Lighting contactors

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masterinbama

Senior Member
Electrically held lighting contactors are held by an energized coil.The same way as a magnetic motor starter. Mechanically held contactors have 2 coils and a latching mechanism. power to one coil latches the contactor on and power to the other coil unlatches the contactor to the off position. I prefer to use mechanically held contactors because the coils tend to last longer.
 

Cow

Senior Member
Location
Eastern Oregon
I've been curious about this as well. I've always used the regular DP contactors when doing outside lighting, nothing major, maybe just a few wallpacks around an office building, etc. These latching contactors, how does the price compare, and how are you wiring them into a typical photocell/timeclock setup? They need momentary power to both latch and unlatch, correct? I just can't picture the wiring needed to make this happen without adding more relays than I want too.:-?
 

hillbilly1

Senior Member
Location
Atlanta,Ga
The mechanicals are a lot more expensive, Most have clearing contacts built in, so providing a pulse is not necessacary. If you use them with one three way switch or double throw time clock, control is easy. If a photo cell or single throw time clock is used, a double throw relay will be needed to convert the two wire control to three wire. Not that hard to do.
 

Cow

Senior Member
Location
Eastern Oregon
Thanks for the explanation, I'll have to look into double throw timeclocks, didn't know they made 'em.:smile:

Is the extra expense worth the extra longevity? I'm just wondering if it would benefit my customers to start installing this type? Like I said, electrically held DP contactors is all I've ever seen around here, but if there's a better/more reliable way available for a reasonable expense, I'm all for it.:cool:
 

hillbilly1

Senior Member
Location
Atlanta,Ga
Thanks for the explanation, I'll have to look into double throw timeclocks, didn't know they made 'em.:smile:

Is the extra expense worth the extra longevity? I'm just wondering if it would benefit my customers to start installing this type? Like I said, electrically held DP contactors is all I've ever seen around here, but if there's a better/more reliable way available for a reasonable expense, I'm all for it.:cool:
The DP's are so much cheaper, that the payoff with the latching contactors could not be realized for a long time. Typical 8 pole latching $600-$800 and up. You can buy a lot of DP's for that. Most of the latching contactors are used on engineered jobs, such as the big box stores, (except for the Blue box, they use DP's in a manufactured gear.) It is also cheaper to buy an cube relay to control it vs. a double throw time clock.
 
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