Simple bypass rocker switch

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  #1  
Old 12-08-12, 11:01 PM
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Simple bypass rocker switch

I have an Australian Ikea LED strip. Recently it hasn't been getting consistent brightness, fiddling with the rocker switch changed the intensity (push down REALLY hard got the best brightness, but take finger off button and it dimms significantly. Left alone it gets dimmer and dimmer with some LEDS almost off.

The problem i suspect was some moisture from the kitchen worktop stove enterting the rocker switch compartment (as the LED was mounted to a worktop bench shelf nearby), but what do i know, maybe they are just poorly made.

Anyway, before binning the cheap LED strip, I decided to crack open the rocker switch terminal and have a look. What i was hoping I could do was basically bypass the rocker switch altogether (as this seemed to impact the brightness) and rewire and use electrical tape to cover the patch up, then use the main power point for on off.

But i have NEVER done anything like this, I wouldn't want to rewire wrong incase of fire etc, so I'm just after opinions/methods or whether its just a bad bad idea etc. Step by step instructions are best.

Cheers,

Bruce
 
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  #2  
Old 12-09-12, 03:33 AM
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Is it switching mains voltage or is there an adapter with the switch controlling low voltage?

If it is in fact mains voltage.....then yes.....a taped splice would be a "bad bad idea etc".....
 

Last edited by Nashkat1; 12-09-12 at 01:06 PM. Reason: Remove formatting
  #3  
Old 12-09-12, 07:20 AM
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If there is no power supply ahead if this, I'd cut the switch off and put a plug on it.
 
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Old 12-09-12, 08:14 AM
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Note: This is a US site. Care should be taken as electrical systems vary per country.

It appears you have a standard two pole, inline switch as it does not appear to have any dimming controls. The dimming was likely due to a poor connection as you suspect. I suggest just changing out the switch with a new one. You should be able to get one at a local hardware store or home store, or of course online. It may not look the same but it will function the same.

Here is a step by step article I found online: How to Install an In-Line Cord Switch | The Family Handyman This is also a US site and is dealing with US electricity which is 120v to ground. AU electricity appears to be 240v but I am not familiar if that is with a grounded conductor or between two hots. Please ask around where you buy the switch and they will point you in the right direction.

Cost for a switch will be less than $10 Here is one I have used that works well: Compact White Plastic In-line Cord Light Lamp Switch - Amazon.com I believe it will work for you as it is rated at 250V
 
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Old 12-09-12, 11:45 AM
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Thanks for the replies guys, sorry for getting back to you late, subscriptions to posting threads wasn't automatically on so i thought i wasn't getting replies.

I never thought about replacing the actual switch... good idea, i will visit my local hardware store. FYI i have two of these cheap led strip lights and the dimm/brightness thing is starting to happen with the other one and its nowhere near any real moisture (other than air), it must just be poorly made.

I have supplied two other pics to show the complete system.

Should i choose to bypass the rocker switch and just rely on the mains as a way of turning the light on and off, how would I go about that?
A previous chap suggested I just whack a plug on it, but that box looks mighty important (what is it? does it control the amount of power the lights receive to stop it kabooming?).

I have only ever changed a regular plug (on something like a vacuum cleaner) whereby there are usally (i think) 3 wires to connect. This only has 2, how does that work?

Feel free to treat me like a complete idiot, id rather have too much info than too little. And thanks once again.
 
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Old 12-09-12, 12:06 PM
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That box is a power supply that converts the line voltage to 12V DC. You need that. Because the switch is on the low voltage side of the power supply, it is safe to splice it.
 
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Old 12-09-12, 12:07 PM
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Splice? Please can you expand further what this process exactly entails?
 
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Old 12-09-12, 12:16 PM
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You could just splice (connect the wires) together bypassing the switch, but then you will not have a way to turn them off other then pulling the plug out of wall.

I still say just replace the switch with a new one. It will be very inexpensive, and since it is low voltage, my earlier cautions are void. 12 vdc is safe. Just keep the wires separate and you will be fine.
 
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Old 12-09-12, 12:16 PM
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Splice means to connect the wires together and insulate the resulting connection. Since this is DC it is important that the wire top left is spliced to the wire top right and the wire bottom left is spliced to the bottom right wire. You can twist, solder, and tape the wires or just twist and tape. There are insulated connectors of various types you could use but since I'm writing American and your reading Australian and didn't understand something simple, and I thought universal, as "splice" I'll leave it at "twist and tape".
 
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Old 12-09-12, 12:46 PM
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So let me get this straight (and thank you all for yer patience).

I go to my local hardware store and buy electrical tape. I then twist/intertwine top left to top right (even using some wire strippers to get more access to the metal wire if need be). I then tape this connection. I then do the same with bottom left to bottom right. Then i can wrap the two together to make one wire as opposed to a weaker connection...

Like from this -----<>------

to this -------------

As long as the top and bottom were wrapped with proper electrical tape (insulated), and then wrapped together all should be ok?

What would happen (or what could happen) if i did a bad job. Wrapped top left to top right but insulated badly and now bottom right is also touching this join etc? It a case of the circuit just not working, or is it an actual fire hazard?
 
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Old 12-09-12, 01:11 PM
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You are overthinking it. Just mark the top left and right wires with a marker, Then go ahead and do the splices, Wrap each splice with electrical tape and then do an over wrap of both with electrical tape.

The marker is so that, if you drop the wires while cutting them free or trimming the insulation, you will stiil know to connect marked to marked and unmarked to unmarked.
 
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Old 12-09-12, 01:14 PM
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Ahhh... good top tip, cheers
 
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Old 12-09-12, 02:23 PM
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Just to make sure you fully understand that if you splice the wires together, you will have to unplug it to turn it off.
 
  #14  
Old 12-09-12, 08:27 PM
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ZZZAAAAAAAAAAAAPPPP! x(
 
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