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Apr 16, 2012

X10 Review

X10 Home Automation
The X10 protocol is a communication standard that is used commonly in many home automation products. It was developed in 1975 and, basically, defines a way for home lighting, heating and security systems to be controlled remotely from a central location. Products based on the technology are used to automate tasks that are usually performed manually. For example, with X10 home automation technology, a homeowner can specify how and when lights should be switched on or off, or set specific thermostat settings for different times of the day or ensure that the sprinkler system turns on at a particular time every second day.

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.

Potential Disadvantages

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.

Installing a Home Security System?

Did you know that installing a security system is not only a great way to help minimize risk of a break-in or burglary, but it may also lower your home insurance payments? Insurance companies recognize that homes are indeed more secure when they have a home security system installed by one of the top alarm companies. offers quotes from only the best, most well known business and home security companies. By working with leading providers like FrontPoint, Vivint, GE, Protect America, and, of course, Protect Your Home - ADT Authorized Premier Provider, we can assure you that we are providing quotes from the highest rated security companies in the business.

Not to mention, these six companies use state-of-the-art technology to keep up with the changing market. Features like wireless alarms and touch screen control panels are what consumers want, and these companies offer them along with expert technicians and a skilled customer support staff.

Protect America has been given a five star rating for four years in a row by With their line of affordable home security packages starting at about $30 and free installation, Protect America is offering home security at a price most Americans can afford.

Vivint is one of the most modern, high-tech home security companies. With services that integrate your security system with energy management and home automation, Vivint makes a compelling, "green" option for people that want a top home security company.

Protect Your Home - ADT Authorized Premier Provider - ADT is certainly the largest and most well known security provider.

Protection 1 trails only ADT in the number of customers it has in the US. And, with 60 branch offices, Protection 1 also has locations in nearly every US state, making them a home and business security company that you can even contact in person if need be.

FrontPoint Security touts that their wireless security systems are "virtually undefeatable." The company also notes that it has no hidden fees, all the while providing modern, high-tech home security features like a security app for your smart phone.

Security Networks boasts an A+ Better Business Bureau rating is just one indication of the great customer service they offer. Making use of services like WeatherNet for alerts on dangerous weather, and IDnet for identity protection, Security Networks truly strives to make all aspects of your life more secure, not just your home.