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Author Topic: New to X10: Dawn Simulator (overhead lights)  (Read 2378 times)


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New to X10: Dawn Simulator (overhead lights)
« on: September 29, 2012, 06:30:42 PM »

Hi everyone, hope this is the right category.

I am completely new to X10 but it sounds like the right solution to be able to program the 3 overhead lights on one end of my bedroom to gradually dim on at a preset time in the morning, i.e. a dawn simulator or sunrise simulator. (Ex: at 5:15am lights come on at 10%, increase by 10% every 2 minutes until fully on.)  The three light fixtures are currently controlled by a single switch (no 3 way) and yes they are the only fixtures on that switch.  In a perfect world, I would like a solution where I can easily change the start time without having to mess with the rest of the program depending on what time I needed to get up on a given day.  I don't really care if this is on a PC, or a small remote or timer or device if such a device is capable of this type of logic.

This post ( was very very similar to what I want to do but it didn't seem he was ever able to get the overhead lights working, just a table lamp version.

Here are my questions.

1) What software is needed to accomplish this control? The free ActiveHome download, ActiveHome Pro, or AHP plus the SmartMacros plugin? Or something else?

2) What is the best controller for this situation?  The one that is bundled on the website with AHP where there is a USB transmitter (CM15K?), plus the RF receiver plugged into the wall?  Or the CM15a i see referenced on this forums, which apparently you can't buy any more but is coming back in October? I don't really plan to ever use remote controls so having the RF in between seems like a bunch of extra stuff when the controller could just plug directly into the wall.  (I hope 'controller' is the right word.  The piece of hardware that sends signals over the electrical system to talk to the modules, i.e. thing you want to control.)  Should I just wait until x-10 figures out if they are going to ship the cm15a or just use the one I can buy today?

3) What switch do I have to buy, and/or how do I have to write the program, to make sure the lights come on at 10%?  It looks like a lot of people have had this problem, in that they could only get the light to come on at 100% and then drop. (Something about softstart switches??)

4) The existing switch is currently in a 3-gang box - they are all rocker style dimmer switches.  Do the X10 switches take up any more room than a normal switch? That box is a bit tight and i'm wondering if i'm going to have an difficulty fitting the new switch in.  I just need the one on X10, I don't need to control the other two.

Thank you so much.  If anyone would even be so gracious to kind of put together a 'shopping list' of what one would need to do this project, that would be awesome. 

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