This page discusses the two classes of modules that switch the power
to your device, and when and when not to use each. This choice is one
of the easiest choices you will make when choosing components for an
Lamp modules should ONLY be used for incandescent lamps
X10 lamp modules include elctronic dimmers.
This alters the A/C waveform for the power sent to the device, making
them incompatible with appliances and most flourescent and compact
flourescent lights. Even if you plan to use the module only in its
"entirely on" (100%) or "entirely off" (0%) state, minor changes to
the waveform can damage flourescent lights, flourscent light ballasts,
and appliances. If you are using a lamp module on an incandescent
light and later replace the light in the lamp with a compact
flourescent, you will need to remove the lamp module and replace it
with an appliance module.
Note that there are some flourescent lights specifically designed for
use with electronic dimmers, and these lights might be compatible with
X10 lamp modules, but you should contact the manufacturer to ensure
compatibility with specific types of dimming circuits found in lamp
modules, as some dimmable floursecents require special circuits unique
to the bulb. A dimmable flourcents would be clearly marked as
dimmable. If it is not marked as such, assume that it is
not dimmable and can not be used with a lamp module. If it is
marked as dimmable, check the documentation with the bulb to see if it
will work with the type of dimmer in your lamp module.
Appliance modules can be used with most devices
Appliance modules may be used with most
devices that are safe for remote control. Do not use them for
devices that present a fire hazard, such as toaster, or hair dryers,
or anything that would cause a problem if it turned on when you were
away from home. Do use these modules for appliances like radios,
televisions, recirculating pumpsm and use them for flourescent lihgts.
Appliance modules work using a relay to make the connection to power
the attached device. Unlike lamp modules, you will hear a click when
they turn on or off (some are louder than others - see the section of
this site on appliance modules for a
discussion of individual module types within this category).