Programmable Lighting Controls

brushed stainless steel light switch 

The PerfectSense Low Voltage Momentary Wall Switches are a series of aesthically pleasing push button wall switches that can be mounted in commercial or residential applications. It’s a type of lamp that they used initially on electronic equipment and they started using it for signal lights, like when you have a controlled intersection, when you have an automobile traffic. Designed to control and dim 0-10V dimmable light sources such as LED drivers and fluorescent ballasts, this low voltage dimmer switch complements decorator style switches and outlets while providing fine tuning to low voltage light dimming capabilities. What we’re going to focus on are 24V electromagnetic ‘ice cube’ relays that close a switch between common and ‘normally open’ when 24 volts is applied to ‘the coil’. Often a two conductor and GND is ran between light fixtures and a pair dropped down to the switch from the light point, one of the drop pair is connect to L1 the other becomes the switch wire. These transformers should be compatible with standard (non-microprocessor) Diva®, Nova T ®, and Skylark® two-wire controls. Only one switch will control all outputs, so you do not need multiple switches unless you need a section of lighting with an individual control such as a dimmer. And light is more effectively concentrated where it’s needed, which can reduce the number of fixtures needed for a particular lighting scheme. I usually plan for a load (the sum of the wattage of all the lights on the circuit) on any transformer of no more than 80 percent of the transformer rating (this is called derating). The magazine ran for 25 years and was a go-to source in the lighting industry for news, product introductions and design trends. For low-voltage installations, this is when the inspector will specifically check to see if the wiring is Class 2 compliant. If your home was built in the 1940s, 50s, 60s, 70s or 80s, you may have a General Electric Low Voltage Lighting System installed in your home. Put the general lighting and task lighting on one circuit and the decorative lighting on another. Bracket Mount switchplates are only compatible with the new GE low voltage RS2 switches, not the original GE or Bryant switches, and require a new bracket. JJ: You can either re-wire that entire individual circuit to use Touch-Plate® components, or, as Touch-Plate Lighting recommends, replace all of the older GE® or Remcon® relays in the home with Touch-Plate® relays. Chances are you have this circuit in your home, where you can toggle an overhead light on or off from either of two switches located on opposite ends of the room. Once the rough-in inspection is passed, you can then complete the installation with insulation, walls, switches and fixtures before the final inspection. If a home has already been wired to have an electrical control center or many-way switching of lights or outlets (say 4 or 5 way switching) the wire cost of converting to 120V would be substantial. Product Description LVS low voltage switch, Type: Momentary, Number of Buttons: 4, Pilot: No Pilot, Color: Ivory. Do not mix magnetic and electronic transformers on the same dimming circuit. The low-voltage switching platform consists of relay panels which are typically mounted in the electrical closet. Important: Before selecting a dimmer, determine what type of transformer is in the lighting fixture. Product Description LVS low voltage switch, Type: Momentary, Number of Buttons: 1, Pilot: No Pilot, Color: White. Most low-voltage transformers have their own mounting systems, so you can attach them to stakes outside your home. And the other advantage for recessed cans is that there are different types of lenses that can be put in front of low voltage — some line voltage lamps have that but more usually in the low voltage field — so you can change the way the light is. So not only do you have all these beam spreads, but you also have these effects you can create: You can soften the beam, you can stretch it out, you can do all sorts of things with it. So it’s great for lighting artwork, for creating mood and accent, that sort of thing. This system was popular and was installed in many homes between 1960 a nd 1985, and it continues in use today, often in the form of 12-V low-voltage lighting and downlight fixtures. White wires (4) are the neutral, or the return for the power. If you experience any of these symptoms, turn off the lights and troubleshoot because chances are there’s nothing wrong with the dimmer or the lights, the two just aren’t meant to be friends. In principle, it is easy to design silent switches in which the mechanical contacts do not directly control the current, but simply signal a solid-state device such as a thyristor to complete the circuit. It saves wire and is OK for short chains of fixtures, but you can run into trouble with voltage loss. Programmable RGB LEDs provide status feedback for lighting and other devices in the system. And since it’s low voltage lighting, it’s safe to use and install, even for beginners.

Low voltage light is warmer, sharper, and more natural resulting in better control by the surrounding components of the bulb, fixture, and controls. The cable used for low-voltage deck lighting is the same two-wire cable used for landscape lighting, which is like lamp cord or zip cord, only heavier gauge, more rugged, and able to handle sunlight exposure. To verify that a product is UL or ETL listed, check the product details in the lighting company’s catalog or website. Product Description LVS low voltage switch, Type: Momentary, Number of Buttons: 2, Pilot: No Pilot, Color: White. I’ve worked on countless low voltage landscape lighting installation projects that required careful planning and a lot of technical skill. If you have a GE low voltage light system and one of the lights in your home isn’t working, you’ll either need to replace the switch or the relay that’s connected to the switch. Electronic transformers are compact and lightweight. You have to have a special device — it’s called a driver, which is a kind of transformer that powers them. The easiest way to ensure that your light bulbs and dimmer controls are compatible is to check the lamp’s manufacturer spec sheet or dimmer compatibility sheet. Control hallway lights from two separate switches, convert standard outlets into USB charging stations, or set up extra lights around your home. Because of the danger of fire, it’s safer to limit the power to any circuit (fed from one transformer) to 300 watts. Low voltage electrical wiring was installed in some homes beginning in about 1946’s. Product Description LVS low voltage switch, Type: Latching, Number of Buttons: 2, Pilot: No Pilot, Color: White. Line-voltage lighting is typically more expensive to operate in the long run, but it’s less expensive to buy and easier to install. We get several calls every day from people who need to replace their broken low voltage light switches with currently manufactured parts. As there were 3 light switches in the room, I had the multimeter attached to the wires in the ceiling to see which switch (or switches) controlled the light. Low voltage lighting uses less electricity, saves you money, gives off less heat than traditional lighting, adds versatility for lighting in small spaces and is safer due to lower shock hazard. Hubbell Control Solutions’ Low Voltage Wall Switches are designed for virtually any area. For a standard application, connect the circuit breaker wire into hole 1 or 2 on the bottom of the relay. A simple electrical control system really only involves three things: a power source, a switch and a load. When you’re designing the lighting layout, place the light fixtures symmetrically so if you add additional fixtures, it will still look good. If sometimes when you operate the switch to control a light or receptacle or other device it works just fine, but at other times it fails to operate, giving difficulty in turning the light or receptacle “on” or “off” we could have a problem with the switch itself, or the problem may be with the relay that the switch controls. A successful low voltage outdoor lighting plan requires selecting the right fixtures, such as low voltage spotlights, then placing and wiring them correctly. Low-voltage systems are inherently safer. A light switch combined with a light socket is sometimes installed in basement or utility areas of homes. Also, low voltage wires cost significantly less than regular wires. If you have managed to restore power to the exterior outlet and the lights still won’t come on at night when the transformer is plugged in, then it’s very likely that there is an issue occurring with your lighting system. Although the initial cost is lower, operating costs are typically higher for line-voltage lights, unless they’re installed in low-use areas, in which case the operating cost difference will be negligible. My own experience would suspect a sticking relay, but a week output from the transformer can cause some relays to not work while others will. Use 10-gauge wire for the main lines from the transformer to where the lights begin, then switch to 12-gauge wire between the lights. Take a look at your old relay and pay attention to the number of wires coming out of the top. Learn more about low-voltage and line voltage lighting. In residential and light commercial lighting systems, the light switch directly controls the circuit feeding the lamps. Voltage good at switch: Locate and test relay. The National Electric Code (NEC) requires that low voltage power supplies and electrical wiring be Class 2 compliant. Figure 5. Probably the most common deck lighting, post-cap fixtures provide general lighting and decoration at once. The switch usually picks up the live for the switch at the light fixture. If the same breaker is used to power multiple rooms (for example, your dining room & kitchen), you’ll wire multiple relays together.

If a product purchased as a 3-way control needs to be used in a single-pole application, cap off one of the traveler wires with a wire connector. Switches are available in both momentary and latching versions and feature multiple button configurations making them the perfect switch solution for HCS’ low voltage occupancy sensors, daylighting controls and networked lighting control panels. Do not mix magnetic and electronic transformers or dimmers on the same circuit. Sierra Electric low voltage light switches, switchplates and relays were installed in mid-century homes built between 1940 and 1980 and were also known as “Square D” or Despard low voltage switches. Low voltage lighting is common in residential and commercial lighting, including display lighting, track lighting, and landscape lighting. This technology has been built into a series of dimmers specifically for electronic low-voltage (ELV) transformer loads. Product Description LVS low voltage switch, Type: Latching, Number of Buttons: 1, Pilot: No Pilot, Color: Light Almond. Now that you know how to prepare your low-voltage installation so that the LED lights, power supplies, connections and wiring are Class 2 compliant, you are ready for inspection. Easily buy replacement parts with confidence for your vintage Remcon, Sierra, Bryant, Pyramid, Touch Plate, and GE low voltage lighting systems at Kyle Switch Plates. Be careful not to place cable where it can be damaged by fasteners added later, and to avoid a short, be sure the power is off when working with low-voltage wiring. They have a very, very high input inpedance and will measure phantom voltage cause by capacitive coupling between open wires and other hot wires. The light is energized when both SPDT switches are in the up or down position. Flexibility – Low voltage switches can be wired in parallel to create 3-way switches wherever you need them for no addition cost for new or specialized switches. Use magnetic low voltage dimmers with magnetic transformers and electronic low voltage dimmers with electronic transformers. The light produced by low-voltage bulbs is sharper and looks more natural than higher voltage bulbs, which produce warm light that’s more diffused. Conceal the LED or turn the lights off and LED is ON. No relays, just circuitry of sensor resistors, chips, and capacitors. Installing low-voltage outdoor lighting is a big-impact DIY project. Product Description LVS low voltage switch, Type: Momentary, Number of Buttons: 1, Pilot: No Pilot, Color: Gray, USA transformed. Perhaps the most obvious way to light stairs is with fixtures recessed into the risers. While it’s difficult to focus the beam of a high-voltage bulb that tends to scatter light, low-voltage bulbs offer a high degree of optical control using just the bulb’s reflector. Additionally, there are a wide variety of low-voltage outdoor fixtures available. Switches typically remain in service for many decades, often being changed only when a portion of a house is rewired. The low voltage WiFi switch is a WiFi based wireless switch that can connect to a wide range of appliances. Transformer Voltage Good: Wiring damaged or stuck switch on the circuit. No. 3-way dimmers may only be located in either of the 3-way switch positions. In protected planting beds, the low-voltage wire can simply be covered by mulch or soil. Lollipop circuits work great when the transformer is 75 feet to 100 feet from the first of a group of fixtures. One being the common wire and the other being the switch wire, and because of our single coil relay, the same button is used to turn the relay on and off. REIGN dimmers are low voltage dimmer switches that operate only with our standard 12V or 24V DC Constant Voltage Drivers and plug-in adapters. If the client wants more light (and I usually encourage them to live with the layout for a week before we make changes), you can add fixtures so that every post has one. Does what it is supposed to do, works well for dimming low voltage under cabinet LED lighting run through a transformer. In addition, each momentary switch could be wired to perform the same function as a single pole switch, 3-way switch or 4-way switch, so one could operate a single light from multiple remote locations without complicated wiring. Product Description LVS low voltage switch, Type: Latching, Number of Buttons: 2, Pilot: No Pilot, Color: Gray. The switching relays made by these manufacturers work differently from those designed and sold today by Touch-Plate lighting. For low voltage replacement options, General Electric (GE) and Touch-Plate actively manufacture updated switches, wall switch plates and relays for use in their older low voltage lighting systems. Dimmer switches should be installed inside, though this complicates matters somewhat. If your home is currently wired with Touch Plate, you’ll find replacement Touch Plate relays, transverters, switch units and cover plates available on our site.

The low-voltage light bulb has between a 2,000- and 3,000-hour life. Buy a larger transformer than you’ll initially need so you can add lights later as your landscape (and imagination) expands. A small doorbell transformer like this takes 120Vac down to 24Vac and typically provides enough power for relays, thermostats and more in our control circuits. If there is anybody out there willing to fabricate a light sensor module that can be power with a 9 volt battery without a bulky relay, let me know. The products at the top of this page include switches, switch plates and relays for replacing old, discontinued or broken GE or Bryant low voltage parts. Low-voltage lighting is more expensive to buy and install, but it’s typically less expensive to operate over time. I used to test current at the switch too, but then I ran into a few electronic relays. Transformers moderate voltage, and you can use them to power path lights, in-ground well lights, and other landscape fixtures. This means the voltage loss will be equal and the voltage at the fixtures will also be equal. The fixture wires converge in a place called the hub. Having the unused capacity means you can add fixtures and not overload the transformer. Decks are fun places, and decorative lighting that is a feature in itself underscores this point (Figure 4). Post-top lights can serve as both decorative and general lighting (Figure 5). Turning the light bulb on during the cold period will usually produce sufficient warmth to keep the switching relays working. Lightology offers single-pole low voltage electronic dimmers, three-way and multi-location electronic low voltage dimmers. Also, two switching relays will not operate from a single button press in older systems prior to 1986, they were designed to operate one at a time. To make these lights smart, I used a weatherproof junction box and placed a Qubino Flush 1 Relay in it. The Qubino is connected with my Smart Hub through Z-Wave. Light Switches Wiring Accessories Huge range of light switches at in a wide selection of finishes and profiles, to ensure this essential addition to any room, suits the décor. As long as fixture lead wires are of equal length, then wire length from each fixture to the transformer will also be equal. Before you install your lights, you’ll need a transformer that suits your project. We decided to pay about $90 apiece for metal architectural grade,” low-voltage halogen lights. Because there’s virtually no electrocution hazard, codes don’t require exposed low-voltage cable to be run in conduit, and in most jurisdictions, no electrician’s license is required to install low-voltage wiring (if you need to run an additional line-voltage circuit to feed the transformer, call an electrician). If the old relay has four wires coming out of the cylinder of the relay it can be replaced by a Touch-Plate® 2500-BPL. Use standard dimmers on 120 line voltage and low voltage dimmers for 12V and 24V applications. Number two, when you are installing low-voltage light fixtures, you have to have a low-voltage dimmer to go with it. That sometimes helps reduce the noise. Whether you hire a professional or install it yourself, there are many places to use low voltage transformers. Feed fixtures from a loop at the end of a long supply line at 14 volts or 15 volts, and even the farthest fixtures will still provide light that’s bright white. You can either re-wire that entire individual circuit to use Touch-Plate® components, or, as Touch-Plate Lighting recommends, replace all of the older GE® or Remcon® relays in the home with Touch-Plate® relays. If you’re comfortable with simple electrical grids and you’ve installed light fixtures before, you should be able to install low-voltage landscape lights on your own. After exhausting EVERY dimmer option at Home Depot where I bought my Halo recessed light trims I finally figured out that a Low-Voltage dimmer was needed to get rid of the buzzing noise that they were emitting. Touch-Plate Lighting supplies low voltage switches, transformers, and low voltage relays for building electrical systems. Also, there are products available with two separate transformers in a single housing, and the whole shebang is UL 1838 listed. Figure 9. Concealing wire runs to the fixtures takes ingenuity. REIGN® Wall Mount LED Dimmer Switches are the stylish companion for Constant Voltage drivers to provide smooth dimming range, from 100% – 1%, with no flickering, humming, or jumping. That wire will connect to all the fixtures in the zone. When you buy a Kichler In-Line Low Voltage Light Switch online from , we make it as easy as possible for you to find out when your product will be delivered. Some popular low voltage brands included General Electric (GE), Remcon, Bryant, Sierra and Touch-Plate, all of which have discontinued their original, older light switch and switch plate styles.

With daisy chain wiring, one wire is run from fixture to fixture – with a splice at each fixture: 36 fixtures = 36 splices. Relays can be grouped for common control. If you were to pull off the switch cover plate and observe it’s likely any novice would be overwhelmed by a indiscernible mess of wires. Whether you just want to buy a Kichler In-Line Low Voltage Light Switch or shop for your entire home, Wayfair has a zillion things home. We are specializing in producing and exporting various standard mid- high range wall light switch&socket, plugs, circuit breakers, lighting and some other low voltage light socket products. When find these systems during the home inspection you should find the control panel or relay station depending on the complexity of the system. Multi-way switching is supported since multiple switches can all connect to a single relay that controls a single 120V device. Transformers are devices that either raise or lower an incoming primary AC voltage to a usable secondary voltage. Additionally, UL 1838-compliant transformers offer overcurrent protection (that circuit breaker I mentioned above, usually with a push-button reset) and a thermal cutoff switch, which cuts the power to an overheated transformer. Implementing low voltage lighting solutions in your home is not as straight-forward as it may sound. Always leave a little extra landscape lighting wire as you hook up the lights. The dimensions, mechanical designs, and even the general appearance of light switches have changed slowly over time. However, when expressed on a line diagram it’s easy to see that a three-way lighting circuit is nothing more than two SPDT switches wired in series. Because more modern lighting options are available with low-voltage lighting in terms of fixtures, lenses, bulbs and beams, low-voltage lighting is ideal for illuminating artwork, creating a desired ambiance and lighting work spaces. Bryant was using a wiring system based on the same transformers and solenoid relays used in the GE systems, so parts in this series are compatible with GE lighting systems. No. Multi-location dimmers do use standard 3-way wiring, but make use of one wire for communications while the other carries the load current. To pass inspection, a junction box must be installed to encapsulate a 120V AC wire connection to a 12-24V DC power converter (driver). You’ll find $69 prepackaged sets and $100 individual lights; plastic fixtures and metal ones; lights you can shine down from trees and up from ponds. For safety’s sake, call 811 to have your utility companies mark the location of underground wires and pipes before you dig for your low voltage lighting. In the past, low voltage LED lighting products such as tape light, puck lights, light bars, etc. Low-voltage lighting is available in a wide range of styles, including recessed can lights , track lighting , rail lighting systems , low voltage pendant lighting , display lights and suspended cable lighting. Wall switchplates for older GE & Bryant systems are offered in old style, new style (snap-in), RFS, and bracket mount series. Just like switches, relays can look quite a bit different from one another – each with its own application. Otherwise, the fixtures at the far end will be dim due to voltage drop. I am getting a 120 reading at the wall switch but only 107 in the ceiling where the wires come out. While low-voltage light fixtures, bulbs and dimmers are considerably more expensive due to the need for a transformer, the operating costs over time are typically lower than line-voltage operation if the lighting system is frequently used. If it’s lower than 11.5 volts, check it again using the 14-volt tap, and so on. If 15 volts at the transformer doesn’t produce 11.5 volts at the distant fixture, have an electrician run a 120-volt line out closer to the group of fixtures and put a transformer there. With 16 million colours (like any other RGB led), you can create a really nice lighting scene in your garden. I found it, BUT, the voltage across the wires at the ceiling with the switch on was under 20 VAC. This will help you determine if the problem is with your outlet or with your lighting system If you plug your phone charger into the outlet and it won’t charge your phone, then you know that your outlet doesn’t have any power – that’s the problem. No transformer is needed, which saves a few bucks, and adding dimmers to line-voltage systems is easier than adding them to low-voltage ones. Product Description LVS low voltage switch, Type: Momentary, Number of Buttons: 1, Pilot: No Pilot, Color: Gray. Sonoff SV low voltage WiFi switch is an affordable device that provides customers with smart home control. A circuit can accommodate many fixtures and each one can put out a lot of light. You’ll need a different transformer for landscape lights than you’d use with low voltage recessed lights , because low voltage recessed lights already come with their own transformers.

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