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Glossary of Home Automation


Infrared Connecting Block
Infrared Emitter
Infrared Receiver
Microphones and Mixers
Power Supply
Voice Recognition Software
X-10 Controllers
X-10 Computer Control
X-10 Coupler/Repeater
X-10 Filter
X-10 Phase Coupler
X-10 Receivers

Compose PLC Firewall
Room Master Keypad
House Master Keypad
Individual Dimmer
Preset Dimmer

Infrared Repeater

  An integral part of any Home Automation System. Simply stated "Heating, Ventilation, & Air Conditioning". These devices include Thermostats with X-10, RS-485, or RS-232 interfaces that allow remote control using X-10 transmitters, Receivers, or Computer Control. A great way to save energy, these thermostats can be controlled from within your home or on the road. Also included are motorized dampers to control air flow, and remote temperature sensors to monitor remote (outdoor) temperature. Combined with X-10 Computer Control, these devices can be "set back" for energy savings any time you leave your home for any length of time.  Back to Top

  Light that is below the spectrum of Human Vision, therefore "invisible". Most modern televisions and Audio Video Appliances (A/V) utilize infrared remote controls to transmit infrared light to a receiver hidden behind the face of the appliance to control, Audio, channel selection, etc. Back to Top

  A connecting block that can be wall mounted or mounted behind a piece of furniture, and allows for the connection of four or eight infrared emitters via small plug-in jacks. Most connecting blocks also have a plug for an infrared receiver. Signals received by this receiver will in turn be transmitted locally by the emitters, or repeated to other Infrared connecting blocks which can be "chained" or wired together from room to room to "repeat" the infrared signals. Some models of Connecting Blocks are amplified and will allow the connection of many emitters, others are not and typically only handle four emitters. Interfacing to Home Automation is simple; you can turn off all of the televisions in the house when you leave. Discussion Forum Here
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There are several style of infrared emitters, but all perform the same task. They emit infrared light that is sent by a remote controller, whether it be a computer interface, handheld control, or "repeated" from another room.  Emitters are available in a "mini" emitter which actually adheres to the from of the appliance (a micro-thin wire is easily concealed), "Blast" emitters which can transmit the signal across a room.  Back to Top

  Like emitters, infrared receivers can be installed throughout the home to receive infrared signals from a transmitter. This  will allow you to send an infrared signal from one room and repeat it to the stereo in a remote room to control volume for example, or mute the TV. These too are available in a variety of styles; Wall mount to an electrical box, table top, cylindrical for inserting in a small hole in furniture, etc, or integrated into a Volume Control.  Back to Top

  A Group of Commands executed sequentially, such as One Touch control to turn All Lights off.  Back to Top

  Used in conjunction with Voice Recognition Home Automation Software, these devices are of the same quality used by recording and sound engineers to capture human voices. Accurate sound reproduction is a must.  Back to Top

  A plug in device that converts household voltage to a lower voltage for use with electronic components and controllers.
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  A data protocol common to computers communications port (COM Port).  Back to Top

A data protocol used for transmitting data over longer distances more reliably.  Back to Top

  Home Automation Software that can run on a 200 MHz PC or faster to interface to X-10, Infrared, Security Panels, Weather Stations and More to Control your home by voice command. Back to Top

  Code named project X-10 at it's inception over twenty years ago this power line carrier protocol has become the defacto standard for Home Automation lighting and Appliance control. X-10 communicates between transmitters and receivers by sending and receiving signals over the existing power line wiring. These signals involve short RF bursts which represent digital information. X-10 transmissions are synchronized to the zero crossing point of the AC power line. The signals are sent only on the same phase as transmitted on.  Back to Top

These are remote devices or transmitters which allow you to control the variety of receivers installed on your household wiring. There are a wide range of devices available. Some devices simply plug in to electrical outlets. Others are hard wired. Most have push-buttons to generate the X-10 signal, but some function only as timers. Push a button for the corresponding lights turn on or off. Other examples are motion detectors, hand held wireless remotes, Telephone Line Interfaces, etc.  Back to Top

  There are a variety of Hardware and Software products that permit users to input data for each X-10 device, and then control it through the computer's GUI (Graphic User Interface), load the program into a standalone controller, or even control the devices by Voice !! In this fashion, the computer program or standalone controller "runs the house". Schedules, macros and If, Then situations can be handled by the Interface.  Back to Top

This device combines the features of an X-10 Coupler with the ability to amplify X-10 signals and repeat them across both phases of larger homes. Recommended in homes over 2500 square feet. Back to Top

This device can be used to block electrical noise that would normally interfere with X-10 signals, from ceiling fans, dishwashers, Halogen Lights, or Computers to name a few devices.  Back to Top

  This device is really nothing more than a simple capacitor that when wired to your circuit breaker panel allows the X-10 signals to pass between phases of household wiring. Don't underestimate the importance of this device. Every installation should have one installed, or the X-10 signal must pass from the house, out to the Utility Company transformer in order to return back into the home (much weaker) on the other phase. The key to successful installations is proper coupling and filtering.  Back to Top

As the name implies, these devices are used to receive X-10 signals which are transmitted over your existing power lines. Examples are Wall receptacles, Light Switches, Lamp Modules, Appliance Modules, Relay Modules, Chime Modules, and Siren Modules.  Back to Top

  Stands for Power Line Carrier or Professional Lighting Control (Also; Peter Likes Chicken). Lightolier Controls Compose PLC products work like X-10 Devices to communicate between transmitters and receivers by sending and receiving signals over the existing power line wiring. These signals involve short RF bursts which represent digital information. PLC transmissions are synchronized to the zero crossing point of the AC power line. All PLC Systems require the use of a Firewall to ensure proper transmission.  Back to Top

serves four purposes in Home Automation and Lighting Control Systems:

1. It couples the phases of the electrical service into the property.
2. It Amplifies the signal received and redistributes it on each lighting circuit connected to the firewall.
3. It acts as a traffic cop, controlling the timing of Powerline Carrier Signals to avoid collisions.
4. Installing Firewalls for only the lighting circuits keeps electrical noise out of the Professional Lighting Controls because devices such as dishwashers, refrigerators, air handlers, and pool pumps are not connected to the Firewall(s)

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 (CM Series) This device communicates with Compose PLC CP series Dimmers to set beautiful lighting scenes within a room and will accept X10 pre-set dim commands from outside devices to adjust various scenes remotely. Custom engraved back-lit buttons add to the appeal of this product. It will NOT communicate with CI (Individual) Dimmers. Basically these devices control local dimmers and variable speed fan controls. Back to Top

(CP Series)  This Device Communicates with Any Compose PLC CI Series Dimmer and Also will Communicate with CP Series Room Keypads.  This Device might be installed near the headboard in the Master Bedroom, or near a main entry to allow control of all of the lighting within the home, emergency lighting, or supervision of a child's room lights. Like the Room Master Keypad this device can be custom engraved and is backlit for great visibility. Because it provides two way communication with PLC devices, it accurately reflects the status of the lights in a given area.  Back to Top

  This device is designed to work with the Compose PLC Firewall and provides for individual dimming in hallways, bedrooms, closets, bathrooms, garages, etc. where scene control is not required. These devices are also X10 compatible and will work with virtually any home automation controller that supports X10 or Compose PLC.  These devices are "two-way" they transmit and receive X10 and Compose PLC signals. Back to Top

  This device is designed to work with the Compose PLC Firewall and provides for scene control within a room such as family room, kitchen, theater,  or any room where multiple dimmers are to be controlled by one Keypad.  These devices communicate ONLY with CP Series Keypads in Compose PLC Format  and are NOT X10 compatible. Home Automation controllers must communicate to the CP Series Keypad, which in turn communicates with the CP Series Preset Dimmer  Back to Top