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Author Topic: Converting An Existing X10 System To Work With CFLs  (Read 134137 times)

jayman13

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Re: Converting An Existing X10 System To Work With CFLs
« Reply #30 on: January 23, 2011, 04:14:18 PM »

Are you using these purespectrum bulbs with switches, say like the WS467 and they work ok?  Also, what wattage you using?
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dave w

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Re: Converting An Existing X10 System To Work With CFLs
« Reply #31 on: January 23, 2011, 04:27:08 PM »

The socket rocket can handle CFL's (from other posts) and doesn't have the auto on switching feature so there should be no blinking.   but if I leave those socket rockets ON anyone can turn the lamps on and off as desired and I can turn the socket rocket off to make sure they are off at night. 
No,  unfortunately that is not correct. If the light the Socket Rocket is controlling is switched off, the Socket Rocket will "default" to OFF.
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Brian H

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Re: Converting An Existing X10 System To Work With CFLs
« Reply #32 on: January 23, 2011, 04:34:30 PM »

I doubt any CFL dimmable or not. Will work with a WS467. As it steals power through the load.
I tried a few brand dimmable CFLs with a WS12A and it did not work. The WS467 is very similar.

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jayman13

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Re: Converting An Existing X10 System To Work With CFLs
« Reply #33 on: January 23, 2011, 04:40:40 PM »

What about with WS4777 or is it same difference...
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dave w

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Re: Converting An Existing X10 System To Work With CFLs
« Reply #34 on: January 23, 2011, 04:42:27 PM »

Are you using these purespectrum bulbs with switches, say like the WS467 and they work ok?  Also, what wattage you using?
I am not using Pure Spectrum, but as a rule CFLs will not work with any X10 two wire switches (WS467, WS12) because the internal switch electronics is designed to draw parasitic power through the filament of the incandescent bulb. A CFL in the circuit will not provide this power.

I have CFLs working off the two wire WS467 but I have a incandescent 7 Watt bulbs in the circuits which provides enough power to the switch electronics to keep them working. These are old WS467 switches which can not be dimmed locally, and I have them identified as Socket Rockets in my home control software to avoid accidental dimming, which the CFLs would not like (they are not dimmable CFLs).

Sorry for stepping on you Brian, but I posted before seeing your response.

And to Jayman, yeah, the WS4777 is the same. It is just the 3-Way version of the WS467. The secret is a switch that requires a neutral wire. Those switches do not draw power through the bulb filament.

« Last Edit: January 23, 2011, 04:45:23 PM by dave w »
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jayman13

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Re: Converting An Existing X10 System To Work With CFLs
« Reply #35 on: January 23, 2011, 04:45:57 PM »

Are you using these purespectrum bulbs with switches, say like the WS467 and they work ok?  Also, what wattage you using?
I am not using Pure Spectrum, but as a rule CFLs will not work with any X10 two wire switches (WS467, WS12) because the internal switch electronics is designed to draw parasitic power through the filament of the incandescent bulb. A CFL in the circuit will not provide this power.

I have CFLs working off the two wire WS467 but I have a incandescent 7 Watt bulbs in the circuits which provides enough power to the switch electronics to keep them working. These are old WS467 switches which can not be dimmed locally, and I have them identified as Socket Rockets in my home control software to avoid accidental dimming, which the CFLs would not like (they are not dimmable CFLs).

Sorry for stepping on you Brian, but I posted before seeing your response.

And to Jayman, yeah, the WS4777 is the same. It is just the 3-Way version of the WS467. The secret is a switch that requires a neutral wire. Those switches do not draw power through the bulb filament.



By insinuation are you saying that 3 or 4 wire switches may work ok as long as you don't dim?
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jayman13

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Re: Converting An Existing X10 System To Work With CFLs
« Reply #36 on: January 23, 2011, 04:47:55 PM »

Sorry, posted too fast.  You answered my question.  Thanks.
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jayman13

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Re: Converting An Existing X10 System To Work With CFLs
« Reply #37 on: January 23, 2011, 04:51:48 PM »

May be a stupid question.  My hall light has two fixtures.  Would I have to put an incandescent bulb in each fixture or can I get away with just one incandescent bulb in one fixutre and the rest socket rockets?
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dave w

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Re: Converting An Existing X10 System To Work With CFLs
« Reply #38 on: January 23, 2011, 05:25:42 PM »

Maybe we are talking apples and oranges. You only need the incandescent hack if your light fixtures are controlled with a two wire X10 switch WS467, or WS12 or the 3-way WS477 (yeah it has three wires, but none go to Nuetral). The Socket Rocket should work fine.

However the obligatory disclaimer follows:

X10 clearly describes Socket Rockets, and their two wire wall switches as INCANDESCENT ONLY. They do this for a reason. The module's output, controlled by a Triac, is distorted and becomes extremely distored if dimmed (where dimming is possible). Flourescent (compact or otherwise) and many LED bulbs do not like this distortion, even the small distortion a Socket Rocket puts out.

When ignoring X10 directions, be aware that you are taking a risk and should do some testing before decalring everything is just dandy. I have described my testing in other threads but a good way is just leave the CFL on for a while and periodically check the bulb for excessive heat or burning smell.

Do not remove this tag under paenalty of law.  :'
« Last Edit: January 23, 2011, 05:32:43 PM by dave w »
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Calprinter

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Re: Converting An Existing X10 System To Work With CFLs
« Reply #39 on: February 05, 2011, 12:24:28 AM »

I have gotten several new WS467's (Date 10E21) and looking it over it appears that they have added the "3rd wire" as a case connection. Does this mean it will work for CFL's? The unit is stamped "incandescent only". Is this a discalimer?
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Brian H

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Re: Converting An Existing X10 System To Work With CFLs
« Reply #40 on: February 05, 2011, 06:07:35 AM »

WS467 with a third wire?
Was the installation sheet updated?
If the third wire is bare or bonded to the metal shell. It is a safety ground and the switch is still a two wire type.
So no it can not run CFLs.
The Incadescent Only stamping also would indicate it is only for those type of bulb loads.
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dave w

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Re: Converting An Existing X10 System To Work With CFLs
« Reply #41 on: February 05, 2011, 02:45:14 PM »

The unit is stamped "incandescent only". Is this a discalimer?
No.
Even if it has a green grounding wire, the WS467 still draws it's operational power through the load. If a CFL can not deliver this parasitic power, the WS467 will not work. A "dimmable" CFL might deliver this power.
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us78749

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Re: Converting An Existing X10 System To Work With CFLs
« Reply #42 on: March 19, 2012, 06:26:32 PM »

X10 in Jerry’s House

I have 16 of the X10 circuits and many motion detectors. Both are sensitive to line noise and improper light bulbs.

I hear the term noise applied to all problems related to reception. Filtering and bridge circuits should also be considered. My lights will not work on the same circuit with a microwave oven. The microwave oven is not running. Due to the high current and function of a microwave it has the potential to create great amounts of line noise. Therefore it has good line filtering to prevent the generation of line noise. That filtering is designed to bridge unwanted signals straight to ground or to simply filter them out with fairly large inductors and capacitors. That same filtering or bridging circuitry could filter out X10 signals when the microwave is plugged in but not cooking anything.

Solution 1: I installed an ACT (Advanced Controls Technologies) AF120, 15 amp, plug in filter. It works. I am pushing the limits of this filter because it is rated at 15 amps and the microwave pulls 16.25 amps on high position. I ran the microwave for 5 minutes on high and the filter held up. Keep in mind many filters of this type on the market are only 5 amps.

Solution 2: The type of bulb you use really is important. I do not know if these bulbs are generating bad noise or if they are filtering out good signals. They will prevent X10 from working and also motion detectors. A bad CFL dimmable bulb in particular is from Lowes and is the Utilitech, LBP23TDM, 23 W, 230ma, 1600 lumens. The same bulb in the 1025 lumen output did not caused a problem.

Two other CFL bulbs that worked fine for me were GE Helical 26 watt and Sylvania 24 watt. Dimmable did not seem to solve any problems for me.

For one motion detector, it definitely needed at least 1 incandescent bulb in a 2 light fixture. The other bulb could then be the 1600 lumen CFL bulb. This will have to do until I can get a 3 wire X10 wall switch.

I have a few motion detectors of similar type bought at different times. The sensing current is different for each and the type of bulb to use is questionable. Incandescent lamps always work. An LED light bulb will usually stay on dim when turned off. Some CFLs will flicker.

The 3 line X10 wall switches should resolve many X10 problems if you have the hot wire, neutral and ground in your switchbox.  The Leviton 2209WI is probably one of those switches. They are out of stock at the time of this writing. March 19, 2012.

The 3 wire motion detectors will also offer the selection of any light bulb that does not inhibit the use of X10 devices. I would suggest any motion detector have both sensitivity and time adjustments. Brazix makes a 3 wire motion detector that might work for you.



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Dragon

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Re: Converting An Existing X10 System To Work With CFLs
« Reply #43 on: April 05, 2017, 11:16:55 PM »

Using the neutral wire mod described in this thread, I've found the latest version of Philips 457036 65W equiv reflector LED randomly flickers.  Connecting an oscilloscope between the blue load wire on the switch and neutral white, I get this:



Notice the weird spiky dips near the peak of each pseudo-sine wave.  Sometimes the spikes disappear and the peaks become narrow:



The scope shows the narrowed peaks have lowered Vrms to 8.4 (which is 84V on a 10X probe) which I think explains the flickering dimming.  If I connect either of two older, 100W equivalent omnidirectional LEDs, I get a more normal looking sine and no flickering:



Notice Vrms reads 11.4 (114V) as expected for a 110-120V device.

I've tried three different Philips 457036 and two different modified X10 switches and each has the same problem.

I also found that an unmodified X10 switch does not have the flickering problem, but it leaves the light on dimly when the switch is off.

Here's a wiring diagram of the neutral wire modification:



Wires were cut at two sets of green Xs and new connections are represented by green lines.

Here's the completed mod (I desoldered the short end of the 330k resistor and reused it instead of adding a new 330k, and the neutral wire is yellow):



Any ideas how the flickering might be fixed?
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Brian H

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Re: Converting An Existing X10 System To Work With CFLs
« Reply #44 on: April 06, 2017, 06:11:15 AM »

Is the Phillips rated as a Dimmable CFL?
Its electronics may not play well with a triac dimmer circuit driving it even if you are at 100% On.
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