I have five existing wall lights that are hard wired to a single switch, running on 230v a/c It's impossible to run alternate wiring as it's all embedded in the walls (which are three feet thick.)   I am going to convert each light to be dual-function, with (a) background candle-LEDs and (b) a couple of 5w LED spotlights Already I have acquired 12v LED drivers and step-down transformers (12v to 5V) for the candle LEDs.   What I wanted to figure out was some electronincs to allow me to control them all by using the existing in-wall wires and perhaps replacing the wall switch with a push-button switch. What I had in mind was to be able to achieve different functions sequentially, possibly using an IC like a 4017. However, I'm only a beginner at electronics, and I haven't been able to figure out a way to do it.   One sequencing that would be effective, commencing with an all-off situation, would be:   1st press = candle lights only on   2nd press = LED spotlights on (Candle bulbs remain on)   3rd press =  All off   Cycle then repeats.   If this proves to be impossible, I also considered the idea of short and long presses, which could trigger a timer for the long press to acomplish some switching   The power of 230v a/c will also be travelling down the same wires to give power to the 12v LED drivers in each lamp, so I'm actually talking about sequential presses on a 230v a/c circuit.

Posted by colinstcharles 1 year ago


Hi, I am new to electronics although I am an electrician by trade. I need to know if there is a way to switch a load electronically. It needs to switch from one load to another. I also need to know if there is a way to monitor current flow so that it switches when it hits a specified current. Thanks in advance Edd

Posted by eddcole 10 years ago

Transistor switching problem

I am having trouble using transistors to switch a some LEDs, I have 5 LEDs in parallel being switched by one transistor but each LED is indervidually switched by another transistor. I have given each LED its own resistor and the problem I am having is that when all LEDs are on each LED gets dimmer then if only one was on. I don't really understand why this is happening but I'm not 100% comfortable with transistors and I have probably done something stupid. I have attached a image of how I have wired it up with only two LEDs

Posted by camlv 8 years ago

Stupidly simple circuit question - answered.

OK, so I accidentally volunteered to make an X-factor type buzzer board for a school event. Three switches.  Throw each switch, in any order, a light comes on. Throw the third switch, in any order, and a buzzer and/or fourth light comes on. It's a simple circuit.  Must be.  Just a few transistors, LEDs and batteries. But, I just cannot work it out! I should be able to sketch it out in my sleep, but my brain will simply not cooperate. I'd prefer to use a single DC power supply, up to 12V (multiple LEDs to make the lights brighter), but I have several I can use if required. Dimensions are not important, I'll just change the lengths of wires. But, can you help with the circuit? >K< Thank you, Lemonie!

Posted by Kiteman 8 years ago

I need help with arduino

Hi everyone,  I am playing around with arduino, and I got in trouble with the push button. Is there any possibilities to switch in between the LED patterns. I got the coding for three difference LED pattern here. I want to switch from 1st to the 2nd , and from the 2nd to the third by pressing the button. Thank you so much, I really appreciate your help. These are my LED patterns

Posted by tompham89 3 years ago

When should my sister switch to baritone saxophone?

My sister started playing saxophone, and she wants to switch to bari sax. The problem is, she's way too small. She can barely play my tenor! She really wants to play it, but she'll have to wait until she's slightly taller and better at sax. When could she play the bari and what should she know before playing it?

Posted by robin.howell.56 4 years ago

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

Oh boy, Instructables.... It's happened again. My Mom asked me if I want to change schools next year. I have no idea on this one. Usually one school sticks out above the rest, but this is tough. At the school I'm going to right now, I'm all settled in, it's a decent school, and I've got friends here. My only complaint is that there's no band. The school my mom wants me to go to is the 60th best school in the US, plus it's a public school, so that saves us a bunch of money by not having to pay tuition. If I go to this school, Mom said we'd have enough to get me a new computer and a decent car, both of which I could really use. Also, there's a band, and let's face it, school just sucks more without band. This potential school sounds like a dream school to me, band, great academics, small class sizes, but I'm not sure if I'm willing to leave a place where I've got friends. I mean, it's not like I've never done this before (5 schools since middle school, FTW), but that doesn't make it suck any less. So, thoughts? Anyone else been in a fix like this before? Help me out, here, guys ;-)

Posted by Labot2001 9 years ago

illuminated ball - remote switching and charging

I'm working on making an illuminated ball for playing bike polo with at night time. A couple of high output red LEDs are sufficient for light to get through a normal street-hockey ball. The problems I'm currently facing are switching the lights on or off, and charging the batteries. Ideally both of these could be done remotely - i.e. without having to open the ball up. For switching I was thinking of using a magnetic reed switch - when a magnet is attached, the lights switch off. The only problem is that reed switches seem to be (a) made of glass (not ideal when the ball gets hit really hard), and (b) in a normally-open configuration - I'd need a normally closed one for this. As for charging, I have two ideas - one is to have two small metal pads on the surface of the ball to connect to the charger. This could be problematic due to forces on the ball during gameplay. The other more fun idea would be inductive charging. Like what you get in those fancy electric toothbrushes. One coil inside the ball, one outside. How practical is this? can it supply the necessary voltage and current to charge either a pair of NiMH batteries or a Li-ion cell? vik

Posted by askvictor 10 years ago

Parts info please

Hi all: Does anyone know of a part that will swith  240v AC current on & off for short periods of time like a pulse effect ?. Thanks.

Posted by tezza1 7 years ago

led selection circut

I am building a 500 DVD library shelf.  I'd like to be able to select a number, on maybe a keypad etc, and have just one led turn on on one location of one of the shelves, indicting the location of that DVD.  As usual and understandable, I would like said system to be as inexpensive as possible.  I'd like to run it off of a battery.  I can do it with three selection switches and an individual set of wires to each LED.. Just seems like some IC would work if I knew a little more, and maybe reduce some of the wiring.  Like maybe an IC under each shelf that could select which led on that shelf to turn on.  I intend to drill small holes into the face of the shelves and insert each led about 5/8" apart with the wiring run back through and then under each shelf.  Lots of tiny wires and lots of LEDs but if I could make it inexpensive enough it would not only help in finding a movie to watch but it would aid in putting it away later.  Since to some extent, each DVD is variable in size, the location of any DVD is a little dynamic, but any one LED should be close enough to guide me. If you don't have time to fill in all the knowledge I am missing, any place that you can point me would be appreciated... It seems to me like it may take a number of IC to make several selection to power up just one LED>   thanks Dave

Posted by oneofsharp 6 years ago

Best way to switch multiple circuits?

Hi, all - first time posting. I have limited knowledge with electronics and have come across a scenario where I basically need a kill-switch for a cable with 9 ends. I can't find any sort of toggle switch (SPST, DPDT, etc..) that would accommodate that many wires. I started reading up on digital bus switch IC's. It seems a 10-digit one like this would work, leaving one unused. http://www.digikey.com/product-detail/en/74CBTLV3861PW,118/568-8418-1-ND/2765135 My question: is this the easiest solution? I simply don't know what all options exist, so any advice from someone more experienced would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your time. -Caleb

Posted by calebpaul 3 years ago

Momentary switches

Hi, Just wanted to know if a momentary switch (normally open) could be used as a on/off switch with out using a relay.  thanks in advance :D

Posted by Nanow 6 years ago

USB to switch?

I am building a backlit keyboard, and I wanted to hook it up to a switch. How would I make it from the USB, or the default connector, to a switch?

Posted by Exploitation 5 years ago

USB Light Switch

I have a spare light switch and I want to convert it to play a song when I flip the switch. How could I do that?

Posted by wisconsinrules88 4 years ago

Need help with switches.

II have two switches. One momentary and one latching. Both have leds and want to wire them so that the LEDs turn on or off when the latching switch is activated. Please see pictures as they are not regular 2 or 3 poled switches. Thanks.

Posted by bastafari 5 years ago

k and a slide switch

I got a k and a slide switch and i dont know how to use it to connect the wires to it.

Posted by southautomatic 10 years ago

led switch

My dad is redoing his basement and he wants to have a panel of switches with leds above them.  so that when the switch is on the led above it is on to.  does anyone know how to do this?

Posted by tic tac man 8 years ago


I have a triple switch which connects fan and 2 lights. I want to install a remote control switch (picture attached) and make the process remote as well as switch. How can i do this? 

Posted by SafarM 2 years ago

help needed to wire a series of toggle switches

Can anybody please show me how to wire a series of 7 toggle switches. The switches are 3 amp 2 or 3 pole, a diagram would be very helpfull with an explanation. Or a video

Posted by Woodycrafts 9 years ago

USB cable with On/off Switch

Anyone know how to make USB cable with On/off Switch, not just to off the power, but to completely switch off the data flowing on a usb cable.  Thanks!

Posted by dimension_55 8 years ago

Cat5 Changeover Switch?

Is there anyway to make a switch that switches between cat5 connections? For example, if I have 5 wires running to a rack with some switches in it, and wire one goes bad, I want to be able to turn the switch and then it will start using wire number two instead. How would I go about doing this? Any help would be appreciated :) -Tyler

Posted by tyler9613 8 years ago

Question about switches...

I am very new to electrical projects. Please be nice. Does it matter which side is positive or negative on a switch?

Posted by Soileau 10 years ago

switch help

I'm doing a school contest with a car which requires a toggle switch. I'm gtoing to use a dcd to dc converter to give me an edge. The only problem is that it needs to be a momentary switch. whenever you push the switch down it goes on. Whenever you push it down again it turns off. Any idea for a circuit so that a spdt (3 pins) toggle switch will act like a momentary switch each time it's flicked for a time like a second?

Posted by guyfrom7up 11 years ago

Help with antique three way switch

I have a 60's era Stiffel table lamp that has a bad rotary switch. It's a three-way switch with an unusual design. I cannot find a replacement. Is it possible to salvage this switch in some way? Any help is appreciated. Tom

Posted by ttemple2 2 years ago

Replace 3-way light swtichs

  Hi Folks,   I have a small laundry room with two 3-way light switches and no outlets. I would like to replace both switches using one of these options: Replace "master" switch with combo switch/outlet (like Pass & Seymour TM838. Replace slave switch with an Occupancy Sensor Switch. -OR- Same has above but use a regular outlet instead of combo. If I have to I would be happy with disabling one of the switches and just have the Occupancy switch. I have posted photos of the wires coming out of the switches here: http://stellabotte.smugmug.com/Other-1/Electric/37036170_Zc4KSw/#!i=3075021321&k;=gGJ9vgJ The replacement switches are: Pass & Seymour TM838-WCC   Combination Sw/Outlet    Pass & Seymour RW3U600       Multi-Way Occupancy Switch   One side bar question, can any 3-way switch work with any other 3-way switch on the same circuit ? Thanks -Fred

Posted by fstellab 4 years ago

Air Switch Dimmer

I would like to make a switch like the one in mathmos Air Switch. i am not sure how to but could this be done. or is there some thing close that i can do? need it for a school project. thanks pyr0000

Posted by pyr0000 11 years ago

I need a AC/USB adapter controlled by IR Switch

I need a AC/USB adapter controlled by IR switch

Posted by mrkleing 8 years ago

How is that switch called in english?

Hello everyone, for my instructable I need to know how that switch is called in english. Thank you for helping! Mischka

Posted by mischka 5 years ago

how to add a little on/off switch to this meter?

Hi, quick question, how do i connect a little toggle switch to this meter? what/where do i connect the switch to? i want to set it up to override the push button. Thanks

Posted by HTF 10 years ago

Switch Timer

Good day, Please i have 2 bulbs/leds, one is green and the other is red. I want to put a time switch between them so that after 10 minutes the red switch off and the green lights up and vice versa till i switch it off. So do you know of any switch that i can use for that purpose, that will operate under 12v, like 5v. Please thanks

Posted by Don Amada 4 years ago

Where can I find cheap key switches?

I need a momentary key switch, like the ones in car ignition switches for an upcoming project. I also need one that toggles. Like these, but from a cheaper source.http://www.amazon.com/Key-Switch-with-2-Keys/dp/B0002BA3PE/ref=pd_sim_e_3http://www.amazon.com/Momentary-Key-Switch-2-Keys/dp/B0002ZPBHK/ref=pd_bxgy_e_text_b

Posted by Gamernotnerd 9 years ago

12v device to switch on a 9v device (signal to switch on only)

I have a device that is switched on by a sensor, powered by 12v, 1.3amp battery. I have another device that is switched on by a mechanical push button switch, this is powered by a 9v battery. I want to piggy back on the wires that switch on the 12v device and take the signal (to turn on only) to the device that is already powered by a 9v battery and normally turned on by a push button switch. ( I want to replace this mechanical push button switch with an "electronic switch" turned on and off the the presence and absence of the 12v signal) I want the 9v device to switch on only when the 12v device switches on and switch off when the 12v device switches off. Also I want the 9v device to only run on the original 9v battery (not accepting power from the 12v device and not returning any power from the 9v device to the 12v device. Is there a switch device/relay that can do this? A device that I can just connect between the wires going from the 12v device to the 9v device? I am a novice to electronics please be kind. I an open to using part from another device, and basic mods. Thank you

Posted by Jvos 6 years ago

Help wiring dpdt rocker switch (on-off-on)

Hi I want to install a on-off-on waterproof dpdt rocker switch into my radio controlled boat. I want to run the motor and a set of led navigation lights with on side of the switch and the motor with no navigation lights on the other side. Is this possible and if so how would I wire the switch. Many Thanks

Posted by neill125 7 years ago

Using a recycled switch -- Question about voltage

I'm building a simple solder fume extractor using a 12v fan from an old appliance. I will wire in a 12v power supply. The switch I want to use is rated 125v AC at 13 amps. Is there any reason I couldn't use this switch? Or do I need to match the switch's voltage with the fan's?

Posted by Boy Genius 6 years ago

Building a switch to invert current

I got a small electrical engine the other day, and I have to hook it up to two switches so that one switch starts the engine clockwise and the other counter-clockwise. My initial thought was to simply hook it up to two separate batteries each with a switch and one with the current reverted (like illustrated). But I'm wondering if there's a better way to go about this. For instance I have no idea if accidently activating both switches simultaneously will blow up the engine :s

Posted by Flark 9 years ago

External switch box that attches via master internal HD cables to switch between master HD's

I have an idea, spawned from my resent switch to linux and the fear of still needing XP at times. anyone have any ideas on how to make 2 seperate hard drives (don't want partitions and crap I want 2 seperate HD's) to attach externally and be able to switch betwen them just by hitting a switch or something?

Posted by chaoscampbell 10 years ago

Headphone-Speaker switch

This goes with my last post on putting an Ipod in an old CD player case. I now have an idea to have a switch to change the sound output between headphones and powerd speakers. Again I tried to research how to wire a switch and this is what i came up with.

Posted by fresh1 8 years ago

Connect multiple Reed Switches to one Raspberry pi

Hi, I was wondering if its possible to connect multiple reed switches to 1 Raspberry Pi so i can get notified whenever 1 or more switches gets triggerd. thank you.

Posted by archi0112 1 year ago

connect to a mini switch to LED

I hooked up a 5 mm LED to a mini push button on-off switch. However, when it is in the off position the color is still bleeding through. Could this be because the LED is too strong for the switch? I am powering it with a CR2032 coin cell battery. 

Posted by cpaz17 5 years ago

infrared switch

I was wondering if they make infrared activated switches, so its like wireless. if they do where can I get them, I've seen those 10x things but they don't really appeal to me.

Posted by Jordo 10 years ago

Using computer as an electronic switch?

Please help. I really appreciate it.

Posted by babak.mn 10 years ago

wiring a dpdt switch like a dpst switch

I need a DPST rotary switch so that i can turn on two circuits at once but the closest i've been able to find with appropriate ratings is a DPDT switch, is it possible to wire it up to my circuits in such a way that it works like a DPST switch? I've attached an example diagram i found of a DPDT switch, if i was to disconnect the lamp from pin 1 and the buzzer from pin 2 would the first position of the switch become Off and the second position become On powering the LED and speaker? also assuming that the LED and speaker only connected back to their respective batteries and not to each other, could i attach a low voltage battery to pin 3 for the LED and a higher voltage battery to pin 4 for the speaker without causing damage?

Posted by ambientvoid 1 year ago

2-Switch Flashlight

If nobody has seen yet, my Easy LED Flashlight. I was wondering how I would make a double switch and double light on the flashlight. Do I have to add hookup wire to the one switch and connect it to the other switch and then have more hookup wire going to my other LED? -Thanks in advance -Brennn10

Posted by Brennn10 11 years ago

Electronics Question: Double Switch

I figure that this is a simple question, but I have a pretty limited knowledge of electronics. Would it be possible to hook two switches up (in parallel) to an LED, so that if either switch was toggled, the light would go on? I'm almost definitely sure it would, but just wanted to make sure. Thanks!

Posted by Bran 10 years ago

Ethernet selector between 4 different sources

Hello, I'm trying to design a switch box to switch between 4 different ethernet sources and output to one cable. I've checked around and believe I have developed a way to do it, but I am unable to find a switch that uses 4 smaller independent switches. The concept seems pretty straight forward but I don't want to use 16 switches. Please let me know if there is a switch which controls 4 independent connections or if there is a better way that I'm over looking. I look forward to your input! Best Regards, Zach G

Posted by lossofworth 4 years ago


Im building a multiphase coilgun but encountered a problem. In order to activate secondary phases i need a photoelecric switch. In my case it is TCRT5000 photoelectric switch. The problem, however, is that once the ''beam of light'' is shining on it, the switch is turned on, but i need it to be turned off when ''beam'' is directed at the diode and turn on when the ''beam'' is not directed at the diode. How do I do this? And in this case changing polarities wont change anything.

Posted by mondeluz 2 years ago

custom dead-man switch with buzzer

So I am in need of something handheld with a "dead-man switch" that activates a buzzer or some type of alert if you let go. The buzzer would be silent as long as you hold the switch and go off when you release it. Probably build the whole thing into a small piece of PCV so its hand held. I don't know where to start with the "dead-man switch", any suggestions? 

Posted by jtichinel1 4 years ago

Motion Sensitive Switch

I'm trying to come up with a switch that activates when it is moved. Ultimately it would connected to a sound device and a small sample would be played every time the unit is picked up. Any suggestions on how I should go about doing this?

Posted by hectma 10 years ago

Book light switch?

Hi. I have a shelf, directly attached to the wall with a light switch at the back (see attached diagram). I'd like to use a tilting-out book as an on/off switch a la cliche mystery secret-room-door-opener. Any ideas for how to do this? Oh...just found this example: http://www.vespoe.com/blightdesign/shop/secret-passageway-switch Thanks!

Posted by samhandwich 6 years ago

Use guitar amplitude signal as a switch to light a bulb

Hello,  I'd like to light a bulb by using a guitar as a switch. My problem is I don't know where to plug the guitar into. Is it some kind of switch I have to tweak, or is it some kind of resistor. I've attached an image to explain the electric circuit. 

Posted by davcoccio 5 years ago