6 Main Types of Light Switches

Light switches may seem just small fixtures but they are one of the most important electrical devices in your house.

There are many types of light switches that may look the same but function differently.

Here are the five main types of light switches you can use in your home or office:

Single Pole Switch

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Pole refers to the number of circuits that a switch can control. Single pole switch operates on one circuit. This is the most common and basic type of switch. It has two terminals that you can “on” and “off.”

It has two hot wires, one connects to the incoming power while the other is for the outgoing power. The single pole switch is ideal for small rooms like an office that needs only one light.

Three- Way Switch

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Unlike the single pole, this one has three terminals. This is convenient to use when you want to control two locations with only one switch. It can be used for stairwells or hallways that may need more than one light. Since this has a second switch, it’s toggle doesn’t have the “on” and “off” marks.

Dimmer Switch

This switch allows the user to choose their preferred brightness. It usually has a knob or a slider that users can turn when choosing how bright or dim they want their light. The dimmer switch also has many types, the rotary, sliding, wall-control dimmer, and more.

Occupancy Switch

The occupancy switch has a built-in motion detector. It stays off but automatically turns on when a person or motion is detected in the room. It also turns off on its own when there’s no motion in the room. This one helps to cut energy costs and adds a modern flair to your home.

Programmable Timer Switch

Much like the occupancy switch, this one saves on energy usage. Programmable timer switches lets you set up a timer at exactly when you want the fixture to turn on. It works on a schedule that you have set. Some timer switches are so modern that you can even set it up via the internet or on your phone.

Rocker Switch

This type of switch is commonly used in huge spaces like a warehouse. It’s for industrial purposes so it’s made for functionality and not aesthetics. It has a standard toggle switch in a more heavy-duty style. The switch is often coated in hard plastic or rubber so it can be durable. Most rocker switches have a full enclosure to protect it.

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