Incandescent Lights Only

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Why can’t I use the X10 WS467 or WS12A Wall Switch Modules to control a fluorescent light?


The main reason why the X10 Wall Switch Module cannot be used to control a fluorescent fixture is because it is a two-wire device and is hence wired in series with the load. The switch itself needs to stay powered up. Because it does not have a neutral connected to it, it gets a small neutral feed through the bulb even when it is off.

The control signals, which are transmitted onto your house wiring, have to pass through the incandescent lamp (the load). A fluorescent light contains a ballast which acts as a block to the X10 signals and makes it impossible to control the switch remotely. Therefore, a compact fluorescent light does not permit a clean neutral connection through it back to the switch. Also, this ballast is an inductive load. Controlling such a load could permanently damage the Wall Switch Module. This is why the WS467 should NEVER be used to control any kind of appliance, like a ceiling fan. A Wall Switch Module for controlling fluorescent fixtures, the WS13A, is available from

You can use halogen bulbs with all of our X10 wall switches. Halogens that are 120V screw-in (using a standard base thread like the one shown below) do not use a ballast transformer. They are directly resistive like a standard tungsten bulb, but use a different metal for the filament and gas. If your halogen lights do not screw into a regular socket, please contact an electrician or the manufacturer to find out if the lamp or fixture has a transformer in it.

X10 also has a version for controlling ceiling fans and dimming inductive loads, the XPDI3. Note however, that the XPDI3 and WS13A are commercial grade switches that require a neutral connection. There often is no neutral wire available at the location of the switch you are replacing. Therefore, we recommend that these switches should only be installed by a qualified electrician.