X-10 lighting help needed - Home Theater Forum and Systems - HomeTheaterShack.com

 
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post #1 of 8 Old 12-09-07, 05:26 PM Thread Starter
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X-10 lighting help needed

Hello,

Many years ago I came across a thread about x-10 lighting and what was needed to buy to run your HT lights. I am looking for advise on what to purchase to control my HT lights using the X-10 system. I want to be able to control my lights using my existing remote so I know I will need additional items to do so. Can anyone help me out here or give me some directions to start with?

Rick
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post #2 of 8 Old 12-09-07, 10:21 PM
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Re: X-10 lighting help needed

I don't know anything about the X-10 products... maybe someone else will.

I use the Lutron IR Dimmer and it works well for my HT. I programmed the remote code into my programmable remote and a press of the button dims my lights when ready. I use 2 switches, one for front lights and one for rear.
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post #3 of 8 Old 12-10-07, 10:02 AM
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Re: X-10 lighting help needed

I had x-10 stuff about 5 years ago, and it was a miserable experience. Maybe they've improved, but I'd be wary.

Unfortunately, I gave up on lighting automation, so I can't offer alternatives either. Pretty worthless, huh?
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post #4 of 8 Old 12-10-07, 12:36 PM
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Re: X-10 lighting help needed

I have an IR Lutron dimmer in my theater, but have had many X10 products.

I went through two mid-grade dimmers in my HT. However, they could not take the power I was sending through them (500W on a 600W dimmer) and eventually blew out. The Lutron (non X10) can handle the load just fine.

That was the bad side of X10.

On the good side: my alarm system (GE Simon III) has an X10 power supply and can send commands. It turns on my outside light at 5:00 pm every evening and off again in the morning. It also turns on the living room lights whenever the front door is opened and all the lights (one on each floor) whenever a window is opened. These are also time-programmable so the lights only come on at night.

I also have some rope lighting that shows people the way to the stairs (and bathroom) from the theater. This is on an X10 module as well.

I have the IR543 (I think I have the number right), it's an IR receiver that can transmit. I also got several RF and IR remotes in a package deal, some key fobs (good for two units of control), and RF receiver, and several light/wall modules.

The worst is signal strength issue. I had to make sure all the boxes were on the same let of the house wiring or some did not the signal. They sell tie-in amplifiers that use your 220V appliance plugs (like a dryer or oven) to bridge the signal and amplify it. For me it was easier to move some of the plugs around.

All in all, I have spent less than $200 on X10 stuff and have 6 lights running of it.

However, there are a lot of new technologies that compete, replace, and are compatible with X10. Most are much more robust.

Good luck!
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post #5 of 8 Old 12-12-07, 08:33 PM Thread Starter
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Re: X-10 lighting help needed

Ok if I want to go with X-10 for dimming my rope lights what would I all need to purchase to be able to run them using my Logitech remote?

Thanks Rick
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post #6 of 8 Old 12-12-07, 08:40 PM
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Re: X-10 lighting help needed

Probably not. You need the IR controller, wall module, and a remote (although you can probably download the codes from Logitech -- my remote is a learn-only).

I believe the RF function of the Logitech is only to communicate with its IR repeaters. I could be wrong, though. Even if it can control other RF stuff, you would still need the RF to X10 wall module. In my setup, that module is what lets the keychain fobs control some of the lights.

My advice is to check ebay for a kit or package deal. That's how I got started. I also bought some stuff from www.homeautomationnet.com (no affiliation). I had a unit go bad from them and they replaced it, even a year after purchase.

If all goes well at Christmas, I will have one of those remotes to play with, so I can let you all know if it works
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post #7 of 8 Old 12-13-07, 03:12 PM Thread Starter
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Re: X-10 lighting help needed

Here is what I would like to do and was wondering if it is possible with this remote and in addition how do I go about programing my remote and what X-10 items I will need.

I want to control some rope lighting in my theater and want the following to happen.

Power on: Rope lighting comes on and to full power
Play: Rope lighting dims down to about 10-15%
Stop: Rope lighting comes back up to 100%
Power off: Rope lighting goes off.

Can this be done? How do I program this into my remote? What X-10 items do I need to purchase to make this happen?

Thanks Rick
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post #8 of 8 Old 12-13-07, 03:21 PM
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Re: X-10 lighting help needed

For that, you would need a "scenes" capable wall module. They are typically more expensive and more involved in the setup.

With them, you simply give one command and it goes to the different levels. You could program that command into the macros on your remote for this functionality.

If you are truly adventurous, you could use a standard wall module and program the individual "dim" commands to get it down to whatever level you want. Then you'd program "full on" to the Power On macro and Stop macro. Then you would program "full off" to the power off macro. For play you would have to repeat the dim command several times, so this would take trial and error. As long as all the IR receivers are close by, this should work just fine.

In any case you would need:
IR543 converter (receives IR commands and sends powerline X10)
Wall module or plug module (scene capable)
X10 Remote? (if your programmable remote doesn't have preset X10 commands available and you have to learn them manually).

That should be it, if that's all you want to do. Good luck.
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