View Full Version : Home automation using X10 or ZWave
01-03-2005, 04:36 PM
I was curious to know if anyone out there has used automation technologies to control their lighting and electrical switching aspects of their home.
The two technologies I was looking at was X10 and Z-Wave. The X10 devices are pretty inexpensive compared to the Z-Wave control units.
I thought a good initial project was to have them turn my porch lights on and off at set times controlled via my desktop PC.
Anyone out there ever try this or have this working?
We've used X-10 for years -- both switches and control boxes -- with the computer interface. It's a great system and very versatile. The components are very inexpensive. Let me know if you have any specific questions.
01-04-2005, 10:55 AM
zwave looks nice, but like you said it's really expensive. I've got the X10 USB itnerface and some software and you can set up motion detectors and triggers to email you, etc. I'ts pretty cool. the one thing I wish I had was 2-way switches so they could report the real status of the light, etc. Right now I have the cheapie x10 wall switches and standard appliance and lamp modules which all work fine, but it would be nice to be able to poll/query all the devices to see their status.
Some of the programs have built in features to automatically know sunrise/sunset so that you can turn lights on/off at those times, instead of a set time everyday.
I have some motion detectors in my back yard and they alert me to any motion there, as well as my garage so I don't keep forgetting to turn off the light and have my wife yell at me =)
01-04-2005, 11:21 AM
Yeah that is very cool. My thoughts were to either have a sensor or have the desktop PC compute dusk/dawn for each day.
Does X10 support the ability to poll the status of an X10 device?
01-04-2005, 12:47 PM
yep, you can poll certain 2-way X10 devices e.g. http://www.homesecuritystore.com/autogen/EZS-673-PAM21X102wayApplianceModule.html
01-04-2005, 04:49 PM
Thanks for the info everyone...Once I get it completed I'll post a follow up.
01-05-2005, 08:19 AM
it's fun stuff :) Right now I'm messing around with Homeseer and Housebot.. check those out if you go the PC route. Anyone have any other suggestions for good windows/linux management software?
01-05-2005, 10:48 AM
There's a lot of excellent, free software out there that works with X10. Go to http://sourceforge.net/ and do a search for "X10". I've been doing some custom programming with the X10Controller project. It's written in Java, so it works on both windows and linux. Currently I have motion sensor events sent to my instant messenger, and I log all X10 events to a database.
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