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How to Identify The Light Switches at Home

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Learning to identify the type of light switches and design around your home will help you choose the best alternative. Here is a quick tour of the most common light switches.


As you walk into your home, the convenience of the switch illuminates the room in your home. When you turn the switch on to illuminate the lights, they complete the circuit to your light fixtures. Otherwise, they break the circuit when you turn off the switch to turn the light off.


The switch controls lighting turns the device on/off and acts as a disconnect device for equipment like furnaces in the home. There are many different light switches that are used throughout the home depending on the specific needs of that area located. There are switches in one position and others in many locations. Besides, some switches can dim the lights for those special moments.


If you’ve noticed that when you flip the switch on or off and it is humming or bursting, then it’s pretty clear that your switch is defective. Obviously, it’s time to replace your switches. In fact, when the contact is really worn, the switch will squeak like bread in an oven. If you hear a click, it is possible that the contacts are emitting an arc and the switch is warming up. Be careful! Get it to shut off as soon as possible and shut off the circuit.


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Common Household Switches


Single Pole Switches


Single- pole switch is the most basic switch. They just turn the lights on and off. They come in a variety of colors and are rated for 15 and 20 amps. A single-pole switch turns a light on and off from one location. The switch has two brass terminals for the “hot” wire connection and a green screw for the ground connection. The toggle handle on the switch is labeled on and off.


Three-way Switches 


Three-way switch controls the lights from two different positions. The three-way switch has two brass screws, one dark screw and one green screw. Unlike the single-pole switch, the three-way switch does not have a toggle switch handle. That’s because a location doesn’t mean it has to be turned on or off. It always depends on the position of the other switch. By adding a four-way switch between them, you can control the illumination in three places. Common uses for three-way switches are corridors, stairwells or large rooms like the living room with more than one doorway in them


Switch Design


There are several designs for the switch.


Push-Button Switches.


Push-Button Switch design is not as common as other designs. This design has a button that connects or disconnects the circuit when pushed. Some models offer a spring-loaded design that returns the button to its original position when the button is pressed. The other push-button switches remain depressed when pressed and click back when the circuit is disconnected.


Toggle Switches


Toggle switches are the most common. The switch design uses a lever that is angled at the open or closed position. Move the switch up or down to connect or disconnect the circuit.

toggle switches

Selector Switch

These switches include a knob or lever that allows the user to select different lighting settings. The selector switch also features a dual mode design. Dual-mode selector switches typically only provide on or off settings.

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