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Plan your renovations : switches, dimmers and electrical circuits

Published on : 2020 - 02 - 19

Multi  Luminaire

Multi Luminaire

Multi Luminaire
Plan your renovations : switches, dimmers and electrical circuits

Plan your renovations : switches, dimmers and electrical circuits


Switches are used to turn electrical circuits on and off. Switches aren’t just practical; they can also be a decorative element. Switch suppliers offer a wide variety of colours and formats to suit all styles. Several types of switches are available on the market. The following are the most popular:


These type of switches are the most commonly used in homes. They are very convenient when you want to turn a light fixture on or off from two different locations, typically in an entrance or hallway. It is perfect for entrances and hallways since lighting source control can be accessed in two locations. You will not need to go down from the second floor to turn off entrence lighting.

Motion detector 

Motion detector switches automatically turn a light fixture on and off thanks to an integrated motion sensor. When motion is detected, the light fixture comes on! Installing this type of switch in the pantry or your closets is very practical. You’ll never again have to wonder whether you left the light on in the closet or need to turn on the light in the pantry when your hands are full!


Timer switches make it possible to configure light fixtures in any room in your house so that they turn on and off, suggesting a presence in the house. For greater safety, you can program timer switches according to the time you arrive or leave home. Your rooms will be lit up when you get home from work, and you’ll never be stuck in a dark room trying to turn on your kitchen switch with your hands full of groceries!


To choose the right dimmer, you must first know whether you need a one- or three-way circuit? This information determines the type of electrical circuit with which the dimmer will be used. A one-way circuit is a conventional electronic circuit wherein a single switch or dimmer controls a light fixture. By contrast, a three-way circuit is one where two switches or dimmers control a light fixture. Note that with a three-way circuit it’s possible to have the dimmer only at one of two locations, unless you buy a more specialized product. There are also four-way and even five-way circuits that require specialized dimmers. Finally, you need to determine the type of lighting the dimmer will control. In short, lighting runs on 120 or 12 volts. Lighting that operates on 12 volts comes in two categories according to the type of transformer used, electronic or magnetic. The category will determine whether you need a low-voltage magnetic or electronic dimmer, based on the type of transformer the light fixture uses. You’ll find this information in the light fixture installation instructions or specifications. For any 120-volt light bulb, whether incandescent, halogen or compact fluorescent, choose a regular dimmer. For LED products, refer to the light fixture manufacturer’s recommendations, as the type of dimmer required can vary according to the light bulb used and manufacturer.

The use of a dimmer not only lets you create different moods by playing with light intensity, but it also saves energy and extends light bulb lifespan. You might also find a dimmer convenient in your bedroom. Subtle lighting is best when you want to create a cozy, intimate mood. Dimmers let you adapt lighting and adjust its intensity according to the time of day.

Electrical outlets

When you draw up your lighting plan, make sure to correctly calculate the number of outlets you need for each room. You need to make sure you have the right number of outlets to meet your needs while keeping your future needs in mind. It’s better to have more outlets than too few! Also keep in mind that the building code in effect in your area requires a minimum number of outlets depending on the room. The most commonly used types of outlets are outlined below:


Standard outlets can be found in every room of the house. For the kitchen, make a list of your appliances to determine the number of electrical outlets you need and where to install them. If you have an island, consider installing a power outlet on the side of it, so you can use this section of your kitchen to plug in your mixer! Remember that, unless it is intended for a microwave, outlets cannot be installed inside a closed cabinet. This restriction also applies to drawers. In the living room, determine where your sofa will be located. Plan to install a power outlet close by, so you can set up a table or floor lamp. In the bedroom, remember to install outlets on both sides of the bed.

Ground fault circuit (GFCI)

This type of outlet functions the same way as a standard outlet, but it is equipped with a safety feature that detects water splashes. In the event of a splash, the outlet will instantly cut off the electrical current. All electrical outlets located near a sink must be of this type. These outlets can be installed near a sink in a bathroom or kitchen. However, for safety’s sake, remember not to install them too close to the tap and preferably higher up on the wall. It is important to know that a GFCI outlet protects against ground leakage but not against overloads and short circuits. The circuit breaker in the electrical panel is responsible for these functions.


Network outlets are used for telephones, networking and electronic devices and also include USB-type outlets. If you want outlets for your phone or tablet into the bedroom, living room or kitchen, plan for them in your lighting plan. It’s very convenient to have a USB power outlet on your kitchen island or near your kitchen counter since we use tablets to access recipes more and more frequently!

Specialized electrical outlets

Choose these outlets for appliances that require a large electrical load, such as the oven, dishwasher, refrigerator, washer and dryer. These devices must have a dedicated electrical circuit and a single power outlet.


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