Adding inline switch to LED string lights

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by mellewel, May 22, 2015.

  1. mellewel

    Thread Starter New Member

    May 22, 2015
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    Hi - I want to add an inline switch to a string of LED lights and the normal ways I identify the hot wire are not available (no ribbed insulation, no writing, no color difference). Is this a case where either wire will work with the switch or is there another method of identification of the hot wire I should be using. Thank you in advance.
     
  2. ian field

    Distinguished Member

    Oct 27, 2012
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    You need to elaborate a bit on the circuit/module etc that drives the LED string - it may not like being suddenly confronted by an open circuit load.

    If its several strings of various colous alongside each other, you'll need a ganged or multi-pole switch.
     
  3. mellewel

    Thread Starter New Member

    May 22, 2015
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  4. ian field

    Distinguished Member

    Oct 27, 2012
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    Since the power source is 120V mains - you will need to observe good practice in construction of the switch unit, an insulated switch box, and if the switch has any accessible metal parts you'll need to arrange for a safety earth as well.

    In the UK its possible to buy mains plugs with a built in switch. Also almost all wall plates have a switch too.
     
  5. mellewel

    Thread Starter New Member

    May 22, 2015
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    switch.jpg Thank you so much for taking the time to respond. I think I may have used the wrong term. I just want to put an on/off switch between the plug and the start of the LEDs. I have attached a picture. Normally, I would cut the hot wire and install the switch, but I can't tell which is hot in this case. Does that make sense?
     
  6. ian field

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    Oct 27, 2012
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    Does it have a non-reversible mains plug?
     
  7. mellewel

    Thread Starter New Member

    May 22, 2015
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    meaning, is one prong bigger than the other? no - they are the same size.
     
  8. ian field

    Distinguished Member

    Oct 27, 2012
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    The ideal solution is a 2-pole on/off switch in the style pictured.

    It isolates both conductors - one of them is bound to be the live.
     
  9. mellewel

    Thread Starter New Member

    May 22, 2015
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    Ha - yes. OK - thank you so much!
     
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