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Author Topic: Christmas Led Lights with X10  (Read 1023 times)

demcgovern

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Christmas Led Lights with X10
« on: November 27, 2017, 11:53:02 AM »

I would like to have my Christmas Led lights go completely off with my X10 plugin modules. Currently they remain dim when "off" and now the newest string has a slow flash. I have heard of some hacks with a diode and resistors to remove the local load sense. Where can I find details on how to do this?   Thanks   Don
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Brian H

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Re: Christmas Led Lights with X10
« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2017, 01:07:58 PM »

Dimmer or On/Off type X10 modules?
Wall switch type or plug in type?

The older Lamp and Appliance modules had Local Control Sensing and could cause what you are seeing.
There are modification for the older ones.

The latest Soft Start Lamp and CFL friendly Appliance modules are different circuits.
The CFL friendly Appliance has almost no current on the output and maybe better with LED lights.
I have not seen any mods, for them but have found a resistor in the Soft Start Lamp Modules that reduces it.

Try this. Put a power cube in the output and connect both the lights and a small incandescent 4 or 7 watt night light on it.
See if that makes a difference.
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roger1818

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Re: Christmas Led Lights with X10
« Reply #2 on: November 27, 2017, 02:38:57 PM »

Try this. Put a power cube in the output and connect both the lights and a small incandescent 4 or 7 watt night light on it.

I have done that and it works like a charm.  Incandescent lights act as a dead short across the line when off, clamping the voltage to zero.  When power is applied, they heat up and the resistance increases.
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demcgovern

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Re: Christmas Led Lights with X10
« Reply #3 on: November 27, 2017, 03:50:24 PM »

They are 15-25 year old X10 plug-in lamp modules. I have no incandescent nights lights at present - all LEDs! I have tried an incandescent string along side of the LED string and the LED lights will go out. However a night light would be intrusive in most of my applications. Still hoping for details to modify the modules.      Thanks   Don
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Brian H

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Re: Christmas Led Lights with X10
« Reply #4 on: November 27, 2017, 05:57:05 PM »

Look on this web site.
http://www.laureanno.com/index.html
In Tom's X10 Modifications Section.
For the Appliance Modules.

Depending on the exact age. The diode will stop the sensing current from having the LEDs glow dimly.

One of the now off line sites also showed a jumper. I don't think Tom's has it and it was newer than some but before the CFL friendly ones.
If there is also a jumper it would disable local control.
I cut both in my older ones but the diode alone should stop the glow.
« Last Edit: November 27, 2017, 06:00:19 PM by Brian H »
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roger1818

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Re: Christmas Led Lights with X10
« Reply #5 on: November 28, 2017, 10:49:10 AM »

The lamp module modification does not remove the sense current that is causing the problem (it only disables local control).  The appliance module modification works better, but there still is a bit of a leakage current.

If a night light isn't convenient, another option would be to install a C7 or C9 socket on a 2-wire extension cord.  If you Google "C7 socket" you will find a bunch of retailers that sell them.  Just check what type of wire your extension cord uses and get the appropriate socket.  You can either keep the incandescent bulb hidden or use  it in your display.  If hidden, you could paint the bulb black.
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demcgovern

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Re: Christmas Led Lights with X10
« Reply #6 on: November 28, 2017, 01:24:24 PM »

The C7 trick sounds good, will keep it in mind. I was not eager to modify the modules especially with the uncertain results. Actually the glow does not bother me as the current was there with the incandescent, just not visible. However it bothered my wife who has a hang-up with technology - except for her cell phone, tablet, microwave...

Do the latest X10 modules have this problem with LEDs? I sent an email on this to Smarthome but still am waiting for a response.

Thanks   Don
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Brian H

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Re: Christmas Led Lights with X10
« Reply #7 on: November 28, 2017, 03:41:53 PM »

I have some of the CFL Friendly Appliance Modules.
There is still a very small On Off sensor voltage on the output. It can not be removed with out issues.
If the module does not know if it is On or Off. It will try two or three times to change state. Sounding like a small machine gun.
The current on the output did not cause some of my LED bulbs to pulse when off like the early ones did. Though real low current LED bulbs like a single strand of Christmas lights still glowed.

The Soft Start Lamp Modules still have sensing current on them and the mods for the older ones will not work. Completely different circuits. Though I believe I found a resistor you can remove to stop it.

I don't think you are going to get an answer from Smarthome as X10 is not their product.
I don't see lots of help even with their own Insteon products. The new owners moved support to an overseas center and shipping facilities at a new address in California. They got purchased by Richmond Capital Partners maybe six months ago.
« Last Edit: November 28, 2017, 03:46:24 PM by Brian H »
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demcgovern

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Re: Christmas Led Lights with X10
« Reply #8 on: December 04, 2017, 04:42:26 PM »

Fixed the problem by attaching a LED night light that has a light sensor. Apparently the sensor takes enough current to shutdown the Christmas LEDs. Now to paint the LED night light black. Thanks all for the help.

Don
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roger1818

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Re: Christmas Led Lights with X10
« Reply #9 on: December 05, 2017, 03:58:48 PM »

Fixed the problem by attaching a LED night light that has a light sensor. Apparently the sensor takes enough current to shutdown the Christmas LEDs. Now to paint the LED night light black. Thanks all for the help.

Interesting.  I wonder if an old incandescent nightlight with light sensor would work with the bulb removed (or burnt out bulb installed for safety)?

« Last Edit: December 05, 2017, 04:01:09 PM by roger1818 »
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bkenobi

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Re: Christmas Led Lights with X10
« Reply #10 on: December 05, 2017, 05:12:10 PM »

I would guess no since I've found motion sensors without a load don't work in other cases.  It's worth a try though (if you already have one).
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Brian H

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Re: Christmas Led Lights with X10
« Reply #11 on: December 05, 2017, 06:07:39 PM »

What you need is the small sensing current on the output loaded down. So the small current that keeps the LEDs glowing is not there.

Will the night light you are showing work. Depends on how much it loads down the sensing current. Without the bulb it may not draw enough to work. You can't hurt anything by trying.
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roger1818

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Re: Christmas Led Lights with X10
« Reply #12 on: December 06, 2017, 10:25:25 AM »

What you need is the small sensing current on the output loaded down. So the small current that keeps the LEDs glowing is not there.

Will the night light you are showing work. Depends on how much it loads down the sensing current. Without the bulb it may not draw enough to work. You can't hurt anything by trying.

I agree.  I am just thinking that since the LED in his night light won't be providing enough load to do this, it must be coming from the Photocell circuitry.
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dspiffy

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Re: Christmas Led Lights with X10
« Reply #13 on: December 12, 2017, 09:06:22 PM »

You can also open the modules and snip a couple things to disable the local control circuit.  Personally I hate adding nightlights even though it works.
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Brian H

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Re: Christmas Led Lights with X10
« Reply #14 on: December 13, 2017, 06:03:00 AM »

Tuicemen has reported the appliance modules have been updated with no Local Control circuits and a quieter relay.

The CFL friendly models from X10WTI also have no Local Control in them. Just the very small On/Off detection circuit for the ratchet relay switch. No diode or resistor to be cut.
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