x10 switches we used to have over our bedThe one cool side-effect of the addition being finished is that the additional wiring seems to have made X10 home automation modules again functional for the upstairs. Sometime in 1999 or 2000 or so our house suffered “x10 death” upstairs, where everything stopped working. The wireless 4-switch light-switch we had over our bed (which we kept re-arranging, and moving the switch with us, which was so damn convenient) stopped working and everything.

x10 lamp module - lets you dim lamps - only 2 prongs requiredThat was around when we started implementing The Clapper for the bedroom — 2 claps = lights on/off, 3 claps = fan on/off. But that recently blew in a thunderstorm (new wishlist item!). Thus the need for an extra X10 2-prong lamp module vs the 3-prong appliance modules — most of our plugs up here are only 2 prongs! Plus, the lamp modules let you dim non-dimmable lights, which is really good for ambiance.

But anyway, the best part of all this is is — the automatic, motion-sensing hall-light is back. Since there are no switches in the hall, the only way to have a hall-light is to plug in a light. And then it is on 24/7. Way too bright for sleeping, and electricity-wasting to boot. So we unplug it, and the hall is simply dark. We turn on the media room light (it’s light switch is only in the hallway — go figure) to light the hall. Sub-optimal.

only really worth plugging the light in manually for big parties
This light is only worth plugging in for big parties.

x10 motion sensorWell, thanks to employing 2 of our X10 motion sensors, we now have the hall-light back. One motion sensor points down the hallway, detecting anyone coming from the front-door/living-room area. The other motion sensor points at the bathroom door, detecting anyone coming in/out of the bathroom. So now, if you go into the hallway, you might have to take your first 2-3 steps in the dark, but within 2 seconds or so, the light will come on. And stay on for 1 minute.

Our eventual plan is to somehow get the light above the spiral stairs X10-controlled … Either by a socket-rocket light-socket module (which are awkward and bulky and might make the globe not fit on), or by replacing the wall-light-switch (but it’s a 3-way switch and that could cause complications because downstairs there are 3 switches together so it might not be possible to only replace 1 of the 3). If we could get that done somehow, then we could employ 2 more motion sensors — one at the bottom of the spiral stairs, and one at the top. It would be really cool to have the spiral stair lights only come on when using them. But it might not happen due to those sets of possible complications. And I can’t do electrical work at all.

x10 remote - could always use a few more of these!