Bakelite Rotary Square
A faithful re-invention of the rotary switch common in Europe in the 1910s and 20s, made from that much-loved, classic material of the era: Bakelite. This design features a square backplate, ideal for retro-fitting in British properties. Read more about this range…
For combining these switches to create multiples (3-gang, 4-gang etc), you need a multi-gang backplate – see some examples in the photographs below. Please contact us for more information. NB: these will only fit onto European double backboxes, not standard British rectangular ones.
The modular nature of these switches mean that you can also mix and match finishes! Please get in touch if you would like to combine a Bakelite frame with a contrasting Duroplast toggle, for example.
Apart from switches, THPG offer a selection of wiring products and functions that can be combined with these frames, such as audio speaker inputs, TV/SAT sockets and network sockets. Contact us for information on other options if you can’t find what you’re looking for.
UK power sockets
Unfortunately this style doesn't have UK socket options yet.
What’s in the box?
This switch set consists of an insert (including rotary and front plate, fixed with a small metal screw), and a square frame.
What does an electrician call this?
This is a 1-gang 2-way 10AX switch, or a 1-gang intermediate 10AX switch
Where is this used in the home?
A 1-gang 2-way switch is commonly used for controlling a single light source from one or two places. A 1-gang intermediate is used as the middle switch of three, controlling a single light source (for example in a hallway).
THPG toggle switches require a bit more patience to wire up, simply because they are modelled on original designs and don't have the modern conveniences of push-contacts and encapsulated backplates.
Just follow the step-by-step pictures below or go to our THPG toggle switch installation page. We used a European round box in the pictures but the procedure is the same for square ones.
Like all THPG switches, these have open screw fittings for the wiring. Because in UK installations both line and neutral wires are permanently live, it is especially important to make sure the power to the switch is switched off at the consumer board during installation!
(Click gallery to enlarge. Number of gangs and/or finishes might vary)
Instructions THPG Rotary
Please refer to our Installation section for more installation advice, manuals and helpful videos.
Does this cover a standard british back box?
This product covers a standard knockout box, but it doesn't cover the flanges of standard drywall boxes. We recommend using "flat plate" drywall boxes or European round boxes.
How deep does the back box need to be?
This insert is quite deep, it needs at least 45mm. Check the available options below.
Drawing on the popular switches of the early 20th Century, THPG Bakelite switches are designed to recreate a vintage look with a clean, sleek finish. They are faithful replicas – in fact made using original machinery and processes – but they don’t come across too old-fashioned to be a charming focal point in a modern interior either.
The rotary switch distinguishes this range from other more commonly found rockers, and the satisfying ‘click’ it makes when turned will transport you back to an era where great design extended to even small interior detailing. (please note: if you want something silent this may not be the switch for you).
Available in a striking monochrome palette, the THPG Bakelite and Duroplast designs come in round or square frames. Central toggles and rotaries provide a pleasing focal point, drawing the eye into the centre of the switch. The toggles can be ordered in single or double versions but even if you require a "double" rotary, get in touch - there are options!
The round frames in this collection work brilliantly with our Porcelain Button and Porcelain Rotary ranges (also by THPG), allowing you to create interest with different textures and materials whilst retaining a unified shape. Square frames make a bolder statement and also have the advantage of being able to be installed into standard UK back boxes.
Bakelite has a unique look and is loved for its semi-glossy, silky finish and a tactile surface that is hard to resist. It feels "warmer" than modern plastics and this quality is used to great effect in the soft and friendly shapes of the THPG switches.
The small screws that hold the parts together are sunken into the Bakelite, not to distract from the striking monochrome look.
Old-school allure and craftsmanship – a contemporary icon
Working in partnership with manufacturers in Westphalia, THPG have restored original moulds and reintroduced traditional specialist tools in order to create a truly authentic, top quality Bakelite light switch. Their highly skilled artisans, chosen for their experience working with this material, hand-finish the mechanical inserts and covers in a factory that has been making products for several hundred years.
Due to the ‘matrix method’ of moulding, along with the inherent durability of Bakelite, these switches are built to last. Once the material has been pressed and moulded it will retain its shape forever. The collection has a superior look and feel, and its internal functions are just as effective and efficient as those we can see and touch.
The beauty of our Bakelite switches lies in their utilitarian, old-school allure. They could be sitting on a modern grey wall, providing a contrast with cocooning dark blue tones, or finishing off a period wall in floral flock or vintage prints, this switch is a versatile classic in its own right.
So whether you are planning an authentic restoration of a period property, or looking for a playful addition to your minimalist or mid-century modern interior scheme, this monochrome range of toggles and rotaries adds eye-catching architectural accents.