10 Types of Light Switches and How to Choose for Your Home

by | Mar 15, 2024 | Design

Choosing the right type of light switch for your home can be challenging as it concerns the safety of your family members and effective electrical connections for the devices.

Nevertheless, not all light switches are suitable for your home. You may come across hundreds of designs in the market, and among them, you will find the ones for commercial wiring.

Though it may feel a little complicated for a person not having any electrical knowledge, you can rely on experts for safe and secure fixtures. However, you must remember that you are not required to sacrifice the cool and aesthetic design for it.

We have sorted the most effective, common, and safe 10 light switch varieties that you may need to install inside your house.

1.              Light Switch with Single Pole

The most common type of light switch your builder will suggest for your home is the single pole. It is inexpensive, simple and controls only one light fixture. You can also install one for a series of lights in a single line.

In a single pole switch, there is an On and Off labeled toggle and two screws with brass terminals. The function of this type of switch is simple. The On position will complete the circuit and conduct electricity while turning on the light, and the Off switch will do the opposite.

2.              Light Switch with Double Pole

While the single pole light switch is used to switch lights on/off, the double pole is used for heavy electrical devices, such as ACs, water heaters, or fridges. It functions as live and neutral by controlling two circuits simultaneously. The DP switch ensures isolation and safety as the circuit is unable to pass current while in live condition.

You may wonder what is a Double Pole Switch used for, when you can attach a single pole to turn on a device. The answer lies in its function.

Although it is mostly used in the industrial setting, you can use a Double Pole Switch in the kitchen. Rather than using a direct line to turn on devices like a rice cooker or water heater, you can use a DP light switch above the countertop.

By doing this, you will be able to safely turn off any device and touch it without any chance of a short circuit, as the DP switch will remove the electrical supply when not required.

3.              Rocker Switch

Rocker Switch is an interesting one as you can find some varieties that illuminate, and so makes it easier for people to find them in dark atmospheres or at night. It has a wider toggle and is often referred to as a see-saw.

They look sleek in design and are often used in the industrial setting. However, they are perfect for installing power sockets for turning on domestic devices, such as hair styling devices, TVs, or phone chargers.

However, they are not as energy-efficient as the modern-tech light switches. For landlords who want to make their rental property more energy efficient, they should rather go for motion-sensing or photo-sensing light switches to conserve electrical energy.

4.              Multiway Switch

Traditional switches will only allow you to turn off or on the light bulbs or fans directly. Whereas, with the Multiway Switches, you are capable of dimming the light by turning the knob of the switch.

The rotary dimmer can be attached with two, three, or multiway switches to control light bulbs in a hallway or dining room from only one corner.

Depending on the material and design of the knob, you’ll find the multiway dimmer switches in a range of prices from low to high. If you think you already have a light switch installed in the house for off or on the lightbulbs, you can  still attach a dimmer.

5.              Australian Rocker Switch

The Australian Rocker Switch is named such because they are mostly found in Australia and New Zealand. These switches are similar to normal rocker switches, but are more compact and small in size. They are perfect for small rooms where two or more switches are compacted in teh same board.

6.              Pull-chain Switch

If you are opting for a traditional vintage look for your interior decoration, Pull-chain switch for lights can be a better option. Instead of using Toggle or switches, the pull-chain fixture activates by pulling a string, cord or chain attached with teh light bulb.

These light switches were heavily used in the basement or closets during the 19s. However, you can install it in the hallway or ceiling light to bring back the old memories with an inexpensive solution.

7.              Photoelectric Light Switch

Let’s talk about a few modernized versions of electric light switches. The first one is the photoelectric light switch. The masterminds behind the photoelectric switch used sensors so that you do not have to turn off or on lights manually.

Interior designers often suggest installing them in the driveway or front porch of your house. When the sun sets, and the sensor can sense no visible light at all, it turns on automatically.

By installing the light switch in your driveway, you can have a well-lit way to ride back home at night from work. There is no need to get off the car and turn on the switches manually.

The light will again go back to conserve energy when it senses light again in the morning and turns off the connection to the bulbs.

8.              Smart Light Switch

Smart switches are still mounted on the wall yet connected to your smart home devices, such as Alexa, Siri, or Google. You can dim or turn it off/on remotely, even when you can not do so at home.

You can control the switch with voice activation (by commanding) or sound activation (with a clap). There are also wireless light switches that you can control with your phone, just like you control your TV with a remote. The transmitter system in the wireless switches will signal the internal receiver of the light source and help you turn off the lights when you are lazy enough that you don’t want to get out of bed.

9.              Motion Sensing Light Switch

Motion-sensing light switches are the best invention in the industry for notifying you about intruders in your home. Mostly used to help the elderly, sick, and people who prefer to live alone, motion-sensing light switches are the best option.

The wonderful feature of this switch is that it will turn on when you enter a room and turn off when you leave. Many of them use the ultrasonic, infrared or microwave tech to identify motion in a selective area.

Although they might cost you a little more due to the use of the latest technology, the safety it ensures makes them worthy. They are also known as proximity switches.

10.         Touch Light Switch

With the above options of light switches, you do not even need to touch the switch to activate it. In order to activate the touch light switch, you’ll have to touch the switchboard, which is a plain monitor like your cell phone, and it will trigger the light to connect to electricity.

Also, you can ask for a built-in illuminating feature so that you can see the switch pad in the dark.

How to Choose a Light Switch for Home?

Now that you have decided which light switch you want to buy, it’s time for a brief buying guide that helps you buy the best ligh for your home. Here are a few factors you must consider before heading to the market or ordering online.

  • You must ensure that the light you are about to buy has safety features. Flame-retardant, surge-protective, heat-resistant, and child-protecting shutters are essential to prevent hazards.
  • It is better not to overlook other people’s reviews about a brand. The brands with better user reviews are the best in quality and reliable for durability. Find the one that is reputable, and you’ll find good-quality fixtures at a reasonable price.
  • The price of your light fixture must align with your budget. You may find good-quality switches a bit more expensive than poor-quality ones. But it is better not to compromise on longevity and safety for price.


Hopefully, our little buying guide and list of 10 types of light switches and how to choose for your home will assist you in selecting the best light switch for your home appliances.

Nevertheless, make sure your builder is providing the most secure electrical wiring so that there are less chances of short-circuit happening regardless of the type of switch you install.

Read through our useful guide for more information

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