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As per the definition on sciencing.com; (Read here)
Lighting contactors are relay switches that control the flow of electricity through a circuit powering the lighting in a given area. They exist remotely and control circuits with higher voltages which can be dangerous to the operator, if controlled directly. A lighting contactor switch operates at a lower but safer load and controls the high voltage/current circuit using an electromagnet.
There are many components attached to the lighting contactor circuitry. The contactor itself is place in some control box and usually operates behind the scenes. It operates at a lower voltage as compared to the circuit voltage.
There are many types of contactors in the electrical industry. All serve specific purpose, Some examples are;
The combination of all these and more contactors make it hard to select the right contactor for your lightning circuits.
Ask our commercial electrician and he will give you information and tips.
Here is good visual read on the topic: How to select effective lighting control
Read this PDF for selecting the contactor.
Lighting contactors are used in the lighting circuitry of the large buildings. A lot of times the type of lamps and ballasts handled in these electrical circuits are heavy hitters for the amps rating and can be safety hazard if controlled directly. These contactors control these ballasts and/or lamps. Some examples of large buildings are schools, universities, hospitals, large shopping complexes, swimming pools, entertainment places and casinos etc.