Enable Local Dimming on basic x10 switch - cheap!


Active Member
I did not see this in the tutorials, but maybe it can be moved there?

This is a very quick version of the local dimming mod. As these switches are available for $5-6 (including optional slave switch), this a very inexpensive way bring x-10 with local dimming to your entire household, upgrading to better switches as the budget (wife) allow. I'm slowly moving to Switchlinc/Switchlinc II swiches throughout.

This elimated the biggest WAF for me--not being able to dim from the main switch where I installed basic x-10 switches (I have 10 of these around the house).

1. Pry the cover off of the wall switch pressing the four corner tabs.
(by Albert Tejera).

2. Locate the 47uF electrolytic capacitor, take some needle nose pliers and gently squeeze the end of the capacitor. Since an electrolytic is made from a pair of foils separated by a thin dielectric and then rolled together, squeezing the end of the can creates the desired short internally and effortlessly without breaking or pulling out any pins.

(I'll add a photo when I mod my next switch)

3. Reassemble.

4. You now have local dimming by just pressing and holding the light switch.

Can anyone speak on any possible issues that may occur from shorting this capacitor? I have had no problems so far.

Found on http://www.geocities.com/ido_bartana/, based on a description from Hans Attersjo.
I tried that a while back and it worked... for a while. I ended up doing the long form of this mod (bridge solder joints on back of board) as the quick and dirty method failed fairly soon after.


Scroll down on the left to the wall switch modification...
So far, I've done the "quick" mod to 4 switches, all still dim local after about 12 hours. One intially stopped dimming from the switch after 2 hours, so I took it back apart and this time really squeezed the !@# out of it to make sure it stays shorted permanently. How long before the "quick" mod stopped working on your switches? Did you squeeze them completely flat (top half)?
It was a matter of a month or two and I did what you did, but to make it permanent I did the solder trick.
I've already lost dimming on one of my "modified" switches. I may do the solder thing or just bite the bullet and replace with togglelinc, keypadlinc or PCS dimmers.
Yep, the ToggleLincs are nice as you can ramp them up from 0%... like first thing in the morning when you don't want that %100 then down to a wake-able %40.