Touch lamp control...


Old 12-17-04, 04:19 PM
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Question Touch lamp control...

Due to arthritis in my fingers, I have tried to install a touch light control switch so that I can simply touch a metal surface of the lamp to change the light level (off, one, two, three).

It works fine, BUT when the heater cycles on (gas, but electronic ignition), the lamp occasionally cycles as well. Sometimes when other systems cycle.

I'm curious how this system works. Is it detecting a change in ground? Is the house incorrectly wired?

I do have to rewire a number of outlets to ground them properly (parts of the house still use old knob and tube). Should I just wait to use this device until I've rewired these outlets, or is there some other thing going on, such as power surges (definitely see those a fair amount actually) that might trigger this?

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Old 12-17-04, 04:56 PM
1Geniere's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 113
There are many ways to design a touch switch, but I believe the most common depend on the amount of capacitance coupling to ground. When you touch the metal part of the lamp, the capacitance coupling is increased and triggers the device.

Per your problem, it might be corrected by plugging it into a different circuit or perhaps simply moving the line cord or draping it differently, maybe avoid coiling it.

A touch switch may incorporate a hi frequency oscillator and be sensitive to high frequency noise as your post seems to indicate. If the house wiring does not include a grounding conductor, it is unlikely the problem can be fixed without investing in a noise filter device.

You might investigate a switch that is triggered by clapping hands or whistling , etc.
Old 12-17-04, 05:10 PM
Rainbird's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: California
Posts: 373
Hey that right! It's Christmas time, let's hear it for the "Clapper".

---Sorry, couldn't resist---

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