NexLight Lighting Control Systems

best modern light switches

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. A low-voltage transformer may be mounted remotely or as an integral part of the fixture. See details about LV Relays at LOW VOLTAGE LIGHTING & CONTROL RELAYS where we discuss how these relays work, how they are wired, repaired, used, and what replacements are available. Product Description LVS low voltage switch, Type: Latching, Number of Buttons: 1, Pilot: No Pilot, Color: White. Low-voltage lighting isn’t just post caps. Transformers are made with different capacities (rated in watts), and each one runs a single circuit. The low voltage light switch supports 5-24V power supply. Most solar-powered deck lighting uses LEDs. As a rule of thumb, use 12-gauge cable for the supply lines unless the transformer is more than 50 feet from the first fixture; then use 10-gauge cable to minimize voltage drop. Line-voltage and low-voltage fixtures and bulbs. A common light switch will allow power from the utility to energize a lightbulb. If you’re not sure what type of dimmer you need, you can call our lighting experts at 1-800-624-4488 or leave us a comment below. This lights each tread and uses one less fixture per flight. Kyle also provides replacement parts for Pyramid brand low voltage switching relays. Consider seasonal factors when planning your landscape low voltage lighting installation. But for track lighting or recessed can lights where more than one bulb is controlled at the same time, you need to add up the total watts for all lights. For this, line-voltage fixtures are basically plug-and-play. Admittedly this is a little dry, so let me try to inspire showing a popular example of a way we can use switches to make our lives easier: the three-way lighting switch. Find the device you need for your low-voltage light fixtures, and you can install a variety of lights around your home. We provide contact information for Touch-Plate® Lighting Controls below. The Power Pack is designed to be flexible enough to control almost any lighting or HVAC load. A crucial step towards understanding low voltage control systems involves knowing how relays work. The new switches have 2 square buttons – you press one side to turn the lights on and the other side to turn them off (instead of rocking the switch one way or the other to control the lights). You could run just the decorative lights, but a more sophisticated approach is to use a dimmer. Electronic switches provide flexibility in terms of different interfaces for their operations, such as touch plates, soft-touch controls, pressure or light sensor based control, interactive touch-screens (which are widely used in aircraft for lighting control), and others. The low-voltages extend lamp life and increase safety, especially for landscape lighting where a poorly buried wire is at risk of being hit by weed choppers or lawn mowers. Convenience – Low voltage systems can be set up to allow you to control all of your home’s lighting from one location, for example in the kitchen or the master bedroom. Figure 7. Clip-on connectors are a speedy way of splicing the fixture’s wires to the main supply cable. To this end, it’s a good idea to set up the fixtures on two or more circuits that can be switched independently. Note: Some low-voltage fixtures cannot be dimmed. Low-voltage lighting can be used in the same spaces and for the same purposes as line-voltage lighting, but for contemporary lighting schemes, low-voltage lighting is ultimately more practical, safer and less expensive to operate. This makes remote switching of lighting circuits code-compliant and practical. Two Lutron decorator-style rocker switches and wiring (often called “Decora switches”, after the trademarked Leviton switches 1 ), as installed in the United States. For the 2-relay setup shown above, the circuit breaker wire goes in the first hole of relay number 1. Replacement relays for existing Touch-Plate® installations can be installed without this worry. You can install your landscape light fixtures and wires before you turn on the transformer. I often put just the closer fixtures on a loop circuit, as described above. It could be an issue prior to the switch or past the light wherever the wires go next. Above we already pointed out that the chief reason for such an upgrade is that an owner can leave in place and continue to use the existing low voltage wiring between switches and relay stations. We want you to be confident that The Battery-free Wireless Light Switch will work for your application. We could run a separate wire for each light directly from the transformer – but that would be too many wires. Determine which brand your system is by visiting Kyle Switch Plates’ Low Voltage Lighting Systems Identification Guide There, you’ll find tons of great pictures of different types of low voltage light switches and switch plates, and you’ll find out which replacement parts will work for you.

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.

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.

It never hurts to go out and check your light fixtures for obstructions. Meeker: One of the disadvantages of the low-voltage light bulb is that you need to have a transformer somewhere. Low voltage lighting and control systems. Product Description LVS low voltage switch, Type: Momentary, Number of Buttons: 1, Pilot: No Pilot, Color: Ivory, USA transformed. 1. Magnetic transformers are inductive loads and are sensitive to DC voltages. Fixtures setup for 0-10V dimming have a third wire that applies a direct current voltage (DC) between 0 and 10 Volts to vary the intensity of the light. The screw terminals are hollow and allow up to at least three 1 mm (CSA) wires, twisted together, to be inserted to a depth of up to 10 millimetres (0.39 in) and secured with a set screw The contact terminal set screws are installed at a slight angle to allow easier screwdriver access after the switch mechanism has been installed into a wall-plate – before fixing the wall-plate to the wall. We describe the properties of low-voltage-controlled switches that operate 120V lights and receptacles in homes dating from the 1960’s to the present. The side of an RR7 relay has 2 brass screws, which are used to connect wires running to the circuit breaker and the lamps. With the LV source gone the relays will stay in their last state even if you cycle power to the whole system. Line-voltage lighting is best for applications that require more diffused ambient light. Turn the key, and control power from your car’s ignition switch energizes a coil, that closes a circuit from your battery to the starter motor. Low-voltage system relays originally made by GE® or Remcon cannot be replaced individually with newer ones from Touch Plate – there are electrical design differences that mean the products are not interchangeable. If that part is good then check for power at the ceiling, the black wires to the white wires. Any relays or transformers that aren’t functioning can be replaced with GE brand. If your lights come with press-on fittings—the type that bite through the insulation and into the landscape lighting wire to make their connection—cut them off and use the wire connectors shown in Photo 4. Your connections will be more solid and longer lasting. Wired remote control of lighting switches is also possible using, for example, X10 signaling over the power wires. A power supply or transformer, often called a “transverter” is fed 120V and outputs 28V to the switching system. Low-voltage lighting typically uses 12 or 24 volts and requires a transformer to lower the line voltage from 120 volts to avoid immediately burning out the low-voltage bulb. If you’ve just replaced fluorescent lights and the new lights are also having trouble, but you’re sure the lights and dimmer are compatible, a plausible cause is the ballast in the fixture is nearing the end of its life. These switches will have a common terminal, where power can flow to one of two terminals, depending on the position. It’s possible your home has another discontinued low voltage lighting system such as Touch-Plate, Remcon, Pyramid, or Sierra. Low-voltage electrical system switches originally made by GE® or Remcon can be replaced with newer ones from Touch Plate but with some provisos which we explain below. These wires are then connected together along with a wire from the power supply to send power to all the fixtures in the hub. Kyle provides both TouchPlate and Remcon switching relays and parts, and explains that older low voltage switching and lighting systems that used Remcon relays can update their system using newer TouchPlate relays. In larger lighting systems, for example warehouses or outdoor lighting systems, the required current may be too high for a manual switch. While bracket mount plates are slightly more expensive if you are purchasing new switches for the first time – because you also need to purchase the accompanying bracket – they are desirable to some because less of the black edge of the new low voltage switch will show once installed. I’m simply offering up 5 simple things I learned as a tech that can help you trouble shoot your low voltage lighting system if the lights aren’t coming on. Trying to dim something that isn’t dimmable isn’t good for your lights, the dimmer switch, or your sanity. If any of the switches and switch plates in the above diagram look familiar, you’re in the right place for buying replacement parts for broken switches or missing switch plates. It’s a common misconception that any LED dimmer can be paired with any dimmable LED light bulb. If you plug the transformer’s cord into the outlet and your lights come on that night, you’re set to go. The Schneider Electric Low Voltage Switches are a series of aesthetically 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.

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