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Author Topic: Fluorescent Light Control  (Read 11971 times)

dhelms29505

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Fluorescent Light Control
« on: June 14, 2011, 02:12:07 AM »

Mainly I'm looking to get some good opinions. I need to control an overhead fluorescent light ( 4 36" tubes). The light is on a three way circuit (2 switches). I have an extra am466 lying around that I modified. I removed the supply prongs and soldiered on jumpers to make a hardwired connection (homemade inline module). Before I blow something up, will this setup work in the following manner. To test I was going to patch into one of the switches. Hook to the neutral and one of the travelers. But my theory is I should be able to go to both travelers. That way I still get switch function, right? The circuit is staying the same, adding the inline to simply apply voltage to the travelers. The only problem I see is if the module is on and you try to turn off the light switch it will never turn off. Any advice?!
« Last Edit: June 14, 2011, 03:18:34 AM by dhelms29505 »
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Brian H

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Re: Fluorescent Light Control
« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2011, 06:14:37 AM »

May depend on the exact wiring.
I have a three way outside garage light set.
The AC Line feed was inside the kitchen wall switch box. The load was on the outside garage switch.
I put an Insteon Switchlinc Relay in the inside position and used both travelers to the outside switch. The inside switch controls the lights and the outside switch does not control anything as up or down the inside switch still provides AC to the load.

I agree in your modification thoughts. Both switches would do nothing. Except maybe turn the lights On if the Appliance Module was old enough to have Local Control Sensing.
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dave w

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Re: Fluorescent Light Control
« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2011, 09:02:53 AM »

To test I was going to patch into one of the switches. But my theory is I should be able to go to both travelers. That way I still get switch function, right?  Any advice?!
If you use both traverers as your Hot to the module I think you will lose switch function since you have shorted the travelers togerther (if I understand your plan).
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Noam

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Re: Fluorescent Light Control
« Reply #3 on: June 14, 2011, 09:45:23 AM »

Are you trying to replace the switches with the module, or be able to control the light from EITHER the switch OR the module?
If you are trying to replace the switches, then you would just remove both switches, disconnect one traveler (cap it at both ends, use the other traveler as your "hot" lead, and wire it back up as if it were a simple inline module.

If you are trying to ADD X10 control, but keep both switches, I don't think you can use the setup you have. You would need to replace the switches with a 3-way X10 switch, or a pair of Smarthome switchlincs (or togglelincs).
The way I understand it from my own Smarthome switches, the smarthome switches work by using one of the travelers as a "hot" lead, and the other as a "signal" lead.
the switch at the "load" side controls the load, and the one at the "line" side is used to signal the other one to turn the load on and off (using the "signal" wire).
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dhelms29505

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Re: Fluorescent Light Control
« Reply #4 on: June 14, 2011, 10:51:26 AM »

Update I tried with my moded AM466. Light stays on all the time cant seem to get a signal to the module. Thanks Everyone for your advice. I guess it will be best to spend the money and buy some togglelinks from smarthome. Why doesnt x10 have a traditional switch for fuorescents? I guess those are like the all in one inline fan modules EVERYONE SPEAKS ABOUT. X10 thinks they wont sell. I may try this setup again in slightly if different fashion. If I get it to work Ill be sure to post what I did. Again thankyou all.
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Dan Lawrence

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Re: Fluorescent Light Control
« Reply #5 on: June 14, 2011, 11:50:23 AM »

Update I tried with my moded AM466. Light stays on all the time cant seem to get a signal to the module. Thanks Everyone for your advice. I guess it will be best to spend the money and buy some togglelinks from smarthome. Why doesnt x10 have a traditional switch for fuorescents? I guess those are like the all in one inline fan modules EVERYONE SPEAKS ABOUT. X10 thinks they wont sell. I may try this setup again in slightly if different fashion. If I get it to work Ill be sure to post what I did. Again thankyou all.

X10 does make a switch for Fluorescent Lights, it's the PRO Inline Fixture Appliance Module (XPFM)  It goes inside the case. 
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Brian H

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Re: Fluorescent Light Control
« Reply #6 on: June 14, 2011, 01:06:02 PM »

Regular toggle button style switch not a Decorator style?
The X10 WS13A and X10Pro XPS3 are for fluorescent type lights. All of them do need a neutral in the switch box as do the Insteon/Icon Relay switches.
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dhelms29505

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Re: Fluorescent Light Control
« Reply #7 on: June 14, 2011, 05:48:42 PM »

Yes, the regular toggle button style. I dont know how things are where you all live. But where Im from you rarely see the decorator style switches in houses.
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dhelms29505

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Re: Fluorescent Light Control
« Reply #8 on: June 14, 2011, 06:08:54 PM »

I checked out the xpfm. If I take this route I loose the wall switch function all togeather, right?
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Brian H

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Re: Fluorescent Light Control
« Reply #9 on: June 14, 2011, 06:13:20 PM »

Yes in my home it is was all toggle style, but the the few switches I have exchanged for SwitchLinc Relays are decorator now.

With the XPFM you would loose the wall switch control. Unless you replaced them with in wall controllers and sent power line signals to the XPFM.
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dhelms29505

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Re: Fluorescent Light Control
« Reply #10 on: June 14, 2011, 07:52:09 PM »

It just seems like such a hassle for something so simple.
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dave w

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Re: Fluorescent Light Control
« Reply #11 on: June 14, 2011, 08:27:21 PM »

Well if you have to have toggles, there is always this ingenius mod.

http://forums.x10.com/index.php?topic=20348.0
« Last Edit: June 15, 2011, 09:19:54 AM by dave w »
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dhelms29505

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Re: Fluorescent Light Control
« Reply #12 on: June 14, 2011, 08:44:09 PM »

 I just want to solve a problem. I want the light in my kitchen (a fluorescent overhead) to come one when I deactivate my alarm so my wife and kids don't enter a dark house. I've done the macros and tested with lamp and app modules (hooked to lamps at an outlet). But this is what I ultimately want. And all I meant by the switches (traditional vs. decorator) was that it just seems odd to me that x10 chose to use that style switch for the only device in wall switch form to support fluorescents. Most people have the std. toggle styles in their houses. And for most of them, me included, the deco style is out of the question. How silly would it look to have a 3 switch box at your door and 1 of the 3 is deco style. Not to mention acquiring a cover for the box. All in all It just seems to me that someone didn't put a lot of thought into what could be a really awesome product.
« Last Edit: June 15, 2011, 12:37:56 AM by dhelms29505 »
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Noam

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Re: Fluorescent Light Control
« Reply #13 on: June 14, 2011, 09:09:51 PM »

Unfortunately, X10 only has the "decorator" version of that switch.
I had problems with several of their wall switches (the older, non-SoftStart dimmer wall switches) a number of years ago.
I ended up replacing them with SmartHome Togglelincs, and I have been very happy with them.
Unlike the X10 "tap-on/tap-off" behavior, these have "up-on/down-off" , like a "normal" switch (only they go back to the center, since the toggle doesn't move if you use an X10 command to turn the light on or off).

They are more expensive, but I felt they were worth the price.
In addition, they also have a small light which is on when the switch is off. Handy if you are controlling a load you can't see (like an outdoor light).
It also helps you find the switch in the dark.
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Brian H

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Re: Fluorescent Light Control
« Reply #14 on: June 15, 2011, 06:02:39 AM »

The Smarthome Togglelinc Relay with an X10 address added maybe the best solution in your case.

http://www.smarthome.com/2466SW/ToggleLinc-Relay-INSTEON-Remote-Control-On-Off-Switch-Non-Dimming-White/p.aspx
There are links on the page for the manuals so you can look them over as part of your decision.
As Noam pointed out the toggle button is centered and you move it down to activate Off and Up to activate On.
It is also a two way device. When you locally toggle it On or Off. It sends a power line signal that things like AHP can receive and update themselves or control another module on the same X10 address.
« Last Edit: June 15, 2011, 06:10:59 AM by Brian H »
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