Modular Switches – Electrical Fixtures Go from Dull to Designer
Selecting switches was a breeze in our parents’ time, simple white or off-white switches set in a matching switch plate. Today, the choice isn’t so easy… colours, finishes, trims, textures, words you’d have never associated with this fitting are now commonplace. Picking out switches is almost like shopping for clothes!
Here are the salient points about what lies beneath their exterior, and why it matters as much as how they look on the outside.
Switches are our main interface with electricity, as they control the electrical circuits within by interrupting or diverting current. There are different types of electrical switches based on Current (Ampere) rating, varying from 6A to 32A.
Modular switches are a modern version of traditional switches, they’re safer and more convenient to use. Besides the variety in sizes, shapes and colours, their other features are:
- Minimum visibility of screws
- Anti-weld designs
- Smooth operation
- Shuttered sockets
- Ease in installation and, assembling
The advantages of modular switches are many
- Childproof sockets, and no exposure to current-carrying parts of switches, meant modular switches prevented accidents from electric shocks, and protected children and adults from injury.
- A poorly maintained traditional switch board could mar the beauty of walls. Designer modular switches could enhance the visual appeal of home interiors with colours that suited the interior colour-scheme.
- Today’s switches are multi-functional in nature, allowing not only appliances and gadgets to power-up from them, but data/ telephone communication equipment as well.
Here’s what to look out for when discussing choices with your contractor:
- The material should preferably be a high-quality polycarbonate, i.e. a type of thermoplastic polymer. It should be dust-proof, have a high melting-point, and be flame-resistant.
- White colour switches and plates never go out of fashion, and they complement nearly every interior colour combination.
- Switches should be ergonomic in design, i.e. noiseless and effortless. This means when used it should not make any noise. And minimal force or pressure should be required to operate them.
- The spark-shield inside the switch is important. It hides high sparking and avoids damage or short circuiting due to leakage of current.
- A dust-shield on the switch prevents dust from entering and retains the brand-new look for an extended period.
- When the insulation resistance is more than 2000 Mega Ohms, the switch is shockproof.
Modular switches are provided in a set of two cover plates. The first plate contains the switches, and is fixed to the box – these should be well-built and robust. The second plate or the front plate, has a high gloss finish. It should be flush type, dust proof, match the colour and brand of switches, be easy to clean, remove and re-fit.
The two important components of modular switches were the accessories that came with them, such as sockets, and a range of mounting plates. By putting together your choice of mounting plates and accessories, you can create many custom combinations to suit your home, and your appliance placement.
And there you have it – a quick primer about the workings of Modular Switches. We’re not sure it makes your design choices any easier though… that’s entirely your call. Happy decorating.