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Guide: X10 Basics - Part I by ASIHome Staff

We’ve all heard the hype about “the home of the future”. Unfortunately, what most folks don’t realize is that they can have most of the functionality of these “high-tech” homes today, with existing technology – and it’s easy!

X10 – What is it?

One of the technologies that will let you take control of your home is X10. Yes, the same folks who brought you pop-up and pop-under ads on the Internet created a home control protocol over 20 years ago.

The X10 protocol is a communications scheme that uses existing powerlines in your home to send control signals, which in turn can be used to turn lights and appliances on or off, control electric sprinkler valves, and much more.

Why do I want it?

The real advantage to using X10 to control your home is that you won’t be adding any new wire – all the components are designed to work with your existing powerlines, so there’s no additional wire required. In addition, many of the pieces are designed to directly replace existing devices, such as light switches and wall receptacles, so they fit into your home seamlessly.

What can I do with it?

X10 products are available from a number of manufacturers, and the range of devices available give you a wide variety of applications that can be achieved using simple plug-in or wire-in modules. Here are some examples:
· Control pool equipment
· Manage heating and cooling
· Turn lights on and off remotely, or on a schedule
· Use motion detectors to turn on lights for safety
· Control audio/video equipment
You can achieve all of these examples with X10-based devices, controllers and interfaces.

This article was published on Monday 10 January, 2005.

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