Bakelite Rotary Surface
A faithful re-invention of the rotary switch common in Europe in the 1910s and 20s, made from the classic material of the era: Bakelite. This surface-mounted version is perfect for when the wiring isn’t concealed in the walls – an all-too-common design problem for period property owners!
Read more about this range…
These switches come with an optional 2.5mm thick, fire-retardant base plate made from the same material. This is required by fire safety regulations, in case you surface-mount the unit to combustible material such as wood or plasterboard.
UK power sockets
Unfortunately this style doesn't have UK socket options yet.
Before ordering, please make sure you have checked the “Dimensions” section below to see if this product is the right size and shape for your installation. Please be aware that we don’t accept returns of this product (after the statutory 14 days) if you find that the necessary installation/decorating work is too extensive. We kindly ask that you and your electrician make sure that they are aware of the back box size, depth and shape required for this product.
What’s in the box?
This switch set consists of an insert, a round casing, a rotary handle (including fixing nut and screw) and an optional base plate.
(Click image to enlarge. Pictures for illustration only. Number of gangs and/or finishes might vary)
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 rotary 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.
The insert is fixed to the wall and wired up first, before the casing is put over the whole assembly and the rotary handle is secured with a small screw.
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!
Please refer to our Installation section for more installation advice, manuals and helpful videos.
Does this cover a standard british back box?
Surface-mounted, so no back box required.
How deep does the back box need to be?
No back box required.
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 elegance of a by-gone era shines through in these pieces, none more so than the cute and chunky surface-mounted variety. It’s a switch that will be talked about in your house.
The surface-mounted versions of the Bakelite and Duroplast switches from THPG come in two flavours: this Rotary and a Toggle.
They are mounted directly onto the wall (optionally with a base plate for fire protection), with the wires either joining the switch from the base – if they come out of the wall at the exact place where the switch is going – or (like here) from the top or sides, via a conduit.
You can choose to connect the external wiring with any kind of conduit you like, from braided textile to metal or plastic piping. No need to compromise on style, even if your electrics can’t be neatly hidden in the walls – in fact, we quite like the industrial feel of open conduit…
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.