X10 is a communications "language" that allows compatible products to talk to each
other using the existing electrical wiring in the home. Most X10 compatible products
are very affordable and the fact that they talk over existing wires in your home means
that no costly rewiring is necessary. Installation is simple, a transmitter plugs (or
wires) in at one location in the home and sends its control signal (on, off, dim, bright,
etc.) to a receiver which plugs (or wires) into another location in the home.
products talk over your home's electrical wires they may have difficulties in two
situations. The first is when there is an appliance running that generates "noise"
onto the powerline. Appliances that may cause problems are motors (e.g. dryer,
treadmill, vacuum cleaner, etc.) and advanced electronics (e.g. switching power
supplies on some laptops, some big screen TV's, etc.). The good news is that all you
need to do is plug the appliance into a noise filter such as FilterLinc.
The second "issue" with X10 is when your X10 transmitter is on one "side" (phase)
of your home's electrical wiring and the receiver is on the other "side". Many times
the signal either bridges the two phases at the transformer at the street or via some
220V appliance in the home. When this doesn't happen, a simple plug-in phase
coupler called SignaLinc will solve this challenge.
It is estimated that X10 compatible products can be found in over 10 million
American homes. This is because it has so many advantages over other types of
remote control products and systems:
- No new wiring is required -- perfect for retrofit
- 100's of compatible products
- Control up to 256 lights and appliances
- Time proven -- it has been around for over 20 years