Relay: Similar to a Light Switch!

October 24, 2017
Tech Tuesday

Many times when I take tech calls, I will answer a question on how to wire up a RIB® relay to control a load. When this happens, I have a go-to analogy that always seems to clear things up and answer the question. What is this genius analogy, you ask? Well, the title of this blog answers it all, but here it is one more time: relays and light switches are very similar. If you’ve ever wired up a light switch, you can be confident that you know how to wire up a RIB® relay!

The only difference between a RIB® relay and a light switch that you see on your wall is the means of turning either one on. With a RIB® relay, the internal contacts are switched via the electromagnetic coil that pulls the contacts closed. With a light switch, someone would physically use their finger to close the contacts.

Still skeptical about how similar these two versions of circuits are? Go ahead and check out my illustrations below to get a clearer idea:

Light switch circuit

Relay circuit


As you can see, the wiring in the circuit is very similar! That’s why the analogy is so good. Any questions about this or any of our other products? Feel free to give us a call and ask for Tech Support. We’ll try to clear it up the best we can!

Author Image

About the Author

Meet Samuel Klennert – you can call him Sam. He was born and raised amongst the farmland of Indiana, which included corn, soybeans, and sometimes wheat. Sam graduated from Purdue University with a Bachelors degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering Technology in 2015. He has a focus in analog circuitry and power electronics, but he’ll give software a try from time to time – just not that digital witchcraft!

Outside of work, Sam enjoys outdoor activities including (but not limited to) hiking, mountain biking (or just really-big-hill biking), and camping. Call Sam for tech support today – he’ll give his best effort to any task at hand!