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Author Topic: Mix of incandescent (incl. halogen) and LED bulbs with WS12A/WS14A  (Read 4935 times)

wizardchef

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I have a failing X10 system using WAS12A/WS14A dimmer devices. I would like to stay with X10 if possible as I transition to LEDs in the future. Is this system compatible with a mix of halogen and LED bulbs, or do I need to change to another system?
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Brian H

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Re: Mix of incandescent (incl. halogen) and LED bulbs with WS12A/WS14A
« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2014, 03:04:25 PM »

The replacement halogen bulbs for the old incandescent ones should be fine.
Dimmable LEDs maybe a problem. The WS12A steals power through the load.
In my tests the WS12A and WS477A both do not work with dimmable LED bulbs. Some flash all the time. Some actually turn On and Off with the local button but will not respond to any X10 commands on the power lines.
There are mixed results with keeping one incandescent bulb in the circuit to keep the WS12A power needs happy.
Some model dimmable LED bulbs may work while other brands may not.
Dimmable LEDs also do not act the same as the old incandescent or replacement halogens. They may not come On at real low levels or pop On when the level reaches a higher level.

I will try one of my test WS12A modules with a few dimmable LED bulbs and one incandescent or halogen replacement and see what I can find out in more details.
« Last Edit: March 23, 2014, 03:10:50 PM by Brian H »
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wizardchef

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Re: Mix of incandescent (incl. halogen) and LED bulbs with WS12A/WS14A
« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2014, 03:33:36 PM »

The replacement halogen bulbs for the old incandescent ones should be fine.
Dimmable LEDs maybe a problem. The WS12A steals power through the load.
In my tests the WS12A and WS477A both do not work with dimmable LED bulbs. Some flash all the time. Some actually turn On and Off with the local button but will not respond to any X10 commands on the power lines.
There are mixed results with keeping one incandescent bulb in the circuit to keep the WS12A power needs happy.
Some model dimmable LED bulbs may work while other brands may not.
Dimmable LEDs also do not act the same as the old incandescent or replacement halogens. They may not come On at real low levels or pop On when the level reaches a higher level.

I will try one of my test WS12A modules with a few dimmable LED bulbs and one incandescent or halogen replacement and see what I can find out in more details.


Brian, thanks for this update. You have told me what I want to know. I sounds like this older technology is not worth chasing, given that in a few years even halogen bulbs will be phased out for indoor use. Every thing is going to be LED in and for the foreseeable future. I am going to abandon the X10 technology and seek a newer dimming system that will handle a mix of bulbs during the transition period, and then handle LEDs in the long run.
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Brian H

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Re: Mix of incandescent (incl. halogen) and LED bulbs with WS12A/WS14A
« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2014, 04:11:46 PM »

Glad to see you found us here. I had also answered your question in the Smarthome Forums as user BLH.
One thing to consider. Most of the other protocol modules. Like Insteon,UPB and ZWave to name a few. Need a Neutral Power connection in the switch box. So if you don't have a Neutral you may need to do some rewiring. There are some work arounds with Insteon and maybe the other protocols also.

The two wire X10 wall switches are not the only ones that do not work with dimmable LED bulbs. The two wire Insteon Switchlinc and one of my test two wire ZWave modules. Also do not like most Dimmable LED bulbs.
« Last Edit: March 23, 2014, 04:36:49 PM by Brian H »
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JeffVolp

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Re: Mix of incandescent (incl. halogen) and LED bulbs with WS12A/WS14A
« Reply #4 on: March 23, 2014, 04:25:35 PM »

I am going to abandon the X10 technology and seek a newer dimming system that will handle a mix of bulbs during the transition period, and then handle LEDs in the long run.

There is nothing in the X10 "technology" that prevents it from being used with LED bulbs.  We have transitioned to about half LED bulbs here, with the remainder being a mix of fluorescent and incandescent.  I installed Leviton X10 dimmer switches a decade ago that include a neutral connection for return power and signal paths, regardless of what type of bulb is installed.  As long as you use wall switches that include the neutral connection, they should work fine with LED bulbs.  And since all plug-in modules inherently have a neutral return, they will work with LED lights as long as they are the correct type (use dimmable for for lamp modules).

While we had severe noise problems from some early LED bulbs, all the newer Feit LED bulbs I tested produce no measurable noise near the X10 band at all.

Jeff
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Brian H

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Re: Mix of incandescent (incl. halogen) and LED bulbs with WS12A/WS14A
« Reply #5 on: March 23, 2014, 04:33:54 PM »

Jeff, Are there any X10 compatible dimmer wall switches made these days with a Neutral connection?
I thought Leviton is phasing out their X10 line and the latest Insteon modules have also quietly started dropped X10 support.
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IPS

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Re: Mix of incandescent (incl. halogen) and LED bulbs with WS12A/WS14A
« Reply #6 on: March 30, 2014, 04:31:48 AM »

Last fall I installed LED Strings on trees and are controlled with LM15. All work fine except when it get around minus 15C. Then it turns ON and cannot be turned off.
I also have replaced incandescent bulbs with LEDs. To control with X10 wall switch, I had to leave one incandescent bulb in the circuit. It works fine including dimming. Lamp modules work fine too except with flood lamp types. That now is controlled by X10 but can't remember the number. It is longer module than the normal lamp modules. If some ones need the exact number then I'll go and look it up. No trouble.

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JeffVolp

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Re: Mix of incandescent (incl. halogen) and LED bulbs with WS12A/WS14A
« Reply #7 on: March 30, 2014, 10:35:30 AM »

Jeff, Are there any X10 compatible dimmer wall switches made these days with a Neutral connection?

Sorry I missed your question last week.

I think you are correct about new production, but there have been Leviton DHC (X10 compatible) switches listed on eBay every time I check.  That is where I had pick up our inventory for resale.  Unfortunately, there have not been any large lots recently, and many of the listings are pretty expensive.

As I recall, X10 made a dimmer designed for inductive loads.  That should have a neutral connection.

Jeff

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Brian H

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Re: Mix of incandescent (incl. halogen) and LED bulbs with WS12A/WS14A
« Reply #8 on: March 30, 2014, 06:58:02 PM »

I have seen the X10Pro XPDI3 that is for inductive loads and the manual shows a Neutral connection is needed.
http://www.authinx.com/manuals/X10/XPDI3.pdf

I don't remember an X10 version of the XPDI3 but there may have been one.
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