Control All the Things in your house with a Circuit Playground Express and a Power Switch Relay. This little power supply is a toggle-able "Smart Plug" that you can use for all kinds of home automation applications.

This relay controller has one plug that's always on (for powering your Circuit Playground).

The other plugs are where it gets interesting. There are two plugs that are normally OFF and one that is normally ON. Activating the relay with the Circuit Playground turns the "on" plug to OFF, and the two "off" plugs to ON. Simple and elegant, yes?

Where it gets really interesting is when you combine this functionality with the inputs and triggers on with the Circuit Playground Express. You can toggle the switches so many ways: 

  • Move, tilt, or shake the Circuit Playground
  • Make a loud sound (like a DIY version of "The Clapper!")
  • A change in ambient light
  • A change in ambient temperature
  • Capacitive touch pads, and things attached to them
  • Circuit Playground's onboard buttons

You can also create timers or combinations of triggers to toggle the outlets. It's safe to use with higher voltage devices like lamps or heaters, too. The sky is the limit.

No soldering is required - and even if you've never programmed anything before, this is a super-easy guide to follow!


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You'll Also Need

  • A small flat-head screwdriver
  • A small phillips-head screwdriver OR soldering iron (if you're not using the bolt-on kit)

A Note about On/Off Switched Devices

This power relay turns its outlets on and off -- that's all it does. We were trying this with various things around the house, and discovered that a lot of modern electronic devices don't come on automatically when their power plug is activated. If it's got an on/off switch, it often requires a button press to come to life, and this relay won't press the "on" button for you, it'll simply feed power. So keep that in mind when you're planning your project.

Power Switch Relay Features:

  • A single input signal to switch four outlets: 1 always on + 1 normally on + 2 normally off.
  • Universal control voltage 3-60VDC or 12-120VAC, or connect directly to a 12V, 48VDC, or even 120VAC circuit.
  • Optical isolation, relay, hysteresis and de-bounce protection for added safety.
  • A large MOV used to clamp surges for clean 90-140 AVC power.
  • Durable SPDT control relay rated at 30/40A. More than 400k operations at 12A or 2million+ at 5A.
  • A 12A thermal safety circuit breaker switch prevents overloads.
  • Standard 19" C13 detachable cord included.
  • Mounting tabs
  • This power relay is professionally built and tested.

This guide was first published on Apr 21, 2020. It was last updated on Mar 08, 2024.

This page (Overview) was last updated on Mar 08, 2024.

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