Lighted Bat Handle Switch for 120vac Operation.

Thread Starter

MrAl

Joined Jun 17, 2014
11,683
Hello there,

They make a lot of these switches for 12vdc in all different colors, but it seems they don't make them for 120vac, or do they.

Any ideas where I might find one? It's for someone else I am just tasked with finding one for them.

I thought of using a 120vac relay with a 12vdc coil and 12vdc switch, but that requires a constantly available source of 12vdc and that's not really practical. If you have any other ideas here too though that would be good to hear also.
 

MisterBill2

Joined Jan 23, 2018
19,355
What is the illumination device in the switch? Neon,. incandescent, or LED??? For an LED two diodes and a resistor are what it will take,
Use an ohm meter to see if it is a diode, or if the resistance is the same in both directions. One diode in series with a resistor , the other diode across the LED to clamp the reverse voltage. The resistor value must limit the forward current to 20 mA at the PEAK to peak mains voltage, not the RMS or average voltage.
For an LED constantly lighted, use 10 milliamps instead of 15.
 

Jon Chandler

Joined Jun 12, 2008
1,094
For an LED two diodes and a resistor are what it will take....
Hate to argue, but the LED terminals in a switch designed for 12 volts (common automotive type) are not isolated from the switch terminals. One or both sides of the LED+resistor are common to the power terminal(s).

Search for switches on Digikey. Illuminated line-voltage rockers are definitely available (I have one in my hand); I don't know about bat handles.
 

Thread Starter

MrAl

Joined Jun 17, 2014
11,683
Hate to argue, but the LED terminals in a switch designed for 12 volts (common automotive type) are not isolated from the switch terminals. One or both sides of the LED+resistor are common to the power terminal(s).

Search for switches on Digikey. Illuminated line-voltage rockers are definitely available (I have one in my hand); I don't know about bat handles.
Yes, the person in question wants a bat handle switch not a rocker. That led to this search.
I am discovering that there may be some issues with this idea though, it may not be possible. I'll expound more in my next post.
 

Thread Starter

MrAl

Joined Jun 17, 2014
11,683
What is the illumination device in the switch? Neon,. incandescent, or LED??? For an LED two diodes and a resistor are what it will take,
Use an ohm meter to see if it is a diode, or if the resistance is the same in both directions. One diode in series with a resistor , the other diode across the LED to clamp the reverse voltage. The resistor value must limit the forward current to 20 mA at the PEAK to peak mains voltage, not the RMS or average voltage.
For an LED constantly lighted, use 10 milliamps instead of 15.
Hi,

There is no device, yet. I would assume an LED would be better, but not mandatory. A neon would be acceptable I think.

Here are the problems I have discovered with the entire idea of a bat handle switch that is lighted and works at 120vac.

1. If the switch works on low voltage DC then a low voltage DC source is required to be on all the time to power a relay that works at 120vac.
2. If the switch has an LED that is powered by the line and one to four diodes, then there is access to line voltage potentials inside the bat handle, so if the plastic breaks or cracks the user is subject to line voltage potential.
3. Using a latching relay and a pulse from the switch, the LED still has to be on all the time the switch is closed, so that seems to preclude the use of a battery to act as the DC source. It's just impractical.

What seems to be needed is a very special mechanical design. The bat handle would have to be made from a light pipe so the LED light could come up from inside the switch and into the bat handle and thus light up the bat handle. That would mean the LED could be powered directly from the line with adequate rectification.

What else I did not want to get into was similar to the old doorbell transformers. They would be installed inside walls to power the doorbell system. The problem is they have to be powered all the time in order to provide low voltage to the door bell switch. This is similar to building an isolated DC power supply that is on all the time.

Now that I think about it though, maybe a wall wart to power the DC switch, then a relay to power the actual load. Wall warts are made to run 24/7 so maybe not too bad of an idea. I'd hate to have to have a wall wart plugged in all the time just for that though, but maybe no other way. It would provide isolated power. Since the switch is already made and commonly found online, no special mechanical design.

Just some thoughts any other ideas certainly welcome.
 

Jon Chandler

Joined Jun 12, 2008
1,094
How about a non-illuminated bat handle toggle and an adjacent pilot lamp? A pilot lamp camp range from ~¼" to nearly an inch or more.
 

MisterBill2

Joined Jan 23, 2018
19,355
For a mains powered light a neon will be the most efficient light source. The issue of exposed mains-potential conductors if the bat handle is broken is certainly real. But in all my time I have only seen a very few broken bat handles of switches, all due to serious abuse. So probably that would not be a big problem.
But now I suggest looking at plastic lever switches. A reasonable alternative to rocker switches.
 

Thread Starter

MrAl

Joined Jun 17, 2014
11,683
Oh ok thanks very much. They are so hard to find. Digikey sells them but demands buying 10 which is almost $200 USD, out of the question, but Mouser looks more promising.
Looks like it lights up blue when on, red when off, and maybe a center position with no light on.

Thanks much really. If I can help with anything you are doing don't hesitate to ask here or PM.
 
Last edited:

Thread Starter

MrAl

Joined Jun 17, 2014
11,683
How about a non-illuminated bat handle toggle and an adjacent pilot lamp? A pilot lamp camp range from ~¼" to nearly an inch or more.
That's an interesting idea too, I'll have to check if the unit this will go into already has one though, I think it does, but maybe not.
 

Thread Starter

MrAl

Joined Jun 17, 2014
11,683
For a mains powered light a neon will be the most efficient light source. The issue of exposed mains-potential conductors if the bat handle is broken is certainly real. But in all my time I have only seen a very few broken bat handles of switches, all due to serious abuse. So probably that would not be a big problem.
But now I suggest looking at plastic lever switches. A reasonable alternative to rocker switches.
The kind they make for automobiles (12vdc) usually have a plastic bat handle. I had considered making a faux handle out of plastic to go over a metal handle, but then the wires have to run up into the handle and that is where I stopped thinking about that idea. The handle would have to go inside the switch and pipe the light up from inside to the handle so if the handle broke, no hot wire can get to the users fingers.
The ones linked to in the following posts are $16 USD each though, but that's life.
 

Thread Starter

MrAl

Joined Jun 17, 2014
11,683
They list three different colors. Red, blue and green.
The description states they light up when on.
Hi,

The data sheet says that they make a whole line of switches similar to that one with different colors and different modes, and even some having two colors: one for 'off' and one for 'on'. The one linked to lights blue when on and red when off, but there seems to be a middle position where I guess neither of those light up.
They way they list it is the part number contains the information about the two colors. The last part is one color, the part just before that is the other color. They also describe the mode like SPST or whatever.
 
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