I have a lamp in my flat that can be turned on and off with two different buttons, how does a circuit look like to realize that?


Like this:


simulate this circuit – Schematic created using CircuitLab

The switch is normally referred to as Single-Pole Double-Throw. (SPDT) (I had to look that up as it is called different in my native language)

This in contrast to a standard on/off switch which is called Single-Pole Single-Throw (SPST).

As you can imagine there are many other types like. Double-Pole Single-Throw and Double-Pole Double-Throw.

  • \$\begingroup\$ In electrician terms (rather than electronics), you will hear such switches called three-way switches in the US/Canada (as they have three terminals), and two-way switches (as they allow control from two locations) in most of the rest of the world. \$\endgroup\$ – SomeoneSomewhereSupportsMonica Apr 14 '19 at 10:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ In German (and in Dutch) it is (also) called "Hotelschaltung". \$\endgroup\$ – Huisman Apr 14 '19 at 17:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks so much for your diagram. I looked up SPST/SPDT to learn more but didn't understand any of those diagrams. This was is simple and clear. \$\endgroup\$ – Tyler Collier Nov 17 '20 at 3:21

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