Light Switches

Every room in a house has one or more light switches that control the electrical outlets or lighting fixtures. All pendant lights, wall sconces, chandeliers, and recessed fixtures are usually turned on and off when we flip a light switch that we usually positioned near our doorway or bed. Without mounted light fixtures in our rooms, a light switch usually controls the electrical outlet where we plug our floor lamp. We do not give much thought about switches but knowing how light switches work and what type of different light switches are available is essential so that if we need to replace or repair any light switch, we would have an idea which one suits our needs the best. 

We can increase the efficiency of light bulbs with the use of different switches. Some of the switches that improve the efficiency of light bulbs and ease users are light switch dimmer, light switch timer, light switch wifi, and light switch Bluetooth. Let’s look at what these switches are and how do they benefit us in detail. 


What is Single-Pole On/Off light switch?

A single-pole switch turns the light on and off from only one wall location. That is why these light switches are also called single location switches. Single-pole switches consist of ON/OFF markings that are printed on the toggle lever of the switch. No other switch has such markings. 

In single-pole ON/OFF light switch, there is a spring-loaded metal gate that is inside the switch that closes and opens the electrical circuit leads toward the light fixture. When toggling the lever to ON position, the gate closes and completes the circuit; the power is then flowing through the switch and reached to the light fixture. When you toggle the level to OFF position, the gateway opens and interrupts the power flow toward the light fixture. 

Inner gateway has a different design. Older types of inner gateways are purely mechanical having a metal arm that gets controlled by springs. As the spring loses its resiliency, these types get wear out. To conduct electricity, new kinds of switches use a vial of mercury inside. The new type of switches does not have snap characteristics when the lever gets flipped. They are also more durable than the mechanical type of switches. They are marketed as quiet switches and are more expensive than the mechanical ones, but they wear out rarely which is a plus point in their durability. 

What are Dimmers?

In homes, adjustment of light is a constant struggle. It is often difficult to adjust the right amount of light in a room or a house overall. Often people want to include the option of low and full lighting which adds up the cost. Dimmers are the best solution in such situations. A light switches dimmer restrict the flow of current to a bulb with the use of CL or TRIAC technology. In light switches, dimmers are such devices that get connected to the light fixture and lower the brightness of the light.

We can reduce the intensity of light by changing the applied voltage waveform to the lamp. Dimmers come in different size ranges, i.e., from small units for domestic light switches to high power units for architectural lighting or theatrical lighting installations. For domestic users, we can control dimmers directly and also we can control them with a remote. However, digital control systems like DALI or DMX controls modern and professional dimmers.

Benefits of Dimmers

  • Energy savings: Traditional light switches give you only two options either 0% electricity or 100% electricity. This way the usage of electricity increases so as your electric bills. By using dimmer, you can reduce the usage of energy, and hence electric bills get reduced. 
  • Greater Lifespan of light bulb: Dimmers provide flexibility to the amount of electricity that you use in light fixtures and lamps. Dimmers lower the time when your light bulb is at the highest point of exerting energy. On the soft light settings, the usage of dimmers increases the lifespan of your light bulb extra 3 to 4 years. 
  • Adjustable Ambiance: The lighting of the bulb sets the ambiance of your room. That is why it is essential that every room in your house should have multiple levels of lighting. Other than dimmer switches, adjusting multiple levels of lighting in every room adds up your lighting budget. The option of using a dimmer light switch is a cost-effective way to change multiple lighting levels in a limited arrangement of lighting. So, whether it is a movie night or bright day, dimmer switches let you set the tone of your room according to your requirements. 

What are light switch timers?

Another way to manage home lightings is light switch timers. Timers allow the bulb to operate for a specific amount of time. There are two versions of light switch timers in the market. The first one is manual-setting light switch timer and second is factory-preset light switch timers. Manual-setting light switch timer allows you to on-off period as many times as you required to set within 24 hours. Whereas in the factory-preset light switch timer, each time you turn on the switch, you get to choose the period for your OFF command. 

Benefits of timer switches

  • Security: Many homeowners usually leave lights on when they are outside their house to dissuade thieves. But this wastes a lot of energy, and it does not fool anyone. Instead, it indicates that the house is empty. Because it does not require a genius in figuring out that the light has left merely ON. If you are out of the house or on vacation, a timer switch will turn on and off your light on auto mode. You can adjust the period OFF lights on at night and ON during the day. It will make everyone think that there is someone in the house. 
  • Convenience: Switch timers give you the convenience of carrying on your work without getting an interruption. After installing a timer switch, you do not need to worry about turning the light switch ON or OFF because the timer will do this job for you. 
  • Economy: Timer switches are very beneficial when you go out of your house especially during vacations. You don’t need to leave the lights ON for the whole night and day. Switch timers ON and OFF your light bulb at a specific time and thus reduce the electricity usage which in return saves you a good amount of money in electric bills. 

What is light switch Wi-Fi?

A light switch Wi-Fi is a switch that turns ON/OFF your light bulb or light fixtures with the use of Wi-Fi. The power of electricity gets controlled with the use of a smartphone app. A Wi-Fi switch is wired to the electrical system and has a built-in Wi-Fi adapter that connects the local network for communication with the smartphone app. As the internet access gets enabled, the user can control light switch directly from a smartphone even when they are away from their home. 

Benefits of Wi-Fi switches

  • Control options convenience: Controlling your light fixtures with the help of light switch Wi-Fi is very convenient. Whether you are laying on your bed, sitting at your desk or even somewhere outside your home, you get access to your lighting on your phone. With Light switch Wi-Fi, you do not have to go physically anywhere to turn ON/OFF your lights.  Also, you can control the brightness of your light with the light switch Wi-Fi. 
  • Safety and Security: Most of the apps for light switch wi-fi offers ON/OFF programmed schedules or vacation mode which give the house a scenario that it is occupied when you are not at your house. Thus accepted intruders or thieves stay away from your house.
  • Works with Home Network: Since Wi-Fi switches use the same protocol as your existing Wi-Fi network and phone. As long as your home network is working, your Wi-Fi switches are in operating mode. 

What is light switch Bluetooth?

Did you ever been so tired or lazy to such extent that you do not even want to get up and turn off the lamp or bulb of your room? If yes then the light switch Bluetooth is the perfect switch that enables you to turn your light bulb ON/OFF from your phone. 

Benefits of Bluetooth switches

  • Convenience: For turning ON/OFF your light bulb, you do not require to have any web protocol. You can control Light switch Bluetooth with your smartphone Bluetooth. You can manage the dim and brightening options of your light bulb on your smartphone anywhere in your house. 
  • Cost-effective: Light switch Bluetooth is very cheap as compared to other light switches. Homeowners can save a handsome amount of money by installing Bluetooth light switches at your home. 
  • Works Faster: Unlike other light switches, Bluetooth light switch does not use any secondary hub for communication or getting or giving commands. That is why the light switch Bluetooth works faster than other light switches. 

More about light switch: Wikipedia