I have been interested in home automation for quite a while and am wanting to experiment with it in the near future.

I live in rented accommodation so the scale of automation would have to be limited to devices that plug into light sockets and wall sockets. I use low energy lighting but I notice that most X10 light controls use dimmers which are incompatible with Low-energy products. Does anyone know of any simple on/off type devices I could use instead?

Also, are light devices limited to normal size screw fitting? I have GU10, Super mini Spiral and Standard bayonett type light fittings in my house, it would be useful to have x10 fittings for all of those although I'm guessing with GU10 this won't be possible (due to the fact that, to my understanding, GU10 lights are powered via a DC converter which would undoubtably remove any signals carried over the AC powerlines).

I'm also looking into X10 to infrared (and vice versa) control or something similar so that I can extend my control of my stereo and possibly enable it to be controlled via my computer.

Finally does anyone know of some free or cheap X10 software. Primarily I'm looking at Windows based software for my sole system (I have XP Home and am still wishing I'd plumped for XP Professional when I built it) but eventually I hope to build a cheap dedicated Home-control PC and use a Linux OS as its basis so any linux software recommendations would also be appreciated.

Hope it's not too cheeky to ask for so much on my first post