Switches and sockets are a much often overlooked aspect of interior design projects. Deep consideration and attention needs to be given to both aspects of function (accessibility, reliability and use) and form, finish style and feel.

Sockets & Charging Points

When planning switch and socket placement for a project, consideration needs to be given to accessibility and use. The demands of the technology driven battery charging world we now live in demand ready access to plug sockets and charging points in every room and location. By providing ample sockets in a room, you build in flexibility for moving furniture, table and beds etc, and always ensure accesses to power for table/bedside lamps, charging points, alarm clocks, entertainment systems and most importantly hard dryers! etc.

As a rule of thumb, we recommend a charging point every two meters. If a wall of a room is over two meters in length, then and additional charging point should be added. It is also beneficial to think about balance as well, and placing where possible sockets at equal distance from visual reference points such as a room’s corner etc. Sockets with built in USB charging points can help cut down on the number of plugs needed at every point, but these built in transformers often have short life expectancy, so stick with better brands.

Light Switches

There is an array of different switch types on the market for lighting, but the most popular types are: Rocker Switches, Dolly/Toggle Switches and Dimmer Switches. When planning a lighting scheme it is important to give full consideration to the placement of switches and the control of your lighting. There is nothing more frustrating than having to leave a room or go down a flight to stairs to switch a light on or off, because somebody did not think about the practicalities of how you navigate your home or office. This is particularly a common problem for rooms with multiple access, light switches are placed at one access/entrance, but not another. It always pays to either navigate the space imagining putting lights on and off and you enter or leave rooms and marking the position of light switches on a plan. Alternatively, if working off plans or drawings, navigate the property with your fingers walking on the plan and think through the light switch requirements for every room and passage way as you go.

Rocker & Dolly/Toggle Switches

The operation and function of rocker and dolly or toggle switch is identical. With the switch being in an ON or OFF position. The rocker switch is the standard of the switching world and the one you are probably most familiar with, it is practical and functional and by far the most common switch sold on the market. This is a popular switch for all types of installations, particularly modern and contemporary styles.

The dolly switch is a style most commonly associated with period and design lead installations and reflects a style of switch which was often used in prestigious properties in the first half of the twentieth century. Many consider this switch to be more aesthetically pleasing to the eye than the rocker switch, delivering a different user experience through both look and feel.

In recent years we have seen a growth in the use of dolly and toggle switches with brushed or polished chrome finished being used in design lead modern, contemporary or industrial styles.

Dimmer SwitchDimmer Switches

The operation of a dimmer switch is generally push for OFF/ON settings and turn clockwise to increase power and intron light lumens (brightness). The switches are ideal if you want flexibility and control over your light out-put, from bright task light to low level ambient lighting.

Many dimmer switches are designed for old style high energy bulbs and do not always work effectively with low wattage LED bulbs, shortening their life span significantly. If you are looking to use efficient long-life LED bulbs, ensure you install intelligent trailing edge dimmers which will work with many different bulbs types.