Post details: Selecting Specialty Switches

01/09/05

Permalink 01:25:24 am, Categories: Articles, 326 words   English (US)

Selecting Specialty Switches


Switches

Of the many available switches built to suit special needs, the ones discussed here are some of the most common. Take a trip to a home center or lighting store, and you may find the switch that does exactly what you want. To find out how to install these switches, see related project Installing Special Switches.

Varieties of Specialty Switches

If you have power tools or other devices that you don't want children to play with, consider installing a tamperproof switch. Operated only with a key, it can be wired to control the receptacle to which such items are connected.

For security in your backyard, or to have a light automatically greet you as you approach your house, choose a motion-sensor security switch. Its wide-angle infrared beam detects motion and turns the light on automatically. With most units, you can choose how long the light will stay on.

A pilot-light switch has a little bulb that glows when power is flowing through the switch. Use it when a fixture or appliance is out of sight. Closet lights, attic exhaust fans, basement lights, and garage lights often are controlled by pilot-light switches.

If you need to squeeze both a switch and an outlet into a single box, use a switch/receptacle. Also use this switch to easily add a receptacle to a room. This switch can be wired so the receptacle is live all the time or wired so the switch controls the receptacle.

A programmable switch comes with digital controls and can be programmed to turn lights on and off up to four times a day. This type of switch is useful for security and deterring burglars when you are away from home.

A time-delay switch has a dial that can be set to leave a fixture running for up to 60 minutes. Use one for a vent fan, space heater, heat lamp, or garage light.

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