Leviton X10 Switch Review


I first looked at these as being a very expensive option to an LW10 or AW10 UK wall switch and, let’s face it, the UK X10 gear is not the prettiest, however that was an incorrect assumption they offer far more flexibility.

The initial impression of the units is definitely is that it is of a higher quality than that of the UK counterparts. The unit comes in a kind of kit, with a US sized hollow wall back box, trim etc and the actual X10 TX/RX base unit. In addition to this there is also the switch of your choice which simply clips onto the front of the base unit once it is installed into place. You do generally order all the individual pieces to form the kit.

These units will not fit into a standard UK sized switch and they are not a two minute replacement. Because they are RX/TX they also need to have a live and neutral to the switch, do not attempt to install these switches if you are uncomfortable or unable to work with mains electricity.

For a start you have the option of how many switches that you can have on the base unit and you can configure it to a housecode and a device number, this determines the start code of the switch/es mounted on the base unit. This follows the usual format of the first house/device code sets the first (top) switch and the rest, if any, follow after that. The keypads simply click into place and are a two minute job to change once the base unit is installed. Each switch on the keypad has an LED to show the status of the device, a simple on or off, there is no facility to show the brightness level nor is there an LED on the dim/bright button should you opt for that configuration.

After installation and setting the start code these things simply work and work like a charm! I have been using them now for nearly a year and after I installed the initial one I almost immediately went out and bought a further two, finances allowing I plan to add another two or three in time at least. Not once has a command failed to be sent or received by these units to my knowledge and that is impressive for X10. The units use Leviton’s Intellisense system which is supposed to filter out spurious X10 signals and also to stop some of the annoying X10 glitches, like a signal that fails to send or be received, quite simply, it appears to work very well indeed!

When an on command is received either locally on the keypad or from a remote location the LED lights to show that they module is on which is nice. The one problem here is that if a “dim” or “set device to XX level” is sent to the module/housecode without the “On” command then that the switch the LED on the keypad does not light, it will only respond to on or off commands. A very minor niggle I know, but some people may not like it.

Now the clever bit, if you have an intelligent control system like Homevision then you can receive commands from one of these switches and carry out macros or operate and X10 device anywhere, or indeed send an X10 signal to the switch so that it displays the correct status.

Now the sore bit, the price!  The whole unit does cost about £85 and that’s certainly not cheap for a single switch point! But, remember that this one switch can do the job of up to four LW10’s or AD10’s (or any combination of them!) and that’s it huge advantage, as well as the four UK switches costing more than that. Whether this outweighs the disadvantages is really a personal choice.

Having said that, the actual base unit can be installed and the keypads changed to suit the task at hand and there are quite a few different combinations to choose from, so they can be very easily changed at a later date after installation to suit your needs at the time.

So is it worth it? Yes, if you want a nice neat reliable solution that is far more flexible than the UK equivalent. No, if you cannot justify the expense, however do bear in mind that the unit can control up to four X10 addresses, or afford or to knock great out of your walls to accommodate the US-sized back box.

More details can be found at Laser and Lets Automate

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