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Author Topic: Dimming home theatre lights  (Read 2808 times)

wgraves

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Dimming home theatre lights
« on: November 22, 2016, 12:21:17 AM »

Hi there,

I've been out of the X10 game for many years and am having some issues trying to figure out what route I should go to control the lights in my home theater.  It's pretty basic...I am using Kodi and there is a plugin that will allow control of X10 devices.  All I want it the lights to dim when a movie is played and come back up when the movie is either paused or stopped.  I assume I would need a dimmer switch, transceiver and something to plug into the computer to control it.  There are way more options out there now then when I last played with this stuff so any help would be appreciated.

Thanks,

Wes
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bkenobi

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Re: Dimming home theatre lights
« Reply #1 on: November 22, 2016, 10:45:03 AM »

If you just want to control those lights and you don't already have any other X10 stuff, then you could go with a CM11A serial to PLC adapter and whatever type of light switch you want (WS467 is a common choice for dimmer switches).  If you already have an existing X10 setup, you might be able to go with something like a firecracker to send the command to your existing RF transceiver and control the same switch.  A CM11A will work in either case.  If you wanted to do other stuff as well as just control those lights, you could get fancy and get a CM15A and do much more than just control a single set of lights.  Lots of options here.

wgraves

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Re: Dimming home theatre lights
« Reply #2 on: November 22, 2016, 03:21:02 PM »

Thanks for the information.  Right now I just want to control the lights, but I may want to do more in the future.  I'll look into both the CM11A and the CM15A and probably pickup the WS467.

Thanks again for the information.

Wes
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Brian H

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Re: Dimming home theatre lights
« Reply #3 on: November 22, 2016, 03:35:40 PM »

Just keep in mind.
The WS467 gets its power through the load. It is only made for 120 volt incandescent and 120 volt halogen bulbs.

Dimmable CFL or LED bulbs normally do not work and low voltage bulbs with a transformer or electronic driver. Some LED bulbs have worked for some here but it greatly dependent on the manufacturer and exact model of the LED bulb.
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wgraves

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Re: Dimming home theatre lights
« Reply #4 on: November 22, 2016, 05:40:56 PM »

Is there a better alternative to the WS467?  I would like to be able to use LED if possible.

Thanks,

Wes
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bkenobi

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Re: Dimming home theatre lights
« Reply #5 on: November 22, 2016, 09:41:41 PM »

I don't know a solution that will dim a light and has a ground included.  The only thing that I can think of is to find an older dimmable SmartHome SwitchLinc/ToggleLinc that still has X10 capabilities.

Brian H

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Re: Dimming home theatre lights
« Reply #6 on: November 23, 2016, 09:03:30 AM »

The X10Pro XPDI3 dimmer. Can be used for loads that a two wire dimmer will not work with.
It does require a Line, Load and Neutral power connection. So switch locations using a switch loop would need rewiring.
https://www.x10.com/x10-pro/switches/xpdi3-dimmer-120-vac-500w-inductive.html
Small loads may flicker. With both two and three wire dimmers. Depending on the exact load.

The SmartHome SwitchLinc/Togglrlinc switches that also supported X10. Also require the real Neutral power connection to function.
« Last Edit: November 23, 2016, 09:07:16 AM by Brian H »
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bkenobi

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Re: Dimming home theatre lights
« Reply #7 on: November 23, 2016, 11:04:14 AM »

I said ground earlier.  What I meant was neutral.  You have to have line, load, and neutral (not ground).

dave w

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Re: Dimming home theatre lights
« Reply #8 on: November 23, 2016, 09:02:35 PM »

If you do not have a neutral in the wall switch box you can also use a wire-in module XPDF.  This module would also work with dimmable LEDs and CFLs.
https://www.x10.com/x10-pro/modules.html
You would need a transceiver and wireless remote or a plug-in PMC01 for any kind of manual control

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HA Dave

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Re: Dimming home theatre lights
« Reply #9 on: November 24, 2016, 12:40:52 AM »

I've been out of the X10 game for many years and am having some issues trying to figure out what route I should go to control the lights in my home theater.  It's pretty basic...I am using Kodi and there is a plugin that will allow control of X10 devices.  All I want it the lights to dim when a movie is played and come back up when the movie is either paused or stopped. ....

It was my Home Theater that got me into X10. I also wanted to be able to dim my lights from my seat.... and my harmony-logitech remote (630?) had X10 codes. I use the remote to send an IR to an X10 (IR543) IR receiver that sends a X10 command on the power line. Then I added a X10 (CM15A) AHP loaded with some macros I created. The IR543 is located directly under the screen along with an X10 PowerMid sender that relays the other IR signals back to the AV equipment.

I used 3 (X10) wall switches for overhead lights, 2 (old style) lamp modules for cabinet lights, and 2 appliance modules (1 for the sub-woofer, and 1 for a clock).

I decided I preferred not to dim. The macro turns the ceiling lights off. Front lights first, then middle lights, then rear. Then the macro turns the clock on... as well as the sub-woofer. The harmony-logitech remote also turns on the DVD (now BlueRay), Receiver, and projector.

When the movie ends... I found it worked better to only turn on the indirect cabinet lights. The over-head lights are blinding!

I've upgraded the theater regularly. Although I have a big DVD/BR collection... streaming is the way to go now-a-days (I use a Roku device). It is now HD, HDMI... and the next upgrade will include a new 4K projector. 

« Last Edit: November 24, 2016, 12:50:50 AM by HA Dave »
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dave w

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Re: Dimming home theatre lights
« Reply #10 on: November 26, 2016, 11:50:21 AM »

Nice setup Dave!
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HA Dave

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Re: Dimming home theatre lights
« Reply #11 on: November 26, 2016, 03:04:39 PM »

Nice setup Dave!

Thanks. I recently built a theater for friends that has a 130 inch fixed frame 16:9 screen. The fabrics used in the new screens are awesome. I'd upgrade mine now... but we're so close to affordable 4K projectors.

I have to wait (on a fixed income now-a-days). I am pretty sure I will be able to go 100 inch (maybe 110") 16:9 fixed frame. And it would be almost a remodel instead of just an upgrade.
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JeffVolp

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Re: Dimming home theatre lights
« Reply #12 on: November 26, 2016, 05:26:32 PM »

I have to wait (on a fixed income now-a-days). I am pretty sure I will be able to go 100 inch (maybe 110") 16:9 fixed frame.

As a more cost effective alternative, look at Screen Goo.  I used that for our theater room a decade ago (115" 16x9), and have been very happy with its peformance.  Of course the wall must be perfectly flat for good results.  I skim coated and primed the wall first.

http://www.gooscreen.com/

Jeff
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HA Dave

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Re: Dimming home theatre lights
« Reply #13 on: November 26, 2016, 11:18:57 PM »

As a more cost effective alternative, look at Screen Goo.  I used that for our theater room a decade ago...

I helped another friend/neighbor build a Home Theater... he is a painting contractor... and of course chose a similar/same product for his screen. His screen also turned out really nice as well

My selections were limited during my initial installation (more than a decade ago).... both blessed and hampered by the "one" previous theater my wife and I had seen at a party. My wife insisted the install NOT be a construction project that could prevent the room from being alter or even used for other purposes... without another construction project. The entire screen, bead-board fascia (which matches the bead-board on the lower wall), and curtain (with rods) was attached to the ceiling using 7 screws. Those screws could easily be removed and then patched with a dab of spackle.

I installed the X10 lighting in the theater with the explanation that the lights would always continue to operate in a normal manual mode. No new fixture were added. But long after the theater was installed (which was done in one day).... I kept finding more and more uses for X10 automation.

I am ready to dump the "Theater" look now. And would prefer a cleaner Cinema décor. So much more can be done with the technology available now. 


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