All About the 3 Most Popular Types of Switches

What is a switch?

The switch controls your lighting or the action of your roller shutters, for example. Its role is to open or close an electrical circuit.

There are several types of switches, and in this post, we will look closely at:

 – Two-way switch

 – Timer switch

 – Dimmer switch with motion detection…

 – Two-way switch

Types of Switches

Principle of the toggle switch

The principle of the toggle switch is to be able to control the switching on and off of one or more lamps from two different places.

It is a useful device, for example, in a corridor or a room with two entrances.

It is not the switch itself that is said to be “on/off” but the electrical assembly. This allows you to change the state of the lamp (off or on) from one or the other switch, regardless of the state of the other button.

Wireless Two-Way Switch


There are two-way wireless switches:

 – They do not require wall cutouts.

 – The receiver is wired “normally,” i.e., like a conventional switch.

 The transmitter is very flat and does not need to be embedded and fixed directly on the wall.

Price of a toggle switch

Count between $2 and $30 for a toggle switch, the most expensive are design or decorated controls.

 – Timer switch


Role of a timer switch

The timer switch controls the automatic switching on and off of one or more lamps for a limited time set in advance.

It is mainly used in the corridors and stairwells of buildings, but they are also found in the corridors of private homes.

How it works

 – A simple timer is usually adjustable from 30 sec to 7 min.

 – Some timers provide for a gradual decrease in intensity before stopping.

 – Others, instead of turning off the lights, turn them into night lights.

The device is installed in the distribution panel and can control several push buttons, with or without lights.

Advantages of the timer switch

The advantage of the timer switch is the savings made: no more risk of leaving a light on, the switch turns it off for you!

Price of a timer switch

A timer switch can cost between $20 and $60.

 – Electrical dimmer

Types of Switches

Role of the dimmer switch

A dimmer switch can replace a light switch to adjust the intensity of light. The electric dimmer has a slight power consumption even when not in use, unlike a switch that does not consume anything.

There are also “dual function” dimmers. If you press them once, they behave like switches. If you turn them, they work like a dimmer.

Finally, some dimmers also combine the timer function.

The dimmer

The TV dimmer is another type of dimmer that is installed in the electrical panel. Push buttons control it:

 – A simple press turns on or off the lighting connected to the remote switch.

 – A longer press varies the intensity of the lighting.

For which bulbs should I use a dimmer switch?

The dimmer and the remote control are suitable for incandescent or halogen bulbs but not for energy saving or low consumption bulbs.

Indeed, these are not designed to support a variation of intensity.

However, there are low-energy bulbs specially designed to work with a dimmer. However, these bulbs are much more expensive than conventional low-energy bulbs.

Please note: if the lighting is too bright, a simpler solution is to replace the bulbs with dimmer bulbs.

Price of a dimmer

There are many models of dimmers: design, color, with an indicator light, etc.

You can expect to pay between $10 and $60 for a dimmer, while some designer dimmers can cost more than $100!

Read more:

What Is the Role of a Switch on an Electrical Circuit