SwitchLinc setting fade rates etc


Active Member
Ok- here is what I want to do-

Bathroom light- during the day, I'd like it to turn on instantly (or with a fast ramp) to full bright. After bedtime, I'd like it to ramp on slower, and not to come to full bright. (keep from burning those tender retinas ;-)

I see that the SwitchLinc switches have "Adjustable Fade Rates" and "Adjustable On Level". This sounds like just what I need. Then it says it can be programmed at the switch or from an X10 transmitter.

I don't want to do it manually at the switch- I want to have it be automatic, from a controller (a CM11A to start).

Is this doable? Am I on the right track?


That's some great thinking, I would love it if my Lightolier switches come on to 50% when turning them on at night, but 100% in daytime. I will have to look up how you program these switches remotely (assuming Lightolier allows me to do this, but will try to find out for your SmartHome switches as well). Great idea!

You need to keep in mind that there isn't a clock in the switches. I think you could probably do it though if you used 2-way communicating switches and one of the better software packages.
Wouldn't all the time information live in the controller? I'm thinking something simple- (assuming that there is an X10 configuration command of some sort)

11:00 PM - Send switch slow ramp setting and low "on" level config commands
7:00 AM - Send switch high ramp and full "on" level config commands

Why would I need 2 way?

On the software end, I have no idea what I'm talking about yet. ;-) I read the Ocelot programming guide, and it seemed like I could do something like this with that hardware, but then I picked up a CM11 starter kit on ebay for cheap, so I'll be starting with that and ActiveHome. I have no idea if it can send arbitrary commands, assuming it doesn't directly support something like this.

I do have a firecracker- I think that can send arbitrary commands. . . maybe I should use that?


If the switches can be configured remotely (still not sure about that), then all you have to do is have the control software send out the commands around sunset/sunrise, and you are good to go. This would be really nice, and very WAF friendly. What model SmartHome switches do you have?
All I have right now are some basic dimmers (no soft start, no on level control) and no controller (should arrive next week). I'm trying to figure out if I can do what I want with a spiffy switch. . . if I can't, I'll just use a cheap one.

I was looking at the PLC, thinking I didn't need 2 way or scene.

Well, here is some more info-


check out pg 7

This implies that the 2380 can do it, right? However, the 2384 manual has no such instructions. What are the chances that it works as the 2380? Aren't they supposed to be the same switch?

Anyone know if ActiveHome can send commands like that?


Looks like the 2380 can do this indeed, nice find! I am trying to load the 2384 manual right now.
Looks like the 2384 will work as well:

Disable Programming
Once the SwitchLinc is set up, it can be programmed to lockout any changes. Any
changes made at the unit or remotely will be ignored. Please note that all SwitchLinc,
LampLinc, and KeypadLinc module that are plugged in or electrically active will receive
these commands and also be locked out.

They included the 'remote' lockout command as well.
I don't have any of these switches myself but by looking at the instructions as linked above, I can tell you that both the Ocelot and the CM11A can send out the commands necessary to change the fade rate remotely. With the Ocelot, you would use the "Transmit Single X10" commands to do this.
Thanks Guy! Good to know the controllers can handle it.

In the RX manual, they have the Plus and the PLC in the same manual- it says (on pg 6)

(Plus models only: See Advanced Primary Address Programming for instructions on remotely setting the ON-level.)

I saw that lockout thing too, but this seems a little more definitive. I think I'm stuck buying at least the Plus. That will certainly limit how many places I put this function!!

Did you find out if you switches could do it? Do they cost less than $50 a pop? ;-)

I just got home, so will be looking for the manual in a few minutes. I really hope this is going to work for me as well, as this is really a great idea! Unfortunately, the Lightolier switches are more than $50 (but they are worth it if you aren't considering upgrading to UPB/Z-wave/ZigBee/Insteon soon).
I had experimented with the SwitchLinc's fade rate, and this was discussed a few weeks back on the HomeSeer board. Here is an excerpt of my experience.
Mark, It can be scripted in HomeSeer, but it's not very practical. It takes a total of twelve X10 commands to change the fade rate each time, and any other X10 traffic on the line during those few seconds will disrupt it. And when it is disrupted, it can mess up the programming in ALL SwitchLincs in your house. But even if you have perfectly behaved X10, if you change the ramp rate right before changing the light, it causes unacceptable (to me) delays in the response of the light. The most annoying thing, however, is that the light blinks every time you change the fade-rate.

I believe it can be done, but I gave up. It wasn't that important to me. Nonetheless, I have the code I tested with. I can dig it up, but probably not until Thursday. If you would like to try it before that, the algorithm is like this:

transmit address "O16"
transmit address "N16"
transmit address "M16"
transmit address "P16"
transmit address "M16"
transmit address of SwitchLinc/LampLinc/ToggleLink you wist to modify
transmit Command "Preset Dim", containing desired ramp rate.
transmit address "O16"
transmit address "P16"
transmit address "N16"
transmit address "M16"
transmit address "O16"
It is done. the modified light now blinks once.

(A Side Note: UPB has a provision to select a different fade rate with each command.)
Hm, that blink behavior doesn't sound like much fun, and the no other traffic thing could certainly be a problem down the road, although it would be ok to start. (it would be the only switchlinc in the house ;-)

I'm not sure who is who in your quote- do you know what is meant by the delay? Is that the next time the switch is operated, or only if it is operated immediately after the code is received?

UPB does look nice, but it is out of my budget at this time.

Martin, if you're still listening, did you have a different approach using the 2-way switches?


mdesmarais said:
I'm not sure who is who in your quote-
The person I was replying to was named Mark, my name is Mark and your name is Mark, so there should be no confusion . . . :blink: (do you mind if we call you Bruce?)

The goal was to have the ramp rate set by HomeSeer prior to the light going on, all dependent on the time of day and the reason for turning on/off the light. So the 12 command sequence, which takes four seconds, would delay the actual on/off by four seconds. This probably won't be a problem for you if you reprogram the ramps only at specific times.

If your switches are two-way, you need to schedule the ramp-re-programming at a point when nobody is going to switch a light on/off. If the sequence is interrupted before the device is selected (message six of the twelve) ALL of your switches might be corrupted (spelled N-O-T-F-U-N). Motion sensors are also a no-no.

The flashing can be interesting. Like lightning wondering through the house . . .