An electric switch is an electronic component to makes or break an electric circuit manually or automatically. The primary working principle of an electric switch depends on the on and off working mechanism. There can be different types of electric switches for controlling or triggering the circuits. The circuit connections with the switch help to determine the type based on the significant components like the throw and pole. These components also determine the difference between the switch contacts.
Electric switches are vital devices for controlling appliances, light fixtures, and many other devices. The latest and modern electric switches are available in different styles like toggle, slider, push button, or rocker. The style never affects its performance, electric wiring, and functionality, but it can make a difficult choice for the users to select any one.
Components of an electric switch
Throw and pole are two different components of an electric switch. The total number of circuits that switch controls is known as poles. The total number of positions a switch adopts is known as throw. There is one contact pair in a single-throw switch, which can be open or closed. In a double-throw switch, switches will have a contact connecting two extra contacts. When the user turns on the switch, an electric current will move between the two terminals of the switch.
New features of modern electric switch
Modern electric switches come with the following innovative and new features.
- You can use smart dimmers, outlets, and switches to control the power and lights from anywhere in the room. You can also set the appropriate lighting you require according to your mood and preferences.
- Stylish USB charging solutions and wall outlets come in a design with superior speed, ease, and convenience.
- It is now hassle-free to turn on and off the lights hands-free due to the touchless control feature of the switches. With various innovative alternatives, motion sensors, and timers, you do not have to go to the switch to turn it on or off.
Different types of latest or modern electric switch
There are primarily 8 types of modern or latest electric switches like below.
Single pole electric switch
A single pole light switch is a generalized switch type with simple on and off instructions. This switch type includes two screws which are brass colored, attached to the switch body, and linked to a metal strap. Single-pole electric switches are usually used for controlling the current flow through the circuit’s hot wires.
Each of the screw terminals is connected to a hot wire with no neutral connection. The grounding wire of the circuit is connected to the green screw present on the switch. This type of electric switch is ideal for controlling an appliance, single-wall location outlets, and light fixtures.
Three-way electric switch
This type of electric switch is generally used in pairs, and you can install them at the both ends of garages, basements, or staircases, which include two entry points. Even if you have hallways or any other room in your house where there are separate switches for controlling one appliance and a light fixture, you can implement a 3-way electric switch.
It includes 3 terminal screws. Based on the switch location in the circuit configuration, the darkest common screw marked as COM is linked to the hot wire running towards the light fixture or the hot circuit wire coming from the power source. The remaining screw terminal pair is connected to the traveler wires linking all the 3-way switches together.
It also includes a grounding green screw which connects with the bare copper circuit. A 3-way electric switch is ideal for managing the light fixtures coming from two wall locations in a room.
Double pole electric switch
It is a popular electric switch in industrial applications. But you can also use them in your home wiring system for controlling 240-volt appliances like an AC, hot tub heater, an electric furnace, and an electric water heater. Double pole electric switches include 4 brass colored screw terminals for controlling the circuit’s double hot wire.
The incoming wires are connected to the one screw set, and the outgoing hot wires are connected to the other screw sets. These electric switches are usually for 30 to 40 amps instead of 15 to 20 amps single pole electric switches. It also includes a green grounding screw to connect the grounding wire of the circuit.
4-way electric switch
4-way electric switches are commonly found in large rooms or common hallways with over two entrances. It is usually used in between two or more 3-way electric switches for offering control for a light fixture or an outlet from numerous locations. Thus, if you want to have controls from more than 3 locations, you can use three 4-way switches in between two 3-ways.
The 4-way electric switch includes 4 terminals and a ground terminal. Two out of the 4 terminals are brass colored, and the remaining two are dark. Unlike a 3-way electric switch, there is no common “COM” terminal. The 4-way electric switch acts like a switching device for the traveler wires in between the 3-way electric switches.
Smart switches include internal circuitry, which helps you control appliances and light fixtures through an app or voice assistant like Alexa or Siri. Many latest electric smart switches allow the user to turn on and off the lights from anywhere through an internet connection, a smartphone, and an app. You can also program them with the necessary timing.
You can install the smart switches in the exact locations of the standard electric switch. They need a neutral wire connection, as a small current flow is required for their normal operation. Thus, you might have to upgrade your circuits in order to use these switches. Thus, make sure you have the correct smart switch that is compatible with the voice automation system or your hub.
Picking out the most appropriate latest or modern electric switch is dependent on the type of appliance or light fixture you want to control in the electrical circuit. It also depends on the automation or the remote operation degree you want and the circuit type. All the above-mentioned electric switches are for the standard 120-volt household circuits.