Decades Old Technology
Unlike newer smart home standards, such as Z-Wave and Zigbee, that use wireless technology to send and receive signals, X10-based products use power lines for signaling and control purposes. Pico Electronics of Glenrothes, Scotland developed the technology first, and then later commercialized it with the help of an electronics manufacturer named BSR. When BSR went out of business in the late 1980s, a new company called X10 USA Inc. was established to continue development of the technology.
Device Modules and Appliance Modules
X10-based products are typically sold in the form of relatively inexpensive modules that can be used to control specific systems around the home. Some modules can be used to remotely control home appliances, such as fans and washing machines. Other modules can be used to control devices like light switches and fluorescent lamps.
X10 home automation products give consumers a way to convert their homes to energy efficient smart homes. However, like any other technology, there are both pros and cons associated with using X10-based systems as well.
Advantages of X10-enabled products
On the positive side, X10 offers the following benefits:
- The technology has been around for close to four decades and is, therefore, fully vetted and mature.
- Products based on the standard are also generally more reliable than products based on wireless technologies, such as Z-Wave.
- X10-based products continue to be relatively inexpensive to purchase and to deploy.
At the same time, there are some disadvantages with using X10-enabled products, including the following:
- X10-based systems are ideal for embedding automation capabilities in a home that is being newly built. However, retrofitting an existing home with the technology can be challenging. Homeowners often need to rip out and replace their existing home wiring system in order to accommodate the technology.
- Products based on wireless home automation technologies, such as Z-Wave, are plug-and-play and designed for do-it-yourself installation. X10-enabled systems, on the other hand, usually require professional installation services.
- Products based on newer protocols,, such as Z-Wave and Zigbee, are IP-enabled and, therefore, can be controlled over the Internet or by using mobile phones. Not all X10 home automation products can be managed or controlled in the same manner, and, certainly, not as easily as the other technologies.
Home Security News
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