X10 Lighting

Lighting is an important aspect of our automated home. Most of our lights are controlled via either X10 DIN-mounted Lamp Modules or X10 DIN-mounted Appliance Modules. (Some are RGB LED lamps but I’ll cover them in a later post.)

Although I am a morning person, I still need a little help waking up in the morning. My lovely children help a bit but being able to have the lights gradually brighten to full brightness when it is time to get up helps a lot, particularly in the winter. It also means that the children wake up at the same time every day, which in turn means they tend to go to sleep pretty reliably in the evening. In the event that they wake up too early, they know it’s too early as the lights aren’t on yet so generally don’t wake us.

We also have X10 Motion Sensors so can automatically trigger lights in rooms with no natural light. Our utility room, where we change nappies, is a good example as this behaviour is particularly useful when you have your hands full carrying a reluctant toddler.

The children rather like the low-level stick-on X10 RF Remotes that enable them to turn on their lights (and I like the fact that they don’t have to climb on the furniture to reach the “normal” switches). (They also like having the remotes trigger wolf howls, T-Rex roars and Michael Rosen from the ceiling speakers.)

One disadvantage of the dimmable lights is that most dimmers have a minimum rating. The LD11 X10 DIN-mounted Lamp Modules that we use require a minimum load of 60W. This is a problem because it is becoming increasingly difficult to buy bulbs that meet this requirement. At the moment, we typically use Energy Saver GLS Lamps which look great and use just enough power to keep the dimmers happy.

I’d be very interersted to know how others with X10 solve this problem as I’d love a solution that used less power but which was still dimmable and produced a pleasant bright light.