Modular Switches : Modular switches have 4 important features that are perfect for every home which are given in detail below:
Safety : Luminous modular switches are made from fire retardant material.
All sockets are shuttered to avoid accidental contact of your kids with any live electrical parts.
All switches and sockets are ISI marked and follow international safety standards.
Long lifespan : Modular switches generally have a longer lifespan than regular non modular or semi modular switches.
Infact Luminous modular switches are tested for more than 240,000 clicks. This can last you a lifetime.
User Friendly : The ease for use allows you to easily add switches,sockets, fan regulators and other functions without much effort.
Since Luminous switches are 100% modular, they easily snap fit into their position.
Aesthetics : Luminous modular switches are aesthetically pleasing, they fit perfectly in modern interiors and integrate seamlessly into your walls.
They are available in various colours, designs, textures and combinations.
A switch is a button that is used to turn on or turn off fans, lights or any electrical appliance
To decide on which switch to buy, you will first need to check the current rating of the switch
- 6A/10A switches are for your basic fans and lighting
- 16A/20A switches are for heavier lights, moderate power consumption appliances like TV, cooler etc.
- 25A/32A switches are for heavy appliances like geysers, air conditioners, motors
Imagine you are climbing a dark staircase and you switch on a light with a switch placed at the bottom of the staircase.
After reaching the floor you wanted to climb up to, will you go down again to turn off the light ?
No, this is where you would need a two way switch. This type of a switch can be used even in a bedroom.
This is a switch that is used for doorbells in homes and offices
Just like switches, sockets are also available in various current ratings and design eg 10A/16A 3 pin sockets,
10A/16A 5 pin sockets, universal sockets that take most plugs including international ones and International sockets.
Other components of switches and sockets which are equally important are also mentioned below
- Fan Regulators : The fan regulators are available in 4 speed and 5 speed.
- Light Dimmers : At times lights end up becoming too bright for certain situations hence light dimmers are provided to reduce the brightness and create a more cozy atmosphere.
- RJ11 : This is nothing but a telephone socket
- RJ45 : This is the data socket for CAT 5 & 6 internet cables
- LED Night Foot Lamp : This type of a lamp is highly recommended for children’s bedrooms,living rooms and staircases
Grid & CoverPlate :
The above components such as different types of switches and different types of sockets are mounted on a Grid plate.
The cover plate makes the whole unit look aesthetically pleasing and is mounted on top of the grid plate
There are different grid + cover plate sizes as given below:
- 1 Module : Space available for 1 basic switch
- 2 Module : Space available for 2 basic switches
- 3 Module : Space available for 3 basic switches
- 4 Module : Space available for 4 basic switches
- 8 Module : Space available for 8 basic switches
- 12 Module : Space available for 12 basic switches
- 18 Module : Space available for 18 basic switches
Common Electric materials required for the house can be listed as below:
Conduits and bends :
- Conduits & bends
- AC Conduits
- Switch Boxes
- Light Boxes
- Fan Boxes
- Junction Boxes
- Switches & Plates
MS conduits, once so much in use, have given way to PVC conduits now. While choosing PVC conduits, always look for heavy duty conduits with a thickness of 2 mm.
Look for the ISI-marked conduits. PVC conduits used for electrical wiring are of ¾ inch to 1¼ inch diameter.
An easy identification of quality of conduits can be made from the colour markings on them. Heavy duty conduits have green markings and light duty conduits carry red markings. Some medium duty conduits carry blue markings. Bends used with conduits are also made of PVC and are required in large numbers for a house. These are of long type and short type. These are required to extend conduits at right angles. The electrician decides whether at a location, he needs a long bend or short bend.
AC Conduits :
Vertical PVC conduits of 50 mm diameter are embedded in the walls these days to run the copper piping connecting indoor and outdoor units of split ACs.
These conduits need not necessarily be of heavy duty.
The top ends of these conduits emerging at the roof or the walls are provided with end caps to prevent entry of moisture, insects and lizards inside these.
The end caps are further sealed with cello tape. Sometimes, the end caps are not available with the conduit suppliers.
Their provision should be insisted to keep multiple problems at bay.
Switch boxes :
One end of all conduits ends up in switch boxes while the other ends up in electrical fittings.
Switch boxes of different sizes are provided in the rooms to receive the conduits and wiring in them.
Switch boxes of varying sizes are used as according to the number of switches to be put over it.
Switch boxes sizes vary from 3 inch to 12 inch in width and so in depth also.
These are square or rectangular in shape and made in 16-gauge sheet metal.
Switch boxes should be painted well, both inside and outside with anti-corrosive paint.
Use of wooden boxes should be avoided. Switch boxes should have a depth of 2 inch or more.
Light Boxes :
Light boxes are made of material similar to switch boxes, mostly embedded in sun shades and projections and roof slabs during the pouring of concrete.
These accommodate the down-looking concealed lights provided in these slabs and projections. Light boxes are mostly round in shape,
about 5 inch deep and provide with holes to allow entry of conduits in them. These are also made in 16 gauge metal sheet and painted with anti-corrosive paint.
Fan hook boxes :
Fan hook boxes are also made in 16 gauge metal sheet,
painted well with anti-corrosive paint and embedded in the floor slabs during the pouring of concrete.
These are hexagonal or octagonal in shape. On their sides, these are provided with holes to allow the conduits to enter them.
Generally, these are 4 inch deep and carry a hook inside them to hang the ceiling fan.
Junction boxes :
Unlike switch boxes, Junction boxes are made in PVC and are provided in walls to branch out conduits to different switch boxes.
These have four outlets at right angles.
Interesting part of their manufacturing is that depending upon the size of conduits to be connected through these,
these have connecting arms of different diameters, mostly of ¾” and 1” diameter.
Electric wires :
First of all, the wire material.
Electric wires can be in copper or aluminium. Choose copper wires only. Next, the strands.
Wires can have single strand or multiple strands. Choose multiple strands. Next, the ISI mark.
Wires can be ISI 694 (Part I) marked or IS 694 (Part II) marked. Choose IS 694 Part I marked wires.
Next, the electrolytic grade. Choose copper wires of 99.97% electrolytic grade 99.97%. Next, check wire insulation.
It should be three layered. Among the three layers, the first layer is water resistant, second is heat and high temperature resistant and third layer is fire retardant.
Heat and fire resistant wires carry a mark HRFR. Check the highest temperature that the insulation can withstand without melting.
It should be plus 100 degree Celsius. Next, check the size of wire. Commonly used sizes of wires are 1 sq mm, 1.5 sq mm, 2 sq. mm, 2.5 sq mm and 4 sq mm.
Choose 4 to 6 sq mm size for AC points, 1.5 sq mm size for light points and 5 ampere three pin sockets and 2.5 sq mm size for power sockets.
Choose 6 sq mm size wires for split AC wiring. Next, check colour of the wire insulation.
Choose red, yellow and blue colour insulation for the three phases, black colour for neutral and green for earth wire.
Every country has different colour code for electric wires. For example, in the USA, live three phase wires are in black, red and blue and neutral is in gray or white.
Only earth wire is in green like India. Next, check length of wire in each coil to be full 90 metres as rates quoted by suppliers are per coil and not per metre length of wire.
Switches and plates :
First of all, decide type of switches to be provided —whether conventional or modular. Choose modular switches only. Conventional ordinary switches are rarely used in new constructions. Next, look for the material of the switches. Choose modular switches made of fine quality polycarbonates which are a sort of thermoplastic polymers. Next, look for dust proof, high melting point and flame resistance properties of switches. Such polycarbonates are called FR grade polycarbonates. Next, look for design of switches. Modular switches are produced in different shapes, sizes and designs by different companies. Look for the ones that look pleasing to you and have smooth and straight design. Next, choose colour of the switches. Choose white colour only as white switches and plates never go out of fashion. Next, check their operation. These should be noise proof. Switches shouldn’t make any noise while turning them off or on. And no force should be required to press them on or off. Such switches are called to have ergonomic design. Next, look for the spark shields. Modular switches should have spark shield inside them to conceal high sparking and avoiding any damage or short circuiting due to leakage of current. Next, look for the dust-shield provision.
Provision of a dust shield prevents entry of dust inside the switches and helps them retain their new look for years together. Next, look for insulation property. The insulation resistance of modular switches should be more than 2000 Mega Ohms. Such switches are shock proof. Look for life time guarantee of the switches.
Switch plates :
Modular switches are provided in a set of two cover plates.
The first plate contains the switches and is fixed to the box.
This plate has a honeycombed grid plate structure. These plates should be sturdy and strong.
Second plate is the front plate that has high gloss.
It should be flush type, matching the white colour of modular switches, dust proof, easy to clean, easy to remove and re-fit and of the same brand as that of modular switches.
There were times when fuses were provided in the houses. These are now replaced by MCBs. An MCB means Miniature Circuit Breaker. An MCB automatically trips off in case of high voltage or some fault in the electric circuit. Look for original MCBs of reputed manufacturers that provide 3 in 1 protection against earth leakage, short circuit and overload. Look for ISI marked MCBs only. On damage, an MCB should never be repaired but should simply be replaced. ISI marked MCBs of reputed brands don’t get damaged easily and work effectively.