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Author Topic: Are there any non-incandescent BR30/R30/PAR30 bulbs that'll dim with X10?  (Read 5585 times)

ed3120

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I want to use X10 to control my 10 recessed lights, which take a BR30, R30, or PAR30 bulb.  I'd rather not use incandescent or halogen as the typical 65 watt bulb x 10 bulbs = 650 watts.  I definitely want bulbs that are dimmable.  Is there anything that'll work, like a CFL, or a reasonably priced LED?
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dave w

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I definitely want bulbs that are dimmable.  Is there anything that'll work, like a CFL, or a reasonably priced LED?
The XPDI3 dimming wall switch will work with dimmable CFLs. Finding "dimmable" BR30 reflector bulbs may be a problem, but you can use a standard configuration CFL bulb (twisty bulb not in a reflector) IF it says it is dimmable and will physically fit in the fixture. All dimming X10 wall switches now have "Softstart" feature which will damage the CFL unless it is made to be dimmable.

However CFL lights are very noisy, so you should plan on a noise filter, such as XPF http://www.x10pro.com/pro/catalog/platform.html#filters  between the string of lights and the X10 switch. May not be necessary, but be ready.

The  XPDI3 is a three wire switch, meaning it requires a connection to the neutral line. So you need a neutral in the wall box.

Two wire X10 wall switches (WS467, WS12A) will NOT work with CFLs unless there is at least one  incandescent bulb in the string (40W or greater). However this is not recommended. When the incandescent bulb burns out it is likely none of the lights will work. Sort of like the series string Christmas lights.
« Last Edit: July 18, 2011, 10:56:25 AM by dave w »
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Brian H

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WS13A is a relay style switch so it is On and Off only, but will work with CFLs and other non incandescent type bulbs.
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dave w

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WS13A is a relay style switch so it is On and Off only, but will work with CFLs and other non incandescent type bulbs.

Thanks Brian, I was thinking the WS13A was the X10 equivalent to the XPDI3. Will correct my post by deleting reference to the WS13A.
« Last Edit: July 18, 2011, 10:57:07 AM by dave w »
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Brian H

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I believe the WS13A and XPS3 are the X10 and X10Pro models.
I don't think there is an X10 version of the XPDI3.
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dave w

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I believe the WS13A and XPS3 are the X10 and X10Pro models.
I don't think there is an X10 version of the XPDI3.
No there isn't. Was a momentary mental lapse. Thanks for your help.
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ed3120

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I definitely want bulbs that are dimmable.  Is there anything that'll work, like a CFL, or a reasonably priced LED?
The XPDI3 dimming wall switch will work with dimmable CFLs. Finding "dimmable" BR30 reflector bulbs may be a problem, but you can use a standard configuration CFL bulb (twisty bulb not in a reflector) IF it says it is dimmable and will physically fit in the fixture. All dimming X10 wall switches now have "Softstart" feature which will damage the CFL unless it is made to be dimmable.

However CFL lights are very noisy, so you should plan on a noise filter, such as XPF http://www.x10pro.com/pro/catalog/platform.html#filters  between the string of lights and the X10 switch. May not be necessary, but be ready.

The  XPDI3 is a three wire switch, meaning it requires a connection to the neutral line. So you need a neutral in the wall box.

Two wire X10 wall switches (WS467, WS12A) will NOT work with CFLs unless there is at least one  incandescent bulb in the string (40W or greater). However this is not recommended. When the incandescent bulb burns out it is likely none of the lights will work. Sort of like the series string Christmas lights.


By a neutral line, do you mean having 3-way wire (red/black/wire/bare ground) between the two 3-way switch boxes?  Because I have that run already.  I only have 2-way (black/white/bare ground) running between the one switch box and the lights.
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dave w

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By a neutral line, do you mean having 3-way wire (red/black/wire/bare ground) between the two 3-way switch boxes?  Because I have that run already.  I only have 2-way (black/white/bare ground) running between the one switch box and the lights.
No. what you describe is a standard 3-way switch setup. You probably do not have a neutral line. If you have a neutral line in a wall switch box, it is typically a large bundle of white wires, all wire nutted in the back of the wall box, none of them going to the switch. Standard light, and 3-way, switches  do not require a neutral line.
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Brian H

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