If the light switch in the stairwell is done by a stairwell switch, the users do not need to switch the light off again and it does not matter whether they forget to switch it off. After a pre-set period of time, the light goes out by itself. The advantages over a simple two-way or cross connection are obvious.
Cross connection or changeover connection
A real two-way circuit is usually used in walk-through rooms or small hallways and stairwells. There are only two change or off change switches. If the system is expanded by several switches, it is basically a cross connection.
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In an apartment building, however, such switching is a frequent cause of disputes, as users tend to forget to switch the light off again. A light switch via a staircase switch is therefore the more suitable variant.
Problem case changeover
Do-it-yourselfers often install a two-way circuit themselves, although this is actually not permitted. In addition to the legal issue, despite the exact wiring diagrams that come with Netz, this doesn't seem to be easy. After a certain time, the light can suddenly only be switched on on one side and switched off again on the other circuit. It is better to have an electrician do this circuit, because such errors are a sign that the circuit has not been connected correctly.
Push button circuit with automat in the stairwell
If the light switch in the stairwell is supplemented by a machine, which is usually installed directly in the fuse box, the light can go out by itself, regardless of which switch of a cross or toggle switch it was switched on. In very rare cases the timing relay can also be installed in the junction box.
What is not required with the cross connection is the impulse switch, which is required with the push button circuit. While the current in a cross connection has to take a detour via the switch, so to speak, the current required with this circuit is immediately fed into the light source. In addition, this circuit can even save electricity, since the losses in the line system are lower. In addition, the light comes on faster, even if most people are less likely to notice it.
There are numerous names for switching lighting in the stairwell, which makes things a little confusing. Basically, this always means the same thing, an automatic system that automatically switches off the light after a preset period of time. Here is an overview of the common names:
Automatic staircase lighting
Staircase time switch
Until recently, it was not technically possible to switch the light off again using the buttons. In the meantime, there are newer machines on the market that turn off the light when the button is pressed for a long time. In most cases, however, only a new time loop is set in motion, which lets the light shine again for the full period of time.
Of course, work and cleaning in the stairwell do not always take place during the day. So that the cleaning staff and the caretaker do not have to switch the light on again and again after a few moments, there is a so-called caretaker circuit.
In most cases, there is a switch directly on the relay in the distribution box that overrides the timer. The light is then permanently switched on. With some models of time relays, such a switch for the caretaker or cleaning staff can also be available directly in the stairwell.
Wiring and installation
The wiring and the design of the switches are simpler with the push-button circuit and the cable has a smaller cross-section, which further reduces friction losses and lowers installation costs. With this system, all switches should be able to control the light equally in a parallel connection.
Warning function according to DIN
According to DIN 18015-2, a warning function has had to announce the switching off of the light since 1996. Shortly before switching off, the light must either flicker briefly or signal that the light has been switched off by dimming.
This function is important so that the user can trigger another button in good time to safely continue his way up the stairs. This switch-off warning is of course only required in the stairwells of apartment buildings and in the event of an automatic switch-off.
Luminous function by glow lamp
Illuminated buttons are also only necessary in apartment buildings. Nevertheless, with such a circuit, you should also use buttons in a private house that are illuminated with a glow lamp. The time switch is not influenced by the operating current of these glow lamps.Tips & Tricks As a tenant on the ground floor, you do not have to accept that the electricity costs for the outdoor lighting and the stairwell run over your meter. Especially in older houses with only a few tenants, this practice often leads to disputes.
If there is still no automatic staircase switching, the injustice will be even greater. The landlord is obliged to have the house lighting run on the general electricity and to distribute the costs to all tenants.