Design: Electrical Switches

One day, a while ago, I was with the GF at a lighting showroom.  It wasn’t even for me, because I wasn’t at the remodeling point yet.  My house hadn’t been cleared out yet at that time.  But anyway, this was a showroom where everything was “expensive”, like my previous design post defines.  It’s not really “expensive”, it’s just the way it is.  It more that the lights you consider normal-priced are “cheap”.  It’s a harsh reality to accept, that quality costs money and the acceptance of cheapness is the current norm.

So while we’re browsing these outrageously priced fixtures, there’s a small display of switches and outlets with the name “Adorne” by Legrand.  Legrand is a name I would revisit while I was browsing new home models.  They are pretty well known in the industry.  But anyway, the Adorne collection is a fancy set of light switches and outlets.  They have a different form factor: square instead of rectangular.  The wall plates have no visible screws.  The switches themselves come in white or graphite.  At the time, I thought, “that’s neat” and didn’t think much of it again.

One night, I was giving consideration to my future plans and that the color palate of the house would be grey and blue.  I went through the house and took inventory of all the switch plates I would need to swap out to make them fresh and new.  But then I thought how the stark white plates would look against the blue and grey.  What if I could get colored switches and plates?  Some internet research brought up the Adorne collection again and I was sold.

5softapswitch_softapdimmers_oilrubbedbronzewallplateIt’s a rather expensive commitment.  I have 37 switches to replace, plus 2 dimmer switches and I want to install timer switches for the bathroom fans.  At retail prices for these switches, that’s almost $450.  Did you hear that?  You can get a light switch for $1, you know?  So how much is style worth?  And that’s just the switches.  The wall plates are another $250.  Ok, so $700 to completely revamp the look of the switches.  The outlets are going to have to wait.  They have to.

But, all the switches will be graphite, which is like a dark grey.  They are going to look stunning and there’s not going to be anything else like it around.  I don’t even see these switches in the high-end model homes I’ve been checking out.

Because I have time and because I’m going to be doing this as I go room-to-room, I need to keep an eye open and an ear to the ground for any surplus or auctions that are selling these switches.  They’re uncommon, so that might mean I can find some where no one else would know what to do with them.