X10 equipment in Europe

Introduction and Overview

X10 is not about those spy-on-your-neighbour's-daughter video cameras that keep annoying us in popup ads on the net. X10 is a standard for sending control signals over the power line. Invented in the 1970s, it's now widely used in the USA. There, a huge selection of X10-enabled devices is available for automating lights, lawn sprinklers, and all sorts of other devices. You can use wall-mounted switches, infrared or radio remote devices, or microcontrollers and PCs as input devices.

X10 is much less sophisticated than the EIB (a.k.a Instabus) system used in modern European installations. However, EIB equipment is about five times as expensive as X10 stuff, so EIB is really not suitable for the average hobbyist. If you're planning and building your own house, you should go for EIB, because with proper planning you can reduce the bill. But for automating existing installations, X10 is quite competetive.

If you're new to X10, you'd best take a look at the following basic devices:

There's a vey small number of X10 devices adapted to the European power net (230-240V, 50 Hz instead of 110V, 60 Hz). These are significantly more expensive than their US counterparts, but still not as expensive as the EIB devices. You can get them at Intellihome in Belgium or at Laser Business Systems (which I prefer) in the UK.


To save money, you can try to convert American X10 modules for use in Europe. Depending on the module you're trying to convert, this may be easier than you think; the redoak web site has a lot of resources.

Here's my (hopefully growing) contribution to this idea:

  Frederik Ramm, 2002-11-01