Wall Switch (1 Gang) with Potentiometer?

Anyone know where I could find a 1 Gang Wall Switch with a potentiometer slide like you’d see for a dimmer switch?

I would check home improvement stores, like lowes, you may be able to do what you’re looking for with an actual slider dimmer switch. I’ve never taken one apart, but it should be fairly simple.

You think the slide dimmer switch is a potentiometer that I can get a reading from if I take it apart?

@srfnmnk, first, I’m hoping this inquiry is about using a wall switch to control LOW voltage, not AC. There are lots of posts in this community regarding the dangers of playing with high voltage (and the implications)!

If this is for low voltage stuff (eg 24v or lower), you will need to buy one of the dimmers and take it apart to see! You may want to consider a different device like a touch sensor for example. There are even cool optical and capacitive hand motion sensors. :wink:

:slight_smile: yep yep, 12VDC.

Anyone have any examples of touch sensors/dimmers they’ve taken apart/sensors etc. that might solve the need?

Thanks @peekay123

I’m sure it does, it should be set up similar to a rotary potentiometer where it will give different voltages (readings) depending on where the slide is. I’ll pick one up this weekend and check it out.

Cool thanks! Make sure you get an LED Dimmer. I figured it’d require an oscilloscope to measure the output differentials since it’s reshaping the wave via PWM, not by transforming voltage into heat through dissipation or resistance…i dunno…please let me know what you see?

1 Like

@srfnmnk, what’s this for? A project or general curiosity? DigiKey sells them; here’s a list of 531 to choose from, haha: https://www.digikey.com/products/en/potentiometers-variable-resistors/slide-potentiometers/78

1 Like

@Kurticus may have a better option, but I’m still getting one, I’m curious now.


Yes, @Kurticus project. It’s pretty sweet :slight_smile: but I will be sharing all the details on here once I’m done. It includes Alexa, iOS, lights and the photon. Should be neat once it’s all put together…

NICE! 500+ lol. Trying to visualize how I would stick this into a 1-Gang switch compartment…I could always build some custom faceplate or something but… blugh…I’ll prob get one and play around with it and see how it works…but maybe I’ll keep looking too.

That’s true in some parts but to actually understand what you have in mind might render it “wrong” too :wink:
I guess (from your other thread) that you actually want to do the dimming via a Photon, so you won’t need nor want a LED Dimmer since you want the easiest way possible to tell the Photon what dimming level it should produce and you don’t need the dimmer to do the dimming - or do you?

But if you want the Photon to do it, there are again (at least) two options.
Do you want the wall control have an absolute or relative effect.
If relative, you can use a rotary encoder which only produces a digital signals that can be counted and turned into a change in brightness/color.
If absolute, you may want a potentiometer that (eventually) provides a 0~3.3V signal to the Photon or a rotary encoder with a absolute positon output.

1 Like

Nice. I can can see the wheels turning already haha. If you are going for some home automation stuff, you should check out zigbee or Z-wave. That way you can get zigbee or zwave compatible devices and control then centrally from one device (Photon perhaps, haven’t verified it’s possible yet). I have an ongoing project at home using a Raspberry Pi and a Z-Wave GPIO daughter card. Info here: http://razberry.z-wave.me/

Sounds like you’d have to shove your Photon behind the light switches with what you’re doing. Just wanted to present other options/solutions. Integrating a Photon with Alexa and a light dimmer would certainly be impressive however… I’d like to see that :slight_smile:

Ok, so a hint/preview.

I want to control lights…but I want them to control themselves based on light temperature/brightness in the room from other sources (I.e. The sun). We’ll occasionally need to override the current automated setting and that’s what the switch override is for. This is meant to be a temporary override to turn the lights on or off and or adjust brightness. This would be a temporary override and after n minutes would automatically resume normal schedule. Overrides can be via the switch, dimmer switch, Alexa, iOS etc!


In that case I’d go for a relative control, since your base value changes without a way to set the physical control to reflect that new base.