Modern Switch Plates: The Hidden Heroes of Smart Spaces


Although light switch face plates may not be at the top of your wall decor or renovation shopping list, they’re one of a handful of small details that make a big difference. That’s because they don’t just help coordinate your walls and lighting with your furniture: they provide essential protection for your light switches and electrical wiring, while preventing wall cavities from becoming unintended pathways for dust, debris, and moisture.

Modern switch plates are also a testament to today’s design considerations. While face plates have traditionally only needed to accommodate light switches, power points, and the occasional telephone connector, they now also need to support USB and HDMI charging ports, fibre optic ports, and a myriad of other power indicators and connectors. The fact is, modern switch plates have to be just as functional as they are fashionable, and they deserve special attention when you’re looking at new wall decor.

Modern, Multi-functional Cover Plates for Today’s Evolving Lifestyle

woman using the light switch

From their increased energy efficiency to their advanced network connectivity, modern commercial and residential spaces demand a wider range of switching and cabling options than ever; that means having access to a broader selection of switch and cover plate configurations is also more important than ever. Modern Australia and New Zealand Standard (AS/NZS) 60669-compliant cover plates are designed specifically to accommodate the region’s unique 16mm switch mechanisms; and unlike previous generations of cover plates, are engineered to be compatible with the requirements of modern living and working spaces.

Today’s powered, and clip-on light switch cover plates are produced in 1G – 6G switch, as well as blank configurations, and are available from premium quality lighting and network connectivity manufacturers like Hager, Ravelo, and Australia’s own Clipsal. With their 10A / 16A / 32A / 45A 250V ratings, these light switch covers are as synonymous with function as they are with form, and they boast a range of compliance attributes that include:

  • A choice of either horizontally or vertically oriented switch cover fixing frames;
  • Fire-resistant PC (polycarbonate) and ABS (acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene) construction; and,
  • A cover plate’s operational temperature ranges from 0°C – 45°C, at 0 – 95% relative humidity.

With their robust construction and tough impact resistance, these power outlet covers are as well suited for industrial, commercial, and retail environments, as they are for residential and institutional applications. They’re built to withstand hard, fast, continuous usage over extended periods of time – all conditions that they’re likely to encounter in today’s multi-functional working and living spaces.

Switch Cover Solutions to Satisfy All Your Lighting, Power, and Connectivity Needs

From unlimited network coverage and access points, to custom-designed and controllable LED downlighting, flexibility and multi-functionality are essential aspects of modern living. These smart home and workplace systems rely on pushbutton integration to maximize their efficiency; and not surprisingly, that’s precisely what Australian wall plate covers emphasize the most.

Although multi-gang electric switch covers are ideal for controlling zoned and programmable lighting systems, they’re not just for lighting. Their clean, intuitive design also allows them to be used for a host of other custom controllable appliances and accessories, including:

  • Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems;
  • Active alarm and sensor systems; and,
  • Kitchen appliances like microwaves and fridges.

These switch covers can even accommodate complete audio, video, and data integration solutions for homes and businesses with smart parallel connectivity switches for:

  • Single and dual port USB charging;
  • CAT 5E, CAT 6, and CAT 6A data connections;
  • Banana, and RCA-type audio sockets;
  • HDMI-A and HDMI-S video sockets; and,
  • PAL, or F-Type TV sockets.

Regardless of whether you’re a property manager tasked with reining in facility energy costs, or a work-from-home telecommuter who needs hardwired internet access in every room, there are wall socket covers and switches available to scalably satisfy every power, and direct digital demand. And with their subtle styling and natural simplicity, these cover plates also refuse to compromise on aesthetics.

Colour and Texture Choices that Bring Your Spaces to Life

black matt switch cover plate on a white wall

Let’s be honest: while switch plate covers alone won’t make or break the ambience of any room’s decor, they do, however, provide delicate accents that make spaces more inviting. This is true for both light switch, and power outlet cover plates, which is why these modern trim pieces are designed around maximized minimality.

With a choice of either textured or glass-like metallic, as well as painted finishes, the range of both switch plate cover, and backlit LED pushbutton colours is as extensive as the fixtures themselves, and include:

  • Matte black;
  • Vivid white;
  • Blue;
  • Yellow; and,
  • Grey/silver.

No matter the type of decor you have, or the appliances and accessories you’re using, any renovation job that involves changing your old switches and outlets warrants replacing them with modern light plate covers and switches. This is especially true, however, if you’re experiencing problems with your existing switches and wiring, where even an intermittently faulty fixture can have catastrophic consequences.

Recognizing When it’s Time to Replace Your Sockets and Covers

Even though light switches and power points are designed to last for decades, the telltale signs of an installation that’s in urgent need of replacement are unmistakeable and can include:

  • Light switch, or wall socket cover getting hot;
  • A delay between the time you flip the switch and the light coming on; or,
  • A cracked or broken wall plate cover, leaves the underlying switch visible.

And when it comes specifically to the electrical outlet cover plates covering power points, the warning signs are even more overt, including:

  • Noticeable performance problems with appliances that are plugged into the outlet;
  • Scorch or burn marks on the electrical outlet cover plate; or,
  • Smoke or sparks coming from behind the plug cover plate itself.

Make no mistake: any of these situations are clear indicators of a serious electrical problem that needs to be corrected immediately. AS/NZS 3000 is very precise about the requirement for only licensed electricians to engage in any kind of wiring or switch replacement though, and contacting a trusted sparky is the crucial step you have to take to upgrade or replace your switches before doing anything to your electrical outlet covers or plates.

The Final Word

At the end of the day, the expectations from today’s residential and commercial spaces are more exacting than ever. They literally need to be able to adapt on a per-user basis, which means their lighting, connectivity, and even climate controls need to be centralized, and instantly adjustable at the push of a button.

The efficiency of these spaces resides squarely with the switches and cover plate configurations that you choose. You want the best switches and plates available though, because only they can give you the reliability and safety that you want.