I want to add a remote function for a lamp, but all the products that
I have seen (X-10, etc) specifically say for incandescent lights
only. I know they say this because flourescent bulbs won't work.
However, LED bulbs have just recently been available, probably before
these remotes were designed. I can understand why the X-10 requires
the fillament in the bulb, but what about this product?
Anyone know of a remote that just operates a wall switch regardless of
what is plugged in?
On Jun 13, 6:33 am, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
"Flourescent bulbs wont work"? I have 3, x10 exterior motion sensors
and 2 interior modules controling 16 CFLs. The exterior sensors are
fine, some interior wall modules flickered when off until I tried
different cfls. LED bulbs that I have bought are poor color, not
honestly rated for Lumen, and way overpriced. I would only buy an Led
unit from a store I could return it after I checked it out first,
meaning I dont believe any are ready for mass market yet. Mine was
grey-blue in color and put out near 9 watts instead of the 40w
My experience has been quite different. I recently tried to use some
CFL's on outdoor porch lights with a new X10 switch. They would not
work and in fact lit up very dim all the time. The issue is that
most X10 switches are 2 wire, meaning they are connected only between
the line and load. They rely on a very small current flowing through
the load all the time to power up the switch electronics, but not
enough to light the lamps. That works fine with a resistive load,
but not with the CFL's that have their own electronics, ballast,
etc. There may be some CFLs that will work, but it's not the general
case. Also using a CFL that might work might result in a shorter
life for the bulb?
What you need is an X10 switch that is rated for fluorescents, small
motors, etc. Essentially they use an additional connection to
neutral to power the switch and a relay inside to work the load. They
are readily available from Smarthome or Ebay and only cost a little
more than the incandescent only ones. They come as either a switch
or a plug-in module.
On Jun 13, 7:45 am, email@example.com wrote:
What I bought from x10 isnt easy to find on their site, its a motion
sensor unit like most exterior sensors but bigger, it has under its
panel maybe 12 switches for setting other things it controls, ive had
3 of them for maybe 20 years and use cfls since 07 in them and they
stay off. But quality of these units is kinda crappy, 2 now fire in
near daylight, and exterior life is maybe 3-4 years, I went to HD cfl
soft white floods because I was running 5 lights off one sensor and
pulling near the rated 500 watts out of it so I was burning the
mechanical relay up. In the garage I wired it to 4 fixtures and life
is better since weather doesnt get it, its maybe 60$ at x10.
Thanks for all the feedback. A bit more info....
The remote is for an LED pool light. By turning the switch off and on
a number of times, you can set the color of the light. The switch is
hard wired outside by the pool equipment. I can hard wire another
switch but I'd prefer to use a remote. I don't care much for the X-10
remotes and am looking for something that resembles a regular wall
switch that can be mounted with double sided tape. Thanks.
On Jun 15, 4:22 pm, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
I put a LED lamp bulb in an outside lamp fixture controlled by a
remote X10 wall switch and found that it stayed on, *slightly* dimmed
even when commanded OFF. Can anyone think of a way to have it really
turn off? (I realize that a generic X10 wall switch will still leak a
small current when "off", but perhaps this can be diverted? I also
realize that I could just leave the light on all the time, since it
lasts so long and draws so little power.....but I grew up being told
to "turn off the light!" and have trouble overruling that!)
On a previous point: I have vairously also used neon nightlights or 7-
watt incandescents to parallel CFLs and regular flourescents, if
necessary, with appliance modules, to prevent a lamp from not staying
In regard to relay wall switches, many switch boxes do not have the
neutral wire. I've considered instead to use the ground wire (since
the neutral wires are grounded anyway near the service box). Is there
any reason not to do this? The current to operate the switch would be
As I posted before in this thread, there are X10 wall switches
available that have a neutral connection. Hence, they don't send the
constant small current through the load to power themselves.
(I realize that a generic X10 wall switch will still leak a
It will but not every application is a good fit for wiring in another
lamp. The x10 "appliance modules" work well because of the internal relay.
I have also had poor results with CFLs and electronic switches.
I guess the thing I forgot to directly address is the issue of LEDs.
I don't have experience with them, but they could have some of the
same issues as CFLs. I would think they have electronics inside them
too and since they use very little current, they could actually start
to light up from the small current that flows through the two wire
type of X10 switch. Again, the simple solution is to use one of
the X10 switches rated for loads other than incandscents.
I have LED bulbs inside my garage controlled by motion sensor; when car
pulls in, light comes on. No problem. I have few LED bulbs around house.
Backyard patio has lamp post with multi color LED bulbs controlled by
light sensor; when dark, lights come on. No problem other than I
replaced one dead one a few days ago.
On Sun, 14 Jun 2009 03:44:05 GMT, Wayne Boatwright
Incorrect. It passes a small current through the load, and turns
itself on when the load changes a certain way. This can be really
annoying when some devices (including CFLs) refuse to stay off.
An X10 OUTLET module may avoid these problems.
As I pointed out earlier, there are also 3 wire X10 switches available
too. These include a neutral connection, so they don't rely on
passing a current through the load to power the switch electronics.
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