Lighted switches -- any with long-lasting lights?

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I keep having to replace the illuminated light switch in one of our bathrooms because the neon soon starts flickering and then gives up altogether. I don't recall what brand, or even whether they were the same brand.
Are there any that are known to last a long time. Any with LEDs rather than neons?
(Why an illuminated switch? Because the switch is not immediately inside the door. An aged family member with failing eyesight often visits, and she finds a lighted switch a great advantage.)
Perce
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wrote:

Not exactly the answer you were looking for, but if there is a GFCI outlet in the same box as the light switch, Pass and Seymour make a GFCI with built in LED night light that seems purpose made for use in a bathroom. then you don't have to worry about a lighted switch, and you can also perhaps use the facilities at 2 AM without blinding yourself.
I'm not sure if there are any switches with LED lighting, although I'm not sure why not.
nate
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Smitty Two wrote:

LEDs are current not voltage driven devices and will work on pretty much any voltage with the appropriate current limiting resister.
Neon lamps are hermetically sealed devices and bathroom humidity will have no effect on them.
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Pete C. wrote:

And you might also need a diode across the LED to limit the reverse voltage so it doesn't harm the LED.

Jeff
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wrote:

Jeff.. To eliminate that problem as I build LED night lights to light areas at night for disabled wife I do this. LED>diode>resistor> Capacitor all in series. Capacitor is usually a .1 mfd at 400 volts. I have done many with several white LED's in series. I check for resistor size to limit the current to 20ma. This same method could be used with LED light circuit added across the bath switch. When bath light is turned on LED would go off and come back on when bath light is turned off.. WW
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The reversed diode across the LED is also needed. You can also use another LED (reversed across the first LED) and reduce the (peak) current accordingly.
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On 11/23/2010 11:02 AM WW spake thus:

Everything makes sense except the cazapitor[1]. Why is that there? Keep in mind that you've got a half-wave rectifier (the diode) in series with the LED, so pulsating DC, not AC. Methinks the cazapitor serves no porpoise here.
And I'm guessing you need a substantial resistor to dissipate the power being dropped. Lessee, with a 20 mA 2.5 volt LED, we need ... a 6 K ohm resistor capable of dissipating 2.5 watts. Not a small thing. Is that what you use?
[1] Apologies to Jeff Liebermann from another group (sci.electronics.repair).
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wrote:

The capacitor is an impedance (Z=1/(2PiFC) in series with the LED. The power is reduced because the impedance has a large imaginary component.

You can light an LED with a lot less current than 20ma, though with the capacitor trick 20mA isn't a problem either (above). A .47uF capacitor gives an impedance of 5.6K or about 20mA. The resistor is used to limit the inrush current so the LED doesn't fry when plugged in. There probably should be another resistor across the input to discharge the capacitor.
Important note: THE CAPACITOR MUST BE RATED FOR 120V AC OPERATION!

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On 11/23/2010 5:28 PM snipped-for-privacy@att.bizzzzzzzzzzzz spake thus:

A-ha. (You'll have to excuse me here; while I have a lifelong familiarity with electronics, I'm just now getting around to formally learning it.)
So I'm guessing this has to do with the fact that with capacitance, current leads voltage, right? So how exactly does this reduce the power? Because I and E are out of phase? (by 90)
Anyhow, neat trick, getting rid of that ugly power resistor.
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wrote:

You got it, mostly. However, it's not quite 90 because some power must be consumed to light the LED. The two resistors (one in series and one across the capacitor) are in there for safety (and reliability), so shouldn't be overlooked. They will consume power.

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On 11/23/2010 7:38 PM, David Nebenzahl wrote:

The capacitor will pass pulsating DC if there is a load on it, and it also reduces the need for a 2.5 watt diode. He probably gets by with a 1/4 or 1/2 watt.
I've seen cheap battery chargers with a similar setup, like inside a cordless beard trimmer.
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check out www.smartlite.com. They carry a series of illuminated switch plates with LED's. Very nice. But, they don't last. I've gotten an average of 2-3 years out of them. But they will replace them on warranty.
mm
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WW wrote:

You sure about that? What keeps the cap from charging up till the current goes to zero?
Two leds in anti-parallel then in series with a resistor works. You can reduce the dissipation by adding a series capacitor, BUT If you do so, a voltage transient on the line blows right thru the cap and the resistor is all you got to limit the peak current.
Putting it across the light switch is a BAD idea. Check with your electrical inspector. You can argue that the current won't kill you while you're changing the light bulb, but if the shock startles you and you fall off the ladder onto the sink, that might. I don't install risky stuff that might hurt the next owner of the house after I'm hit by a truck.
Capacitor is usually a .1 mfd at 400 volts. I have done many with

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On 11/23/2010 11:59 PM mike spake thus:

Relax.
He said he builds LED *night lights*, not lights across switches. Standalone lights.
And what the heck is "anti-parallel"?
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David Nebenzahl wrote:

Understand that these posts hang around forever and get disconnected from context. I usually don't bother calling people on dumb ideas unless the suggestion has significant probability of hurting someone not skilled in the art. I think THIS qualifies. YMMV.

If you'd read BEFORE you snipped you would have seen: "This same method could be used with LED light circuit added across the bath switch." Go back and read what I said about getting disconnected from context.

Google is your friend. I find it very helpful when I don't know a term. It's saved my bacon many times when I was tempted to post an insinuation that the other guy was an idiot.

First: READ Second: UNDERSTAND Third: TYPE Fourth: Wait half an hour, re-read what you typed and decide it you should post it.
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wrote:

How often do you have to replace? I have several in my house, and have used them in previous houses too (never in a bathroom though). Never had one go out after several years' experience.
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Same here.
    Una
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On 11/23/10 02:26 pm, Una wrote:

We've just passed the 7-year mark in this house, and I think it was two or three years before I installed the first lighted switch. The second one is now flickering as though it's not going to last much longer.
Maybe they simply don't make them like they used to.
Perce
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On Tue, 23 Nov 2010 16:11:33 -0500, "Percival P. Cassidy"

Back-stabbed connections?
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On 11/23/10 05:21 pm, Oren wrote:

No. Side-clamped; I checked. If it makes a difference, this is a Pass & Seymour decorator-style switch. I'm pretty sure it hasn't been in place for more than two years.
Perce
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