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Re: Energy use in "off mode" with X10 modules and LED light bulbs

Here's an easy fix for LED lamp glow (and perhaps flicker) with X10 modules=
 (AM466 appliance modules in particular).    Recently I replaced several ou=
tdoor halogen floodlights with LED units and was was surprised to see that =
they remained ON (faintly but definitely) even when switched off.  I had as=
sumed that the appliance modules, which click audibly when switched on or o=
ff and which have no dimming function, were simple relays  . . . but it tur=
ns out that, like the dimmable lamp modules, they emit a small current.  Th=
is doesn't make incandescent or halogen bulbs glow, but it does so with the=
 efficient LED's.

X10 websites show many schemes for modifying the AM466 to defeat this; it r=
elates to "local control" current, and it involves clipping resistor(s) and=
/or diodes.   Unfortunately, there are many different makes and models of t=
he unit with different circuit board layouts, and the online plans don't di=
stinguish among them. =20

Fortunately, along the way, I saw mention of hooking a small load such as a=
 night light in parallel with an LED lamp to draw away current and eliminat=
e the glow.  This would of course just replace one glow with another, albei=
t the night lights could be tucked away in the cabinet with my X10 modules.=
  Then I saw mention of using a small AC adapter, e.g. a phone charger,  ty=
pically 1W or less, as the load.  One simply plugs a splitter/adapter into =
the X10 module and then plugs in the LED lamp and the dummy load in paralle=

I have a whole collection of AC power supplies in different sizes; I tried =
a couple of the 5V units, which are most plentiful, and mirabile dictu no m=
ore glow!  I ordered several inexpensive USB phone chargers, and alas these=
 didn't solve the problem; they replaced the steady glow with an intermitte=
nt glow, flickering about 1/sec.  Perhaps these use solid state switching r=
ather than good, old fashioned transformers . . .   In any event, I've gone=
 back to the older power supplies, and these work very nicely.  It's a simp=
le plug-and-play solution.

I wonder what principles are involved here, and what dummy load (resistive,=
 inductive, etc.) would be ideal (lowest power, lowest cost)?   Would a sim=
ilar approach work for dimmer modules?  I have some dimmer circuits with mu=
ltiple lamps which will accept LED's as long as one halogen bulb (resistive=
 load) remains.   In a dimmer circuit with a single lamp, I wonder what loa=
d might be plugged into a socket adapter, in parallel with the lamp?

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