The granddaddy of all home automation protocols, X10 was designed in the late 1970s. X10 uses power line signals to transmit home automation messages similar to how UPB works. The differences between X10 and UPB are in the reliability. X10 is known to not have commands go through and to have random lights turn on. Not good if the “All On” command randomly goes on in the middle of the night.
For those starting out with home automation, it is advised to try one of the other protocols instead of X10. The unreliability factor is just too frustrating for any newcomer.
A maximum of 60 bits/sec data rate is available to X10 messages with a maximum of one command per second. X10 commands are not verified which contributes to the unreliability factor.
- Lots of X10 products on the market
- Cheap prices
- Not recommended due to unreliability factor
- Don’t have convenience of wireless systems
- May need filter so X10 commands do not transmit on power lines outside of house.
- Slow – one command per second
- Bandwidth limited to 60 bits per second
- Maximum 256 devices for a home