We use switches everyday to power appliances in our homes but we rarely wonder how does a light switch work. Switches you use will
depend on how you want to control your lights. There are switches of
different colors and styles you can install in your premises. The best
will complement your lighting needs. There are three common types of
light switches, a 2 way switch, a 4-way switch, a 3-way switch and an
on/off switch. If you are wondering how does a light switch work, here
is a guide to that effect.
A 2-way switch
This switch works by moving the current from one wire to the other. A
bulb connected to the wire will light when switched on. For the circuit
to be complete, 2 switches have to be attached to the wire to allow the
current to flow into it and off it.
A 3-way switch
It is connected to hot wire and operates on a
double throw. This means that two more wires are connected to
the switch such that when it is switched on or off it does not open or
close the circuit. Instead, it changes the hot wire connection between
two other wires known as travelers. These wires are connected to another
3-way switch linked to the wire taking power to your bulb. If you have two 3-way switches in your house, you can turn
light on and off from different locations.
On and Off Switch
Also referred to as a single pole, it turns light on and off from a
single location. One hot wire wire is connected to the switch. Working
on a single-throw mechanism, when switched on it connects only to the
wire leading to your bulb.
A 4-Way Switch
This is a double-throw switch where two hot wires are connected to the
switch. these two wires are traveler wires connected to the power
source. Other two wires are also connected to the wire taking power to
your bulb. Therefore, when you power a 4-way switch on, the connection
between the pairs of traveler wires changes.
When replacing a faulty switch, the new switch must have the same
functionalities as the old one. Remember that the current is ever on at the light switches.
Therefore, when replacements are being done, turn off the power at the
breaker to avoid electrocution. This guide on how does a light switch work will help you use switches wisely.