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Author Topic: Trying to split control of outside lights: 1 switch, 2 lamps  (Read 4836 times)

nabril15

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Trying to split control of outside lights: 1 switch, 2 lamps
« on: September 12, 2011, 11:29:54 AM »

hello
My 2 outside lights (a post and a wall sconce) are currently controlled by an XPS3 switch. Works fine.
I would like to (if possible), separate those 2 so I could control them independently. I am thinking about:
Keeping the XPS3, adding a socket rocket (or similar) to the post light, and assigning it a different code.
Will this work? Will I be able to control the post light with my x10 remote?

However, I asked X10 if the socket rocket (lm51a) will work with CFL, but I was told it wont. Is there another CFL-friendly screw-in x10 module I can use?
Or maybe the XPFM?

I dont have a way to rewire without digging, so that will not be an option.
Any other suggestions?

Thanks
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Brian H

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Re: Trying to split control of outside lights: 1 switch, 2 lamps
« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2011, 12:58:44 PM »

Possibly. If you remember the Socket Rocket is in the programming mode for I believe thirty seconds. After power is applied.
So if the XPS3 is turned On. Could be possible to reprogram it. If there where three X10 commands on the power line in thirty seconds. Not to likely but something to think about.

Officially a Socket Rocket is for incandescent bulbs only. Some have used them with good results and a CFL. Though the exact model bulb may or may not work well with the triac used to turn the power on and off.
The X10 statement, covers them if you try a different type load and something happens.
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nabril15

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Re: Trying to split control of outside lights: 1 switch, 2 lamps
« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2011, 01:27:37 PM »

thanks again Brian.
The manual doesnt mention anything about the device being in programming mode after 30 seconds of power. But I will take your word since you obviously know a lot about X10.

I will have to program the socket rocket in another lamp pressing the unit code 3 times. Fine. Say I use code 8.
The XPS3's code is 5. When code 5 on is automatically sent at 7:30, it will send power to both lamps, but the rocket should not come on, right?
At 7:35 I could send the code 8 on and it should work.  Or, do I have to do it in reverse, 8 then 5? But that wont work since the xps3 (5) is switched off and not sending the line power to the lamp.

To turn them off, I have to do it in the same order; 8 off first, then 5.

For many years I used Intermatic programmable timers with CFL's, and they worked fine despite the statement about not working with CFL. I imagine the same will happen here.
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Brian H

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Re: Trying to split control of outside lights: 1 switch, 2 lamps
« Reply #3 on: September 12, 2011, 01:44:50 PM »

The XPS3 would have to be On so the Socket Rocket was powered up.
You would not have to wait five minutes to turn the Socket Rocket On after the XPS3 is ON.
I sent the same address a socket rocket was set to. Right after it was powered up and it went on fine. I even sent one different code after power up and then the correct command and it still went on fine. It would have to be three of the same new addresses in a row to reprogram a Socket Rocket.

I tried powering down a Socket Rocket and it defaulted to Off. So just turning Off the XPS3 should turn both Off. For the next power up.
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Noam

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Re: Trying to split control of outside lights: 1 switch, 2 lamps
« Reply #4 on: September 12, 2011, 03:35:51 PM »

If you find CFLs that work with the Socket Rocket, you could do it another way.
Put a SocktRocket on BOTH fixtures, and replace the XPS3 with a regular switch (if you want) that would always remain "on." You can then control each light separately.

Another option (if you can get to the wiring between the switch and the wall sconce) would be to separate the sconce out onto a separate switch.
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nabril15

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Re: Trying to split control of outside lights: 1 switch, 2 lamps
« Reply #5 on: September 12, 2011, 03:59:43 PM »

thanks brian and noam. Good suggestions noams.
Since I've already invested in the XPS3, and socket rockets are in the $10 range, I will stay with what I have and just get the one socket rocket for the light post. THese X10 modules and switches are awesome, but are pricey when compared to a regular switch.
Besides, we all still have the doubt as to whether a CFL will work with the socket rocket. I wish there was a local store that would allow me to buy it, try it, and return it if it fails.

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dave w

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Re: Trying to split control of outside lights: 1 switch, 2 lamps
« Reply #6 on: September 12, 2011, 05:15:38 PM »

Besides, we all still have the doubt as to whether a CFL will work with the socket rocket. I wish there was a local store that would allow me to buy it, try it, and return it if it fails.
Socket Rocket plays nice with GE 13 and 27 watt CFLs.
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JeffVolp

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Re: Trying to split control of outside lights: 1 switch, 2 lamps
« Reply #7 on: September 12, 2011, 05:55:58 PM »

These X10 modules and switches are awesome, but are pricey when compared to a regular switch.

X10 equipment has been incredibly cheap for what it does.  Compatible devices from other manufacturers such as Leviton and SmartHome are in the $40 a pop range (and up).

Jeff
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Brian H

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Re: Trying to split control of outside lights: 1 switch, 2 lamps
« Reply #8 on: September 12, 2011, 06:31:07 PM »

X10 devices where very inexpensive. Compared to things like ZWave, UPB and Insteon.
Now that x10 seems to have changed their business model. The modules are not quite as inexpensive as before. Especially from EBay and other authorized dealers.

Though this morning they had ten CFL friendly appliance modules for $49.99. Five two pin and five three pin in the package deal.
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nabril15

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Re: Trying to split control of outside lights: 1 switch, 2 lamps
« Reply #9 on: September 19, 2011, 04:01:02 PM »

shoot---the post light has 3 candelabra bulbs, so i will forget the socket rocket for it. I can put it on the wall sconce since that one has 1 bulb.

I will try to see if I can separate the wires, but I dont think so.
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msauto

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Re: Trying to split control of outside lights: 1 switch, 2 lamps
« Reply #10 on: September 19, 2011, 07:33:33 PM »

I believe these guys have what you need check it out :)%

http://www.solarseller.com/halogen_bulb_adapters__bayonet_base__wedge_base__mr_16.htm
                                                                                                                                                                 wouldn't use more than a 20 or 30 watt bulb though wiring in lamp may not handle it.
There is usually a sticker with max watts on the fixture just don't go beyond that and you should be OK >!
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