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Different Types of Light Switches

Different Types of Light Switches
Last Updated: 25 July 2019

Light switches are one of these essential accessories in our homes, even though their value has always been overlooked. Without controllers, we would not power our electrical appliances used in our daily lives.

With these changing trends in technology this wave has swept even the lantern push industry, most manufacturers have changed the mode and design of this lantern push to accommodate the ever-changing needs of its consumers and energy conservation. Currently, there are various kinds/brands of light commutators on the market; they may come with that same style and design. For most of them, they are fitted with faceplates, but all have different functionality.

Most types of light switches vary in style, for example, push-button, toggle, slider or rocker to mention a few. It’s important worth noting these light switches types will not affect wiring or this functioning of that push.

In this post, we are going to have a detailed and in-depth discussion about everything about lantern controllers.

Types of electrical switch

Commutators come mainly in two types: Electronic and mechanic

  • Electronic – This kind of push does not need any form of physical contact to power on/off the circuit, activation is usually through a semiconductor action
  • Mechanical – This type of controller has to be activated manually through touching, pressing, releasing, or moving its contacts.

Types switch based on the specification

Double-Pole Switch

Double-pole controllers are mostly used for industrial purposes but, at times they can be used in domestic wiring systems. Just like that single-pole push, it has an off/on signs that are used for controlling most of the electrical appliances or devices.

One of these key differences from that single-pole is it has four brass terminals instead of two, in additional its also designed with a ground terminal.

When it comes to power usage, it uses not more than 30 amps, which is a bit higher in comparison to other standard controllers which uses 15 or 20 amps. Its high-powered capacity allows, that push to control this amount of power used to feed machinery, high power appliances, and motors.

Four-Way Switch

The four-way push is tailor-made to be used between two and three-way commutators which provides an outlet to three or more locations. In terms of design and functionality, this four-way commutator is a lot more similar to a double-pole push, that only difference it does not have off/on markings.

The push has four terminals including a ground terminal; these four terminals are usually brass-colored. With four-way controllers, they don’t have a common terminal that’s mostly present in other standard commutators.

The primary function of this type is to act as a switching device for traveler wires in three-way commutators. On most occasions, that electrical switch type is used in huge rooms or hallways but not for home wiring.

Single-pole switch

They are the most commonly used types of electrical commutators, single-pole are used to control devices and lanterns from a particular location. It’s designed with an easy on/off markings, a feature that’s not found it other advanced push types.

The single-pole push comes with two brass-colored terminals that are connected to a current wire, typically black. One of these brass terminals is used as an incoming wire direct from a power source while that second terminal is used as an outgoing wire to your device.

Inside that commutator is a ground terminal that completes the circuit by connecting to the ground wire minimizing chances of an electric shock. One-way commutators are used as make or break push when turned on they connect two of its terminals, and when turned off that contact, the terminals are broken.

Three-Way Switch

Most of the three-way controllers operate in pairs allowing you to easily control devices or lantern from two diverse locations. They do not come with off/on markings as these two key positions vary when both of these controllers are operational

This type of push has three terminals screws, that current-carrying wire from the power outlet connects to this common terminal, for these other two commonly referred to as travelers can be easily interchanged. Three-way commutators also come with a ground screw.

NOTE that the travelers have current ‘hot wires,’ the push is not suitable for domestic uses but are used in large staircases, hallways, and places where two different controllers are controlled by one lantern.

Different Types of electrical switches depending on usage


Push buttons controllers vary in configuration depending on how the circuit is completed or broken; they also have a dual position design with a spring which recoils to its original position when it’s turned on and can be pressed to turn it off.

Toggle switch

Toggle is the most popular and commonly used type of electrical switch for a light commutator globally as it is used mostly in homes and commercial buildings. Inside the light switch is a lever tilted in two positions making it easier for the commutator to be turned on and off. For switching off the lever is rested and vice-versa.

Dimmer light switch

The primary purpose of dimmer light controllers is the regulation of current, enabling the bulb to emit an adjustable amount of light providing a cozy and tranquil bedroom environment. It’s recommended purchasing a dimmer light bulb when you have a dimmer light commutator in your home.

Bell-push switch

They are usually connected with the doorbell when it switched on the bell rings. That commutator always has a broken circuit unless it’s pressed. The bell-push commutator is mainly used in homes and other commercial spaces.

Proximity Switch

Proximity controllers use a sensor to detect movement and controllers on that light when a person is in your room and controllers it off when he/she leaves.

In most modern apartments or homes, these are the most commonly used light switches kinds, and it’s also power efficient. It also does not have external controllers embodying these modern trends in technology.

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