How Do Wireless Light Switches Work?

Varvara May 05 2022

Switch the light on or off with the remote control? Wireless light switches make it possible without much effort. Wireless light switches are particularly suitable for refurbishments and renovations because no cables have to be laid. Switching lights on and off wirelessly is therefore ideal where interior furnishings are frequently changed or the wall surface does not allow for slots or cable ducts. 

Wireless light switches are therefore a renovation-friendly alternative for historic old buildings in order to damage as little as possible. They are used in old buildings as well as in rooms with wooden or glass walls.

The different variants of wireless light switches

Wireless light switches are available in different versions. However, the functionality is always the same. The wireless light switch transmits the switching signal wirelessly to a receiving module, which switches the circuit on or off.

The wireless light switch consists of a built-in switch and a wall receiver. These two components are installed in place of the previous light switch. 

Wireless radio switches

The wireless radio switch is switched on or off by remote control like a conventional switch.

The radio switch consists only of a small radio receiver that is simply installed behind the existing switch. This makes it possible to switch the light on or off using a button or switch as before and also to use remote control.

The wireless switch consists of two components, a transmitter (wall switch) and a receiver (consumer module). The transmitter is battery operated or is connected to the existing power supply. 

Battery-operated wireless light switches

The battery-operated switch has the advantage that you can place the transmitter anywhere. With the wired variant, the switch is set in place of the previous light switch. The receiver is connected to the light source. Actuating the switch sends a wireless signal to the module, which turns the consumer on or off like a conventional switch.

Wired wireless switches

Wired wireless switches usually only replace the previous switch that turns the consumer on or off. The existing line to the consumer is used. Instead of the switch, there is a receiver behind the cover of the radio switch, which replaces the on and off function with the previous button or rocker with remote control. 

Wireless switches that are operated on the basis of a 230V connection are also wired. Instead of the previous switch, there is a transmitter behind the cover of the radio switch, which switches the light, which is equipped with a receiver, on or off using a button or remote control.

Battery-operated wireless switches

Battery-powered wireless switches usually work with batteries. The advantage over wired wireless switches is the free choice of installation location. The battery-operated wireless switch usually consists of three components: the switch housing, a receiver, and a transmitter. 

Battery-free wireless switches work with piezo technology. Here, the so-called piezo-technical effect of certain crystals or polymers is used. If mechanical pressure is applied to a piezoelectric crystal or a polymer, an electrical voltage is generated. Pressing the radio switch activates the built-in piezo element, which generates a coded radio signal and thus activates the switch-on or switch-off function of the consumer. 

A big advantage is that there’s no need to replace the batteries and, as with battery-operated wireless switches, the installation location can be freely selected. However, it must be noted that with self-powered wireless switches the range between transmitter and receiver is only 30 meters inside a building and around 100 meters outside.