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A little electrical help, plz...
Posted by: PeterB
Date: June 14, 2014 11:15AM
... is there a cheap/easy way to convert a regular wall (AC) light switch to something that would give you the ability to switch on and off (and ideally, also variably dim) with a remote? I know of dimmers that are for plug-in items, but not one for an existing wall switch. I'm sure they must exist, but not sure what they call it and what to look out for.

TiA




Freya says, 'Hello from NOLA, baby!' (Laissez bon temps rouler!)
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Re: A little electrical help, plz...
Posted by: msglee
Date: June 14, 2014 11:28AM
something like this??

[www.smarthome.com]
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Re: A little electrical help, plz...
Posted by: space-time
Date: June 14, 2014 11:37AM
[www.amazon.com]

[www.amazon.com]


I don't think those are dimmers, though, but they should turn ON/OFF. I would get the second one, seems like a better deal and does not need an iOS device. No experience with either of those, read the reviews for yourself. YMMV. Please report back once you get something and how it works.
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Re: A little electrical help, plz...
Posted by: space-time
Date: June 14, 2014 11:39AM
also check out this deal

[slickdeals.net]

tiger direct + rebate = barf smiley
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Re: A little electrical help, plz...
Posted by: Ammo
Date: June 14, 2014 12:11PM
An electrical tip from today's News of the Weird:

(1989) In the mid-1980s, convicted South Carolina murderer Michael Godwin won his appeal to avoid the electric chair and serve only life imprisonment. In March, while sitting naked on a metal prison toilet, attempting to fix a TV set, the 28-year-old Godwin bit into a wire and was electrocuted. [Orlando Sentinel, 3-8-89]



Where is there dignity unless there is also honesty? - Cicero
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Re: A little electrical help, plz...
Posted by: RAMd®d
Date: June 14, 2014 12:27PM
I don't think those are dimmers, though, but they should turn ON/OFF.

But those won't do what the OP wants.


Anybody have experience with the Insteon product line?

I've replaced light switches with the old X-10 modules for remote dimming with an optional controller. But if they're plugged into a surge protector, they can't be accessed by a controller. Also, over time, newer controllers have a harder time accessing the modules.

I'd like to upgrade the X-10 modules with something more reliable.






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There’s trouble — it's time to play the sound of my people.

Your boos mean nothing to me, I've seen what you cheer for.

Insisting on your rights without acknowledging your responsibilities isn’t freedom, it’s adolescence.

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When a good man is hurt,
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There is no safety for honest men except
by believing all possible evil of evil men.

We don’t do focus groups. They just ensure that you don’t offend anyone, and produce bland inoffensive products. —Sir Jonathan Ive

An armed society is a polite society.
And hope is a lousy defense.

You make me pull, I'll put you down.

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Re: A little electrical help, plz...
Posted by: PeterB
Date: June 14, 2014 12:33PM
Quote
msglee
something like this??

[www.smarthome.com]

I think that's it, thanks! (Looks like it's pretty easy to install yourself, you just swap one out for the other?) ... but it also looks like it doesn't come with the remote?

Edit: also found this one: [www.amazon.com]




Freya says, 'Hello from NOLA, baby!' (Laissez bon temps rouler!)



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/14/2014 12:41PM by PeterB.
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Re: A little electrical help, plz...
Posted by: mattkime
Date: June 14, 2014 12:52PM
i have a belkin wemo that i'm very happy with, fwiw.

(not sure why that link says its discontinued, its not)



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Re: A little electrical help, plz...
Posted by: bfd
Date: June 14, 2014 12:53PM
Work backwards on this one. First decide on how you want to control the lights: iOS App, Remote, etc. There IS a difference in modules (BT, IR, WiFi, etc.). After you've decided on how you'll control them, you can then look at the different manufacturers and find your best deal. If you lock yourself into the module first, you limit your controller choices. Smarthome is a good place to start; then you can look for deals elsewhere - if they exist elsewhere. We decided to have our lights controlled by our Logitech Harmony. That limited the choice of modules to IR, but there were still plenty of options.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/14/2014 12:56PM by bfd.
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RAMd®d . . .
Posted by: WHiiP
Date: June 14, 2014 12:54PM
The following question and answer from the link just above in PeterB's Amazon link.

Q: If i got two of these, would one remote be able to control both the switches? In other words, is the remote tied to the switch?
A:
Yes, one stock remote would control both switches. I bought a harmony remote though to link and control all of my electronics too. My TV, Cable Box, BluRay player, Xbox, and Lutron IR light switch are all controlled by the same remote!



Bill
Flagler Beach, FL 32136

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Fermentation may have been a greater discovery than fire.
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Re: A little electrical help, plz...
Posted by: space-time
Date: June 14, 2014 12:58PM
Sorry I misread your post, I thought you want to control a plug-in device
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Re: RAMd®d . . .
Posted by: RAMd®d
Date: June 14, 2014 01:35PM
Thanks, WHiiP, but that's not my situation.

The problem is that apparently the module doesn't age well, or quality control is spotty.

I've purchased several X-10 modules and a couple of controllers. Over the years, a module might go bad, but the controllers had a higher failure rate.

Newer X-10 controllers don't work with all the modules. If I move the controller to different AC outlets, different modules work, and others don't. This wasn't always the case.

I'd like to swap out the X-10s and controllers with something more reliable. IR isn't on my short list. WiFi is a maybe.


Looks like it's pretty easy to install yourself, you just swap one out for the other?

Yes, that's all there is to it.

Most of these don't come with a controller unless they're part of a bundle. You buy a controller of some sort to manage several modules. Some are small, controlling just a few modules, some control more. It all depends on a manufacture's line up.






I am that Masked Man.

All you can do, is all you can do.

There’s trouble — it's time to play the sound of my people.

Your boos mean nothing to me, I've seen what you cheer for.

Insisting on your rights without acknowledging your responsibilities isn’t freedom, it’s adolescence.

I've been to the edge of the map, and there be monsters.

We are a government of laws, not men.

Everybody counts or nobody counts.

When a good man is hurt,
all who would be called good
must suffer with him.

You and I have memories longer than the road that stretches out ahead.

There is no safety for honest men except
by believing all possible evil of evil men.

We don’t do focus groups. They just ensure that you don’t offend anyone, and produce bland inoffensive products. —Sir Jonathan Ive

An armed society is a polite society.
And hope is a lousy defense.

You make me pull, I'll put you down.

I *love* SIGs. It's Glocks I hate.
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Re: A little electrical help, plz...
Posted by: PeterB
Date: June 14, 2014 01:40PM
I just want a remote, not an iOS app. I want to switch on/off, but dimming would be an added bonus. (Not sure how that'd work though, because this is for a wall switch that controls several overhead fluorescents... I'm guessing dimming won't work.)

Is that any clearer?




Freya says, 'Hello from NOLA, baby!' (Laissez bon temps rouler!)
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Re: A little electrical help, plz...
Posted by: Dennis R
Date: June 14, 2014 01:59PM
Be careful what you dim. Certain fluorescent bulbs don't dim and motors, like a ceiling fan.
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Re: A little electrical help, plz...
Posted by: Article Accelerator
Date: June 14, 2014 02:46PM
Quote
PeterB
Edit: also found this one: [www.amazon.com]

I can vouch for Lutron's dimmers. We have several 3-way Lutron in-wall dimmers here. Whatever you can do at the "master" dimmer, you can do equally well at the remote counterpart dimmer.
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Re: A little electrical help, plz...
Posted by: PeterB
Date: June 14, 2014 02:59PM
Quote
Dennis R
Be careful what you dim. Certain fluorescent bulbs don't dim and motors, like a ceiling fan.

Yup. I'm consulting my local electrician to make sure that whatever I get will work.




Freya says, 'Hello from NOLA, baby!' (Laissez bon temps rouler!)
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Re: A little electrical help, plz...
Posted by: mrlynn
Date: June 14, 2014 05:46PM
What exactly is the point of these gizmos? Too difficult to get up and turn a switch on or off?

/Mr Lynn



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Saturdays 9am - 11am Eastern
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Streaming at [www.WHRB.org]
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Topical weblog: [walkingcreekworld.wordpress.com]

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Re: RAMd®d . . .
Posted by: bruceko
Date: June 14, 2014 06:21PM
Quote
RAMd®d
Thanks, WHiiP, but that's not my situation.

T

Newer X-10 controllers don't work with all the modules. If I move the controller to different AC outlets, different modules work, and others don't. This wasn't always the case.

Did you ever put in a phase bridge for your home?
There are two phases of 120v in your home. X10 could not communicate from one phase to the other without a bridge.
Newer Insteon can because it has both wire line and radio communication to create the network
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Re: A little electrical help, plz...
Posted by: PeterB
Date: June 14, 2014 06:34PM
Quote
mrlynn
What exactly is the point of these gizmos? Too difficult to get up and turn a switch on or off?

/Mr Lynn

Yup, especially when you have to repeatedly do it over the course of a day... say 15-20 times.




Freya says, 'Hello from NOLA, baby!' (Laissez bon temps rouler!)
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Re: A little electrical help, plz...
Posted by: RAMd®d
Date: June 14, 2014 06:40PM
What exactly is the point of these gizmos?

Is it the difficult to conceive of common scenarios were it's a time saver, step saver, or extremely helpful to someone with impaired mobility? Or in some emergency?


Too difficult to get up and turn a switch on or off?

I'm sure you didn't mean to sound like the dk one might imagine on first reading that statement.

But if I'm wrong, I apologize.






I am that Masked Man.

All you can do, is all you can do.

There’s trouble — it's time to play the sound of my people.

Your boos mean nothing to me, I've seen what you cheer for.

Insisting on your rights without acknowledging your responsibilities isn’t freedom, it’s adolescence.

I've been to the edge of the map, and there be monsters.

We are a government of laws, not men.

Everybody counts or nobody counts.

When a good man is hurt,
all who would be called good
must suffer with him.

You and I have memories longer than the road that stretches out ahead.

There is no safety for honest men except
by believing all possible evil of evil men.

We don’t do focus groups. They just ensure that you don’t offend anyone, and produce bland inoffensive products. —Sir Jonathan Ive

An armed society is a polite society.
And hope is a lousy defense.

You make me pull, I'll put you down.

I *love* SIGs. It's Glocks I hate.
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: A little electrical help, plz...
Posted by: RAMd®d
Date: June 14, 2014 06:45PM
Did you ever put in a phase bridge for your home?

No, but that's good to know.

I was reading up on the Insteon. I knew about the RF part, but I didn't know it did X-10 as well. At the site I saw "X-10 compatible" and "dual channel" but I didn't realize what that meant.

That explains the pricing.

A couple of other cool aspects are the unique ID of each device, and especially the mesh network.






I am that Masked Man.

All you can do, is all you can do.

There’s trouble — it's time to play the sound of my people.

Your boos mean nothing to me, I've seen what you cheer for.

Insisting on your rights without acknowledging your responsibilities isn’t freedom, it’s adolescence.

I've been to the edge of the map, and there be monsters.

We are a government of laws, not men.

Everybody counts or nobody counts.

When a good man is hurt,
all who would be called good
must suffer with him.

You and I have memories longer than the road that stretches out ahead.

There is no safety for honest men except
by believing all possible evil of evil men.

We don’t do focus groups. They just ensure that you don’t offend anyone, and produce bland inoffensive products. —Sir Jonathan Ive

An armed society is a polite society.
And hope is a lousy defense.

You make me pull, I'll put you down.

I *love* SIGs. It's Glocks I hate.
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: RAMd®d . . .
Posted by: mrlynn
Date: June 14, 2014 06:57PM
@ RAMd®d: I'm sure that these remotes would be helpful for people who are impaired; that was assumed. The question was for the able-bodied, who probably could use the exercise.

My problem is with kids and grandkids who can never seem to turn a light off when they leave a room. How about sensors that turn lights on when you enter a room, and turn them off when you leave?

/Mr Lynn
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Re: RAMd®d . . .
Posted by: PeterB
Date: June 14, 2014 07:09PM
I like the fact that these things could be motion-detecting. That's an added bonus... to potentially save electricity and money in a situation where a room is unoccupied much of the time.




Freya says, 'Hello from NOLA, baby!' (Laissez bon temps rouler!)
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Re: A little electrical help, plz...
Posted by: billb
Date: June 14, 2014 08:52PM
Quote
mrlynn
What exactly is the point of these gizmos? Too difficult to get up and turn a switch on or off?

/Mr Lynn


When your garage is 100 feet from the house it's nice to turn a light on with a remote. Esp spots not on a motion detector that you don't normally leave on.

It can be nice to turn a light off on the other end of the house that isn't wired for a convenient 3 way switch.



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The doorstep to the temple of wisdom is the knowledge of one's own ignorance. -Benjamin Franklin
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Re: RAMd®d . . .
Posted by: RAMd®d
Date: June 15, 2014 05:37AM
I like the fact that these things could be motion-detecting.

There is a slight downside to motion-detection in consumer grade sensors- they can shut off at inconvenient times if you're not sufficiently in motion.

If you're up and moving around, it's likely no problem. If you happen to sit down for a few minutes, it may be lights out.

Some, not all, sensors have a time adjustment, though. Like setting a thermostat, you have to find your particular sweet spot.

So to speak.






I am that Masked Man.

All you can do, is all you can do.

There’s trouble — it's time to play the sound of my people.

Your boos mean nothing to me, I've seen what you cheer for.

Insisting on your rights without acknowledging your responsibilities isn’t freedom, it’s adolescence.

I've been to the edge of the map, and there be monsters.

We are a government of laws, not men.

Everybody counts or nobody counts.

When a good man is hurt,
all who would be called good
must suffer with him.

You and I have memories longer than the road that stretches out ahead.

There is no safety for honest men except
by believing all possible evil of evil men.

We don’t do focus groups. They just ensure that you don’t offend anyone, and produce bland inoffensive products. —Sir Jonathan Ive

An armed society is a polite society.
And hope is a lousy defense.

You make me pull, I'll put you down.

I *love* SIGs. It's Glocks I hate.
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: A little electrical help, plz...
Posted by: RAMd®d
Date: June 15, 2014 11:54PM
The question was for the able-bodied, who probably could use the exercise.

Geeze.

There's always some self-righteous, judgmental pin-head who thinks that tech they don't approve of will somehow make people fat and lazy, by implying that if you are able-bodied, you have no business or right to take advantage of "gizmos" that elude their imagination.

Me thinks thou doth project too much.

Today, that pin-head is you.

I don't expect that to change anytime soon.






I am that Masked Man.

All you can do, is all you can do.

There’s trouble — it's time to play the sound of my people.

Your boos mean nothing to me, I've seen what you cheer for.

Insisting on your rights without acknowledging your responsibilities isn’t freedom, it’s adolescence.

I've been to the edge of the map, and there be monsters.

We are a government of laws, not men.

Everybody counts or nobody counts.

When a good man is hurt,
all who would be called good
must suffer with him.

You and I have memories longer than the road that stretches out ahead.

There is no safety for honest men except
by believing all possible evil of evil men.

We don’t do focus groups. They just ensure that you don’t offend anyone, and produce bland inoffensive products. —Sir Jonathan Ive

An armed society is a polite society.
And hope is a lousy defense.

You make me pull, I'll put you down.

I *love* SIGs. It's Glocks I hate.
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: A little electrical help, plz...
Posted by: mrlynn
Date: June 16, 2014 05:34AM
Quote
RAMd®d
The question was for the able-bodied, who probably could use the exercise.

Geeze.

There's always some self-righteous, judgmental pin-head who thinks that tech they don't approve of will somehow make people fat and lazy, by implying that if you are able-bodied, you have no business or right to take advantage of "gizmos" that elude their imagination.

Me thinks thou doth project too much.

Today, that pin-head is you.

I don't expect that to change anytime soon.

Pot, meet kettle. An innocent question stimulates your ad-hominem name-calling instinct.

/Mr Lynn
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Re: A little electrical help, plz...
Posted by: RAMd®d
Date: June 16, 2014 03:58PM
An innocent question

Nothing innocent about that, at all.

Typical judgmental snark, substantiated by pointing to some imagined "able-bodied, who probably could use the exercise."

I don't play cards and it's been year's since I've done any gardening.

But I still call a spade a spade.






I am that Masked Man.

All you can do, is all you can do.

There’s trouble — it's time to play the sound of my people.

Your boos mean nothing to me, I've seen what you cheer for.

Insisting on your rights without acknowledging your responsibilities isn’t freedom, it’s adolescence.

I've been to the edge of the map, and there be monsters.

We are a government of laws, not men.

Everybody counts or nobody counts.

When a good man is hurt,
all who would be called good
must suffer with him.

You and I have memories longer than the road that stretches out ahead.

There is no safety for honest men except
by believing all possible evil of evil men.

We don’t do focus groups. They just ensure that you don’t offend anyone, and produce bland inoffensive products. —Sir Jonathan Ive

An armed society is a polite society.
And hope is a lousy defense.

You make me pull, I'll put you down.

I *love* SIGs. It's Glocks I hate.
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Re: A little electrical help, plz...
Posted by: mrlynn
Date: June 16, 2014 04:56PM
Quote
RAMd®d
I don't play cards and it's been year's since I've done any gardening.

But I still call a spade a spade.

No, you're calling a heart a spade, by over-reacting to a gentle tease.

Turn on the switch and lighten up. moody smiley

/Mr Lynn
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