X10 or Leviton DHC with LED lamps

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Old 10-18-19, 08:49 AM
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X10 or Leviton DHC with LED lamps

I've got about 6 circuits that are on X10 or DHC dimmers. I swapped out the incandescent lamps with LEDs, they work ok dimming except they don't dim as nicely as the incandescent. They also work with the remote switch. But I have 2 circuits that are 2-way and one 3-way (4-way? I forget) anyhow the stairs circuit has 2 switches, a main and remote. The mudroom circuit has 3 switches one at each door. The dimmers work from the main unit and with the remote switfch, however unless the LEDs are turned on fully with the main switch, the remote switches won't work. Is there any hack or work around to this issue?
 
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Old 10-18-19, 11:29 AM
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I did discover that putting at least 1 incandescent lamp in the 3-way circuit makes it work right. I wonder if I could just put a 1Meg or 100K resistor across something in that circuit would make it work right without an incandescent? All my other dimmers seem to work with Great Eagle 100W equivalent 2700K A19 bulbs. The Optiolight BR20 6W 2700K also work with the dimmers in a single circuit. But they don't seem to dim as much as an incandescent before going out. The LEDs are noticeably brighter than the incandescent, a good thing.

These LEDs have finally gotten to the price point where they're worth it and the color is right too.
 
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Old 10-18-19, 11:44 AM
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Those older type remotes usually stated for "incandescent only". One reason for that is that a certain load is needed across the dimmer to make it operate. Typically that value has been 40 watts minimum.

Can you use a resistor.... yes. Would I recommend it.... no.
 
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Old 10-18-19, 07:04 PM
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Yeah, a 40W resistor would be a pretty healthy heat source. I'll just keep one incandescent in place. Do you know what it is about a load that makes it work? I assume it's something to do with the dig signal from the remote switch.

I'm so used to the X10/DHC with the remote controllers, we really like it and it does what we want. Not to interested in spending the huge bucks to replace the controllers and all for a smart phone. I need to play with the 'minimum' dimming to see if I can get the LEDs to dim more, right now they don't dim all that much, but enough, some better than others. Shoot they're using 1/10 the $KW anyhow.
 
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Old 10-18-19, 08:20 PM
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In the absence of a connection to neutral..... the control needs to store power to operate. That 40 watt loads allows enough current to flow to keep the electronics running.

Many newer controls have a direct connection to neutral and any lights can be used.
 
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Old 10-19-19, 08:09 AM
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As I remember there was/is a connection to neutral with the Leviton DHC controllers, which is all I use. I was not impressed with the X10 types, plus the Leviton controls have that soft start/stop feature. But it may not be what is needed? I'm just not understanding what the neutral does and how there's current flowing if the lamp is not lit. Is it that the controller needs power all the time and the remote switches don't supply that.?
Is there a way to re-wire or is it just the older controls are not capable at all without a load? I do understand a bit about electronics having worked in the field, but not in home electricity, more radio frequency/engineering stuff.
 
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Old 10-21-19, 03:34 PM
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Here is the best explanation I've seen so far. https://www.digikey.com/en/articles/...n-led-lighting
But my Great Eagle dimmable 14W LEDs work fine, as well as the Optolight BR20, but only in a single circuit and even with multiple LEDs. There's no explanation about the 3 and 4 way switching that I can tell, but the LEDs I got must be incorporating some of this new technology to make them work to some degree. It's nice not to have to replace the dimmers.
 
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