Wireless light switch
|This article does not cite any references or sources. (October 2009)|
A wireless light switch is a light switch that commands a light or home appliance to turn itself off or on, instead of interrupting the power line going to the light fixture. There are different ways to communicate between the switch and the fixture:
- Using radio transmission: A radio receiver is typically wired or screwed into a fixture or device, wired or otherwise connected to the electrical system of the building or plugged into an outlet. The radio receiver's memory is programmed by any number of means to respond to certain selected "switches" or (more correctly) remote control transmitters.
- Using the existing power lines (such as INSTEON or X10): A receiver is plugged into an outlet and a device is then plugged into the receiver. The plug-in receiver is then programmed to the switches. Some devices are hard wired into ceiling light fittings, making for a hidden system.
Common uses for wireless switches
Wireless light switches eliminate the wire from the light to the switch location. This is useful in remodeling situations where new wiring can be a hassle. Rather than tearing down a wall to gain access to the wires, a wireless switch can be used. This avoids any need to access wires and makes remodeling fast and simple.
Another use for wireless switches is in log homes, where electrical installations can be difficult because of the amount of routing and drilling that would otherwise be needed. When running a regular (non-wireless) circuit, the electrician must drill a hole through all of the logs to get each wire to the switch location. The electrician also must route a large hole in the log to install a switch box. Wireless switches do not need switch boxes because there are no wires and no routing is needed which decreases the electrical work required.
All remote light switches require a power source in order to facilitate the transmission of a signal to the receiving device.Some of these switches rely on batteries for power output while most are required to be wired into an existing electrical system. Lightning Switch, EnOcean with Ad Hoc Electronics, and Arveni s.a.s. manufacture wireless light switches that use energy harvesting instead of batteries. The mechanical energy created by pressing the switch generates enough electricity to power a built-in transmitter that sends a radio signal to the receiver. LightwaveRF manufacture wireless switches that use mains power LightwaveRF and offer devices for lighting, power, heating control along with remote control via an iPhone or Android phone.