I will be moving in a few weeks, and want to do quite a bit of automation in my new house. I have already built a dedicated server for HAL2000, which is ready to go, and also plan to use Ocelots for a fair amount of sensing and control.
In my current townhouse, I have some basic X10 devices (lamps and wall switches), and the performance has been good, but not great. I have seen the "X10 PRO" devices now being sold - are they really better than the standard X10 on false signals, reliability etc?
I know UPB is better, but at prices between $70-$150 per device, that just seems like a lot for all I want to do.
When shopping for X-10 switches, finding a switch with a neutral will yield greater reliability. In general X-10 Pro are better switches. It was explained to me by the X-10 Manufacturer Sales guy in Vancouver, that X-10 is manufactured and packaged and 2 out of 10 are bad (there may be some exaggeration as he was employed by X-10 Pro a separate entity under the X-10 umbrella and he did not get commission on X-10.) X-10 Pro were burned in for 24 hours prior to packaging to verify operability, so the chances of a bad switch with X-10pro are less likely.
Personally, I like the Leviton line of switches. They are decora style and look nicer IMHO. Leviton in my experience was more reliable than X-10 or X-10 Pro.
Leviton makes a newer Version of Decora Home Controls. Basically they have two lines, the red line because of the red LED on the switch were made on X-10 production line to Leviton spec, they contain an auto-gain control circuit, to help in signal reception. The green line, for the green led, is their current model manufactured in Leviton plants. they are nicer and some model have a led bar on the side to show the dim levels when on or off.
Part numbers Leviton red-line
6383-W/I single and 3 way dimmer 500 watt
6291-W/I 15amp On/Off
16383 - 600w dimmer MS00-r Slave for 3 ways
Green Line HCM06 600 watt dimmer HCS10 10 amp switch.
However the X-10 Pro will be cheaper. They function differently as well. X-10 and X-10 Pro operate like a push button (including the decora style) pressing cycle on and off. press and hold cycles dim and bright.
Leviton operate more instinctively press the top side of the rocker and it turns on, hold it and it brightens. Pres the bottom and it turns off, holding dims...
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Thanks for the info. I had been looking at the Leviton also, but assumed they were the same thing (just nicer looking) as X10 Pro. Good to know they are better product. I may try a few out and see how it does in the new place. All of them that I have seen are a 'Decro' (wide) style switch - do you know if there are any that look close to a regular switch?