Master light switch for multiple breakers


Old 04-19-16, 01:19 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 1
Master light switch for multiple breakers

So I have just moved into a new shop and I'm trying to rearrange it the way I want. I've torn out several walls so now multiple rooms are one large room. Some of the light switches were in the walls I took out and don't have a place to go so they are hanging in the middle of the room. I would really like to be able to flip one switch at the front that turns on all the lights to my shop rather than flipping eight but each room is on a separate breaker. I might be able to combine a couple circuits but there are way too many lights to fit on one breaker. Is there a way to do this? Maybe a switch with multiple polls? But where would I find a 8pst switch? Any advice would be appreciated
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Old 04-19-16, 01:29 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Near Lansing, Michigan
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You can install one or more lighting contactors (relays) to control the separate circuits with one switch. This is a common item you can get from an electrical supply company. These are the "clunk" when you turn on a bank of lights in a commercial building.
Old 04-19-16, 01:58 PM
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Wet side of Washington state.
Posts: 18,399
A single lighting contactor (I've seen them with as many as 16 poles) would be good if you want to control all the lights simultaneously. If, however, you may want to control different areas in different patterns then replacing the existing switches with low-voltage control relays is an ideal solution. You can then use multiple low-voltage switches for either local or centralized control along with a master sequencer to turn off all the lights with one switch.
Old 04-19-16, 08:55 PM
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 914
Have you considered home automation switches like X10 or Instaon? Even Wi-Fi switches.

You can install and use them just like regular switches and you will have ability to control all switches from single switch or control pad.

Much easier then contactor option.
Old 04-20-16, 10:05 AM
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: New York
Posts: 63
Z-wave (which may be what was meant by wif-fi switches) are the way to go. This will do exactly what is needed and more.

The switches can be pricey for better brands (Cooper, Leviton) and some brands don't work well with others (Lutron has their own proprietary system). However, these switches allow you to control multiple items from one switch, and that switch doesn't need to be physically connected to the ones it controls. If you want to change things in the future, you can reconfigure switches without any re-wiring.

I have over 20 z-wave switches installed in my home and it is great. I can set up "scenes" and "Schedules" to control any of the switches. I can even control them (and my thermostats over the internet).

It is worth a look.

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