Lighting Control

On the Australian Woodwork Forums, one of the members mentioned how they had sourced some remote controlled 240V switches, and it dawned on me that this might be a perfect solution for the shed lighting.

Headed down the the store in question – Jaycar, and got to see the units. Was thinking through how they might help, and decided it was the way to go. Saw some hardwired versions as well, but the standard ones were definitely the solution I needed.

Had the boxes in hand at the checkout, but there was a long queue, and the counter staff were being very slow, and I had time to start second guessing myself. Decided I didn’t need them there and then. Wasn’t sure if they were the ones being talked about here anyway (seemed..I dunno….plastic-ee) The base unit in the store I went to was something like $40 for the remote plus one unit, and each additional switch was $25.

So I put them all down, and decided to see what Dick Smith’s equivalent was.

Turns out their base (1 remote + 1 switch) was $20, and each additional switch was $10. The remote controls 5 units rather than 4, but cannot be set for the 16 or so that the Jaycar one can. I only needed 5 circuits, so I was wrapped!!!!

So thanks to the forum member, this wouldn’t have even occurred to me if they hadn’t mentioned it – it has saved a lot of hassles, and wires (and switches etc)

So what I am going to do is –

switch 1 – left set of 4 banks of tubes
switch 2 – middle set of 2 banks of tubes
switch 3 – right set of 4 banks of tubes
switch 4 – outside light
switch 5 – undecided

Means I can switch the dusty (***update – no – can’t handle the starting current required for motors***) on and off remotely as required, and the banks of lights as needed as well. Way cool!!!!

Remote Control 240V Switches

I really like my new lights – they were being discarded from a building that was being upgraded to a more energy optimised type of fitting – light sensing type. So these were getting tossed – 3 years old, immaculate condition, prewired (3 pin plug), with tubes and everything.

I love the green movement – they throw these things away – how much power is needed to be saved by the new set before they even recoup the energy and resources that went into making this set? It looks good on the company’s green balance sheet, and cost the country (or the planet depending on where they were made) a stack of extra resources overall. The planet’s loss, my shed’s gain!!!

***Update, as we have discovered, these specific units are rated for 1000W max, which should be ok, but the comparable units from Jaycar also list that they can handle the current for lighting circuits, but only start a 1/10HP motor.  The Jacksons’ don’t list this restriction, but in practice, it is there nevertheless (so I discovered when I blew one!)  So, these are perfect for my lights as I wanted, just don’t plan on starting any equipment with one!! ***

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