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Author Topic: Lamp / Appliance Module no good with LED lights?  (Read 5509 times)

ken

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Lamp / Appliance Module no good with LED lights?
« on: December 02, 2005, 10:06:06 AM »

LED Christmas lights don't work with the
lamp OR the appliance module. This may be
due to the LED (diodes) creating noise
inside the modules ???? Is this possible,
and if so what is a quick fix.
Capacitor,etc?? Any suggestions?
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Brian H

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Re: Lamp / Appliance Module no good with LED lights?
« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2005, 11:55:22 AM »

You mean you can't turn them on or off at all? Both the lamp and appliance modules have a local control sensing circuit. That lets you cycle the local power switch on the device being controled to turn it on with out an X10 command. Down side is a small amount of current is always flowing through the device being conteolled. That can cause things like CFLs to flicker or turn back on. There is a hack to disable it in an appliance module and a lamp module. In your case the non dimming applaince maybe a better choice. Note warantee on the X10 module is killed.

http://www.idobartana.com/hakb/index.htm

Cut the diode to kill the current. X10 says that adding a standard small wattage incadescent light [7 watt night light] in the output of the module along with the problem load [a power tap may work] may also fix problems. The small light is an easier thing to try first. Though I have done the cuts on a few appliance modules myself.
« Last Edit: October 24, 2009, 02:23:29 AM by -Bill- (of wgjohns.com) »
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dave w

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Re: Lamp / Appliance Module no good with LED lights?
« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2005, 04:32:28 PM »

Ken,

I can see why the LED lights might not work
on the Lamp Module if there is no
transformer, just a bunch of LEDs in series.
However, the LED lights SHOULD work on the
Appliance Module. Brians suggestion of
disabling the sensing circuit is good if the
lights were stayin ON dimmly (the sensing
circuit is providing enough current to keep
the LEDs conducting). But the sense circuit
should not prevent the LEDS from turning ON
when connected to an Appliance module. Have
you tried a second module?

You MIGHT be able to get the LEDs to work
with a Lamp Module by plugging a 7 watt
night light in with the LEDs (module side,
NOT on the end of the LED sring  ;-). Don't
use a lamp module on the short "bookcase"
lights LEDs by GE, since they have a
transformer.
FWIW

Noise might be a problem, but I doubt it
since the LEDs
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ken

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Re: Lamp / Appliance Module no good with LED lights?
« Reply #3 on: December 03, 2005, 12:05:38 PM »

Thanks for the suggestions, I will try the
lamp module with a nightlight AND LED string
this weekend and I'll respond later. As for
the appliance module not working--I don't
get it either because it's just a set of
relay contacts and not an SCR like the lamp
module that has a small current flow when
OFF.
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Brian H

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Re: Lamp / Appliance Module no good with LED lights?
« Reply #4 on: December 03, 2005, 04:30:33 PM »

The appliance module also has a small
current flow if the local sensing circuit
isn't disabled by cutting an internal diode.
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donald mcmow

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Re: Lamp / Appliance Module no good with LED lights?
« Reply #5 on: December 04, 2005, 11:36:23 AM »

Another part of the problem is that LED
lights have such a small current draw that
they might light up with just the sense
current. Also some switches will not work
properly with a current draw of less than a
certain amperage - they have a low wattage
limit (I've seen about 40 watts).
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yeldarb

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Re: Lamp / Appliance Module no good with LED lights?
« Reply #6 on: December 09, 2007, 02:29:28 PM »

I had a string of LED holiday lights plugged into a Lamp Module (LM465) and noticed that when "off" they were still on very dim.
I switched out the Lamp Module for an Appliance Module (61-2684A) but they were still dim when "off".

I was happy to find this thread discussing the sensing circuit, so I tried that (clipped the diode).  However it seems to have made no difference.  I was unaware of the "sensing circuit", in fact I didn't know that an applicance could be turned on without sending a remote signal...  so perhaps there are other things about X10 of which I am unaware.

What is this business about a small amount of current being allowed through the Appliance Module even when it's "off"???   If that's the case, then what kind of X-10 module do I need to buy that is strictly "ON" or "OFF" with no current sensor or current seepage?

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Brian H

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Re: Lamp / Appliance Module no good with LED lights?
« Reply #7 on: December 09, 2007, 06:44:57 PM »

Local control. You can turn on a device locally; if it is off. If the module is off. Turning the controlled devices power switch off then back one is sensed and the module turns back on. This also is why CFLs many times turn back on.
The diode and jumper stop the circuit from triggering but there are still a few resistors in the circuit supplying some current. The LEDs take so little power they don't go all the way off. Try a small standard 4 watt night light on the output of the module along with the LED lights.
Did your Appliance Module match the layout of the ones shown in the mods? There are reports of new modules what completely different layouts and parts.
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X10kludge

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Re: Lamp / Appliance Module no good with LED lights?
« Reply #8 on: May 05, 2019, 06:52:51 PM »

Here's an easy fix for LED lamp glow (and perhaps flicker) with X10 modules (AM466 appliance modules in particular).    Recently I replaced several outdoor halogen floodlights with LED units and was surprised to see that they remained ON (faintly but definitely) even when switched off.  I had assumed that the appliance modules, which click audibly when switched on or off and which have no dimming function, were simple relays  . . . but it turns out that, like the dimmable lamp modules, they emit a small current.  This doesn't make incandescent or halogen bulbs glow, but it does so with the efficient LED's.

X10 websites show many schemes for modifying the AM466 to defeat this; it relates to "local control" current, and it involves clipping resistor(s) and/or diodes.   Unfortunately, there are many different makes and models of the unit with different circuit board layouts, and the online plans don't distinguish among them. 

Fortunately, along the way, I saw mention of hooking a small load such as a night light in parallel with an LED lamp to draw away current and eliminate the glow.  This would of course just replace one glow with another, albeit the night lights could be tucked away in the cabinet with my X10 modules.  Then I saw mention of using a small AC adapter, e.g. a phone charger,  typically 1W or less, as the load.  One simply plugs a splitter/adapter into the X10 module and then plugs in the LED lamp and the dummy load in parallel.

I have a whole collection of AC power supplies in different sizes; I tried a couple of the 5V units, which are most plentiful, and mirabile dictu no more glow!  I ordered several inexpensive USB phone chargers, and alas these didn't solve the problem; they replaced the steady glow with an intermittent glow, flickering about 1/sec.  Perhaps these use solid state switching rather than good, old fashioned transformers . . .   In any event, I've gone back to the older power supplies, and these work very nicely.  It's a simple plug-and-play solution.

I wonder what principles are involved here, and what dummy load (resistive, inductive, etc.) would be ideal (lowest power, lowest cost)?   Would a similar approach work for dimmer modules?  I have some dimmer circuits with multiple lamps which will accept LED's as long as one halogen bulb (resistive load) remains.   In a dimmer circuit with a single lamp, I wonder what load might be plugged into a socket adapter, in parallel with the lamp?


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Brian H

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Re: Lamp / Appliance Module no good with LED lights?
« Reply #9 on: May 06, 2019, 07:06:21 AM »

Depending on the revision Appliance Module. The older ones have Local Control Sensing and a small sensing voltage to detect if the ratchet switch is On or Off. The Local Control Sensing voltage would keep low current loads like an LED bulb to glow or sometimes trigger the module back On.

The presently sold Appliance modules are called CFL friendly and only the small On Off sensing is on the output. In most cases it is so small the LED bulb behaves.

The added load basically draws enough current when the module is Off kill the small sensing currents. Small incandescent night lights are good. Any other type loads like small wall warts may or may not work. As some actually try and start up with the small currents.

If you are asking about a Lamp Module the small load should also kill the sensing voltages. Though you have to make sure the small load is safe to be on a dimmer. If you are asking about a wall switch dimmer. They steal power through the bulb load. One incandescent bulb in the load should kill the glow if the rest of the bulbs are LED.

Some have had good results with a 33K 1W resistor. Though care must be used for a proper and safe connection.
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