Types of Electrical Switches and Sockets & Their Uses
Buying electrical products online for the very first time? Well, it can be difficult to figure out which types of switches and sockets you will need for your home and office. Every switch and socket type serves a different purpose and knowing about these basic functionalities helps in making an informed purchase.
So, today we are sharing an explainer for each type of switch and socket and its use.
First up, are the controlling devices, we call switches. Switches, as you know are used to flick and switch between power on and off states.
Single Pole Switches: These are the most common type of electrical switches that we see and use in everyday life. A single pole switch controls a single fixture from a single location. So, you flick the switch, and a light turns on or current flow starts in the connected socket, that sort of stuff. Single pole switches are also known as toggle switches in common jargon.
Double Pole Switches: Offering slightly different functionality, these switches can control two fixtures at once without needing a separate box. In essence, double pole switches are like two separate single pole switches which can be operated from the same button.
Two-Way/Intermediate Switches: Another common type of switch installation we see in bedrooms, living rooms, halls and office spaces, the three-way switch configuration allows control of a single fixture from two different locations. Although easy to use, these switches require expert electricians for proper installation.
Bell Push Switches: These are essentially single pole switches with a spring mechanism. Bell switches allow a short burst of electric current when pushed and then revert to the off position, hence breaking the circuit. These switches are usually used for operating doorbells in homes and office, but also find use in certain industrial installations for quickly checking power status.
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Sockets keep you charged up, quite literally nowadays with so many portable devices at our disposal.
The socket is essential the conduit which allows electrical current flow into your electrical appliances and equipment. While sockets differ in shapes and sizes according to the country you are in, their functionality remains similar across the board. Generally, we see 2-pin, 3-pin and 5-pin sockets in our homes and offices. The other thing that differentiates sockets is voltage capacity, i.e., the amount of current it can pass. In India, the three-pin plug is rated at 6A / 250V.
Two-pin sockets: These electrical sockets feature two long connection slots, providing an ungrounded connection.
Three-pin sockets: This type of electrical socket adds a ground pin to help prevent electric shock from loose wiring.
Five-pin socket: It’s a combination of the two-pin and three-pin socket.
Universal or International sockets: These modular socket designs have pinholes that can accommodate a diverse range of plugs used in American and European countries.
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These modules serve specific purposes for lighting and cooling solutions in home and office.
Dimmers: Relatively new in use, dimmers allow you to increase or decrease the brightness levels of indoor lights, mood lighting etc. Dimmers also connect seamlessly with Smart Home solutions, providing dramatic control of your home’s atmosphere.
Fan Regulators: Similar to dimmers, fan regulators are used for increasing/decreasing ceiling fan speeds as needed. The most common types of fan regulators offer 4-step or 5-step speed controls.
Power Units: Basically, a combination of switch and socket in a single module, these units are used for supplying power to heavy-duty appliances. However, after the onset of modular switches and sockets, these units are seeing less use in modern home and office spaces.
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A variety of data connectivity modules also form a part of the overall electrical setup.
Telephone Socket: Technically referred to as the RJ11 Jack, the telephone socket enables wiring of telecommunications along with your electrical wires.
Data Socket: Finding more common use with Broadband and High-speed internet becoming mainstream, data sockets allow networking throughout your home or office, enabling LAN features. The socket is commonly known as RJ45 Jack.
USB Socket: The Universal Serial Bus (USB) standard is synonymous with computer and smartphone connectivity. Now electrical brands have also started offering modular USB sockets to simplify charging and data transfers.
TV Socket: Similar to telephone and data sockets, the TV socket allows cable transmission from your provider or dish installation to flow through the walls into your television.
So, that concludes our list of electrical switch and socket types and their use cases. We hope you find it useful. Keep following our blog for more such articles. In the meantime, if you are looking for electrical products online, visit our e-shop at shop.schneider-electric.co.in.