Is there a 3-way switch that has a light showing that the light (outside and
can't be seen form the switch) is on. I have an outside garage light with 2
switches, one in the garage and one in the front hallway. From the hallway
you can't see if the light is on or not. Either switch can be in the up or
down position based on where it was turned on or off. (hence 3-way switch)
Looking for some means to identify if the light actually on.
A truly easy/simple way? I doubt it.
Maybe an X-10 device at the light.
An approach I've used for monitoring circuits
like this is to put a very small current transformer
(toroid) in the line. The xfmr secondary can directly
drive a small LED pilot. Not simple and not off-the-shelf.
An X10 module does not monitor the load and transmit it's status.
Considering knowing because you turned it on/off, I've known several
with relays that would operate more than once upon receiving a
command. You never know when that happens. The current transformer
solution below should work.
I'm skeptical enough about that switch filling the OP's need just by
substituring them for the existing switches that I just pinged Leviton
and asked them for clarification that will be the case, without
requiring one more lead run between the two switch locations, and a
neutral available at both locations as well.
If I get a reply, I'll post it here.
And you'd need a resistor in series with the neon light too.
You COULD cheat and connect it to ground, the current drawn by the neon
is only a couple of milliamps, probably not even enough to trip a GFCI
panel breaker feeding the circuit.
But that wouldn't be up to code, so I won't suggest doing it. <G>
I think the "regular illuminated switches" you're referring to are only
illuminated when the light controlled by the switch is OFF.
Their illumination is generally required to help you locate the switch
"in the dark", and once the light it controls is lit, you can see the
switch fine so it doesn't need to be illuminated.
Those switches work by putting a little neon bulb and series resistor
right across the switch contacts. Thus, when the contacts are open, the
couple of milliamps of current needed to light the neon bulb flows
through whatever load the switch is controlling (most likely a light
bulb) to neutral.
The same type of small neon lamp (with resistor) can be connected between
the travelers at either switch or at both. It will light whenever the
controlled light is off. It may glow slightly when the light is on,
depending on the capacitance and leakage of the travelers, but if so a small
resistor in parallel with it will eliminate that.
Good point Don.
And since the OP wasn't specific in saying the pilots had to light in
phase with the garage light, his operative words being, "Looking for
some means to identify if the light actually on", your way would satisfy
Though, I'd expect most folks would prefer to have a LIT pilot to clue
them that the garage light is still on. <G>
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