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2.2. Light Switch

The software you write in this project will turn lights on and off based partially on information provided by motion detectors and the current time of day. To enable your computer to control the lights, you must first install X10-capable light switches on all relevant lights (in this case, the porch light, the floodlights, and the entry light). You must then install one or more motion detectors. These will send a wireless X10 signal that will be forwarded to your computer when someone approaches, allowing your computer to make an intelligent decision about turning lights on. Finally, you must connect your computer to your X10 network using an X10 computer interface.

I should mention at this point that X10 isn't terribly reliable, and if you implement it extensively, it can get quite expensive. I would love to provide an alternative to using it, but I couldn't find another affordable way to enable a computer to control lights all around the house that didn't require running wires through the walls. With that said, the first step in implementing X10 control over your lighting for this project is to replace the existing switches for the porch light, floodlights, and interior light that will be computer-controlled. Each light will be independently controlled, and will therefore require a unique X10 address. For this project, we'll use the addresses in Table 2-1. Naturally, you may use different addresses, but you will need to adjust the addresses in the X10 script provided in Exhibit B.


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