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 X10 dimmer compatibility with CFL and LED bulbs
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nick 55
Starting Member

USA
2 Posts

Posted - 09/21/2011 :  8:22:44 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I have Leviton HCS-10 and HCM-10 switches throughout the house, and am now starting to have problems finding traditional light bulbs to replace burned out ones. I asked the local Home Depot and Lowes guys whether or not dimmable CFL bulbs or LED bulbs will work with the dimming switches I have installed in my house. Has anybody already addressed this with these switches?

Thank you,
Nick

BLH
Advanced Member

4496 Posts

Posted - 09/22/2011 :  03:22:14 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Check the switches wiring.
If it has a Neutral power connection or not.

If it does not use a Neutral and the power is being stolen through the load {bulb}. The Blue and White wires on the HCM-10 are connected to the load. Most likely it will not work.
I know the two wire X10 dimmers do not for that reason.

If they do use a Neutral and not steal power through the load. Good chance they will work.

There is a users manual for the switch. On the Smarthome sales page. If you don't have it. It will show you how they are wired with and without a neutral.
http://www.smarthome.com/2203WI/Leviton-HCM10-1SW-Enhanced-X10-Dimmer-Switch-1000w-White-Ivory-/p.aspx

Results with dimmable CFLs and LEDs may vary.
I found most dimmable CFLs liked to be started at 100% and dimmed down and they are not linear. LEDs I have tried an EcoSmart. It dimmed nicely but at one dim level. It did generate some power line noise.

They still make bulbs that meet the new energy standards. I have tried a 72 watt Halogen that is the 100 watt incandescent replacement.

Edited by - BLH on 09/22/2011 04:38:50 AM
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oberkc
Advanced Member

USA
2540 Posts

Posted - 09/22/2011 :  04:06:02 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Some of these types of bulbs also put a bit more noise on the powerlines than do the incandescents. Sometimes this can mess with communication between your switches. Watch out for this.
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nick 55
Starting Member

USA
2 Posts

Posted - 09/22/2011 :  1:01:14 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thank you folks. The house was built many years before I moved in and when I installed the switches, I remember that some, but not all had neutral wires accessible at the switch. The ones that did, I connected like the manual stated. I guess I will just try some of the bulbs out and see what works.

Nick
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