This Automated House

  X10 Technology

X10 Technology allows compatible products to talk to each other using the existing electrical wiring in the house. X10 compatible products are affordable and since they communicate over existing wires in the house there is no costly rewiring necessary. Installation is simple and most of the time no wiring is needed but there are a few X10 products that require some wiring. 

 X10 products work great. However, because X10 products communicate over your electrical wires they may have difficulties. The first problem is when there is an appliance running that generates "noise" onto the electrical wires. Appliances that may cause problems are motors (e.g. dryer, treadmill, vacuum cleaner, etc.) and advanced electronics (e.g.  laptops, big screen TV's, cell phone charger etc.). To help with this problem you need to  plug the appliance into a noise filter.

The second thing is that the X10 transmitter is on one "side" (phase) of your home's electrical wiring and the receiver could be on the other. This is noticed sometimes by only being able to control certain X10 product in your house. When this happens , a simple plug-in phase coupler or hard wired phase coupler will help. The phase couplers normally plugs into a 220v outlet ( e.g. dryer or stove). The hard wired ones normally wire into your home's electrical panel ( this should be done by a qualified electrician) 


Pros:

• inexpensive,
• no new wiring is required -- perfect for retrofit 
• simple to install 
• 100's of compatible products
• control up to 256 lights and appliances
• It has been around for over 30 years

Cons:

• no 2 way communication (can not confirm on/off status) 
• most setups will need a phase coupler 
• power line noise can be a problem