looks like a pure resistance, the more likely it
would be to work. How long it lasts might be another issue. It
all depends on the design, which we don't know anything about, except
that it's cheap, likely made in China, etc....
Given that the world is moving to LEDs, you would think that if
the basic X-10 module could be used with them, that they would say
so. The real problem with X-10 is that AFAIK, at this point, nothing
is being invested in any new products, nor has there been for years.
What you have is cheap and
OK for some simple applications where good reliability isn't needed.
IDK enough about the state of other contenders today to make any
recommendations. Perhaps if Lee posts more about the overall application,
some others can make suggestions.
I'm using an RR501 transceiver module with an MS14A motion sensor.
Trust me, I know all about the unreliability of X-10! My dad was looking
for a setup to control some outside lights. I bought a bunch of X-10 stuff
to test at my house before installing it at his and was very disappointed.
The motion sensors would turn the lights on but sometimes they wouldn't
turn off for hours at a time. I'd come home from work in the bright
sunlight to find the lights on even though everything was set to only work
after dusk. The thing is, it wasn't consistent so it was really hard to
troubleshoot. I also experienced other strange symptoms when the modules
were plugged into GFCI receptacles. There was no way I would saddle my dad
with an inconsistent, unreliable lighting system.
I eventually took most of it out and installed standard fixtures with their
own motion sensors. I left one setup installed which, for the most part,
works fine. I put a motion sensor just inside my shop door and have an
RR501 controlling a 4' shop light. It's just so I can some light in the
area when I come in through the back door where there is no convenient
switch. It works fine 95% of the time but it's not a critical set up.
That's the one where I had to add the Christmas candle to get it to work
In fact, I just paused putting this post together and did another test. I
have 3 areas of Christmas lights in the house. I just plugged 3 RR501
transceivers into the 3 receptacles and tried to use an MS14A as a remote.
The 2 RR501's on the living room circuit *sort of* worked but the one on
the kitchen circuit will only turn off, never on. Plug the same RR501 into
a living room receptacle and it works, sort of. By sort of I mean that 100%
of the time the RR501's will turn off with the remote but they only turn on
about 90% of time. I tried different channels and house codes but the
inconsistencies were consistent.
Christmas lights X10 update!
I got all three lighting areas to work off of one MS14A "remote". The
kitchen problem appears to have been caused by the fact that the receptacle
I was using was protected by a GFCI. I should have realized that because I
had that same problem in my garage. I ran an extension cord from a
receptacle in my office, plugged the RR501 into that and it all works fine
- for now.
One button to control three sets of lights around windows and doors plus
the 1000+ Christmas tree lights. I'm a happy camper - for now.
We'll have to wait to see if it keeps working for the next few weeks.
I use a few X10 modules now. I used to use a lot. To avoid collisions, I
would try to make sure no 2 (or more) X10 transmitters were active at
the same time. This would produce unwanted "hybrid" commands (for
exambple, B1 sent at the time as P7 could lead to B7 being seen instead.
Adding X10 motion sensors (unpredictable transmitters) made this
difficult situation impossible. I went from nearly everything in my
house on X10 to just a few things because of such problems.
4 days until The winter celebration (Wednesday December 25, 2013 12:00
AM for 1 day).
On Saturday, December 21, 2013 1:30:31 PM UTC-5, DerbyDad03 wrote:
I remember you asking about the turning on an outside light
application years ago and I was one of those
that suggested X-10 as a possible solution. I had used X-10 for
turning on lights outside a garage on a motion sensor and for
turning on porch lights at dusk. It worked OK for that and still
does. I'd say it's about 95% effective, but as you say, sometimes
it won't turn the lights out or on.
But after that, I used it to turn on and off some floor lamps,
randomly, when I'm away. I got that working too. Then somehow
about a year later, one of the lights suddenly stopped working.
I tried swapping modules that worked, different codes, different
outlets to the extent possible, etc. I couldn't get it to work
again on the same outlet that it had worked on for a year, nor
another nearby outlet. That is the most bizarre X10 thing I've
seen. And there was nothing electrically new added to the house, ie no
new TV, appliances, moving anything around, etc that could account
Another aspect of X10 is that outlets can be on either hot leg.
If the transmitter is on one and the receiver on the other, then
the signal has to go all the way to the street transformer or
a 240V load that is on to make it to the receiver. One trick
to try to see if that is the problem is to turn on an electric
oven and see if that helps make it work. If that is the problem,
you can put a cap between the legs that is supposed to bridge
the signal. I also found modules that not only do that, but
also re-transmit the signal at a greatly amplified level.
But they were pricey and given that it was clear X-10 really
wasn't going anywhere, I just gave up on expanding it beyond
what I'm using it for now.
I'm glad you found some use for the X-10 anyway. If you
asked the same question today, based on my later experiences,
I would have given you an answer with all the potential
problems. I'd still say it's OK for some basic apps, but
not if you want high reliability or a system that can span
a house and work almost everywhere.
Plug-in x10 modules (both dimmable lamp modules and relay switched
appliance modules) have a feature that enables the user to turn on the
device locally by flipping the switch off then on in a rapid sequence.
Some CFL lights constantly trigger this power-on feature. The solution
I found is to have a small resistive load (night light) in parallel with
the CFL. I haven't tried x10 modules with LED bulbs yet.
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