10 selection criteria for quality sockets and switches

Sockets and switches are one of the main visible electrical devices in the apartment, so the choice of these products must be approached correctly. Firstly, they must be in harmony with the interior of the room, and secondly, meet the characteristics for their intended purpose. Well, and thirdly, to be of high quality and safe. In this article we will tell you how to choose sockets and switches for an apartment and what you need to pay attention to.

What threatens the wrong choice?

If you choose the wrong electrical outlet, the following consequences may occur:

  • Ignition of electrical wiring, due to the fact that the product is not able to withstand current loads from electrical appliances.

    The consequences of choosing a low-quality product

    Housing ignition

  • A poor-quality product will quickly fail: the plug will hang in the socket, the case will begin to pop out of the box, etc.

    Bad mount

    Bad mount

  • The possibility of electric shock during breakdowns or negligence (for example, if a child wants to insert an object into it).
  • Deterioration of the interior of the rooms (if the product does not combine with the decoration of the walls)

In addition to this, there are many more consequences that will obviously make you think in the future that you need to approach the choice of sockets for a house and apartment with responsibility.

If we talk about light switches, everything is not so dangerous here (meaning the wrong choice). The only thing to keep in mind is that backlit poor switches work in tandem with LED lamps. The latter, due to the presence of a backlight, may flicker when the light is off, as a result of which you have to change the switch to a normal one, or manually turn off the backlight

Existing variety


Today there are many types of outletsthat make our life not only safe, but also comfortable. Consider which models are best to choose when installing electrical wiring in the house:

  • Internal (hidden). Used when installation of concealed wiring - when special strobes are created in the walls. Such a socket is used most often, because the "core" is hidden in the wall, and outside there is only a beautiful rim with holes.Indoor Housing
  • Waybill. It is advisable to choose a patch outlet for wiring in a house that is mounted in an open way. This is not to say that the external type of the housing spoils the interior. There are models that have a beautiful color and design.The outer case
  • Colored. The issue of interior is solved very simply if you choose a non-standard color model that can complement the design of your room. For example, when installation of electrical wiring in a wooden house you can use the case color "wood". It is not difficult to choose sockets by color, because Today there is a huge assortment of beautiful rims, as shown in the photo.Colored body in various shades
  • In retro style.This embodiment is perfect for a bathhouse or a wooden house with an antique interior. Retro sockets will originally complement the interior of the room and may even become a highlight, however, the cost of such devices is an order of magnitude higher than the classic plastic version.Retro socket photo
  • With grounding. To date, almost no one chooses outlets without grounding. The exception is the houses and apartments of the old model, where the installation of two-wire wiring (phase-zero) is used. Even if you decide to change the electrics in the old house, we strongly recommend choosing an outlet with grounding, so that in the future, when you carry out the grounding circuit, you do not need to replace the electrical accessories.
  • With a timer. If you need to automatically turn off the power to the appliance, there are special models with a timer that can be selected for the house and apartment. The cost, of course, is high, but what a convenience!Timer
  • GSM and Wi-Fi sockets. These are modern models that can be controlled from a distance. They are used, as a rule, in the Smart Home system. The choice of smart sockets will allow you to remotely control the electrical appliances in the house and apartment. For example, you can turn on heating, lighting or air conditioning 20 minutes before arriving home.Remote control of electrical appliances
  • Outlet block. For the kitchen or the place where the TV is installed, we recommend choosing a power outlet. The rationality of the choice is due to the fact that in such places several electrical appliances are connected at once: a kettle, a multicooker, a blender or, for example, a TV, audio system, DVD-play. To abandon the use of extension cords, it is more rational to choose a block of outlets for a house or apartment.Outlet block above the countertop
  • With screw connection of conductors. To secure the core in the socket, special screws are used, screwed into the plate, which clamps the contact. The design is quite simple and is in great demand.Screw connection inside the product
  • Without screw connection. Instead of a traditional screw clamp, the wire is fixed using a contact hole, which can narrow / expand when a key is pressed. The disadvantage of this idea is the weak fixation of the conductor, especially aluminum, which must be "tightened" occasionally.Contact hole for fixing cores
  • With special curtains. The child protection we mentioned above can be achieved by outlet installation with protective curtains on the holes. The design feature is that the holes open only when the fork is pressed. In the untouched state, the holes are hidden, thereby children will not be interested.Special curtains for child protection
  • With special fork ejector. With the frequent use of various electrical appliances, it is recommended to choose and install a socket of a special design - with an ejector. Such an ejector is triggered by pressing a special key, gently displacing the plug. Most often, such a model is selected in the kitchen, where various household appliances are often connected.Photo: electric plug ejector
  • With indicator light. A very convenient thing is a small light bulb that will display the presence of electricity in the network, and will also help to quickly find an object at night (when the light is off). If you decide to choose a power outlet with a backlight, please note that the same switch will affect blinking energy saving lampwhat we mentioned at the beginning of the article.Modern LED object illumination
  • Special purpose. The operating conditions of electrical appliances are not always safe. For example, the dressing room and the bathroom are rooms with high humidity, the warehouse is a place with increased dust, and the street combines two unfavorable factors, so if you want to install a power outlet there, you need to choose a special type of housing. There is a special marking of the IPXX type, where “XX” are numbers representing the design feature of the product. Here you need to stay a little more.To your attention the picture on which the decryption is displayed IP degree of protection:Degree of protection

For an ordinary room in an apartment, you can choose the degree of IP20, for installation of electrical wiring in the bath you must use a model with an index of IP54, and in dusty terrain IP should not be less than 65!

Watertight enclosure with a transparent door

  • Outdoor. It is not necessary to carry out installation work in the wall. If for any reason you need to install a point for connecting electrical appliances at the bottom of the wall or on the floor, there is a floor version. The outlet is retractable and highly functional. Design can fit into the interior of the house with a log house, and in a modern apartment. About, how to conduct electrical wiring in the floor, we told in a separate article.Modern home idea
  • Window. It is an innovative solution in the field of electrical devices. Installation takes place in glass, as electricity is converted from sunlight. Such a product pays off over time and at the same time stylishly complements the window opening.Solar powered facility

Circuit breakers

If we talk about light switches, then there are also many varieties of them. About, what are the light switches, you can find out from our article. Now we will tell you what type of execution is better to choose for different conditions of use.

With the hidden and laid on type of the case, everything is clear, here follow the advice that we provided about choosing the laid on and built-in sockets, it all depends on the method of wiring installation.

More important is the choice of lighting switch design. For example, a dimmer is perfect for chandeliers and other ceiling lights. Using a dimmer, you can adjust the brightness of the light, which is very convenient and sometimes in demand.


There are retro-style rotary light switches; they are best chosen for a bathhouse or a wooden house. You can view an example of an antique circuit breaker design below:

Rotary light switch

There are one, two and three keyboard models. For example, for a five-arm chandelier, it is a good idea to choose a double switch to turn it on in two different levels: half of the chandelier and all. For the bathroom, the choice of a double switch is also an advisable solution: one key controls backlit mirrorsThe second is general lighting.


A rope switch is typically used to turn on wall lights, for example, connect sconces. Sometimes it is used in other conditions, for example, to control the illumination of the bed, but this is rare, so you need to choose this option exclusively for certain conditions of use.

Sconce with rope

If you want to turn on the lighting from two places, we recommend choosing a pass-through light switch. Convenient solution for organization stair lights or long corridors.

There are also acoustic models (react to cotton) and button models (instead of a button button), but they have gained special popularity in the market, so it is better to consider other options for the choice.

Well, the last thing I would like to talk about is modern products with a sensor that are perfect for the Smart Home system. Choosing a touch light switch will be a very reasonable decision for a modern apartment or home, where everything is automated. Such models have more functions, but they are more expensive.

So we examined the types of electrical products used in domestic conditions. Now let's talk about how to choose sockets and light switches for an apartment and a private house.

Main criteria

At first glance, everything is very simple, but many electricians-beginners make mistakes when choosing switches and sockets, as a result of which they can make themselves felt in a short period of time.

Consider the main selection criteria:

  1. Pay attention to the material of the product. Soft, cheap plastic quickly scratches and breaks even during the first installation. Be sure to choose products from durable plastic.
  2. On the case marking and the manufacturer must be indicated. If there are no marks, most likely the product is a Chinese fake, which must be bypassed.
  3. In addition to the front of the product, it would be desirable to look at the internal structure with the corner of the eye. Of course, in most cases, the seller will not allow to open a new product, but if you are given such an opportunity, carefully review all the clamps, screws and plates. They should not have a marriage, various irregularities and suspicious gaps. In sockets, the build quality can also be determined by the grounding contacts (copper antennae at the plug connection point). If the contacts are made of thin metal, most likely the product is not of very good quality. Grounding contacts should be moderately resilient and neat.
  4. Some experienced electricians recommend choosing sockets and switches for its weight and smell. A good product will not stink of cheap plastic, and at the same time it will have a small weight. Lightness is a sign that the electrical accessories have thin walls that can withstand lower loads (both current and mechanical), as a result of which short circuit.
  5. Another selection criterion associated with the design features is the number of constituent parts and the method of attachment. The more various clamps and spare parts, the higher the quality of purchase. As a rule, a cheap product is almost monolithic.
  6. When choosing outlets, pay attention to the holes for the input of the plug - they must coincide with the fixing springs. If the holes do not match, then the build quality is not the best and it is better to choose a different model!
  7. If the package (or inside) has instructions for installation and assembly / disassembly, this is an additional plus, indicating that the manufacturer is worried about customers. Again, most fakes are sold in transparent plastic wraps.
  8. The choice of sockets by manufacturer should be directed towards quality firms. Give preference to foreign manufacturers of switches and sockets - “Legrand” (legrand), “Jung”, “SchneiderElectric”, because They are leaders in the manufacture of electrical products. Cheaper, but, nevertheless, high-quality option - Turkish and Polish companies "Karlik", "Viko", "Makel", "OSPEL".
  9. Please note that the rated values ​​of voltage and current must be indicated on the back cover. Voltage - 250 V, and current 6.3; 10; 16 A. Give preference to products with a rated current of at least 10A, because In this case, powerful electrical appliances can be connected. Six ampere product may not withstand such loads. If there is no marking - it is better to refuse to purchase the goods! We draw your attention to a very important nuance - if you want connect a washing machine or electric stove, the current load should be as large as possible, at least 16 Amps. To connect the oven or stove to the 220 Volt network, you can choose a 20 or 25 Ampere socket, but it is better to stretch a separate line from the electrical panel. To connect a chandelier and a TV, products fit for 10 A. In general, in order to choose the right power outlet, you need to follow the following rule: 4 And this is 0.88 kW (roughly 1 kW). In total, to connect a 3.5 kW stove, you need to choose a 16 A socket. As you can see, choosing a product in terms of power and current is not too complicated.
  10. Often today they prefer a combined model with a switch. Choosing a socket and a switch in one case will save time on wiring and besides, both products will be in the same design style.

Video instruction

We recommend that you familiarize yourself with the visual video instruction for choosing sockets and light switches for the home:

Tips from experienced electricians

Expert Opinion

That, in fact, is all you need to know about how to choose sockets and switches for an apartment and a house. We hope that the information was useful and interesting for you!

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Tips from experienced electricians

Expert Opinion

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