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Author Topic: X-10 Problems With LED Bulbs  (Read 333 times)

Travasaurus

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X-10 Problems With LED Bulbs
« on: June 12, 2018, 10:36:07 AM »

I'm in the process of switching over my bathroom incandescent bulbs (which I've used with an X-10 PLW01 wall switch module for many years now) to LED dimmable bulbs and with helpful input from other posters have learned that I will need a "trailing edge" dimmer module, rather than the "leading edge" one which I currently have.  The bulbs are MaxLite G25 LED dimmable, 10 watt (100 watt equivalent) and I'm using an X-10 Pro HR12A remote controller to control them and all the other (incandescent) lights in the house; I have a couple more that I've switched over (using the old PLM02 modules) and they seem to work just fine.  The MaxLite bulbs came on the moment I screwed them into the fixture sockets and remained on so I knew I had a little problem from the get-go. The remote had no control over them as regards turning them on or off.  They remained on at a very dim level until I turned them off with the little slider switch which is below the larger "button" on the wall module.  I have an older house which only has 2 wires so there's no "neutral" wire available.  My question is what X-10 wall switch (of the newer trailing edge variety) do I need to make these dimmable LED bulbs work properly?  Recall that I need one which will operate off of a 2-wire setup, with no neutral wire available.  Thanks in advance...
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Brian H

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Re: X-10 Problems With LED Bulbs
« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2018, 11:57:30 AM »

Welcome and I am glad to see you found use
I mentioned this in the Smarthome Forums.
I don't believe X10 makes a Trailing Edge dimmer wall switch.

Since every LED bulb and dimmer wall switch manufacturer. Use their own electronics designs. Finding combinations that work sometimes needs experimentation. Though some actually have tested combinations for their bulbs on their web sites.
I an not sure if any automation modules use Trailing Edge designs. Some of the dimmer manufacturers. Like Lutron have them.

I did not see any tested combinations on the Max Lite site.

I have seen some reports of success with Cree bulbs. That could also vary depending on the bulls model.
« Last Edit: June 12, 2018, 02:33:05 PM by Brian H »
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IPS

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Re: X-10 Problems With LED Bulbs
« Reply #2 on: June 12, 2018, 05:27:17 PM »

I had the same sort of problem when I switched to LEDs. I just left one incandescent bulb in the circuit and all worked well. I think LEDs donít draw enough current for the X10 switches to function. Try it it should work for you too.
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Brian H

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Re: X-10 Problems With LED Bulbs
« Reply #3 on: June 13, 2018, 04:13:52 AM »

No definite tests or reports on this working.
The PCS load resistor. Normally used on their UPB switches. May shunt enough current around the LED load to work.
I have seen them on a few sites found in a web search.
http://www.pcslighting.com/news/news-press-releases/290-ilr-10k
http://pcslighting.com/resources/PulseWorx/Installation/ILR-10K%20OwnersManual.pdf

Update. I pieced a few resistors together at a high enough wattage, 12,500 Ohms was as close as I could get to 10,000 Ohms. It did NOT work. Forget the resistor assembly.
« Last Edit: June 13, 2018, 12:13:20 PM by Brian H »
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Travasaurus

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X-10 Problems With LED Bulbs
« Reply #4 on: June 13, 2018, 02:30:09 PM »

Okay, this is not looking too good at this point in time.  If I bite the bullet and have a "neutral" wire installed in the bathroom (at God only knows what cost) is there an X-10 dimmer switch I can use that's guaranteed to work with LED bulbs? Please list the name and model number if you would.  Secondly, if this fails or for some reason just won't work, is there an Insteon dimmer switch that will? Again, name and model number, please.  And I've read that the Insteon remote control is backwardly-compatible with X-10 products (which the rest of my house currently has all over the place) but then it seems like I saw a post telling that the Insteon remote wasn't compatible any more.  If someone could clarify that as well, it would be very much appreciated...
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Travasaurus

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Re: X-10 Problems With LED Bulbs
« Reply #5 on: June 13, 2018, 02:48:20 PM »

No definite tests or reports on this working.
The PCS load resistor. Normally used on their UPB switches. May shunt enough current around the LED load to work.
I have seen them on a few sites found in a web search.
Update. I pieced a few resistors together at a high enough wattage, 12,500 Ohms was as close as I could get to 10,000 Ohms. It did NOT work. Forget the resistor assembly.
I'm certainly inclined to go with your on-site personal experience, but the promotional information on the ILR-10K unit is certainly persuasive.  I'm a little shocked that they could make such a claim if in fact it would not work "as advertised".  I wonder if they offer a money-back guarantee?  Do you think there may be some little trick they employed that you might've overlooked?  That certainly appears to be the "quick fix" I've been looking for and would indeed be the answer to a prayer, but with your recent report I'm reluctant to give it a try.  Would you be inclined to contact them with your test results, since your technical acumen is far in excess of mine?  I don't think they would try to BS you, seeing as how "you know your stuff" and can talk their language...
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Brian H

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Re: X-10 Problems With LED Bulbs
« Reply #6 on: June 13, 2018, 03:28:24 PM »

The resistor pack was made for their UPB protocol modules that use a Neutral power connection.
It probably works as advertised with their modules.

One of the tricks we use with two wire X10 switches. Is use a single incandescent bulb in the combination with the LED bulbs.
I was hoping their resistor would work but it did not. My assortment of test LED bubs glowed and acted funny with my resistor. The resistor made them glow dimmer but not go to completely off or not pulse.
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brobin

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Re: X-10 Problems With LED Bulbs
« Reply #7 on: June 13, 2018, 04:03:48 PM »

FOR TESTING PURPOSES ONLY and assuming you have a ground wire in the box, you can wire the resistor from line to ground. 
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dave w

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Re: X-10 Problems With LED Bulbs
« Reply #8 on: June 13, 2018, 05:07:05 PM »

Okay, this is not looking too good at this point in time.  If I bite the bullet and have a "neutral" wire installed in the bathroom (at God only knows what cost) is there an X-10 dimmer switch I can use that's guaranteed to work with LED bulbs?
Before spending big bucks to have neutral lines installed. Is there any way you can conceal a 7W incandescent bulb in the fixtures. I have multiple fixtures controlled by the old WS467 switches large enough to put a socket adaptor https://www.homedepot.com/p/Leviton-Socket-with-Outlets-White-R52-01403-00W/100184555 and a night light with 7W incandescent bulb  https://www.homedepot.com/p/White-Automatic-Dusk-to-Dawn-Incandescent-Night-Light-2-Pack-8922301/205310280 in? This will work. Also the larger your LEDs are the better the results. Your 10W should be sufficient, but I am using 1600 lumen 13W Sunbeam LED bulbs with great results on the two wire switch. FWIW
« Last Edit: June 15, 2018, 06:20:31 AM by dave w »
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Travasaurus

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Re: X-10 Problems With LED Bulbs
« Reply #9 on: June 13, 2018, 10:17:48 PM »

I had the same sort of problem when I switched to LEDs. I just left one incandescent bulb in the circuit and all worked well. I think LEDs donít draw enough current for the X10 switches to function. Try it it should work for you too.
Hey, thanks for your kind suggestion but since I'm looking to eventually go "All LED all the time" (and the fact that incandescent bulbs are a fast-vanishing-breed) I need a solution that doesn't involve standard light bulbs. Plus, since these are exposed it would look a little odd having 1 bulb that's different from all the rest.  I'm hopeful that someone will come up with a solution to this dilemma, since I know I'm not the only guy out here with this problem (and it's just going to keep getting worse as time goes on and the old style bulbs become totally unavailable)...
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Travasaurus

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X-10 Problems With LED Bulbs
« Reply #10 on: June 13, 2018, 10:49:22 PM »

Okay, this is not looking too good at this point in time.  If I bite the bullet and have a "neutral" wire installed in the bathroom (at God only knows what cost) is there an X-10 dimmer switch I can use that's guaranteed to work with LED bulbs?
Before spending big bucks to have neutral lines installed. Is there any way you can conceal a 7W incandescent bulb in the fixtures. I have multiple fixtures controlled by the old WS467 switches large enough to put a socket adaptor and a night light with 7W incandescent bulb in? This will work. Also the larger your LEDs are the better the results. Your 10W should be sufficient, but I am using 1600 lumen 13W Sunbeam LED bulbs with great results on the two switch. FWIW
I wish, but since this is a "vanity light" (meaning that the bulbs are all exposed) and the fact that I only have 3 sockets in the fixture, I'm afraid your kind suggestion won't work in my situation.  I'm going to have to do it by means of adding some kind of "hidden resistor" or just suck it up and have a neutral line installed and be done with it.  Is there an X-10 dimmer switch which is guaranteed to work with LED bulbs if there is a neutral line available to tie-on to?  And if not then I guess I have no choice but to jump ship to Insteon, much as I'd like to stay with X-10.  I've heard that Insteon (and similar brands) are unGodly expensive if you have to make the change-over. Also, I've heard conflicting reports about their remote controls being backwardly-compatible with X10 products (of which I have many), installed all over my house.  I read that their remote was compatible with X-10 but then I think one of the posters here (or in the Smarthome Forum) said that they were not.  Do you have any insight into this?  I never anticipated this becoming a "long-term project" but that's what it seems to be developing into...
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Brian H

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Re: X-10 Problems With LED Bulbs
« Reply #11 on: June 14, 2018, 02:06:47 AM »

I have not seen any reports of the X10Pro XPDI3 dimmer that uses a Neutral connection and LED bulbs. The sales page says works with dimmable LED bulbs. https://www.x10.com/x10-pro/switches/xpdi3-dimmer-120-vac-500w-inductive.html

The older model Insteon modules could have an Primary X10 address programmed into them and some a second X10 Scene Address. Present Insteon modules do not officially support X10 anymore. Unofficially some still do but support could disappear at their discretion. My system is a mixture of X10 and Insteon.

The Insteon remotes never supported X10. Completely different frequencies. X10 310MHz, Insteon 915 MHz.
Smartenit makes a EZX10RF module. That receives all 256 X10 addresses from an X10 remote and resend them on the power line. Like an all address version of an RR501 and also can map 20 of them to an Insteon address.

Insteon is more expensive than X10 module use to be. Now X10 prices are still below Insteon but no more of the OLD X10WTI daily mass sales. Insteon did recently have a 30% off Memorial Day sale.
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HA Dave

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Re: X-10 Problems With LED Bulbs
« Reply #12 on: June 14, 2018, 12:12:34 PM »

I believe...Ö there are 2-wire motion sensing switches (with manual override)Ö. that work well with LED bulbs. I use motion sensors in a couple places (garage and laundry room).

Going motion sensing is (or can be) a great form of Home Automation.
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Modern automation is much more than turning things on and off.
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BackAgain

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Re: X-10 Problems With LED Bulbs
« Reply #13 on: June 14, 2018, 06:12:04 PM »

I have an older house which only has 2 wires so there's no "neutral" wire available.

Assuming you mean 'ground', you have a major safety issue in a bathroom.  As in potentially life threatening.  Any outlets in bathrooms (or anywhere near water) need to be GFCIs and those require a hot, neutral and ground.  Before I did much else, I would investigate methods and costs to correct that issue.

If you're in the US, you may not even be able to sell the house that way in some areas if you should ever think abut moving. 





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Knightrider

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Re: X-10 Problems With LED Bulbs
« Reply #14 on: June 14, 2018, 06:25:11 PM »

I have an older house which only has 2 wires so there's no "neutral" wire available.

Assuming you mean 'ground', you have a major safety issue in a bathroom.  As in potentially life threatening.  Any outlets in bathrooms (or anywhere near water) need to be GFCIs and those require a hot, neutral and ground.  Before I did much else, I would investigate methods and costs to correct that issue.

If you're in the US, you may not even be able to sell the house that way in some areas if you should ever think abut moving. 







Sage advice. I never considered pulling a new wire or two a major cost compared to safety.
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Remote control is cool,

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