X10 and LED lightening ...

Forum about Xanura, Eaton Holec and Marmitek and other brand X10 and A10 devices.

X10 and LED lightening ...

Postby BigG » Mon Apr 16, 2012 4:13 pm

Hi,

I'm completely new in the X10 world and want to start exploring it. I have searched the forum for my answers but did not find what I was looking for ...

Last year I have replaced almost al my conventionel light bulbs with dimmable LED bulbs. (Mostly bulbs with high power LED's)
In some cases the LED bulbs connected to the old dimmers can start blinking. Dimming some more or less stops this ...
I noticed the LWM1 module has no minimum load so I think this is the preffered module to start with ... But what about the flikkering?
Has annyone tried this module on LED light bulbs ?

Second I have read that this LED bulbs can make an interference so you can switch them on but in some cases you can not switch them off anymore...
Marmitek recomments using the FM10 or FD10 modules to filter this interference.

FM10 I think I can not use in my situation .... (LED lights are build in the ceiling)
Image

FD10 however i'm a little confused. They have to be placed directly after the main switch of the installation ...
Somebody has any experience that this could help with interference from LED lightening?
Image

Experienced comment will be much appriciated !

Regards,
Gunther.
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Re: X10 and LED lightening ...

Postby mocambo » Sat Nov 10, 2012 4:49 pm

How did you solved your X10 and LED combination system ? Did you find any X10 dimmer that works with particular LED bulb ?!
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Re: X10 and LED lightening ...

Postby qbic2005 » Wed Dec 26, 2012 8:39 pm

Hi

don't know if it is still relevant, but dimming leds with x10, difficult story:
- led on mains (110-220v) : no go, you will kill the led electronics or the x10 module very soon and max dim is about 80-90%
- led on 12v (must be specified for PWM dimming!) : perfect for setting up with : ledgloeilamp.nl/Accessoires/12-volt-LED ... ls.tpl.htm
LED color + life cycle would be kept for the led.
However ! so far I have not yet found any x10 module that can output a 1-10v signal, while this is very common for dimming controls ???!!!!

So if you find any led me know! ;)

switching leds on/off, is not an issue with x10 off course
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Re: X10 and LED lightening ...

Postby marcellangelaan » Sun Feb 10, 2013 9:01 pm

Please be aware that led can generate a lot of noise and conflicting signals for your x10 (rf) setup.
Verify whether the led lamps don't generate this kind of interference.
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Re: X10 and LED lightening ...

Postby qbic2005 » Sun Feb 10, 2013 9:45 pm

marcellangelaan wrote:Please be aware that led can generate a lot of noise and conflicting signals for your x10 (rf) setup.
Verify whether the led lamps don't generate this kind of interference.


not entirly correct, the (build in) powersupply feeding the led can be quite noisy indeed, but no more then for any other low voltage lamps (e.g. 12v halogeen spots)
but the leds themself do not switch the signal meaning they do not generate interference.

conclusion, you are best of buying 12v leds and a decent power supply (12v & stabilized) whenever possible.


by the way I have been looking into the led dimming issue again and I think it can be easily (and fairly cheap) overcome with a XM10 + arduino + mosfet
just have to find some time to work it out... anybody interested in sharing some thoughts about this
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Re: X10 and LED lightening ...

Postby marcellangelaan » Sun Feb 10, 2013 10:15 pm

Hi, yes i agree it are not the led but mostly the lousy electronics which causes the interference. This is particular the case with E27/E14 220v led bulbs.
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Re: X10 and LED lightening ...

Postby qbic2005 » Wed Feb 13, 2013 3:13 pm

@marcellangelaan I replied on your PM with an SMS with my email, not sure why but this forum does not let me sent a PM to you (or I might be to stupid to find the button)
if you did not get it, sent me an PM with your email
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Re: X10 and LED lightening ...

Postby MindBender » Fri May 10, 2013 5:03 pm

I've never been fond of the GU-10 230v Halogen fitting standard, but now there are compatible LED spots on the market, I love it: No more messing around with transformers, not always compatible with dimmers and sometimes requiring a minimum load. And if it's not the transformer, it's the 12v LED spot that may not always appreciate being dimmed down.

The GU-10 fitting compatible 230v LED spots eliminated the transformer and the difficulties those bring along. On top of that, the fixtures are a little bit cheaper too. So yesterday I fitted two fixtures. They both came with three halogen spots of 50Watt each. That seemed a bit excessive, so I bought three Calex branded LED spots.

All worked fine, until this morning: The lights no longer switched off. Or it switched off 30 seconds(!) later, or it switched off an on a couple of times, stopping randomly on or off. Now I'm not new to X10 interference, but I was pretty sure I have repaired all of my Xanura module's internal power supplies. So I was postponing this elimination diagnostics for later, until I realised it may be the new LED spots themselves causing the problem. Especially because the lamp had no problems switching on, only switching off. Removing the lamps from the fixture immediately cured the problem. Putting in the three standard 50Watt halogen spots that came with the fixture did not reintroduce the problem, so the LED spots are the cause.

These LED spots too have internal switch mode power supplies. And to keep coils small, they often operate at high frequencies. So I decided to dig a little deeper and measure the radiation they produce. I was flabbergasted:
Calex - Wide spectrum.png
Calex LED spot emission
Calex - Wide spectrum.png (45.95 KiB) Viewed 8283 times

The green line indicates background noise levels with the LED spot switched off. The yellow ling indicates measured noise with the LED spot switched on, hence the difference between both lines shows the noise introduces by the LED spot.

Almost anywhere below 100MHz, it emitted well over 10dBm!
And below 10MHz it's even worse:
Calex - Low spectrum.png
Calex LED spot low emission
Calex - Low spectrum.png (43.4 KiB) Viewed 8283 times

Under 10MHz, emission above 30dBm are no exceptions. And my measurements have very poor coupling; I'm just using an antenna to pick up the emission. If I would use conductive coupling - which I won't, because connecting my spectrum analyser to mains makes me nervous - figures would be MUCH worse.

I wonder if these lamps were ever tested for EMC requirements by CE. And I wonder if there are any less-poluting LED spots in the market. I will try to bring these back to the shop tomorrow: €15,95 is a bit too much for lamps I cannot use.

The lesson learned is: If you have an X10 installation, order your LED lamps online, so you can return them if they interfere with X10.
Last edited by MindBender on Sat May 11, 2013 11:11 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: X10 and LED lightening ...

Postby MindBender » Sat May 11, 2013 11:05 am

Fortunately I was able to return the Calex spots for a full refund. My local electra supplier recommended my Philips Master LED spots. So I installed them and those seem to work with X10. I'm not dimming them, only switching, but it looks promising. I'll have to wait a bit though, because the Calex spots started acting up half a day later.

Three observations:
1. Philips Master LED spots show an after glow after being switched off. This is not actual glow, it's the internal power supply buffers discharging on the LEDs. This is a good thing, because it smoothens light output, smoothens power consumption (hence reducing interference) and extends the LED's life. And cosmetically it think it's a nice touch.
2. Philips seems to take CE required EMC regulations seriously. Instead of putting on a CE mark and hoping for fall-out to stay away, they really investigate, measure and improve their product: http://community.lighting.philips.com/thread/2256 (See the presentation attached to the thread)
3. Emission is almost non-existing. My 10kHz to 100MHz sweep didn't show anything on top of the noise floor.

From 10kHz to 10MHz, some noise is visible:
Philips Master 10kHz-10MHz.png
Philips Master LED spot emission, 10kHz to 10MHz
Philips Master 10kHz-10MHz.png (47.28 KiB) Viewed 8268 times

From 10kHz to 1MHz, a couple of notches are visible:
Philips Master 10kHz-1MHz.png
Philips Master LED spot emission, 10kHz to 1MHz
Philips Master 10kHz-1MHz.png (45.37 KiB) Viewed 8268 times

A couple of small notches of 10dBm appear at 200kHz, 300kHz, 500kHz and up, but the area used by X10 - the first vertical column in the second illustration - is completely clean.
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Re: X10 and LED lightening ...

Postby nawikre » Thu Jun 27, 2013 8:44 am

This is a reacuring problem with led bulbs. I design and manufacter my own led lighting and it was not easy to make a ledbuld (12V and 230V) that has no emission/interferance and can be dimmed with normal triac dimmers. I only have to test them with dimmers like kaku or x10 to make my test complete...Phillips has the same problem as MANY led bulbs....and that is dimming wioth normal triac dimmers. You have to use special dimmers to dim these led lights. I am happy that i worked around that so that it can be used in normal houses with standard cheaper dimmers. I will let you know if it can be dimmed with kaku/x10
greetz,

Iwan
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