If you have a Remcon low voltage light system, you're in luck. Replacement parts and upgrade options exist to help you maintain your energy-efficient lighting system. Remcon low volt systems help you save money on your electrical bills and likely on your homeowners insurance as well because of their low temperatures and reduced risk of fire. (Be sure to ask your agent about insurance discounts for houses with low voltage wiring.)
Low Voltage Remote Control Wiring - The Original "Green" Lighting System
Considered cutting edge at the time, millions of low voltage lighting systems were installed during the 1940s - 1980s, particularly during their heyday of the 1950s and 1960s. Although they fell out of favor because they are more expensive to install initially, the long-term benefits make them popular for new installations in businesses and high-end homes. Because of their energy savings and convenience, such as their ability to control multiple lights from a single location, low voltage remote control lighting continues to be a "green" alternative to standard wiring.
For many years Fluke / Amprobe produced upgraded solid state Remcon relays for overhead lighting and closets. Please note, that when it was time to replace an old relay, all relays on a particular circuit had to be of the same type - either the old solenoid type mechanical relays or these new solid state ones. (The solenoid relays have a cylindrical top on a rectangular base; the solid state relays are a trapezoid shape that is flat on two sides - see image below.) Your system may have a one or the other, or even a mix of both on separate circuits. Unfortunately, Amprobe stopped manufacturing any Remcon replacement relays in 2020; relays were no longer available anywhere by early 2021.
Remcon and Touch-Plate If you want to upgrade your Remcon system or buy replacement low voltage switches, Touch-Plate is the only system tested to be compatible. You can buy Touch-Plate low voltage light switches and light switch covers as well as find information to help be sure you purchase the correct parts. (Important: If you are simply replacing switches for use with your vintage Remcon remote control relays then you would buy Touch Plate units with double the number of unlighted switches (one button is ON, the other is OFF. If you need to replace the relays, then it would require separating the circuits and creating a standalone Touch Plate system. For the full instructions please see our additional information on upgrading a Remcon system. Touch Plate relays do not have an internal power and are based on a 2-wire system so CANNOT be used as a direct replacement in your Remcon lighting system.) For more in-depth information, see our Instruction Guide When Replacing Remcon Light Switches with Touch Plate.
Remcon and Amprobe Fluke's Amprobe Instrument purchased the Remcon line and continued to make replacement relays until 2020, although the newer ones were 100% solid state so could not be used on the same circuit with ones that were still had the mechanical latching type. (They discontinued making the Remcom low voltage switches in February of 2011.) In other words, if you happen to have some old relays lying around you would have to replace all old mechanical relays with the newer relays on each circuit, but other than that, your switches will work the same with either type. However, if you don't have any replacement Remcon relays, then we have options and instructions for retrofitting your Remcon system with Touch Plate Lighting parts.
Remcon and Pyramid Pyramid Instrument Company was the precursor to Remcon and was installed in homes in the 1940's and 1950's. Pyramid low voltage parts will work with both older and newer Remcon relays and switches (as long as you follow the suggestions above for proper use and installation of mechanical vs. solid state relays.) Note that both the older and the newer Remcon relays have been discontinued but there are options for upgrading to Touch Plate parts.
Remcon and GE Important: GE relays cannot be used in a Remcon system because of the fundamental differences - each Remcon relay is actually a transformer with a built-in relay, whereas GE relays are connected to separate transformers. Only Touch-Plate light switches have been safety tested for compatibility with Remcon, so we do not recommend wiring vintage GE switches (also discontinued) into your Remcon system.
Remcon and Bryant Low voltage Bryant voltage switches and relays work on the same system as GE, so the same cautions apply.
Remcon and Sierra Electric Sierra trigger switches and solenoid type mechanical relays also have the same functionality as GE low voltage parts, so see the same cautions above.
Money-Saving Tip: If you need to replace one of the old mechanical relays on a circuit with a new solid state one, we recommend keeping any old working relays you remove from that particular circuit. Then you have the option of swapping them into another circuit needing a replacement or storing them for later should one of the others finally stop working in the future.
We recommend upgrading your Remcon switches and parts to Touch Plate Low Voltage Lighting. Here's why: