Re: LED dimmable bulbs with X10 switches

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Interesting.  The last time I was in Home Depot, I saw those.  I
suppose they disipate heat better than the old sealed ones.  The
application I was buying bulbs for is outside and has lots of insects
in the summer, so I bought the older style to avoid those slots from
becoming filled with dead insects.

Anyway, the older style work well with my X10 installation.  However,
I am using older smarthome wall switches (old, but not as old as your
even older switches).  So, I'm not sure if the 4FLOWs make more noise
or my switches handle them better.  Good luck.  

Re: LED dimmable bulbs with X10 switches
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You are dealing with a limitation in the triacs in the X10 that switch
the current to the load on and off. There is a minimum sustaining
current that a triac needs to keep itself on after it's been fired by
the trigger circuit. Replacing an incandescent with an LED can put you
below that minimum current and cause the triac in the X10 module to
turn itself off.

The load required by an X10 dimmer varies with the manufacturer but
what I've found during a quick google search is a 40W minimum might be
typical. At 120VAC this means the minimum load current needs to be
around 0.33 Amps.

With LED technology you need to ignore the "wattage" of the bulb since
it's an equivalent rating, not a power consumption rating. A Cree 60W
equivalent bulb uses only 9 to 9.5 Watts in the soft-white and
daylight types and that's less than 0.08 Amps at 120 volts, a very
economical current indeed and about 4 times less current than a 40W
incandescent will draw.

If it's a multi-bulb fixture you can add three more LED bulbs to get
the total current up into the sustaining range of the X10 but it may
be more economical to use an appliance module instead. It uses a relay
and you lose the dimming capability and the "all lights on" capability
but if remote on-off is your desire then it's definitely preferable to
loading up on LED's just to get back into the higher current draw that
LED's are supposed to be avoiding.

P.S. I love my Cree LED bulbs and I've made it my goal to replace all
my incandescents with Cree bulbs as the incandescents burn out.

Re: LED dimmable bulbs with X10 switches
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Yes, that you will get weirdness when running X10 units without a
minimum load is well-documented for years.

http://www.electronicproducts.com/Power_Products/Power_Management/Efficient_dimming_for_LED_lighting.aspx

Re: LED dimmable bulbs with X10 switches
Excellent Reference Article!
Thank you.

Re: LED dimmable bulbs with X10 switches
On 2/21/2015 7:20 PM, Geoff wrote:
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Yes, and from what I understand, they are made in the USA in NC!  Well,  
at least, "assembled in USA".  And, one more thing about x10, some of  
the newer modules have less control current than the old ones.  I used a  
Smarthome unit to power a string of LED Christmas lights. Most modules I  
tried, would have them glowing in the off setting.  However, the with  
the SH unit they glowed so little, that you'd have to look very  
carefully in a totally dark room to even see the slight glow. BTW, I  
even tried a few modified modules that used a solid state relay and  
there was enough leakage to make some LED bulbs glow. And this  
modification had the monitoring current removed.

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