Electrical Switches – Safety Ignored?
When we step into our homes, one of the first things that we reach for is the light switch. They are an integral part of living a comfortable life. Switches that are placed in accessible locations are important if you have small children. Even for an adult, finding a light switch in the dark can prevent silly accidents at home. At the same time, the risk of electric shock from a damaged switch or an electrical outlet needs to be considered if little children are around.
Life of the Switch
Just as with other electrical fittings, the electrical switch has a life that reduces over repeated use. Usually switches are built to last for many years and some even decades, but over time, they might fail. If the switches are more than a decade old, it is likely that they may not meet the current UL standards for safety. If you are planning to do an overhaul of the electric wiring at home, it will be the right time to change the electrical switches. A licensed electrician will be able to identify the requirement, suggest if the wall boxes need replacement and give you an estimate based on the work involved.
Mechanical Vs Sensor Switch
Thanks to advancements in technology, we now have electronic motion sensor switches that can power on lights when some moving object triggers the sensor. It rarely requires any user control unless the settings need to be changed. You no longer need to be worried about the switch assembly failing or breaking as there is hardly any touch involved in operating the switch. Mechanical switches on the other hand need someone to physically operate the switch to On / Off position. This can result in wear and tear over a period of time.
Based on considerations of cost vs safety vs convenience, sensor based switches may be a much better investment. Besides, they are much more energy efficient since they are designed to switch on and off based on external motion. The light will switch off automatically if no one is present in the room. This is really convenient for many of us who forget to switch off the lights while we leave the room.
Consider contracting your electrical work to a licensed electrician. An electrician will easily be able to identify the correct switch required based on the input circuit wires/ earthing and the output load based on the number of lights connected to it.