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newbie q on controlling lights
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Please be positive and constructive with your questions and comments.

newbie q on controlling lights

by lanewsa on Fri Dec 07, 2012 12:26 am

Hi experts.

I'm just getting feet wet here with Arduino.

Trying to get a handle on an end-to-end project. After I've created a circuit with a relay to control a light (110 v), how do i package everything up so that the circuit is hidden inside a wall plate?

The other thing I'm confused about is what if I have multiple switches controlling a single light? Do i need to create the same circuit multiple times?

Sorry for the rather dumb-sounding questions, but I'm kind of stumped. My apologies if there is a better place to ask these kinds of questions.
Posts: 7
Joined: Thu Dec 06, 2012 8:55 am

Re: newbie q on controlling lights

by easternstargeek on Sat Dec 08, 2012 3:13 pm

I assume you're attempting some kind of home-automation project?

Building custom AC-Mains powered gadgets is dangerous enough, but trying to bury them in a junction box for semi-permanent installation is really asking for trouble, so it would be irresponsible of me to explain how.

Please- Just don't do it. Especially if you are a Newbie.

That being said, a lot of folks (myself included- I would be happy to share the details) have used commercial home-automation devices like X-10 receivers for controlling lights and banned. They are available for permanent installation, or as plug-in modules. They are already manufactured to meet safety requirements (e.g. U.L. in the United States) and there is no need to modify the receivers.

I use an Arduino connected to an X-10 PSC05 Power-Line interface, which is a completely isolated device for custom developers. It was a really fun project, allowing me to automate my lighting manually, or under the control of a real-time clock for automatic operation.

X-10 is kind of yestertech, so plenty of hackers are playing with Insteon and Zigbee devices, which are more advanced. The end-point receivers are a bit more expensive than X-10, however.

Sorry to be such a wet blanket about this, but I am very serious. I'd hate for you to burn your house down.

In any case, good luck-- there are a lot of really cool, challenging Home Automation gadgets that you can build- safely!

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Location: Upper Eastern Tennessee

Re: newbie q on controlling lights

by lanewsa on Wed Jan 30, 2013 8:59 pm

Thanks, EasternStarGeek!

Your points are very well taken! When I say I'm a newbie, it's in the area of electronic controls. I have done quite a bit of 110VAC work, and am (as you so clearly point out) ultra-paranoid about the dangers.

However, experimenting with Zigbee devices would be cool.

In order to explain what I hope to achieve:

I already have standard stuff like switches controlling lights, fans etc. I'd like to incorporate remote control of the devices while still allowing "standard" control via switches. Many of the videos I have seen on using relays etc. have a mess of wiring, which is obviously not ideal. Hence my questions on hiding stuff.

I appreciate your patience with my questions, and hope to get guidance.
Posts: 7
Joined: Thu Dec 06, 2012 8:55 am

Please be positive and constructive with your questions and comments.