X10 Module Controlling an LED Light With NO Leakage

Introduction: X10 Module Controlling an LED Light With NO Leakage

About: Technical Editor for two magazines. Software tester for the computer controlled electronic brakes of Locomotives.

X10 was created before there was LED lighting, so it is not really surprising that X10 handles LED lights so poorly. The accepted practice is to put a 7W nightlight in the same circuit as the LED light to bleed off the X10 Module's power leakage. Or you can put a wall wart in line too. Basically anything that will absorb the X10 Module's leakage.

This is accepted practice, but you negate part of the energy savings when using an LED by having something sucking power when the X10 module is on. So what I have done is to have a standard X10 Appliance Module trip a small independent relay to do the actual switching of power to the LED light, which gives a clean break with no power leakage.

This should be able to be accomplished for about $20 per Module.

And as a side benefit, by utilizing the NC (Normally Closed) position of the relay, you can turn an additional item ON when cycling the X10 Module OFF.

Supplies

Zettler AZ2280-1C-120AF relay (available all over the Internet)

From Home Depot:

Leviton Grounding Triple Outlet Adapter, 818897010275
Leviton 15A 125V Light-Duty Plug, 078477886038
Leviton 15A Polarized Light-Duty Plug, 078477031636
4X 12-10 Gauge Female Disconnect Spade Connectors

Some lamp cord
and a length of lamp cord with a male plug.

Step 1: The Relay

This is the unit that makes it happen. The two left connections are the 120V input (from the X10 Module). You have the "Common" contact where the 120V line power enters the Relay. And you have your "Normally Open" (NO) contact that is NOT connected to anything UNTIL the Relay is energized by the X10 Module, and the "Normally Closed" (NC) that is ALWAYS connected to the "Common" contact UNTIL the Relay is energized by the X10 module.

Step 2: Assembling the X10 Output Plug

Disassemble the Leviton 15A 125V Light-Duty Plug, 078477886038 by removing the screw and opening up the assembly.

Take two lengths of the white lamp cord, strip the ends and install into the Leviton 15A 125V Light-Duty Plug, 078477886038 as shown. Then fold down the contact assembly as shown.

Finally re-install the screw as shown.

Shorten the white lamp cord and strip the ends and crimp on two 12-10 Gauge Female Disconnect spade connectors as shown.

Step 3: Assemble the Relay Output Plug

Remove the screw from the Leviton 15A Polarized Light-Duty Plug, 078477031636.

Strip and install the 3rd white lamp cord length and install on the left side of the Output Plug as shown.

On the right side, strip one leg of the length of lamp cord with the attached male plug and mount it as shown on the right side.

Close the top down and re-install the screw as shown.

Strip the ends of both wires and crimp on two 12-10 Gauge Female Disconnect spade connectors as shown.

The 2nd image is what you should now have.

Step 4: Connect the 12-10 Gauge Female Disconnect Spade Connectors to the Relay

Take the 12-10 Gauge Female Disconnect Spade Connectors from the Leviton 15A 125V Light-Duty Plug, 078477886038, and push them on the Relay's left most contacts as shown. Note that if the 12-10 Gauge Female Disconnect Spade Connectors are a loose fit on the Leviton Relay, use pliers to crimp the spade connectors tighter and reinsert them. There should be a tight friction fit for good contact.

Then attach the Spade Connector, from the lamp cord with the Male attached plug which is connected to the Relay Output Plug, to the "Common" contact of the Relay as shown.

Finally attach the spade connector from the other side of the Relay Output Plug to the "Normally Open" (NC) contact of the Relay as shown.

Step 5: Final Assembly

Plug the X10 Output Plug to a standard "Appliance" Module (A "Lamp" Module will NOT work).

Plug the X10 "Appliance" Module into the Leviton Grounding Triple Outlet Adapter, 818897010275.

Plug the lamp cord with the Male attached plug into the Leviton Grounding Triple Outlet Adapter, 818897010275 also.

You should now have what is pictured.

Step 6: Installation and Coding

Plug the Leviton Grounding Triple Outlet Adapter, 818897010275 into a wall receptacle.

Plug your LED Lamp / Light into the Relay Output Plug.

Code your X10 "Appliance" Module according to your system's requirements.

Send an "ON" signal to the X10 "Appliance" Module, the X10 "Appliance" Module will change state, sending power to the Leviton Relay, the relay changes state and sends power to the LED Lamp / Light.

Send the "OFF" signal and the process is reversed and note the LED Lamp / Light is turned completely off!

Furthermore if you have something connected to the Normally Closed (NC) contact of the relay, that item will now turn ON!

Enjoy X10 finally handling LED lights correctly!

FYI: I had linked a nice Youtube Video to this Instructable showing assembly and performance testing but it was disallowed by Instructables. But you can search Youtube for it by name:
"Episode 3, There Just Has To Be A Better Way, X10 Controlling LED Lights"

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