Tag Archives: how do switches work

What are the important things you need to know about switches?

  1. Gangs refer to the number of switches
  2. Switches can be one way or two way
    • One way switches have two terminals
    • Two-way switches have three terminals
  3. Intermediate switches can be controlled from three different places
  4. Where should you install different switches?


Light switches are simple enough, right? You push a button, the light turns on. You push it again and the light turns off. But, did you know that there are other variations of light switches that you may not know of?

In order to choose the most ideal light switches for each part of your home, avail of the services of a trusted electrical supplier in Metro Manila such as Meiji Electric. Choose from 1-Gang 1-Way switches, 2-Gang 1-Way switches, 2-Gang 2-Way switches, and more.

Feeling confused? Don’t worry. Before you get started, you must first need to know the basics of light switches. Read on to learn about everything you need to know about switches.


Gangs Refer To The Number of Switches

Gangs Refer To The Number Of Switches

A gang is a term used to refer to the number of switches on a light switch plate. A light switch plate is the protective covering that holds the toggle which controls the switch. When you look for the ideal electrical switch from a professional electrical supplier such as Meiji Electric, you will notice that their products are labeled as 1-Gang (ex. MCS-0121), 2-Gang (ex. MCS-0122), and 3-Gang (ex. MCS-0123). More often than not, the maximum number of switches on a plate in a household setting is 3.

A single gang switch controls a single light. Having 2 or 3 gang switches means that you have two or three types of light in a room. If you want a single gang to control two types of light, you would need what is called a 2-Way switch.


Switches Can Be One Way Or Two Way

Switches Can Be One Way Or Two Way


A “way” is the term used to describe what a light switch can do. Products come in labels such as 1-Way, 2-Way, and 3-Way switches. Each of these terms has its own respective number of terminals, which is what determines its capabilities. They can also be mixed and matched with a number of gangs (switches).


One Way Switches Have Two Terminals

A 1-Way switch only has two terminals: on or off. When the toggle is switched on, the terminal is connected to a current and the light turns on. When the toggle is switched off, the terminal is disconnected from the current and the light turns off.

A 2-Way Switch is a little more complicated than that.


Two Way Switches Have Three Terminals

If you want to be able to control a single light from two different places, then a 2-Way switch is what you need. When the toggle to one switch is turned off, the current is not disconnected, but rather, it is diverted to another terminal.

In order to help you visualize a 2-Way switch, imagine a long staircase in your home. On the bottom of the staircase is a light switch (S1), and on the top of the stairs is another light switch (S2). Imagine that you just got home from a long day at work. As you walk up the staircase, you flip S1 on to illuminate the way. However, you don’t want to leave this light on overnight since you’ll be sleeping in your room anyway, so you flip S2 and turn off the light. This is an example of a 2-Way switch.

If you have a bigger room that is in need of more than 2 switches, then you may need an Intermediate Switch.


Intermediate Switches Can Be Controlled From Three Different Places

Intermediate Switches Can Be Controlled From Three Different Places

The wiring of intermediate switches is complicated, so we will not delve too much into it. Instead, let us use another example to help you understand it further. Think about a kitchen that has three entrances: from the backyard, from the living room, and from the dining area. In order to turn lights on or off from any of these entrances, you will need to attach a light switch beside each one. An intermediate switch is what you need in order to redirect the current to the right switch.

Now that you know the different types of gangs and ways, let’s put it into action.


Where should you install different switches?

The number of gangs and ways you will need in a room will depend on how many entrances it has. Here are some examples to help you better plan how many of each you would need for your light switches.


Living Room

Living Room

TYPE OF SWITCH: 3-Gang, 1-Way

Let’s say that your living room has only one entrance and three light sources. It would be best to invest in a 3-Gang, 1-Way switch such as Meiji Electric’s MCS-0123B. This light switch is also colored black to immerse you in when watching your favorite movies.


Bedroom with a connected bathroom

TYPE OF SWITCH: 1-Gang, 2-Way

For your bedroom, you would probably have an entrance from the hallway and another from the bathroom. If you want to be able to turn your lights on and off after getting out of the connected bathroom or after coming in from the hallway, then it would be ideal to invest in two 1-Gang, 2-Way switches.




TYPE OF SWITCH: 2-Gang, 3-Way

Imagine that your garage has one light source and three entryways: one from the front door, one from the backyard, and another from the side of the house. It would be ideal to invest in three different switches placed beside the entrances. Try out Meiji Electric’s MCS-0222 for a reliable and long-lasting 2-Gang, 3-Way switch.

Now you know the basics of switches in terms of gangs and switches. Use this newfound knowledge and apply it to your home to give you an easier time.


Key Takeaway

Now that you know about the basics of gangs and ways, you can better plan the arrangement and connection of multiple light switches around your home. Take into consideration the strategic placement of these switches in order to better aid you in your everyday life. To ensure that the switches that you will be purchasing are long-lasting and durable, avail of products from a trusted electrical supplier in Metro Manila such as Meiji Electric.

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