6 Different Types of Light Switches

double light switch
  • Beginner

The enthusiastic homeowner will be pleased to know that light switches could come in a variety of types and designs that will suit any application and home decoration. It would be best to know the kinds of light switches available in the market to get an accurate idea of what kind or type of switch to use for future or existing lighting installations.

Modern technology has enabled light switches to evolve and provide innovative ways to enhance illumination and energy savings. Here is a list of six types of light switches that range from the basic to the more advanced kinds.

1. Push Button Light Switch

The push-button switch may come in a variety of configurations regarding how the circuit is activated and cut. This kind of switch is a dual position device that can be pressed and released. Some types of push-button switches are equipped with a spring mechanism that enables the button to return to its original position when the circuit is turned on. The button can be pressed again to turn the circuit off. Other types enable the button to sink when switched on and resurface when turned off.

2. Toggle Light Switch


This type of light switch is the most common type of light switch and is used on most lighting applications in homes and buildings. Toggle switches are actuated by a lever that is angled in two positions, enabling the circuit to be switched on and off. Toggle switches allow the lever to rest on either position, turning the circuit on or off.

3. Selector Light Switch

The selector switch can be actuated by either a rotary knob or lever that enables multiple positions for proper selection of switch functions. This type of light switch could also come in a two-mode configuration similar to a toggle switch and can be actuated by turning the lever or knob clockwise and counterclockwise.

4. Proximity Switch

Without getting too technical, the proximity switch works by utilizing a sensor that actuates the current when a person is in a room and switches off when the person leaves the room. There are no external switches utilized. This type of light switch is common in most modern homes and will help aid in power savings.

5. Photoelectric Switch

The photoelectric switch utilizes a sensor that measures levels or amounts of light in the surrounding area and activates the circuit when the area is dim. The switch will turn off automatically when normal light levels are restored. This type of switch is commonly used on street lights or light posts but recent designs have made the photoelectric switch ideal on most home applications. This light switch will prove useful in the garden, porch or any place where light is needed as long as the area is exposed to natural light in the daytime.

6. Dimmer Light Switch

dimmer light switches

The dimmer light switch regulates the flow of current to the system that enables the light bulb to emit an adjustable amount of light. This adds much-needed ambiance to the bedroom or living room and is an interesting way to entertain friends. Remember that a dimmer capable light bulb should be used when deciding to use a dimmer light switch.