X10 Community Forum

🔌General Home Automation => Automating Your House => Topic started by: alexcomp on October 31, 2015, 10:15:35 AM

Title: SOLUTION! - X10 switch to control 7 fluorescent fixtures converted to LED tubes
Post by: alexcomp on October 31, 2015, 10:15:35 AM
 -:)
The typical X10 WS467 Wall Switch would not work.  I happened to have an AM466 3pin appliance module and it works!  It's going to require a little custom wiring that I haven't totally implemented yet but I had a 4' led shop light turning on and off perfectly with remotes to RF751 to AM466 to shop light this morning.  THIS DIDN'T WORK WITH THE NEW FIXTURES BUT I CAME UP WITH AN ALTERNATIVE SOLUTION THAT WORKS AND IS LESS EXPENSIVE - AN INEXPENSIVE LAMP MODULE WORKS FINE AND i'VE GOT PLENTY OF THOSE.  PREPARING A YOUTUBE VIDEO THAT I'LL LINK TO WHEN IT'S DONE.

  I'll need to rewire the box with the existing wall switch (fortunately it has neutral) with a duplex outlet and a grounded plug that will lead to the light fixtures.  I prepared a schematic of this which is attached.(http://C:\Users\sgg\Desktop\IMG_0011.jpg).  Sorry can't figure out how to insert an image.  Could email if anyone wants or repost the image if someone tells me how.

 I just replaced 14, Fluorescent tubes with LED tubes.  The quality and brightness is amazing and there is the additional benefit of dramatic decrease in electrical costs perhaps two thirds less.  These are standard, single tube over counter and undercounter fixtures.  They are laid out in two  banks controlled by two switches on either side of the kitchen.

I was aware that X 10 does not play nicely with fluorescent but had high hopes that my existing stock of X 10 modules might be able to work with these LED tubes.  Sadly, my WS 467 switches will turn the lights on and off but while on, will flicker and even while off will give faint flickers.  After pulling out all of the ballasts the electrical wiring to the fixtures is extremely simple going from each fixture to the next fixture while dropping a single power wire to one tombstone and a single common to the other tombstone.  Of course, there are things going on inside The individual tubes with their drivers and electronics I don't pretend to understand that.

on the X 10 website, they make mention of the WS 13 a relay switch and suggest that it might do better with LED lighting.  Any thoughts on that?

my goal is simple there are two entries to my kitchen and I wish to turn on both banks of LED tube lighting simultaneously from either entry.  Help would be appreciated!

Been a while since I've worked with X10 so quick dumb question.  Will a palm pad remote control a module like the ws467 directly or must there be a transceiver to pick up the radio signal and put it on the home wiring network?
Title: Re: X10 switch to control 7 fluorescent fixtures converted to LED tubes
Post by: Brian H on October 31, 2015, 10:34:05 AM
I have some of those LED 4' replacements and like them.

The WS13A or XPS3-IW [now updated to a XPS4] are relay types and should work better. As the WS467 steals power through the loads and is not for other type loads.
http://www.authinx.com/x10/manuals/WS13A.pdf

One point. Since the WS13A or XPS4 do not steal power through the loads. They need a neutral power connection in the switch box. Along with the Line and Load connections. So you will need a Neutral power connection in the switch box.

Are the original mechanical switches in a three way setup now? You can't use two WS13A or XPS4 switches to control the same loads. You can use one and a companion switch to trigger them. Through a traveler wire in a three way setup.
http://www.authinx.com/manuals/X10/WS14A.pdf

Yes you need a transceiver to take the X10 RF commands and send them on the power lines.
Title: Re: X10 switch to control 7 fluorescent fixtures converted to LED tubes
Post by: dhouston on October 31, 2015, 12:08:11 PM
The quality and brightness is amazing and there is the additional benefit of dramatic decrease in electrical costs perhaps two thirds less.

Is this a measured decrease in electrical costs? Tube fluorescents have long been miserly users of electricity when compared to incandescents but I've been unable to find an analysis of T8 LEDs vs. T8 fluorescents that wasn't from manufacturers with a vested interest. Cree claims a 30% increase in efficiency (for a dimmable LED) with a 3 year payback but it's unclear whether that includes the labor costs and it certainly doesn't include the cost of replacing switches, removing ballasts, etc.

I'm certainly willing to be convinced. While I only have two fluorescent fixtures in my apartment, they are 50+ years old and finding ballasts, etc. is becoming an issue for the landlord.  Are they available in other sizes?

UPDATE: Given Amazon's prices for 18" F15T8 LED bulbs used for my bathroom medicine cabinet, the payback is closer to 3 centuries.  rofl
Title: Re: X10 switch to control 7 fluorescent fixtures converted to LED tubes
Post by: alexcomp on October 31, 2015, 06:14:21 PM
I didn't see any neutral in the switchboxes.  That's a pain.  I'd have to drop a neutral through the wire although an alternative might be to "through wire the hot wire in the box, then put the X10 switch at the beginning of the circuit, prior to the first fixture.  (assuming all 7 fixtures are wired serially and not two separate strands wired serially).

As far as electrical consumption, the four foot tubes I replaced are rated at 40w consumption and they are replaced by led tubes rated 13w.  That's where my 2/3 reduction comes from.  I'm unable to quantify how much current the replaced ballasts were using but it has to be something I'd think.

There are a profusion of led replacement tubes in every gradation that fluorescents came in.  2' 3' 4' 6' 8' horseshoe configurations.  They will supposedly last for many years.  Here's a link to the 3 footers I bought on Amazon.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B014EYMXZW?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00 (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B014EYMXZW?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00)
Title: Re: X10 switch to control 7 fluorescent fixtures converted to LED tubes
Post by: dhouston on November 01, 2015, 05:42:15 AM
Prices for tube LEDs are all over the map. Here's the 18" LED I found.
http://www.amazon.com/Fulight-Easy-Installing%C2%A4-Rotatable-Equivalent-Double-End/dp/B0114FSQGY/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&qid=1446372589&sr=8-7&keywords=f18t8+led+bulb (http://www.amazon.com/Fulight-Easy-Installing%C2%A4-Rotatable-Equivalent-Double-End/dp/B0114FSQGY/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&qid=1446372589&sr=8-7&keywords=f18t8+led+bulb)

The devil, of course, is in the details many of which are lacking in the various descriptions.

Yours lists 1680 lumens. Most standard 3' fluorescents will be more than twice that. The difference being that standard tubes emit through 360 (needing a reflector behind the bulb) while LEDs emit through a reduced angle (~120) necessitating a rotatable tube for focusing.

My 18" has a 3 year warranty while your 3' has 5 years. I suspect the warranty is a more accurate estimate of life expectancy than the 21,000 hour figure in your 3' bulb's description although I am reminded that the CFLs that were to save the world tended fo fail after only a few months use.

Do these incorporate an internal DC power supply? Details would be helpful. A noisy supply might require bulb replacement.

If one needs to rewire to gain a neutral and/or switches need replacement, conversion costs start to escalate.

I hope these live up to your expectations but, in general, I remain skeptical.
Title: Re: X10 switch to control 7 fluorescent fixtures converted to LED tubes
Post by: alexcomp on November 02, 2015, 09:43:30 AM
I'm much better off than I was.  Kitchen amazingly bright comparatively.  My 3' and 4' fluorescent were 30w and 40w consumption and the replacements are 14w and 18w saving 26w and 22w respectively.  With 8 3' and 6 4' my total power consumption looks to be down from 480w to 220w with all lights on.  The ballasts draw something also but unsure how much.

I really need to control all lights from two entry points if anyone has ideas.

Title: Re: X10 switch to control 7 fluorescent fixtures converted to LED tubes
Post by: alexcomp on November 02, 2015, 09:53:44 AM
Prices for tube LEDs are all over the map. Here's the 18" LED I found.
http://www.amazon.com/Fulight-Easy-Installing%C2%A4-Rotatable-Equivalent-Double-End/dp/B0114FSQGY/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&qid=1446372589&sr=8-7&keywords=f18t8+led+bulb (http://www.amazon.com/Fulight-Easy-Installing%C2%A4-Rotatable-Equivalent-Double-End/dp/B0114FSQGY/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&qid=1446372589&sr=8-7&keywords=f18t8+led+bulb)


Yours lists 1680 lumens. Most standard 3' fluorescents will be more than twice that. The difference being that standard tubes emit through 360 (needing a reflector behind the bulb) while LEDs emit through a reduced angle (~120) necessitating a rotatable tube for focusing.


Check your assumptions.  I think you're confusing Kelvin with lumens.  There is no quote of lumens on your 18 inch fixture above.  I looked - it does say 7 watt/15watt equivalence and 3000 lumens if I recall.  Lumens is a measure of color temperature.
Title: Re: X10 switch to control 7 fluorescent fixtures converted to LED tubes
Post by: dhouston on November 02, 2015, 11:52:30 AM
I think you're confusing Kelvin with lumens.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kelvin (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kelvin)
 
There is no quote of lumens on your 18 inch fixture above.
I wrote nothing about that. I did, however, refer to standard fluorescents.
http://www.lrc.rpi.edu/programs/NLPIP/lightingAnswers/t8/02-t8-light-output.asp (http://www.lrc.rpi.edu/programs/NLPIP/lightingAnswers/t8/02-t8-light-output.asp)

Lumens is a measure of color temperature.
http://www.integral-led.com/education/what-are-lumens (http://www.integral-led.com/education/what-are-lumens)

One final note: Perceived brightness varies with the color temperature of a bulb.
http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=cfls.pr_cfls_lumens (http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=cfls.pr_cfls_lumens)

If you are happy with the result, that's what matters. Others might find lumens per watt of interest.
Title: Re: X10 switch to control 7 fluorescent fixtures converted to LED tubes
Post by: alexcomp on November 02, 2015, 01:00:41 PM

Prices for tube LEDs are all over the map. Here's the 18" LED I found.
http://www.amazon.com/Fulight-Easy-Installing%C2%A4-Rotatable-Equivalent-Double-End/dp/B0114FSQGY/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&qid=1446372589&sr=8-7&keywords=f18t8+led+bulb (http://www.amazon.com/Fulight-Easy-Installing%C2%A4-Rotatable-Equivalent-Double-End/dp/B0114FSQGY/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&qid=1446372589&sr=8-7&keywords=f18t8+led+bulb)


Yours lists 1680 lumens. Most standard 3' fluorescents will be more than twice that. The difference being that standard tubes emit through 360 (needing a reflector behind the bulb) while LEDs emit through a reduced angle (~120) necessitating a rotatable tube for focusing.


I think I typoed when I said Lumens = color temp - meant to say Kelvin = color temp.

A quote from the 4' Hyperikon tubes I bought "stunning 110 lumens per watt - INDUSTRY LEADING!".  This means that my 3' at 14 watts is as it should be with quoted 1620 lumens.  Find me some 3' tubes that advertise 3000 lumens or more, or 4' advertising upwards of 4000 lumens and I'll be all over them as I need to buy more.  Don't think you can do it as I've looked.  Remember - industry leading at 110 lumens per watt.
Title: Re: SOLUTION! - X10 switch to control 7 fluorescent fixtures converted to LED tubes
Post by: dhouston on November 03, 2015, 11:33:46 AM
(http://g02.s.alicdn.com/kf/HTB1FzW9HFXXXXcBaXXXq6xXFXXXm/223496323/HTB1FzW9HFXXXXcBaXXXq6xXFXXXm.jpg)
While the above pictures are (probably) not of the LEDs you bought, all fluorescent-replacement tube LEDs will likely have two such switch mode power supplies (one at each end). Similar, inexpensive power supplies are notoriously prone to early failure and spewing high frequency noise onto the powerline. Just one more reason to be skeptical.

Your 4' LED is 18W. At 110 lumens/watt, that's 1980 lumens. The 40W standard fluorescent it replaced probably was rated at 90-100 lumens per watt for 3600-4000 lumens. http://www.lrc.rpi.edu/programs/NLPIP/lightingAnswers/t8/04-t8-efficacy.asp (http://www.lrc.rpi.edu/programs/NLPIP/lightingAnswers/t8/04-t8-efficacy.asp)

Title: Re: SOLUTION! - X10 switch to control 7 fluorescent fixtures converted to LED tubes
Post by: Brian H on November 03, 2015, 03:45:44 PM
I have seen some that are designed to be used with the ballast still wired in.
I have also seen some of them from Cree recalled due to the high voltage from the ballasts catching the LED Tube on fire.  :o

The ones I have you remove the ballasts and wire the Line and Neutral to one end and the other end no connections. Those can't be used with the shunt tombstones as both pins on each end are jumped.
Title: Re: SOLUTION! - X10 switch to control 7 fluorescent fixtures converted to LED tubes
Post by: alexcomp on November 03, 2015, 10:34:05 PM


Your 4' LED is 18W. At 110 lumens/watt, that's 1980 lumens. The 40W standard fluorescent it replaced probably was rated at 90-100 lumens per watt for 3600-4000 lumens. http://www.lrc.rpi.edu/programs/NLPIP/lightingAnswers/t8/04-t8-efficacy.asp (http://www.lrc.rpi.edu/programs/NLPIP/lightingAnswers/t8/04-t8-efficacy.asp)



Amazon 4' Sylvania rated 2200 lumens for a 40 watter.  I think your info is suspect.  The real answer is that my perceived brightness is now much better.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00IISC2W0?keywords=40%20watt%20fluorescent%20bulbs&qid=1446607716&ref_=sr_1_1&sr=8-1 (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00IISC2W0?keywords=40%20watt%20fluorescent%20bulbs&qid=1446607716&ref_=sr_1_1&sr=8-1)
Title: Re: SOLUTION! - X10 switch to control 7 fluorescent fixtures converted to LED tubes
Post by: alexcomp on November 03, 2015, 10:37:34 PM
I have seen some that are designed to be used with the ballast still wired in.
I have also seen some of them from Cree recalled due to the high voltage from the ballasts catching the LED Tube on fire.  :o

The ones I have you remove the ballasts and wire the Line and Neutral to one end and the other end no connections. Those can't be used with the shunt tombstones as both pins on each end are jumped.

Mine needed the ballasts removed (I have 14 for sale!).  They were also double ended so all that was necessary was to hot wire one end and neutral the other.  It also needed just the one wire to only one side of the tombstone as the tubes are internally shunted.
Title: Re: SOLUTION! - X10 switch to control 7 fluorescent fixtures converted to LED tubes
Post by: dhouston on November 04, 2015, 05:46:05 AM
Amazon 4' Sylvania rated 2200 lumens for a 40 watter.  I think your info is suspect.  The real answer is that my perceived brightness is now much better.
2200/40=55 lumens/watt which is the lowest figure, by far, that I've seen.

The Lighting Research Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, the source of my info, has long had an outstanding reputation for the quality of its research. I'm more inclined to believe them than the claims of self-promoting manufacturers.
http://www.lrc.rpi.edu/ (http://www.lrc.rpi.edu/)

As I've said repeatedly, your satisfaction is important. Others might want to see the total picture.
Title: Re: SOLUTION! - X10 switch to control 7 fluorescent fixtures converted to LED tubes
Post by: dhouston on November 04, 2015, 06:01:01 AM
I have seen some that are designed to be used with the ballast still wired in.
I have also seen some of them from Cree recalled due to the high voltage from the ballasts catching the LED Tube on fire.  :o

The ones I have you remove the ballasts and wire the Line and Neutral to one end and the other end no connections. Those can't be used with the shunt tombstones as both pins on each end are jumped.

I saw some like those you cite, some powered at both ends, as well as some that require an external DC power supply. All of these variations make it important that folks research things before implementing fluorescent tube replacements. The 18" one I cited has a wiring diagram on the Amazon page - just click on the image at the left side of the page.
http://www.amazon.com/Fulight-Easy-Installing%C2%A4-Rotatable-Equivalent-Double-End/dp/B0114FSQGY/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&qid=1446372589&sr=8-7&keywords=f18t8+led+bulb (http://www.amazon.com/Fulight-Easy-Installing%C2%A4-Rotatable-Equivalent-Double-End/dp/B0114FSQGY/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&qid=1446372589&sr=8-7&keywords=f18t8+led+bulb)

There are even replacement non-shunted tombstones available.
http://www.amazon.com/LEDwholesalers-Non-Shunted-tombstone-fluorescent-replacements/dp/B00DZIGJX6/ref=sr_1_2?s=hi&ie=UTF8&qid=1446635333&sr=1-2&keywords=fluorescent+tombstone (http://www.amazon.com/LEDwholesalers-Non-Shunted-tombstone-fluorescent-replacements/dp/B00DZIGJX6/ref=sr_1_2?s=hi&ie=UTF8&qid=1446635333&sr=1-2&keywords=fluorescent+tombstone)

Some are even dimmable but most are not particularly X10-friendly.
Title: Re: SOLUTION! - X10 switch to control 7 fluorescent fixtures converted to LED tubes
Post by: alexcomp on November 04, 2015, 08:27:47 AM
2200 W for the Sylvain yeah was on the low-end but I saw none in excess of 3000 wants available for sale on Amazon . Show me a 40 W florescent bulb rated at 4000 lm or more and I'll be surprised
Title: Re: SOLUTION! - X10 switch to control 7 fluorescent fixtures converted to LED tubes
Post by: alexcomp on November 04, 2015, 08:32:10 AM
My forefoot and 3 foot LED tube replacements that I purchased from Hyperikon are working fine with standard lamp modules from X 10. I have no doubt that other tubes with different electronic configurations might be problematic. The good thing about the Hyperikon organization is that they have an accessible tech-support department that has been most cooperative
Title: Re: SOLUTION! - X10 switch to control 7 fluorescent fixtures converted to LED tubes
Post by: bkenobi on November 04, 2015, 10:35:11 AM
Those LED tubes are really $18/ea after the sale price?  It's amazing to me how much people spend to save a few cents.   B:(
Title: Re: SOLUTION! - X10 switch to control 7 fluorescent fixtures converted to LED tubes
Post by: alexcomp on November 04, 2015, 10:41:00 AM
I paid less than 10 each for the three footers and around $15.50 for the four footers. Anticipated payback is less than one year the savings in energy. I believe I live longer than that.

 At least two of my fixtures would've required ballast replacements at many of my tubes or on the way out. I think I made a good investment. But the bottom line is that the quality of the light is much better
Title: Re: SOLUTION! - X10 switch to control 7 fluorescent fixtures converted to LED tubes
Post by: dhouston on November 04, 2015, 01:05:30 PM
So how long have you worked for Hyperikon?  :'
Title: Re: SOLUTION! - X10 switch to control 7 fluorescent fixtures converted to LED tubes
Post by: alexcomp on November 04, 2015, 03:36:33 PM
When I can easily reach knowledgeable technicians and talk with them for 15 minutes receiving good information it's a pleasure to share this find with others.  I've managed to enter my eight decade without becoming a sarcastic cynic.  Too bad we can't say the same for you "houston".
Title: Re: SOLUTION! - X10 switch to control 7 fluorescent fixtures converted to LED tubes
Post by: bkenobi on November 04, 2015, 05:18:20 PM
I haven't done any math myself so if someone has a good chart, I'd like to see it.  I'm open to hearing good arguments for/against new tech over old, but I have a pretty good propaganda detector.

I only use T8 bulbs in a few locations: garage (6 4'x2 fixtures = 12), shop (13'ish 4'x2 fixtures = 26), kitchen (4 4'x2 fixtures = 8), and laundry (2 2'x4 fixtures = 8).  That sounds like a lot of bulbs, however I'd contend that it likely won't make much difference to my overall energy usage.  The reason is, I only use lights when I'm in the room.  I'd say I split my time at home between the bedroom (no lights when sleeping) and the family room (no T8 bulbs) pretty evenly.  The other rooms are used for maybe an hour or two a day while doing laundry, making dinner/breakfast, and misc tasks in the garage/shop.  Generally in the summer, I don't use any lighting for most of the day since we have good window lighting and I spend a lot of time outside.  In the winter, we use a lot of lighting when home since it's dark when I leave for work and dark again when I get home.

That said, here is a table of projected costs/savings, environmental impacts, and other factors related to the 3 bulb choices (screw in type is all I could find).

http://www.designrecycleinc.com/led%20comp%20chart.html

If these bulbs are your primary lighting source, then it's likely that they would quickly break even assuming the light quality was good enough.  BUT, what I've seen with CFL is that the initial quality degrades below that of incandescent rather quickly and has other down sides.  LED has up to now been cost prohibitive.  However, that's comparing the benefit of incandescent to CFL and LED.  What this thread deals with is Fluorescent vs LED.  Comparing data for CFL vs LED, I see a 50% reduction in electricity usage and a 720% higher "sale" price.  I would have to use the bulbs for ages to make that work out.  And, considering that my T8's have almost all lasted well over 5 years (when I bought the house and have only replaced 3-4 bulbs), it seems like replacing them as they fail would make for a significant hodge podge of T8 and various LED's (I'd only buy them as they were needed and that would mean various models most likely).  I'm all over a better light bulb to save on my bill, but I've been skeptical of the "savings" people report when they ignore the initial cost of the bulb and installation.
Title: Re: SOLUTION! - X10 switch to control 7 fluorescent fixtures converted to LED tubes
Post by: alexcomp on November 04, 2015, 07:55:13 PM
These T12 fixtures (T12 bulbs are 1.5" diameter and typically use the older style magnetic ballasts) were probably installed when the house was built in 1989 so overdue for replacement.  When you carve out the ballast and feed a single hot wire to one tombstone and a single neutral to the other tombstone you have essentially made the original fixture into nothing more than a lampholder and that was good for me.  At least two of my fixtures had bad ballasts - guessing $50 or so to fix them so that reduces my outlay for the led tubes.

The kitchen where they are installed is quite large - about 30 x 20 with cathedral ceilings about 15' at the peak.  Takes a lot of light to make it cheery and the old system didn't get it done.  I think my Amazon invoice for 16 tubes was around $220 plus I bought 3 3packs of 60w led bulbs at Lowes for our chandelier making total outlay less than $250 to be reduced by the $50 for replacement ballasts.  This is nicer light than what we had and we're loving it.  Wife was demanding complete relighting of the kitchen and this was actually the most cost effective solution.  These kitchen lights were used a lot.

All kitchen lights on 4 hours per day
6 4' at 40w = 240w/hr
8 3' @ 30w = 240 w/hr
9  medium base bulbs @ 60w = 540w/hr

Total of 1020 watts x 4 hours avg utilization would be 4080 watts per day or 1489200 watts per year = 1489.2 kwh @ 11.4 cents = $169.60

All kitchen lights on 4 hours per day
6 4' at 18w = 108w/hr
8 3' @ 14w = 112 w/hr
9  medium base bulbs @ 8.5w = 76.5w/hr


Total of 296.5 watts x 4 hours avg utilization would be 1186 watts per day or 432890watts per year = 432.89 kwh @ 11.4 cents = $49.34

Not quite a one year return on investment - 1.66 years is about 20 months.  I'm good with that ROI.  There is an additional savings in that ballasts draw power but I don't know how to quantify that and maybe it's built in to the current consumption for the fluorescent tubes already.  Anybody know?
Title: Re: SOLUTION! - X10 switch to control 7 fluorescent fixtures converted to LED tubes
Post by: dhouston on November 05, 2015, 07:39:57 AM
Here are numerous before/after wiring diagrams.
https://www.bing.com/images/search?q=tube+led+wiring+diagram&id=C145C9827B7072528AD371E7F4FB36B4C5451219&FORM=IQFRBA (https://www.bing.com/images/search?q=tube+led+wiring+diagram&id=C145C9827B7072528AD371E7F4FB36B4C5451219&FORM=IQFRBA)

Your story keeps changing. You now want to include other, non-fluorescent bulbs you replaced in your payback calculations. And, you said you had 14 ballasts for sale while you now say at least 2 are defective. BTW, Amazon has T12 ballasts for under $12 each instead of the $50 figure you suggested.

Sticking with Hyperikon tube LEDs at current Amazon (Prime) prices and figuring your labor is worthless, gives a 4 year,  9 month payback. I suspect many of your 14 tubular LED bulbs will have experienced premature failure before then.

Including realistic labor costs would stretch the payback to 15-20 years.

BTW, your labor rate will come in handy when you need to figure out which of your 14 tubular LED bulbs has a noisy power supply blocking all X10 activity.
Title: Re: SOLUTION! - X10 switch to control 7 fluorescent fixtures converted to LED tubes
Post by: bkenobi on November 05, 2015, 10:35:01 AM
I appreciate the quick ROI calcs.  Those are quicker periods than I would have expected.  When I've done the math, it appeared I would need close to the 20 years to break even and bulb life won't get me there.  My math said that I'd be better off replacing my windows and skylights if I wanted to save electricity (though that's a much larger investment).

I agree with the noise issues, though I have a couple tubes fixtures in my garage that don't play nice with a WS4777.  It doesn't hurt anything else in the system other than not being able to remotely turn that set of lights off.  I suppose I can't say my current setup is perfect, but I'd definitely not be happy with making it worse.

Reading your installation description, I have a couple concerns.  If you take the ballast out of a standard fixture and wire hot/neutral directly to the tombstone, is the connector rated for 120V?  What happens if you sell the house and the next owner (or your wife/friend/son/daughter/etc) tries to install a fluorescent bulb in a 120V, non-ballast fixture?  This seems like something an electrician would frown upon, but I don't know code so I'm not sure.

EDIT: Oh, and I guess I lied.  I have T12 bulbs (the fat ones) not the newer T8 style.  I don't think that changes much other than the wattage slightly.  My office building actually just redid all lighting from T12 to T8 within the last couple years so I guess for them, LED wasn't worth the investment.

EDIT2: I asked google my question and it appears to me that using a fluorescent tube without a ballast isn't dangerous it simply won't work.  The ballast apparently increases voltage from 120V to 216V during startup so the tombstone is running 120VAC anyway and must be rated to 216V at least.  Either way, it seems like a sticker would be a good idea (like how you'd electrical tape color code a traveler wire in a switch box if you only have black/white wires).
Title: Re: SOLUTION! - X10 switch to control 7 fluorescent fixtures converted to LED tubes
Post by: alexcomp on November 05, 2015, 11:23:33 AM
Some led tubes come with a label stating "Rewired for LED Tubes etc."  You make a good point and I will print up labels and affix.

As far as noise, system turns on and off perfectly, both A1 and A2.  The wall switch WS467 wouldn't work - I had one AM466 (?) that looked like it worked briefly but then stopped working.  All my X10 stuff is 15 or 20 years old so it may just have worn out.  The lamp module gets hot and neutral and perhaps that makes it more amenable to X10 than the Wall switches only connected to the hot wire.  Don't know but they do work.  Knock on wood.

As far as t8 or T12, the 3' tubes I bought state T8 but when I talked to the tech rep at Hyperikon he verified they would work with either T8 or T12.  The tombstones are the same - what changes between 8 and 12 mostly is that 12 is magnetic ballasts whereas 8 is the electronic ballasts, so I understand. 

Good question about "what would happen"?  if you put in a fluor tube in a converted fixture passing 110.  "Googling",,,,  Couldn't find anything definitive so sent email to the vendor.  Will post when I get there answer.
Title: Re: SOLUTION! - X10 switch to control 7 fluorescent fixtures converted to LED tubes
Post by: Brian H on November 05, 2015, 12:24:18 PM
On the ones you are using. Where the Line is on one end and the Neutral on the other. It probably would not work.

On the ones I have with both the Line and Neutral on the same side. The heater in that end would short the AC into the fixture. Not sure if the tube would just flash brightly or maybe crack.
Title: Re: SOLUTION! - X10 switch to control 7 fluorescent fixtures converted to LED tubes
Post by: dhouston on November 05, 2015, 12:49:01 PM
AFAIK, T5/T8/T12 refers to tube diameter. Larger diameter means more surface area for phosphor which probably relates directly to wattage.

Some of the tube LEDs I saw, included highly visible stick-on labels regarding the fixture's conversion. Others did not.

Given the number of noisy switching power supplies with CFL and LED lamps reported here over the past few years, I would expect there to be a similar incident rate with the tubular LEDs. Finding one noisy power supply among 14 tubular LEDs on the same circuit will be challenging - even more so than Noam finding his neighbor's noisy CFL.

There was a very high rate of early failures with CFLs. As most were related to power supply failures, there's reason to expect similar issues with tubular LEDs.

 I've always been an early adopter, buying my first (expensive even with a ComEd subsidy) CFL in the mid-80s (which failed after less than 6 weeks) but I would hold off here until prices fall to about 50% of current levels. A little time may also help identify the most reliable vendors.
Title: Re: SOLUTION! - X10 switch to control 7 fluorescent fixtures converted to LED tubes
Post by: alexcomp on November 05, 2015, 06:03:00 PM
Here's what Hyperikon had to say about inserting standard fluor and noise.

Sorry
1)       Nothing will happens when you out a T8 fluorescents in .
2)       We can send you some warning labels
3)      No they will only fade  5 to 9% over 50000Hours of use and will not become noisy
Cheers have a nice day

Title: Re: SOLUTION! - X10 switch to control 7 fluorescent fixtures converted to LED tubes
Post by: dhouston on November 05, 2015, 07:06:50 PM
Here's what Hyperikon had to say about inserting standard fluor and noise.
3)      No they will only fade  5 to 9% over 50000Hours of use and will not become noisy

Dream on.  ::)

In order to meet FCC limits on high frequency noise on the powerline, many manufacturers install a capacitor across the line. This capacitor also eats X10 signals and frequently fails after a few weeks or months, allowing high frequency noise to spew to the powerline and block X10 signals.
Title: Re: SOLUTION! - X10 switch to control 7 fluorescent fixtures converted to LED tubes
Post by: dave w on November 05, 2015, 08:28:46 PM
I suspect many of your 14 tubular LED bulbs will have experienced premature failure before then.

ACT, who once made X10 protocol products,  designed and manufactured four foot LED tubes. And that was when they closed their doors. High failure rate put hem out of business.

Heck they can't even get CFLs to last a quarter of their projected life, let alone getting LEDs to light for any length of time. (Noope, no disappointing experiences here). 
Title: Re: SOLUTION! - X10 switch to control 7 fluorescent fixtures converted to LED tubes
Post by: dhouston on November 05, 2015, 09:50:24 PM
High failure rate put hem out of business.

Given that other LEDs need heat dissipating fins, I'd think a 4' x 1" diameter tube containing several LEDs plus one or two switching power supplies might get somewhat toasty.

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