• 27 /July, 2018

Evolution of switchboards over the years!

Switches are what illuminate a home. You would argue that lights and bulbs are what serve this purpose but what controls the light, is a switch. So, if you are planning to get new lighting solutions for your home, you have come to the right place! Here, you will find all the information you need for choosing the right switches and switchboards, so you don’t have to worry about the lighting in your home.


What is a switch?

A switch is an electrical device used to operate electrical appliances by giving them the desired power that is required to run the appliance. Basically, it is a device used for making and breaking the connection in an electric circuit. When you ‘switch on’ an appliance, the electrical circuit is completed, and the product starts getting electrical supply.

A Modern Switch


Evolution of switches and switchboards over the years

Switches came into existence way back in the 80’s. Earlier, they were used only for the On-Off purposes. The modern switches that are available nowadays can be used for various purposes other than just switching On and Off. Some of these purposes include the adjustment of brightness of lamps, regulation of speed of the fan and even adjusting the temperature of a refrigerator! Mostly, the switches are still wall-mounted and give a mechanical clicking sound, but, the advancement in technology has also enabled us to use touch or motion sensitive switches!


The Quick Break Mechanism

The first ever switch used on a mechanism is called ‘The quick break mechanism’. It was invented by John Henry Holmes in 1884. The time taken to get-together the circuit was reduced which increased the life of the switches. This mechanism is still used in many switches as it is still relevant and cost-friendly for the companies.


The Toggle Light Switches

The toggle light switch was a groundbreaking invention that changed the definition of switches for the world. Invented by William J. Newton in 1917, it marked the beginning of light switches that we use today.


Push-Button Light Switch

In a push-button switch, opening and closing of an electric circuit is done by pressing an operating button, a touch panel is disposed on the top side of the operating button. First, a second switch device which relies upon the touch panel is operated using the operating button, and then a first switch device which relies upon pressing of the operating button is operated.


Old Toggle Light Switch

The old toggle light switch operates on single lever system unlike the push button light switch. The circuit breaks when the switch is turned downwards, and the circuit is closed when it is turned upwards, completing the circuit.

An Old Toggle Light Switch


Modern Toggle Light Switch

This switch works alternatively and therefore is always used on 2 products simultaneously (i.e. 2 light bulbs or 2 fans). The switches are always opposite of each other which completes or breaks a circuit. As they are connected to the same circuit, it helps in minimizing the usage of energy.

A Modern Toggle Light Switch


Rocker Light Switch

This is the most used switch nowadays as the simplicity in the circuit extends the life of the switch. These are flame retardant, so it reduces the chances of fire due to circuit break. These switches go as long as 1,00,000 clicks.

A Rocker Light Switch


Dimmer Switch

A dimmer switch not only switches the light On or Off, it also adjusts the intensity of the light. This helps in mood lighting as you can change the colour of the light according to your mood! The switch has variable resistors which enables it to change the intensity.

A Dimmer Switch


Difference between One-way and Two-way switches

Since the invention of switches, nothing much has changed in their work mechanism. The advancement of technology has helped the products to be more reliable and efficient, but the working mechanism remains somewhat the same. A one-way switch basically works as a ‘make or break’ switch. When it is turned On, the two terminals are connected, and when it is turned Off, the contact between the two is broken. A combination of 2 one-way switches makes a two-way switch. One of the terminals can be connected to either of the remaining two but not both at the same time. When you want to make a connection with one terminal, the connection with the other is broken.

So, this is the evolution of switchboards over the years and a basic difference between one-way and two-way switches.

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