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Title: Upside down light switches?
Post by: Mike Sokol on April 22, 2017, 03:59:44 pm
I've been in the Netherlands for a few days and have discovered that all the light switches on the wall get pushed "down" to turn on the lights, and "up" to turn off the lights. And one of the brits here says that's how it is in the UK as well. That's upside down of the USA where UP is ON and DOWN if OFF. How is it in other countries? Is "UP" ON or OFF?
Title: Re: Upside down light switches?
Post by: Jeff Bankston on April 22, 2017, 04:37:19 pm
An upside down switch in the USA says NO.
Title: Re: Upside down light switches?
Post by: Samuel Sjöbergsson on April 22, 2017, 05:24:26 pm
In Sweden up is on and in Romania down is on mostly but even tho that's the standard not everybody follows it.

Skickat från min LG-H815 via Tapatalk

Title: Re: Upside down light switches?
Post by: John Roberts {JR} on April 22, 2017, 06:05:05 pm
In my house different rooms are different...   :o

JR
Title: Re: Upside down light switches?
Post by: Doug Boyd on April 22, 2017, 06:36:07 pm
We're upside down anyway, but in New Zealand and Australia, down is on
Title: Re: Upside down light switches?
Post by: John Fruits on April 22, 2017, 07:25:57 pm
Topic swerve but some random thoughts.
In the early days you would find a surface mounted rotary switch (sometimes with surface mounted twisted pair covered with cloth).
Then there was the two push-button switch.  The on part sometimes had a pearl look insert.
Then there is the indicator switch which had a duplex outlet form factor, one was an indicator light in one opening and the other opening was filled with a left-right toggle switch.
Finally you have the three-way switch in which one is always wrong.
Title: Re: Upside down light switches?
Post by: Jean-Pierre Coetzee on April 22, 2017, 11:41:47 pm
South Africa down is on, probably a remnant of our British past... Seems odd to me to think of up as on.
Title: Re: Upside down light switches?
Post by: Jeff Bankston on April 22, 2017, 11:46:53 pm
so what about 3 and 4 way switches in those other countries ?
Title: Re: Upside down light switches?
Post by: Jean-Pierre Coetzee on April 22, 2017, 11:50:57 pm
so what about 3 and 4 way switches in those other countries ?

There will be at least one that is the wrong way, there is no way to get around that. But honestly push button switches are becoming a thing as well so if I had to install a 3 way I would just use push button with some logic circuit.
Title: Re: Upside down light switches?
Post by: brian maddox on April 23, 2017, 09:57:24 am
Slight topic swerve...

Another thing i found, first in Eastern Europe although i've seen it elsewhere as well, is that light switches for smaller enclosed rooms without windows are usually placed OUTSIDE the room.  Think one person bathroom in a restaurant, or even in a home.  i've also seen it with closets and other rooms as well.

The first time i saw this all i could think of was 'why oh why do we put the switch on the INSIDE of the room?'.  I mean think about it.  How many times have you gone into a small public bathroom, let the door close behind you, and then had to fumble around like a blind man trying to find the stupid light switch?

One of the things i really enjoy about traveling outside of the U.S. is finding out how other places do things, especially things i've always taken for granted as always being done one way.  Sometimes their way is silly and ours is clearly more efficient, but often their way is so obviously superior that you wonder how "the greatest country in the world" could not have seen to do it that way.
Title: Re: Upside down light switches?
Post by: Jonathan Johnson on April 23, 2017, 11:44:02 am
My sister's very old house (USA) has a few original switches where ON is down -- and the switches ARE installed right-side-up according to the labeling.
Title: Re: Upside down light switches?
Post by: Kevin Maxwell on April 23, 2017, 12:07:25 pm
Slight topic swerve...

Another thing i found, first in Eastern Europe although i've seen it elsewhere as well, is that light switches for smaller enclosed rooms without windows are usually placed OUTSIDE the room.  Think one person bathroom in a restaurant, or even in a home.  i've also seen it with closets and other rooms as well.

The first time i saw this all i could think of was 'why oh why do we put the switch on the INSIDE of the room?'.  I mean think about it.  How many times have you gone into a small public bathroom, let the door close behind you, and then had to fumble around like a blind man trying to find the stupid light switch?

One of the things i really enjoy about traveling outside of the U.S. is finding out how other places do things, especially things i've always taken for granted as always being done one way.  Sometimes their way is silly and ours is clearly more efficient, but often their way is so obviously superior that you wonder how "the greatest country in the world" could not have seen to do it that way.

Every time I see the light switch on the outside of a small public bathroom I think great some clown is going to turn that switch off while I am in there. I always carry a flashlight with me.
Title: Re: Upside down light switches?
Post by: Jean-Pierre Coetzee on April 23, 2017, 12:29:04 pm
Some renovated houses in South Africa end up with the light switches in cupboards etc...(you need to get a COC for any electrical wiring change from a qualified and registered electrician and we build with bricks here so its a PITA to move a switch) it's almost mandatory to ask where the switch is before you go somewhere in someone's house.
Title: Re: Upside down light switches?
Post by: brian maddox on April 23, 2017, 01:43:17 pm
Every time I see the light switch on the outside of a small public bathroom I think great some clown is going to turn that switch off while I am in there. I always carry a flashlight with me.

Well there Is that..
Title: Re: Upside down light switches?
Post by: David Buckley on April 23, 2017, 07:33:19 pm
so what about 3 and 4 way switches in those other countries ?

Americanism-alert - What an American calls a "three way light switch" the rest of the world calls a "two way light switch".  Similarly, the American four-way is an inflated three way.....
Title: Re: Upside down light switches?
Post by: Mike Sokol on April 24, 2017, 07:08:45 am
Americanism-alert - What an American calls a "three way light switch" the rest of the world calls a "two way light switch".  Similarly, the American four-way is an inflated three way.....

I'm in the USA and I think the rest of the world is wrong... :D
Title: Re: Upside down light switches?
Post by: David Buckley on April 24, 2017, 08:58:33 am
I'm in the USA and I think the rest of the world is wrong... :D

Well, I guess you would.  :)

However, I am reminded of an event from 1963, the trial of Stephen Ward, a witness named Mandy Rice-Davies (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mandy_Rice-Davies), when questioned about a statement made by Lord Astor, that he denied having slept with her,  she famously replied "Well, he would say that, wouldn’t he?"...
Title: Re: Upside down light switches?
Post by: Steve M Smith on April 24, 2017, 09:25:14 am
I'm in the USA and I think the rest of the world is wrong...
Guess what the rest of the world thinks...

Down = on (unless it's a two way switch).

European convention for equipment switches is up for on though.

but often their way is so obviously superior that you wonder how "the greatest country in the world" could not have seen to do it that way.
Because it isn't!!


Steve.
Title: Re: Upside down light switches?
Post by: David Allred on April 24, 2017, 10:59:20 am
Guess what the rest of the world thinks...

Down = on (unless it's a two way switch).

European convention for equipment switches is up for on though.
Because it isn't!!


Steve.

If the light is on the ceiling, then ON is up.  If it is a lamp from a switched outlet, then ON is down.  It is all about the flow direction to the fixture.  Just like the hot water knob (or single handle direction) is on the side nearest the hot water heater.  It varies in the house, room to room, using this rule.  For this reason you must ask, "Where is your hot water heater?" when you have a need for hot water.

Prime real estate available on the Mississippi - Arkansas border.  Super low prices.  Cash only.
Title: Re: Upside down light switches?
Post by: Kevin Maxwell on April 24, 2017, 10:59:59 am
Well, I guess you would.  :)

However, I am reminded of an event from 1963, the trial of Stephen Ward, a witness named Mandy Rice-Davies (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mandy_Rice-Davies), when questioned about a statement made by Lord Astor, that he denied having slept with her,  she famously replied "Well, he would say that, wouldn’t he?"...

There was no sleeping involved?  :-X
Title: Re: Upside down light switches?
Post by: John Roberts {JR} on April 24, 2017, 11:56:59 am
If the light is on the ceiling, then ON is up.  If it is a lamp from a switched outlet, then ON is down.  It is all about the flow direction to the fixture.  Just like the hot water knob (or single handle direction) is on the side nearest the hot water heater.  It varies in the house, room to room, using this rule.  For this reason you must ask, "Where is your hot water heater?" when you have a need for hot water.

Prime real estate available on the Mississippi - Arkansas border.  Super low prices.  Cash only.
Maybe its a Mississippi thing but my kitchen sink delivers hot water when set to cold (blue) and cold water when set to hot (red).  8)

JR
Title: Re: Upside down light switches?
Post by: Stephen Swaffer on April 24, 2017, 12:26:10 pm
Guess what the rest of the world thinks...

Down = on (unless it's a two way switch).

European convention for equipment switches is up for on though.


So, if we count the "ways" of a switch, in the US you have 2-ways, 3ways and 4-ways, in the rest of the world you have 1 ways, 2 ways and 3-ways?  HOw does a one way switch work?  Unless you have at least 2 "ways"-on & off-it can't be a switch?   ???
Title: Re: Upside down light switches?
Post by: Jonathan Johnson on April 24, 2017, 12:49:10 pm
For this reason you must ask, "Where is your hot water heater?" when you have a need for hot water.


I don't understand why so many people need a "hot water heater." I mean, if the water's hot, why does it need to be heated?
Title: Re: Upside down light switches?
Post by: John Roberts {JR} on April 24, 2017, 01:14:19 pm

I don't understand why so many people need a "hot water heater." I mean, if the water's hot, why does it need to be heated?

My still almost brand new hot water heater developed a new undesirable characteristic... the water started to smell bad (rotten eggs)... It even affected how my laundry smelled.  >:(

During installation I left the thermostats at the (safe) factory settings of 120' which isn't hot enough to kill all the nasties (that apparently eat sulphur in the water).

Several hours at 140' made the water smell like water again.  ;D

JR 
Title: Re: Upside down light switches?
Post by: David Allred on April 24, 2017, 02:36:32 pm

I don't understand why so many people need a "hot water heater." I mean, if the water's hot, why does it need to be heated?

The technical name is "hot water re-heater".

FYI - A pool pump timer on the water heat circuit pays for itself pretty quickly.
Title: Re: Upside down light switches?
Post by: Steve M Smith on April 25, 2017, 02:54:23 am
So, if we count the "ways" of a switch, in the US you have 2-ways, 3ways and 4-ways, in the rest of the world you have 1 ways, 2 ways and 3-ways?  HOw does a one way switch work?  Unless you have at least 2 "ways"-on & off-it can't be a switch?   ???

One switch = one way (although not referred to as such).  Two switches = two way, etc.


Steve.
Title: Re: Upside down light switches?
Post by: Mike Sokol on May 03, 2017, 05:51:18 am
To add to the strangeness, I found this sort of switch on my cruise ship in Holland as well as my hotel room in Paris. You have to put your room key into the slot to energize the room lights. Makes sense since it guarantees you'll turn out the lights when you leave the room, but I've never seen anything like it in the USA. And yes, you have to push the switch "down" to be ON. 

Title: Re: Upside down light switches?
Post by: Keith Broughton on May 03, 2017, 06:16:39 am
To add to the strangeness, I found this sort of switch on my cruise ship in Holland as well as my hotel room in Paris. You have to put your room key into the slot to energize the room lights. Makes sense since it guarantees you'll turn out the lights when you leave the room, but I've never seen anything like it in the USA. And yes, you have to push the switch "down" to be ON.
Same in Japan.
This comes from the fact that power is expensive and they want to reduce use.
Something we need to consider here in N America where most forms of energy are relatively low cost and we piss it away.

Anyway, as I see it...A 1 way switch only works with DC and a 2 way is good for AC  ;D ;D
Title: Re: Upside down light switches?
Post by: Mike Sokol on May 03, 2017, 06:36:24 am
Another thing I noticed in Holland is that their 230-volt hair dryers get hotter than heck compared to the 120-volt ones in the USA. And the Euro power pin size is larger on the hair dryer so they won't fit into the bathroom power receptacles. And yes, you have to push the switch on the hair dryer "down" to be "on".
Title: Re: Upside down light switches?
Post by: Daniel Levi on May 03, 2017, 07:33:53 am
Another thing I noticed in Holland is that their 230-volt hair dryers get hotter than heck compared to the 120-volt ones in the USA. And the Euro power pin size is larger on the hair dryer so they won't fit into the bathroom power receptacles. And yes, you have to push the switch on the hair dryer "down" to be "on".

Yep, multiple sizes of europlug and the small ones are only 2.5a iirc so no good for a hairdryer, there is also the British BS 546? which is for shavers which is bigger than a europlug in terms of pin diameter so despite being rated for lower current won't fit in a standard European socket.
Title: Re: Upside down light switches?
Post by: brian maddox on May 03, 2017, 09:12:16 am
To add to the strangeness, I found this sort of switch on my cruise ship in Holland as well as my hotel room in Paris. You have to put your room key into the slot to energize the room lights. Makes sense since it guarantees you'll turn out the lights when you leave the room, but I've never seen anything like it in the USA. And yes, you have to push the switch "down" to be ON.

I've seen this quite a bit in countries other than the US.  I think i even saw it at the Aloft Hotel, which is a european based chain with a number of locations now here in the US.

It's a great idea.  Definitely shows how much more energy conscious people are in other countries.
Title: Re: Upside down light switches?
Post by: Tim McCulloch on May 03, 2017, 10:56:44 am
Another thing I noticed in Holland is that their 230-volt hair dryers get hotter than heck compared to the 120-volt ones in the USA. And the Euro power pin size is larger on the hair dryer so they won't fit into the bathroom power receptacles. And yes, you have to push the switch on the hair dryer "down" to be "on".

Hair dryer?  What is this "hair" you speak of, stranger?  I have a vague recollection of such a thing and none of it was gray...
Title: Re: Upside down light switches?
Post by: Tim McCulloch on May 03, 2017, 10:58:46 am
To add to the strangeness, I found this sort of switch on my cruise ship in Holland as well as my hotel room in Paris. You have to put your room key into the slot to energize the room lights. Makes sense since it guarantees you'll turn out the lights when you leave the room, but I've never seen anything like it in the USA. And yes, you have to push the switch "down" to be ON.

Less intrusive in concept than the motion/heat detectors that have been installed in hotel rooms.  Some folks get creeped out when their room's infrastructure is spying on them, others don't seem to notice/care.
Title: Re: Upside down light switches?
Post by: Daniel Levi on May 03, 2017, 11:17:53 am
I've had the same thing as noted above but weirdly only in one hotel in Britain and not one of the ultra cheapies, one was a mechanical switch the card pushed down and one was obviously some form of light gate. You could hear the contactors closing quite loudly when it activated. Seemed to only control the lights on the second version.
Title: Re: Upside down light switches?
Post by: Jonathan Johnson on May 03, 2017, 12:43:57 pm
Anyway, as I see it...A 1 way switch only works with DC and a 2 way is good for AC  ;D ;D

I figure a "1-way" switch can only be off or only be on. A "2-way" switch can be off or on.
Title: Re: Upside down light switches?
Post by: Stephen Swaffer on May 03, 2017, 12:49:18 pm
Another thing I noticed in Holland is that their 230-volt hair dryers get hotter than heck compared to the 120-volt ones in the USA. And the Euro power pin size is larger on the hair dryer so they won't fit into the bathroom power receptacles. And yes, you have to push the switch on the hair dryer "down" to be "on".

My guess is the Chinese manufactur just uses the same design, putting a different voltage rating on it for manufacturing efficiencies. ;)

OT, but we are getting better at power usage.  I quoted 240 watt/24000 lumen fixture for a job back in September-just completed a change order to go to a 150 watt/24000 lumen fixture at virtually no change in cost.  That's a crazy improvement in 8 months!
Title: Re: Upside down light switches?
Post by: Jonathan Johnson on May 03, 2017, 03:28:56 pm
OT, but we are getting better at power usage.  I quoted 240 watt/24000 lumen fixture for a job back in September-just completed a change order to go to a 150 watt/24000 lumen fixture at virtually no change in cost.  That's a crazy improvement in 8 months!

Let's hope that the life is as long as promised.

Some of the mass-market LED light bulbs (A19, 60W equivalent) are failing at a rate faster than incandescents! I cannot recommend products from Feit Electric sold by Costco at this time -- searching online, it looks like a lot of other people are experiencing the same problem.
Title: Re: Upside down light switches?
Post by: David Buckley on May 03, 2017, 09:57:23 pm
but I've never seen anything like it in the USA.
Does Hawaii count as the USA?  Because I've certainly bunged my room card in one there!
Title: Re: Upside down light switches?
Post by: Scott Holtzman on May 04, 2017, 12:40:44 am
Does Hawaii count as the USA?  Because I've certainly bunged my room card in one there!

The building I had an event at the other night was full LEEDS.  The US is waking up in the cities.  The rural areas with the cost of power underwritten by the REA are a whole different story.  This borders on politically.

My wife is part of the problem, nothing annoys me more than to come home to over 3k square feet of conditioned space with 18ft ceilings on the first floor to find it heated or cooled to human comfort ranges with lights on with just the dog at home.  It's insane. 

The Celebrity Lines ship I was just on had those euro rockers and the awesome hair dryer but not the room card key thing. 
Title: Re: Upside down light switches?
Post by: Steve M Smith on May 04, 2017, 03:03:44 am
All of our street lights here are LED.  They are a vast improvement over the sodium lamps we used to have.  The electricity bill will be much lower and there is no longer a horrible orange glow in the sky.  This has pleased astronomers and those who like photographing the Milky Way.

My house is almost all LED now too.


Steve.
Title: Re: Upside down light switches?
Post by: Daniel Levi on May 04, 2017, 06:53:59 am
The only problem is that some cheap LED's have horrendous power factor and that whilst it makes no difference to household bills (other than the price per kWh going up due to larger trasformers and cables required) it can make quite a difference to business electricity which is charged on actual power.
Title: Re: Upside down light switches?
Post by: Jean-Pierre Coetzee on May 04, 2017, 10:48:55 am
I tend to only buy Phillips for exactly that reason.

Had our backup generator blow up because of triplen harmonics so even a well trained electrician doesn't always understand what is going on regarding power factor.

He learnt quickly after that.
Title: Re: Upside down light switches?
Post by: Daniel Levi on May 04, 2017, 12:52:36 pm
I tend to only buy Phillips for exactly that reason.

Had our backup generator blow up because of triplen harmonics so even a well trained electrician doesn't always understand what is going on regarding power factor.

He learnt quickly after that.

There is a video from bigclive on youtube about power factor nd generators after a carnival group wanted to switch to LED and he goes through the problems of using LED's with bad power factor and the generator load problems they create. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FtqPRnVP1bw
Title: Re: Upside down light switches?
Post by: Jean-Pierre Coetzee on May 04, 2017, 01:13:01 pm
I'm pretty sure that the main incoming neutral(we get separate L1L2L3N) burning up causing us to switch to generator should have alerted him to the potential problem.

Regardless they just upgraded the wiring on the incomer and upgraded the generator and business as usual.
Title: Re: Upside down light switches?
Post by: Scott Helmke on May 04, 2017, 06:24:17 pm
There is a video from bigclive on youtube about power factor nd generators after a carnival group wanted to switch to LED and he goes through the problems of using LED's with bad power factor and the generator load problems they create. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FtqPRnVP1bw

All the carnivals that come through my locale have gone all LED, aside from some legacy fluorescent tubes here and there. I figure they saw the math pretty well, less than half the power consumption and drastically reduced replacement needs.  When you bring your own generators you're going to notice power savings.