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 X10 Replacement (Feit?)
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Posted - 03/31/2021 :  10:13:53 AM  Show Profile  Visit bevhoward's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I have been using x10 since the late 70's and have a huge investment in X10 modules and installations, however, over the past decade using x10 has been increasingly frustrating, primarily due to ac line noise problems.

My XTBM Pro which has allowed me to "see" the line noise levels and trace the source initially from things such as LED lighting and eventually to a replacement Bosch Heat pump that caused so many line noise problems that I am seriously considering having it replaced since Bosch has been totally unresponsive to my well documented problems that show clearly that the line noise is coming from the Bosch compressor unit. I have installed X10 filters in the Heat Pump compressor line, and, while that has helped, there are still circuit combinations that cannot be bridged reliably.

In the mean time, I am looking at for complete replacement of the X10 functionality. My research has indicated that Feit lighting and device control seems to be a good choice. For one thing, I have been able to document that Feit devices do not generate line noise. (Feit bulbs do appear to be incompatible with X10 switches)

I have begun to replace some lighting and am pleased with the Feit hardware, but finding that control issues such as security timing and dusk controls are missing or severely limited.

Has anyone been down this road away from X10? I would appreciate any tips and discoveries and will share what I have learned so far if anyone is interested.

Beverly Howard

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6288 Posts

Posted - 03/31/2021 :  3:14:30 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Are the Feit LED bulbs rated to be on a dimmer?

X10 switches steal power through the load add designed to be used with incandescent bulbs. Though some dimmable LED bulbs are also OK.

Jeff made a limited run of LED shunt modules. That allowed for the drawing of current through the load. Unfortunately he is scaling back and I don't think they are still available.

As for the signals between the two phases. Do you have one if their XTB-IIR X10 coupler amplifier? They blast over a 10 volt X10 signal on both phases on my XTBM. 9.99 volts is the top of the display range. Many of my signal suckers are not filtered because the >10 volt signal is over 1 volt with the sucker connected. I understand they still have a limited supply of XTB-IIR units still in stock.

Many automation switches need a real Neutral Power connection. The X10 switches didn't use. So part of your decision would be to check the availability of a Neutral in the replacement switches position.
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Starting Member

11 Posts

Posted - 03/31/2021 :  4:51:28 PM  Show Profile  Visit bevhoward's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Thanks for the interest.

>> Are the Feit LED bulbs rated to be on a dimmer? <<

No, and testing shows that they are incompatible with X10 light switches.

Part of the conversion will be to replace X10 switches with simple on/off toggle switches.

Once that is done, all of the wifi bulbs (which will be the major part of the conversion) will be controlled via Google Home voice commands or the Feit App. I have not yet seen any "controllers" other than smart speakers.

Feit seems flexible with naming and grouping devices.

Fixed scheduling of both individual devices and groups is available in both the Feit app and there are Google Home options as well. I am hopeful that Feit will add security and other dusk/dawn timing options over time.

The bulbs will always be connect to AC. If a light has been turned off by a voice command, it can be turned on manually by toggling the light switch OFF/ON

They respond to ALL OFF/ON commands although Google Home insists on repeating commands which is a pain.

Looking at the Feit wall switch instructions and wiring diagrams, it looks like I will be able to use the existing X10 momentary contact 3way push buttons to allow manual control the same as on X10. I have a number of x10 3way switches, including one that has 5 push buttons that we use all the time. (I have not verified this yet)

My testing is with the bulbs controlled by connection to an isolated "guest network" for security and there have been no problems so far controlling actions from any network connection... i.e. controlling and maintaining schedules across the country.

The Feit bulbs connect via 2.4ghz, but, unlike the WM100, the phone or other device can connect at 5ghz and run setups and commands.

Obviously not perfect... for example, an extended network outage, but, as with X10, there are always compromises.

Again, thanks for the interest.

Beverly Howard
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