Resistive Load: These are appliances which convert the electricity to other forms of energy like heat and light. They don’t have an inrush of current when they are powered up and instantly use the full power available. Light bulbs, heaters, kettles… These are all resistive.

Inductive (Reactive) Loads: These are appliances which require a ‘surge’ of power to get them started. They will draw an inrush of current before settling down to normal power levels. Most things with a motor will do this, like electric fans, air conditioners, fridges. If you have ever plugged a floor lamp into the same mains ring as an air conditioner, you would have seen the light flicker when the air conditioner powers on. That’s it drawing the inrush.

If you just want to control lights, then the resistive circuit is for you.If you want to control fans and fridges, take a look at inductive.