X10-2 Micro Appliance Modules – Review



Submission by Marcus Warrington – A few weeks ago, on the UKHA email list , we were discussing the X10^2  Micromodules that are available from Kevin Lo in Hong Kong (via eBay). There was some discussion over their ability to be used with latched and momentary switches, with the outcome being that they did work with momentary switches.

Given this information, I ordered a couple of the “dual appliance modules” which for £24.99 each seemed like a absolute bargain (that’s £12.49 per appliance device!). The intention was to use one to replace a couple of AD10 modules that control our dining room lights, as I’m sick of the loud “Clunk” that they make every time we switch the lights on or off. The other was to be used to try and have the cooker hood lights linked to the main kitchen lighting.

The modules were ordered via Kevin’s shop on eBay, and arrived 2 days later .. wow, 2days from Hong Kong to the UK that’s quicker than some of own our domestic post! They attracted no import duty or VAT so the final cost was just the £24.99 per unit plus £6.99 postage.

The module has two grub screw style connections along the top for Live and Neutral feeds, together with a further two screws for connecting switched live to Appliance1 and Appliance2. There are also three short wires, Red, Blue and Black that emerge from the rear of the module casing. By shorting Red to Black or Blue to Black  Appliance 1 and 2 can be switched.  These wires are about 5 inches long and LOW VOLTAGE only, being powered internally by the module. They should NOT be connected to the mains Live (or Neutral) like a standard LD11 or AD10, which uses high voltage to detect the switch state.

This probably wouldn’t make a lot of difference if you were mounting them in the backbox behind the switch (as is their intended location), since the switch would simply be detached from the normal high voltage wires and then the low voltage wires from the module would be connected directly to the switch. This does however mean that you need a Live and Neutral feed to power the appliance module and a further two return wires to feed the appliances i.e. 2 length of Twin&Earth cable. This would be unusual in most UK houses as the builder would probably have just used a 3 core cable instead (two switched live wires and a common live feed).In my case this was a bigger problem because I wanted to house the module in a remote consumer box ,where the AD10 currently was. I had previously pulled  a single length of Twin & Earth cable, for each AD10, from the ceiling rose to the consumer unit. This  diverted the “switching live” to the AD10  along the black wire and then returned the actual “live” on the red wire.
This meant that I only had one wire for the switch and the module required two. Since the modules switching circuit is all Low Voltage I decided to disconnect the earth wire from the house earth loop and use this as the second wire… not ideal but at least it made the project possible. Note that both the ceiling rose and the AD10 are still connected to the house earth loop, it is just the earth wire in the extra T&E that was re appropriated.Having wired everything up I hit another problem which I will discuss later. During investigation of this problem however, I changed the momentary light switch to a normal latching style. Using the normal latching style switch the micromodule worked perfectly. The module was virtually silent in operation, gone was the loud clunk of the AD10, replaced with a barely audible click… and once the consumer unit door was shut I couldn’t even hear that!The modules do not have any House/Unit selection dials like the LD11’s or AD10’s instead they need to have their House/Unit code set electronically. This involves pressing a small setup button on the unit and then sending the required House Code and Unit Code as X10 commands with an X10 transmitter. You can also send an “All Lights ON” or “OFF” command to set the module up to respond to or ignore “All Lights On” commands.

Now, onto the problem I mentioned earlier. The switch would work fine when connected to a normal latching style switch but not when connected to a momentary style switch. After much head scratching and cursing I emailed Kevin Lo, who contacted his R&D department. After couple of days Kevin got back to me with the bad news… the dual appliance modules do NOT work with momentary switches. This is despite the manual saying that they do.

The single appliance modules DO work with momentary switches.. but only with “Normally Closed” style switches and a bit of reconfiguration of the wiring.

  1. Install the One Load Appliance Micro Module at Ceiling ( or near the Lamp )
  2. Connect Hole 1 to Lamp – Connect Hole ‘N’ connect the Neutral Wire – Connect Hole ‘L’ connect the Wire from Wall Switch
  3. Install the Normal Close Momentary Wall Switch at the back box – Connect one hole to the Live Wire – Connect the other hole to the wire going to the Micro Module (That means use the Momentary Wall Switch to control the power supply to Micro Module)
  4. Press the setup button to put the Micro Module in “Setup” mode
  5. Send X10 “Bright” Command – this puts the module into momentary switch mode

So if the Micro Module is ON and you now press the Momentary Wall Switch , it cut the power momentarily to the Micro Module and it will turn OFF. If the micro module is OFF and you press the Momentary Wall Switch again the micro module will turn ON

Throughout all this investigation Kevin’s customer support has been absolutely fantastic and having now established how these modules work and that they are not suitable for my application he has issued a full  refund (including all postage costs).

If, given the above info, the modules ARE suitable for you then I have absolutely no problem fully recommending Kevin as a supplier.


  • Tiny size
  • Barely audible relay.
  • Two appliances modules in one unit
  • Excellent signal to noise ratio
  • Cheap!
  • Excellent customer service
  • Low voltage switching wires*


  • No manual setup, have to program electronically requiring a transmitter
  • Low voltage switching wires*
  • No momentary switches, only latching style (on dual modules)
  • Requires a neutral connection
* Low Voltage *may* be an advantage or disadvantage depending upon your particular scenario www.x10.hk

Be the first to comment on "X10-2 Micro Appliance Modules – Review"

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.