Posted by A customer on 19th Aug 2009
I bought three of these to replace three LW10U dimmers which all stopped responding to X10 On signals at the same time (oddly). These units are definitely an improvement:
1. They look much better.
2. They have two independent dimmers (unfortunately I could only use one channel on each).
3. They have electronic address setting rather than fiddly switches.
4. So far they seem to be much more reliable.
However there are some downsides (mostly no worse than LW10U, but 10 years or so on, I hoped they would be much better):
1. They are very difficult to fit - the screws cannot be tightened with the unit in place being behind the switches. You have to set them just right then twist them into keyhole slots. I found I had to glue the units to the wall to get a satisfactory fixing. Also the screws supplied are wrong for UK back-boxes.
2. Unlike the LW10U, they require a good ground connection (through the back-box screws) to work correctly. This is not for safety (there is no exposed metal once the dimmer is fitted) but is required for it to function. Make sure there is a ground connection to your back-box!
3. Like the LW10U, they do not transmit X10 signals when the local switch is operated, they only respond to X10 signals. This means that you cannot use one unit to control another. In a computer controlled setup it means the computer will not know the state of the light if they are switched using the local switch. This problem seriously compromises the usefulness of X10 automation and I really wish someone would sort it out!
4. Like the LW10U, there is still a noticible buzz sound when the lamp is switched on.
The supplied instructions are also very poor - they state the controlled lamp must be less than 40W which is ridiculously low and at odds with the 500W maximum loading for the entire unit. I guess it must be a missprint. The address setting instructions are also not clear - here is a better procedure:
1. Press and release the top of the button being set (this turns the lamp on).
2. Press and release the bottom of the button twice in succession (the lamp turns off on the first release).
3. Press and hold the bottom of the button until the lamp comes on again (about 5 seconds).
4. Release the button.
5. Using an X10 controller or computer, send an X10 OFF signal for the desired address (the lamp should turn off).
6. Press and release the bottom of the button to exit setup mode.
7. Repeat for the second button.
In all, better functionality and design and better value, than the LW10U, but not as much better as it should be given the opportunities of the vast improvements in electronics in the time since the earlier unit was designed.
Posted by John Welford on 3rd Apr 2009
The other reviews really say all you need to know! (very informative - thank you to their authors)
Good value I thought compared to other x10 options. One of these, along with a controller, allowed me to control both my downstairs lights.
Alongside the downsides mentioned elsewhere (not particularly easy to fit, does not broadcast signals from the unit itself, buzzing noise whilsted dimmed) I would add that it's not the classiest light switch I've used. It has a slightly plasticy feel and is unlikely to match switches elsewhere in the house. Although the faint blue light behind the switch may help with finding it in the dark - it fails to illuminate the whole surround evenly, this adds the the slightly cheap feel of the unit.
However it wired in fine and worked straight away. Setting the addresses was fairly straightforward once I followed the instructions correctly.
Posted by eadad on 21st Jun 2008
I bought one of these because I didn't want two LW10's right next to each other in our hallway.
I agree with the other reviewer that they're not as easy as the LW10's to install.
The documentation provided is too vague. However, removing the large buttons themselves (mine just popped off, actually when I dropped the unit by accident!)gives access to be able to tighten the fitting screws. I used the screws from the previous 2-gang switch and they worked fine. One feature I really like compared to the LW10's is the slow start and return to previous dim level when switched on. This should prolong the bulb life.
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