How Do I Choose the Best Infrared Switch?

L.S. Ware

As infrared technology improves and becomes more practical and cost effective, a vast number of applications have been developed. One of these applications is the infrared switch. Also known as a passive infrared (PIR) wall switch, these devices have many potential uses, and choosing the best infrared switch will depend on a variety of factors. Some of these factors include budgetary limitations, specific applications, and desired functionality.

Some infrared switches also have dimming functions.
Some infrared switches also have dimming functions.

Finding the best infrared switch can be a daunting task for a novice and doing some good research will help in the decision making. Determining if there are any cost considerations to take into account is a primary step. Many infrared switches can be acquired for a reasonable cost, and bulk discounts are often available if the project is large. The cost for a single PIR wall switch, as of 2011, ranges from approximately $15.00 US Dollars (USD) to $100.00 USD.

Infrared switches can be used for an array of functions. Before choosing a design, be sure that all desired functions are available with the selected model. The function of a switch may be as simple as turning a light on or off based on timing or by detecting movement in a certain proximity. More complicated designs are available that include such functions as remote control of the switch's functions, controlling a fan, or dimming lights. Some of the more complicated and multifunction switches may require user programming for the desired usability.

Generally speaking, the more complex the functions of an infrared switch are, the more expensive it will be. It is advisable to balance function and cost to come up with the most appropriate solution for the project at hand. Ensuring that the installation will not be problematic will also be beneficial. To do this, consulting with an electrician may be a prudent idea so as to avoid any circuit overloads or other similar problems.

Prior to finalizing any purchase of an infrared switch, perform standard due diligence by reading product reviews and checking the manufacturer's guarantees and warranty information, including such things as their return policies. This will help to alleviate potential issues. Have any specific quandaries answered before making a final decision to purchase. There may be questions regarding the anticipated lifespan of the product, compatibility with existing fixtures, or installation and configuration concerns. By covering as many issues as possible, the selection of the best infrared switch for any given project can be made simple and straightforward.

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