The one I was using operated by allowing a small flow of electricity through
the load. Worked fine with a incandescent lamp but when I used a florescent
there was enough electricity that it would try to light. So much depends on
whether your setup will ignore this small amount of electricity or light up
in some reduced manner.
I solved my problem with a $15 "Remote Control System" from
The Stanley Works. Purchased it at OSH (a California based
hardware store, owned, I believe, by Sears) and it seems to
work fine. Mine is in black and the remote has a keychain
attached. For $1 more I could have had the same unit in
green (sold in the Xmas tree lighting department) and
without the keychain. I chose black to fit better with the
colors in the display. For $20 one can get a very similar
package, but which will control two items, each in a
different outlet, by a remote that can select either outlet.
Thanks for the various replies on this topic.
The warning not to switch fluorescents and some other devices is most
likely because they have inductive reactance due to coils and
transformers in them.
However a very small transformer handling a few watts while it will
definitely have some reactance may be well within limits. Here am
making an assumption based on insufficient information in the original
post, that we are talking about only one or two low power 12 volt
bulbs; probably totalling no more than say 12 to 15 watts. i.e. about
one amp at 12 volts? The equivalent, say, of a couple of small auto
Suggestion: Have the remote control device switch on and off a 100
watt light bulb (which could be concealed if necessary) AND the
primary 115 volt input to the transformer.
Rationale: The incandescent lamp/bulb is a resistance and will be a
resistive load across the inductive load of the transformer. In effect
the resistance of the lamp bulb will 'dampen' (shunt) the effect of
any inductive reactance of the transformer.
Now if you are talking heavy 12 loads etc. bets are off. Would then
probably be better to use a relay of some sort.
Post again if desired.
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