Lighting Research Center NYSERDA Lighting Patterns for Homes Image Map



Switches are manual controls that turn light fixtures on and off, and are usually located on a wall or on the fixture. Switches are available in toggle, push, rocker, rotary, and tap-plate. Cover plate options allow coordination with the room's d├ęcor. Recessed wall switches can be wired to operate a receptacle or receptacles instead of a fixture, and these "switched plugs" can be used for controlling plug-in fixtures.


  • A qualified electrician should install hard-wired lighting controls.
  • Switch accent and task fixtures separately from fixtures that provide ambient light so that only the fixtures that are needed at a given time are operated.