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what to order - light switch & socket covers

(5 Posts)
mumblechum1 Mon 13-Jul-15 15:47:11

I'm a bit confused. Want to replace the kitchen light & socket covers with chrome.

There are two areas of mini downlights. One area is controlled either by a switch just outside the door or one by the front door. The other area is controlled by 2, one inside the room by entrance to dining room and one inside outside door iykwim.

Looking at ordering them on Amazon, they're described as 1 way, 2 way, 1 gang and 2 gang.

I'm confused. Am getting a handyman in to fit them and want to order the right thing.

bilbodog Mon 13-Jul-15 16:09:22

if it were me I would ask the handyman which ones to order - or go to a local electrical shop to get advice first.

PigletJohn Mon 13-Jul-15 17:33:23

handyman my asre

you want an electrician

Light fittings have more wires in them than you might expect, and it is very common for inexpert people to accidentally connect them as a fuse-blowing device. They are live even when the switch is off.

btw if you are getting metal switches, it is vital that they are earthed and the earth is tested. Some houses, especially wired in about 1970 or earlier, may have no earth on the lighting circuit and must not have metal light switches or metal light fittings.

A single-gang switch turns on one light. A two-gang switch turns two lights on and off separately. E.g. you have a light at each end of your living room, so you get a 2-gang switch (which is just two switches mounted on one plate.

A one way switch turns a light on and off. You have a two-way switch e,g, at the top and bottom of the stairs, so that you can turn a light on and off from two places. If you want three places, you need an Intermediate Switch in the middle.

So to turn the hall and landing lights off, individually, from the hall and landing, you need a two-gang two-way switch. You can sometimes get 3-gang and even 4-gang switches, but more than that and you need gridswitches, which can be assembled to hold dozens. You may have seen them in shops and offices.

If you are carrying a stock of light switches e.g. in your van, you can use a 2-way switch as a 1-way, but you can't use a 1-way switch as a 2-way. So get plenty of 2-way switches.

mumblechum1 Mon 13-Jul-15 17:57:21

Thanks Piglet I was hoping you'd pop up :-)

Hadn't realised about the earthing thing. Kitchen's in an extension built 1988, so I don't know whether I need to worry. The guy's main task is to re-tile the kitchen walls and I asked him if he could also replace the switch covers. I'll look into getting a spark round to be on the safe sidesmile

PigletJohn Mon 13-Jul-15 18:05:01

for example
there are various schemes

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