How can I make footswitch controllable stage lighting?

I'm looking to make something that sort of combines both of these, but i'm really hesitant about diving into something like this as I don't want to shock myself or someone else haha.


This seems like it'd be easy enough to build yourself, but I can't say for sure.  I'd like to be able to control 4-6 colored lightbulb fixtures with 4 separate footswitches.  I build guitar effects pedals, though I can't read schematics, so I have knowledge of building enclosures and swtich setups.  So if it's basically just a power on/off switch to the light would that blow out the bulb quickly?  would it have to be another way of switching it on/off?  Would it have to be a specific type of bulb?  I was thinking about having an enclosure with 4 on/off footswitches to control the lights, and then 2 momentary switches that will only turn on if the switch is pressed down.  I want the power to be grounded, the enclosure would be 4-6 switches with 4-6 outlets for the lights and then one cable for the main power.  Any help on this would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks.

- Matt

The construction shown in the dremel foot switch link looks like a good approach.

I wouldn't worry about burning up the bulbs, so long as it is rated for the voltage you are using. I assum that this is for 120 VAC. So, use bulbs that are rated for that. I don't know off hand what the best source of colored bulbs is, but they can't be too hard to find.

The switch arrangements you describe sound very straightforward. You would need single pole single throw (SPST) switches. The setup would just be four individual outlets, with the hot (black) lead to each passing through its own switch. Make sure that the current rating of the switches are adequate for the bulbs used in the circuit. Divide the power rating (in watts) of the bulbs by 120 to get the current rating required, and buy a switch with a higher rating.

If the enclosures don't have to be pretty, use the metal junction boxes like the dremel link shows. They are cheap and rugged and designed for thsi kind of application.

If you are unfamiliar with the proper way to safely wire basic 120V circuits, most hardware stores will carry good well illustrated books on the subject. I know that Stanley tools and Black and Decker have published such books and you see them at places like Home Depot, etc.
mtstreit (author)  LargeMouthBass4 years ago
Is this footswitch essentially the same thing?

I'm really confused and stumped on how to best approach the wiring aspect.
BURROWS lightbox of doooooom.jpg
The harbor freight switches are pretty much the same thing as what is described in the dremmel switch project. One of them is a momentary version, the other is a push on, push off version.

How to wire in your situation will depend on whether you want each light to have momentary control only, or push on/push off control. More information would be needed to diagram it all out.

Those harbor freight switches are ~$14 each. At that price it would get expensive quickly to use several of them in a project.
mtstreit (author)  mtstreit4 years ago
so there'd be two cords going to each footswitch in this layout. I don't know if it's best to somehow go from Left light box to Right light box then to a footswitch, OR if Left and Right light box connect to footswitch with Y splitter connector.