20 August 2019

Sparking Light SwitchOne day, you flip a light switch and notice a lovely popping sound. The pop might even be accompanied by a brief blue flash of light from within the switch.

What’s going on here?

Well, it turns out that even if the current rating of the switch has NOT been exceeded, you may have a problem related to inrush current due to the use of fluorescent and especially LED light fixtures…

Without further ado:

Finally, note that many switches have current ratings in “AX” instead of just “A“.

As in: 10AX instead of 10A

The X means reactive, so AX means Amps Reactive. Long story short:

  1. A 10A switch is good for 10 amps of resistive lighting (incandescent) or 5A of fluorescent/LED lighting
  2. A 10AX switch is good for 10 amps of either incandescent or fluo/LED lights

In other words, divide the current rating in half if there’s no “X”. As I noted in the video, even then you may still need a beefier switch due to the poor design of certain LED drivers or electronic ballasts in fluorescent light fixtures!

Get Scottie Stuff!
Why is my light switch popping and sparking?
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