Electrical Switches and Sockets – A Buyer’s Information

This is a layman’s information to the things it is best to consider before embarking on a new build or renovation project.


The first drawback many people encounter is the bewildering array of electrical terminology used. Here’s a temporary explanation of the essential phrases you’ll come across.

Gang: the number of switches or sockets on one plate. A light change with three switches is called a 3 gang switch. A regular double socket is called a 2 gang socket.

Manner: the number of switches capable of switching a light. For flexibility, most switches are 2-way. A light managed from 1 change only requires a 1-manner swap (though a 2-way change can be used with none problems). A light controlled from 2 switches e.g. a landing light, will require 2-way switches.

Intermediate: if a light will be activated from three different switches, two of them will have to be 2-means switches, and the third an intermediate switch.

Single Pole: a single pole switch has one contact. When switched it should break only the live current and depart the impartial current intact.

Double Pole: a double pole switch has separate contacts and can break both live and impartial currents. Double pole switches are recommended in most conditions, especially if there are children within the house.


Remember, you may put as many switches and sockets onto an electrical circuit as you require. Nevertheless, it is nonetheless price planning the place you’ll need them earlier than you buy. You should think about the completely different needs of the room and your lifestyle: where do you require most power sockets? With the proliferation of electrical gadgets you need to set evoline pop up socket more sockets than you think you will want, and make them double sockets moderately than single sockets, as the price difference is minimal.

All the time purchase switched sockets for extra protection. This doesn’t apply to sockets for kitchen home equipment reminiscent of freezers, which should not be switched in case the switches are by chance turned off.

Most people only put 1 TV point in a room; don’t make that mistake! Set up TV factors on no less than 2 totally different partitions in a room, you could well want to re-arrange the furniture and move the TV in the future.

Also consider the lighting wants of a room. Dimmer switches present a comparatively low-cost and easy technique to fluctuate the light levels in a room, significantly helpful for creating totally different moods in dining, dwelling or bedrooms. Keep in mind that if a light is to be operated from 2 places, and one of the switches for use is a dimmer, the other must be an ordinary 2-method light switch, not a dimmer.

Flat or raised plate?

The variations listed below are more than merely aesthetic. Flat plate sockets look smooth, modern and sophisticated, however they also supply a practical, house-saving solution to fitting sockets behind furniture. Nevertheless, the drawback for renovations is that they usually require deeper back boxes than were originally installed, 35mm slightly than 25mm. Altering back boxes could be time consuming and messy.

Screwed or screwless?

Aesthetically, screwless flat plate switches give an excellent more trendy look than screwed flat plate, however screwless switches and sockets have an added advantage: they save you time and money too, as they can be fitted with out the front plate before you decorate, then painted round rapidly and easily with out using masking tape or worrying about marking the plate. When dry, merely clip the entrance plate on.


Polished chrome, brushed steel and black nickel are the preferred trendy finishes. The disadvantage of polished chrome significantly is that it shows up finger marks very easily. A method to help to keep away from this is to decide on a range where the plate is polished chrome or black nickel, however the switches themselves are made of black or white plastic. Of the 3 finishes talked about above, brushed steel (often known as brushed chrome) is the simplest to keep clean.