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Author Topic: Usin LED bulbs  (Read 420 times)

mgtr

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Usin LED bulbs
« on: May 11, 2018, 11:37:26 PM »

Is there a straightforward way to turn LED lamps on and off using X10 devices.  By straightforward, I mean eveything is plug and play, no need to have small incandescent bulb in series.  If the answer is no, then is there any system which can perform the above task.  My concern is that LED bulbs are becoming predominant in the marketplace, and I need a good, simple way to control them.  Thanks in advance.
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HA Dave

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Re: Usin LED bulbs
« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2018, 02:28:24 AM »

My concern is that LED bulbs are becoming predominant in the marketplace, and I need a good, simple way to control them.

You're correct. I can't say I've replaced "every" incandescent or CFL in and around the house with LED's.... but most of my lights are LED.

Is there a straightforward way to turn LED lamps on and off using X10 devices.  By straightforward, I mean eveything is plug and play, no need to have small incandescent bulb in series.  If the answer is no, then is there any system which can perform the above task.   Thanks in advance.

I've found X10 switches (the relay switches) designed for LEDs work well.... where I have a netural wire in the switchbox. My appliance modules work fine too... for plug-in lights. The old Socket-Rockets even work well with LED's. Basicly the cheap 2 wire switches and the lamp modules often don't work well with LED's
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dhouston

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Re: Usin LED bulbs
« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2018, 08:57:45 AM »

I've had good luck with Cree dimmable LEDs.
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HA Dave

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Re: Usin LED bulbs
« Reply #3 on: May 12, 2018, 11:54:30 AM »

I've had good luck with Cree dimmable LEDs.

Cree makes nice products. I own a Cree (also dimmable) WiFi bulb. I control the WiFi via a Wink Hub (one of the older clearance priced ones)... and then through my Alexa/Amazon device/setup. The WiFi Cree LED was bought as a test... of the WiFi stuff. There are other (even cheaper) WiFi bulbs out there. And the bulbs.... along with a Alexa of Google device can be a great way to add some modern voice control and AI cloud based tech to a older system.
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dave w

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Re: Usin LED bulbs
« Reply #4 on: May 12, 2018, 04:26:42 PM »

Is there a straightforward way to turn LED lamps on and off using X10 devices. 
If the answer is no, then is there any system which can perform the above task. 
Well the best simple answer to your first question is: NO.
For a more qualified answer a lot depends on:
1. If your wall switches have neutral lines.
2. If you use dimmable bulbs
3. If you desire to dim the lights.

If your wall switches do not have neutrals lines, IMHO, NO there is not a guaranteed straightforward way to control an LED without flickering or erratic behavior sans an incandescent bulb in the string.
If you use two wire switches because you do not have neutrals in your wall boxes then use dimmable bulbs, and CREE are good. Remarkably I have good non flicker service from 100W equivalent  Sunbeam bulbs from Dollar Tree. Higher wattage (equivalent) dimmable bulbs have higher levels of leakage current and two wire switches like PLW01 may work acceptably (this is really case by case depending on bulb brand and wattage).

As far as a system that does work, you might look at Z-wave. You could try asking the same questions on the Homeseer forum. Homeseer can control X10 or Z-wave so there are many Z-Wave users on that forum which can tell you more. Z-Wave is an open standard with dozens of brands most of which are about three to four times more costly than X10. But I think two keys for stable operation is: a neutral in the switch box (and use a switch that requires a neutral), and using dimmable bulbs whether dimming or not.
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bkenobi

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Re: Usin LED bulbs
« Reply #5 on: May 13, 2018, 12:46:31 PM »

I have not used other systems outside of X10, but can someone confirm my assumption?

In order to control anything, there must be power going to the controller.  If the controller is a switch, it may only have 2 wires (power and load) and my not include a neutral in the box.  If there is no neutral, the controller has no way to get any power without going through the bulb.  So, no matter what system you are considering, if the controller is located at the switch, the bulb must allow for some kind of leakage current.

If on the other hand the controller is at the load, then any system should work since the controller has access to the power and load lines and can directly leak current while not feeding it through the device being controlled.
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dave w

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Re: Usin LED bulbs
« Reply #6 on: May 13, 2018, 08:19:20 PM »

bkenobi

I think your first assumption is correct as long as in the latter part of the statement the controller is still a two wire switch/controller.

Not sure about your last line. If the controller is at the load then the controller would have line and neutral input and load and neutral output. Like a X10 wire in module. In X10, the module (controller) might still leak through the load (I do not think X10 eliminated the "Local Control" feature in their wire in modules, even though it would not be needed.  i.e. wire in module mounted in a fluorescent ceiling fixture).

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bkenobi

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Re: Usin LED bulbs
« Reply #7 on: May 14, 2018, 12:44:44 PM »

I guess the fixture would always have neutral and ground (just not necessarily routed through the switch box) so the line coming from the switch (hot) would mean any type of module should work.  The only issue would be if the module didn't like being powered down.  If that were the case, the switch would have to be locked in the on position to function correctly.
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x10wizard

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Re: Usin LED bulbs
« Reply #8 on: May 14, 2018, 11:32:20 PM »

For X10 control of plug-in lamps, the Leviton HCP03-10W lamp module (sometimes available on eBay) works great with dimmable LED bulbs.  Another option is the Insteon 2456D3 lamp module (V4.5 and up, available on eBay).

Since both of these are discontinued, and since the world is going "all in" on LEDs, I would argue that if Authinx wants to remain relevant, they need to come up with a new (dimming) lamp module that doesn't have a minimum wattage requirement.
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HA Dave

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Re: Usin LED bulbs
« Reply #9 on: May 15, 2018, 03:58:24 AM »

........ I would argue that if Authinx wants to remain relevant, they need to come up with a new (dimming) lamp module that doesn't have a minimum wattage requirement.

I agree.... but maybe.... Authinx could also add the Hue protocol to the WM-100. Those generic WiFi lightbulbs can sell for under $10.

I was a kid (in the 1950's) when rheostat-switches became all-the-rage. Home owners would stick a (up to) 250 watt bulb in the ceiling light fixture... and make it bright enough to vacuum the rug at midnight. Not that anyone ever did that. Mostly... they would dim-down the extra-bright bulb to the light level of the 100 watt bulbs that had been used there since the 1920's.

But those homes were terribly under-wired. Diming light switches were effort to resolve the wiring problems.... without the expense of new wiring.

Now-a-days.... most of the things that plug into my outlets have nothing to do with lighting. And lighting... is an ever shrinking percentage of what I use electric for. Maybe  Authinx could turn some attention to smart infrared (IR) projection.
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BackAgain

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Re: Usin LED bulbs
« Reply #10 on: May 18, 2018, 09:07:54 PM »

LEDs is one of the main reasons I'm pulling all X-10 devices.  They are simply not reliable with with LEDs commonly available.  With the very low wattage LEDs I use, sometimes under 4 watts, there really isn't any advantage to powering a controller/automation system that is so susceptible to outside factors.

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HA Dave

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Re: Usin LED bulbs
« Reply #11 on: May 18, 2018, 10:07:35 PM »

....... With the very low wattage LEDs I use, sometimes under 4 watts, there really isn't any advantage to powering a controller/automation system that is so susceptible to outside factors.

Sure.... back in the olden days X10 could save users a penny or two by turning off a 100 watt bulb at bedtime... or at sunrise. LED's use a fraction of the electric that the old-timey incandescence bulbs used. But Home Automation was never about saving a few pennies here and there.

It's a darn shame X10 didn't add something like the Hue protocol to their new WM-100. That would have solved the X10/LED/compatibility problems for people that want everything controlled via a single controller.

I am currently using a variety of "control" products and protocols..... even though the bulk and backbone of my setup is X10 (and likely always will be). I think the safety, security, and convenience of a modern home Automation setup is more than worth the pittance of the cost involved. And now with the availability of AI, and cloud connectivity and processing HA is better than ever... and with tons more to offer it's users.   
« Last Edit: May 18, 2018, 10:15:55 PM by HA Dave »
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