Different Types of Light Switches

Light Switches

Proper illumination is only achieved when the entire lighting system is working together as a whole. From the fixture to the bulbs, lighting is a response to several components working together to create the desired results. One of the more easily noticeable aspects of a lighting system is the lighting switch. While everyone knows there are different types of light switches, most people aren’t quite as familiar with what these differences mean. Let’s take a closer look at the different types of light switches available in today’s lighting market.

Single or Double Pole Toggle Switch

These are your standard up and down light switches. There are typically two standard styles of toggle switches: the rectangular switch that flicks up and down to turn on or off, and the slightly elevated platform type that requires a slight press. 

 These are a very basic and standard form of room lighting switches, and are some of the most popular since they are convenient, inexpensive, and straightforward to use. Simple and efficient, they get the job done and are easy to install with a simple, two-way circuit. 

Single or Double Pole Decorative Switch

The pole decorative switches are similar in function and purpose to the toggle switches. With a standard two-way circuitry, a room lighting can be easily turned on or off. Rather than being pushed up or down as the toggle switches are, these switches are pushed from left to right, with slightly raised edges, to switch the lighting back and forth. These are easy to use and most often seen in residential areas thanks to their attractive appearance and ease of use.

Rocker Switch

The rocker switches are designed for standard industrial lighting in spaces like warehouses or large multi-purpose rooms. Designed for function over aesthetic, they are a standard on/off toggle switch with no variant light control settings. 

These industrial and warehouse light switches are made in a more heavy-duty style, often coated in durable rubber or hard plastics and offer a fully enclosed switch for protection against damages making them ideal for locations with rugged working conditions. Additionally, many rocker switches have black designs with red lights to make it easier to find the light in a large, dark room and to switch it on. 

Pole Receptacle Combo Switch

The ultimate simple switch for ease and versatility, the receptacle combo switch is designed as a basic toggle switch that is paired with an electrical outlet for added function. It’s multi-function design is best suited where additional outlet availability is needed. They are usually seen in residential kitchens and bathrooms.

Dimmable Light Switches 

Dimmable light switches are a more modern form of lighting being used in homes, businesses, and office settings. These light switches allow the user to subtly or drastically alter the amount of light released from a designated fixture in a room. Controlled lighting is an important component of setting the ambience or environment, which is why this type of lighting is often preferred in homes or certain business settings like spas, meeting rooms and restaurants.

As they’ve grown in popularity, this form of illumination and room lighting is available in a number of styles, with toggles, buttons, sliders, remote controls, rotating dials and more all as options. However, this type of light switch requires the appropriate circuitry and light bulbs that allow variations in settings. 

Smart Switches

Smart switches are (to no surprise) designed for smart homes and lighting setups. As a 21st century design, smart switches are made to hook up to your electronic devices, like your cell phone or an Alexa, so you can remotely turn lights on or off, as well as adjusting the level of brightness. 

This lighting control can be set through an app on your phone or verbally via Alexa, Siri, or Google Assistant. You can also use the apps to set a schedule or timers for turning lights on and off.

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