Hobby electronics projects usually work at low voltages and with direct current. But what if you want to control your lamps, TVs, or blenders, which operate at higher voltage with alternating current? Situations like this call for a relay, which let you use low current to open and close circuits on high voltage devices. Using the 3.3 volt digital output of the XBee connected to a relay, we can wirelessly control high voltage AC devices.
Since dealing with high voltage electricity can be dangerous, we’re going to stick to using the PowerSwitch Tail, a product that packages up the relay circuitry in a nice little box that we can plug into the wall. Any device that we plug into the other end will be at our command. This guide will get you started with using the PowerSwitch Tail with an XBee.