Types of Switches Used in Homes

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Best Switches for Home

Over time, light switches have begun to be a distinct element in the interior decoration of any modern contemporary house

While serving their primary purposes of controlling light, their shapes, working principles, designs, and fittings may be seen as either homely or unfriendly for users in the home.

Dating back to 1917 when William J. Newton made the first light switch, there have been steady modifications to his innovation to meet the present-day taste of technological exquisiteness. 

Listed below are the most common types of light switches used in modern homes.

Toggle Switch

The toggle switch (dolly), invented by William J. Newton, is the basic form of light switches. It consists of a lever, which can be pulled up or down to break or continue electricity flow. This type of switch can be found in most homes and is usually brown or black and circular. 

It is relatively cheaper to purchase, easier to install, and harder to get damaged. It’s a good option for the parts of the home that require heavy usage.

However, the toggle switch now comes in more sleek and appealing designs. They are made to meet the taste and specifications of homeowners who wish to use the toggle switch but in a more stylish way.

Motion Sensor Light Switch

This type of switch is a product of technological advancement in the field of electrical and electronics engineering. As the name implies, it’s an automated system that lets the motion of humans in a room determine its operation. 

When the sensors embedded in the switch detect an oncoming person, it quickly turns on the bulb. And after some time (depending on the type), it switches off the bulb.

The importance of the motion light switch cannot be undermined in the present-day drive for electricity conservation. It saves energy by only putting on the light when there is a human need for it. It can serve as a dimmer when used in places such as the bedroom; it senses when a person is still (asleep) and dims the bulb, then brightens it again when the person moves. This switch suites homeowners with high technology taste who love to have their homes a bit automated.

The motion sensor light switch comes in two types:

Active Sensor:

This type emits sound waves into an enclosed space and checks if the movement of a person will alter the speed of the sound waves when it returns.

Passive Sensor:

It uses pyroelectric sensors to detect a sudden change in temperature arising from the presence of a human and thereafter sends signals for operation.

Dimmer Light Switch

Here’s a light switch that enables users at home to determine the intensity of the light whenever they put it on. The switch can be operated using buttons, a lever, or a swipe sensor attached to the switch or by using a remote control. 

It is suitable for the dining room and bedroom where the intensity of light needs to be adjusted on certain occasions.

However, a dimmer light switch should be used with only bulbs that are made to have dimmable features. Using this type of switch with unsuitable bulbs may cause overheating and may result in a fire outbreak.

The light switch is economical; it saves energy and is a good option for the home.

Selector Light Switch

This type of switch is similar to the control panel of ceiling fans. It consists of a rotary knob that allows a user to select among a given range of options the switch offers.

The selector light switch is capable of putting on and off different bulbs (usually of different colors) attached to the switch. It is suitable for the bedroom, bar, gymnastic room, and any other place where the mood of the atmosphere needs to be determined by different colors of light. 

The children’s room will need this kind of light switch more, as different colors of light tend to interest them. Having this type of light switch in the home brings a special spice as far as lighting is concerned.

Photoelectric Light Switch

It uses photoelectric sensors to determine the intensity of light in an environment. This will in turn trigger either the “on” or “off” mode of the bulb. It’s commonly used outdoors to light up the surroundings whenever the day goes dark. It eliminates the need for human control and is the best fit for security purposes. Streetlights mostly use this switch.

Sound Activated Light Switch

This type of light switch is capable of detecting sound and acting on such impulse to put on or off the light bulb. Sound from clapping of hands is enough to control this switch.

One beautiful thing about it is the ability of a user to control the light from any part of the room by simply clapping. But it can get annoying and tiring when you have to clap anytime you need the light to come on. 

Also, it can become a nuisance when you clap unknowingly or when the children get fascinated by it and use it as an object of play.

Smart Light Switch

This is a name used to encompass light switches that can be connected to your computer, or special control devices and software programs. These switches allow you to turn on and off the light, set timers for the light to come on and go off, select colors of light, and vary the intensity of the light. 

They only allow authorized people to have access to their control. They give homeowners more control over their homes and, hence, reduce the chances of intruders invading the home.

With the rapid advancement in technology, this type of light switch is gradually becoming the choice of most people.

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