Light Wiring Diagrams

GANGS and their WAYS explained

No this is not a post about some dodgy Ross Kemp program:) Here we will attempt to clarify a subject that causes much confusion amongst  you budding D.I.Y. types…

Single gang 2 way, Triple gang 1 way, 2 gang 1 way, bla-d-bla-de-bla. So what the f**K does it all mean? Panic not my friends, it’s actually quite simple (although you wouldn’t think it if you have been reading many of the popular D.I.Y blogs).

Forget about the ‘WAYS’ first concentrate on the ‘GANGS’

So, just think of a gang as a single switch, simple as. If your light switch has one ‘switch button’ on it then it’s a single (or 1) gang switch. If it has two ‘switch buttons’ on it then it’s a double (or 2) gang switch. etc. etc.

single gang switch face

single gang switch

Double gang swith face plate

Double gang switch

Triple gang switch face

Triple gang switch

Glad we got that sorted?

‘GANGS’ are easy, so what of their ‘WAYS’

Well, as far as light switches (or gangs) are concerned, they can only be one of two things; a one way switch or a two way switch, end of.

One way light switch mechanism

One way light switch mechanism

A one way switch has two terminals, its the simplest of switch arrangements. it’s either on or off, thats all it does. When it’s ‘ON’ the COM terminal is connected to the L1 terminal (let there be light!). When it’s ‘OFF’ the COM terminal is connected to nothing and (the switch is open) no current flows through the switch.

 

 

 

Two way light switch mechanism

Two way light switch mechanism

A two way switch has three terminals its a little more complicated (any useful) than it’s one way cousin. When it’s ‘ON’ (position 1) the COM terminal is connected to the L1 terminal. But when it’s ‘OFF’ (position 2) the current is diverted from the L1 to the L2 terminal. This is what we use in circuits when we want to be able to switch a single light on and off from two different switches (see the two way switching lighting diagrams).

So, by way of a little revision

single gang switch face

single gang switch face

If we have a switch with one “switch button’ (1 gang) it can have a switch mechanism that is either one or two ‘WAYS’ so we have two possible options;

1/ A single GANG one WAY switch or

2/ A single gang two WAY switch

 

 

Double gang switch face plate

Double gang swich face plate

If we have a switch with two “switch buttons’ (2 gangs) it can have a switch mechanism that is either one or two ‘WAYS’ so we have two possible options;

1/ A Double GANG one WAY switch or

2/ A Double gang two WAY switch

And so on and so forth, Simples, you get the picture (I hope), I’m of to bed…

 


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