X10 Screw-in Lamp Module (SL575) – Review


The screw fitting lamp module (PLM02/SL575) is designed to control incandescent loads with a rating between 40W and 300W. It screws into the light fitting, and the light bulb then screws in to it. The unit has the familiar house and unit code selection dials.

Note carefully my use of the verb “screw” in the above paragraph, as that’s exactly what it does. None of your familiar bayonet light fittings here, but rather the more esoteric US-style ES (Edisson Screw) fitting. ES bulbs are fairly easy to come buy – I picked up a load at B&Q. Bizarrely though, ES light fittings are next to impossible to obtain. I tried a wide variety of DIY stores, electrical factors, mail order catalogues etc. and came up blank. Eventually I got a colleague to bring some over from the US, and at roughly the same time a ukha list member managed to source a couple for me, so they are out there, just somewhat hard to find.

As an alternative, BC to ES adaptors are available which will interface between a standard UK light fitting and the PLM02 module. However, these make the contraption about 5cm longer, and seeing as the PLM02 lowers the bulb by 9cm already I decided to go the more torturous route.

Once you’ve got the relevant light fittings up, installing the PLM02 is a breeze. Set the house and unit codes, screw it in, screw in a bulb, and you’re away. I’m using two of these babies to do the familiar hall / landing lighting scenario. The dual switched nature of these circuits makes the LW10U unsuitable, and I’m far too lazy to go down the DIN rail route, so the plan is to use the PLM02s and a couple of RF wall switches.

The spec sheet mentions Local Control claiming that the PLM02 has “circuitry to sense the lamp’s own on/off switch”. Unfortunately, turning the original wall-switch on and off in the prescribed ritual sequence had no effect in my set-up. I can only imagine they are referring to some bizarre US arrangement where the switch is on the bulb-side of the PLM02. Accordingly it may be necessary to get hold of some blanking plates to replace your original wall switches, otherwise things will get mightily confusing when half your household is attempting to use X10 control and the other half persists in using the original switches.

Approximate Price £27.61.  Available From Lets Automate

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