Light Switches Types & How They Work

Are you on the search for new light switches to install in your home? If yes, there are many types available on the market today, including traditional switches.

Therefore, selecting the right light switches types can be daunting and even time-consuming for most people.

But don’t fret because we are here to help. We’ve compiled a list of different types of light switches available in today’s lighting world. This way, you will be able to understand how each of them works. Check them out.

Light Switches Types & How They Work

Light Switches Types & How They Work

Push Button Switch

This is a two-position device designed to be actuated with a button that is pressed and then released. Because of its simplicity, it is probably one of the easiest-to-use light switches available on the market.

Generally, most of these push-button switches feature an internal spring mechanism for operation.  The switch may take the form of a pushbutton, toggle, pull-chain, or rotary.

Additionally, push-button switches come in various types. For instance, some are built to keep the button in a recessed position immediately you push it. But for others, you will need to press the button and, then it will return to its normal position.

Toggle/ Single Pole Switch

Another popular light switch option is the single pole. In simple terms, these are lever-based switches that feature an ON and OFF function to help you control the light fixtures.

So, you just need to flip the toggle switch up if you want to turn the lights on. And to the lights off, simply flip the toggle back down.

Basically, the reason why it’s called a single-pole switch is that there is only one circuit passing through the switch. This simply means that you can only control a single light from a single location.

Overall, single-pole switches can be used in just about every room of your house because of their ease of use. Not to mention, they are also easy to install.

Dimmer Switch

A dimmer switch works by changing the direction of electrical flow. Simply put, it is used to control the amount of light a certain fixture can emit.

You see, there are times you may just want to have a little bit of light in a room. So, this is where is a dimmer switch comes in.

Generally, most dimmer switches feature either a lever or a rounded knob. So, you will need to raise or lower the lever based on the amount of light you want your fixture to emit.

Other models have a dial to help you adjust the intensity of the light. Some models are also equipped with a touch switch that allows you to dim the lights with a swipe of your finger.

Three-Way Light Switches

These types of switches are mostly used to control a series of light fixtures but from different locations. Simply put, they allow you to turn on the overhead lights from various places.

As such, they are commonly found in garages, hallways, basements with two entries, or even stairways. This is because they offer easy access to light, especially in darker spaces.

One of the easiest ways to know that you have a three-way switch is to check the number of screws. Generally, a 3-way switch boasts three terminal screws and a ground screw.

However, compared to standard switches, three-way switches don’t have on and off markings. This is because the positions vary depending on where the switches are used.

Smart Light Switches

If you are looking for a switch that offers the best when it comes to convenience, you should consider smart switches.

This type of switch allows you to control lights from anywhere in your house via a tablet or smartphone. Additionally, you can pair them with your Google home devices or Amazon Alexa for ease of activation via your voice.

Generally, most smart switches are four-way, three-way, or multi-way and can be controlled remotely.

You may like to read: How to Wire a Shop Light in 7 Easy Steps and 5 Different Types of Gases Used in Bulbs – A Guide

Multi-Location Switches

These light switches types comprise two or more electrical switches that allow you to control more than light in multiple locations.

They are available in several variants, including three-way and four-way switches. For the four-way switches, they allow you to control a light fixture from three separate locations.

Similar to three-way switches, multi-location switches don’t have ON and OFF markings on the lever. So, if your switch does not have any labeling on the lever, then it is probably a multi-location light switch.

Final Words

Overall, the right light switch can dramatically improve both the value and appearance of your home. Therefore, it makes sense to invest in the best light switches types. Just make sure to choose the right style that complements your home and is easy to use as well as install.

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