Low Power Wall Switches


Old 10-21-13, 10:01 AM
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Location: Canada
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Low Power Wall Switches

I picked up a bunch of component 10w LEDs and am looking to set them up for emegency (power outage) lighting.
The one item I have left to figure out is the wall switches. Being 12v, and not attached to the regular power, I'm not sure what kind of switches to use which will not be confused with regular lights and if there is and existing codes pertaining to low voltage applications.
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Old 10-21-13, 11:15 AM
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There aren't very many code requirements surrounding low voltage wiring, but there are a few.

You need to use in-wall rated wire, it's usually rated CL. So you shouldn't use zip cord or any random wiring.

Switches can be whatever you want. You could use standard 120v switches and just choose a different color switch, or use another type of switch and just drill and mount it on a blank cover plate.

And while I'm totally into DIY projects, have you considered something like this?
Amazon.com: American Red Cross Eton Blackout Buddy Emergency LED Blackout Flashlight and Nightlight (ARCBB200W_DBL): Car Electronics
It simply plugs in, goes on automatically when the power goes out, and can be unplugged and used as a flashlight. Not nearly as much of a challenge though!
Old 10-21-13, 11:20 AM
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Do you have drivers and heat sinks for your LED's?
Old 10-21-13, 11:38 AM
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I don't remember what size the wire I have for the project, but it is proper wire and rated for more then 12v (can't check it at the moment). I have a small working driver on the test bench, but not large enough for some of the applications.
I have some heatsinks and some I will be making within the fixture.
I'm still in the design stage and figuring out how many leds in each room and where.

As for the plug in emergency flashlights... I have a couple, but with young kids, they become toys regardless how many times you tell them not to touch
Old 10-21-13, 11:42 AM
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I'm doing the same thing and using 3 inch recessed fixtures with MR-16 LED "bulbs". Wiring with 18-2 fire alarm cable and using regular switches. You could use switches of a different color or style or mount the switches significantly higher than the line-voltage switches.

Protect the wiring with no more than a 10 ampere fuse or circuit breaker, 7 ampere is probably better. If you are concerned about too much voltage then install a constant voltage regulator (from Ebay about $10 to $20) between the battery and the lights.

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