X10 Products

Written by Stephanie Dula
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X10 products are available in a wide variety, from plug-in appliance modules to stand-alone computers for custom programming. Since the X10 protocol has long been seen as the standard in home automation technology, there are hundreds of X10 compatible controllers available. Users like the freedom to mix and match X10 components to create a unique home automation system.

Powerline communications (PLC) based systems like X10 consist of a set of basic components, that, when used together, make up some type of home network. Controllers, or transmitters, send signals over AC wiring to individually placed receivers to activate lighting and other appliances. Receivers can be electrical sockets, switches, or modules that plug into an outlet.

Some two-way X10 units are capable of both sending and receiving X10 signals. These are helpful for communicating status back to the transmitter, enabling the transmitter to resend a command if there is a problem. These help bolster the system's reliability, something that has proved a much-needed element in the X10 standard. They also function as both a receiver and transmitter when the controller commands a macro to be run, or multiple step routine.

X10 Performance

X10 products have long been criticized for weak signal strength and probability for interference of appliances. This level of performance has been tolerated and X10 components are common in many automated households. New technology is being developed to help enthusiasts create dependable retrofit systems for their homes and offices. These products are available online in many formats similar to those of X10.

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