Submission by Stuart Grimshaw – One of the most basic elements of any system that uses X10 as part of it’s control solution is the LM12, or lamp module. The fact that it’s a cheap and often comes as part of a starter pack means that, along with the AM12, it’s a common peice of kit in any HA beginners arsenal.
So far it sounds like a great peice of kit, but they do have their shortcomings, for example, like most European X10 modules, they don’t have status request, so you have no way of enquiring what state the unit is in. There are ways around this by using software to keep track of the status of the units by monitoring or controlling the events sent to the modules. Misterhouse & Homeseer are a couple of examples of software which will do this for you, and the premier hardware for doing this has to be Homevision.
Another downside to these units is you must turn the unit on to 100% before you can dim it to another level, and it wont remember what level you switched it off at. You might think that dimming the unit down to 0% would be a great way of dimming the unit up to a level, but even at 0% dim the unit uses about 25% of the power it does at 100% dim.