Using X10 devices is the most appropriate solution for budget home automation. They can be installed and configured by homeowner without any problems and after that they can be controlled via PC or remote (sure, you still can switch on/off light manually). But X10 devices suffer from disadvantage as well. For example, the 2-ways devices (they can receive commands and send events) are too expensive. You can choose 1-way X10 but when you change their status manually your automation system won’t know about it.
Another a considerable disadvantage of X10 is a possibility to control your devices from outside your home. X10 signals travel through your electical lines and can pass from one house to another if you do not have the signals filtered by adding additional hardware.
The new generation of X10 devices have built-in noise filter and more pleasing aesthetic design. Also, they have higher power handling and remember last brightness level. So, let’s see how the second generation of X10 will work on practice.