I want to add motion sensor and timer control to front porch and driveway lights for convenience and to save power. I have no x10 or Insteon equipment right now. I've been looking mostly at smarthome stuff.
So I start my design with a couple of 4087 wireless motion sensors, a 4005x RF base, a 2414U PowerLinc controller and some sort of switches. Then I run into problems:
The PowerLinc controller says it has on-board memory so timers and macros can be downloaded without the need to have a computer running. But the mControl software they recommend says it doesn't download to the controller so you need a PC running to execute timed commands and triggered events. I don't want to dedicate a PC to this project; if nothing else, the power used by a PC running 24/7 would be comparable to what I would save by having the lights off most of the time. (Using a PC for setup, however, would be good.)
I can't find any documentation for what the PowerLinc controller can actually do, or how to get programs into it.
The front porch circuit has 540 watts of lights on it. All of the switches seem to be rated 500 watts or less for incandescent loads.
Some of my computers put enough noise into our power lines to mess up an old intercomm system (depending on which outlets the units are plugged into). How robust is X10 protocol?
Any comments or suggestions?