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Dec 16

Light switches

2006 at 05.39 pm posted by Veerle Pieters

Light switches and sockets, they aren’t exactly the first things you have in mind when thinking about decorating your home. You should, because they enhance the beauty of a décor. Switches are no longer just plain white, square or invisible. They can provide an impeccably sleek surface to the walls of your home. You can now get decorative plates in a wide range of materials.


Bticino is an Italian brand with a product line called "Axolute". It exist in all kind of shapes and in more than 41 different materials. Same examples are aluminum, slate and leather, wenge and Carrara marble. As you would expect the price is up to par. The cheapest cover plate starts from 8,22 Euro and it goes all the way up to 44 Euro. My problem with the Bticino brand is that most of the light switches have a kitschy perception.

Examples of Bticino light switches

I didn't have to search in other countries if it comes to innovative usage of materials, design and possibilities. I quickly discovered some nice Belgian brands too


The website and downloadable brochure didn't had much to discover but from what I figured out is that Lithos has prices that are way out of our budget. The high quality bushed stainless steel with up to 8 push buttons, in bronze, brass, charcoal, nickel or RAL colour finishes, can be wall or flush mounted. New is the SB1LT Alu Grey (from 60 Euro) and SBQLB with white or blue LED lightning (from 75 Euro). Don't forget you need lots of them so the amount quickly rises.

Examples of Lithos light switches


Niko recently launched two new product lines: Intense with soft lines and Pure for a more luxurious finish like bamboo or stainless steel. On their site you can test the switches against the colors of your interior to see if it is a match. After some deliberation we opted for Niko switches in aluminum for downstairs and black ones for upstairs. Those black ones have like a rubber feeling to them.

Examples of Niko light switches

Examples of Niko light switches




permalink this comment TOMAS Sat Dec 16, 2006 at 07.34 pm

I just remodeled a condo and never really paid much thought to the style of light switches… actually, I never knew something else existed other than the run of the mill switches you find at the hardware store.  It’s actually a surprise to see that manufacturers haven’t made an effort to create innovative and decorative light switches for the mass market yet.



permalink this comment Rick Sat Dec 16, 2006 at 07.57 pm

I don’t know for you guys in Europe, but here in Brazil this is a lot of money.

If I made a quick sum of all 40 switches at home, around 25 Euro each one (almost 1k), than a Mac Pro is a better choice for x-mas gifts ;)



permalink this comment DeaPeaJay Sat Dec 16, 2006 at 07.58 pm

I didn’t see any with dimmer slides on them. That’s a must for me. I love dimmer switches.



permalink this comment Milanek Sat Dec 16, 2006 at 08.26 pm

If you will be looking for socket system for your desks check Schulte products. We are considering EVOline Port for our conference room table (to connect portables to AC, network and projector). Let me know if you know similar products.



permalink this comment Geert Leyseele Sat Dec 16, 2006 at 08.39 pm

DeaPeaJay said:

I didn’t see any with dimmer slides on them. That’s a must for me.

All manufactures have dimmers in their assortment, just like data ports, phone connections etc. Veerle just didn’t show any pictures of these.



permalink this comment Gilles Sat Dec 16, 2006 at 08.51 pm

Thanks for pointing out to the new Niko switches; We were about to get some plain white ones for our new home, but we may opt for these now ;-)

I’ve read you consider buying a Joyn table… It really is a beautiful desk / table, and it’s a perfect match for Maarten Van Severen’s 03 chairs! (also from Vitra).

I really like this new section about interior design.



permalink this comment max Sat Dec 16, 2006 at 09.25 pm

I chose bticino six years ago when I built my house and I’m still fond of the choice. Good details enhance the overall living perception…



permalink this comment Jiří Sekera Sat Dec 16, 2006 at 09.40 pm

Some other brands you can find on



permalink this comment Reinier Meenhorst - Sat Dec 16, 2006 at 09.54 pm

I just love your sense for stylish details. The Niko range is great, in a ‘less is more’ kind of way. Although those Italian ones get your attention, they miss simplicity and are obtrusive.

When looking at your pic on flickr, I noticed the nice look of the actual sockets on the Niko. Great.

This post has me wondering if I’d adjust the lightswitched to my rubbery black MacBook. ;-)



permalink this comment Martin S. Sat Dec 16, 2006 at 11.27 pm

What do you say, it’s the small things that makes the difference?

Nice switches, I really have to find out how easy (or hard) it is to change the switches at home and find me some good looking ones. (Because the ones I have now are from the 60s I guess, and that sucks, at least if you’re addicted to modern design.)

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on home design Veerle, inspiration is always welcome.



permalink this comment Jonathan Sun Dec 17, 2006 at 01.49 am

Here you can find something more from Italy:

Cheers. ;)



permalink this comment Carina Mon Dec 18, 2006 at 04.12 am

I really like the ‘Lithos’ style. It’ very modern. My favorite is probably the ‘Niko’ style, since it’s very practical and even if I live in a house for 10 years I will mix up the switches.



permalink this comment Gavin the Photographer Mon Dec 18, 2006 at 08.02 am

Great post.  I’m waiting for light switches to just become obsolete.  Eventually sound and motion will activate everything, making the walls really smooth.



permalink this comment Martijn Mon Dec 18, 2006 at 09.13 am

Hi, I just redesigned the logo of Lithos. It has been approved!

For me, the design of the switches may go a little further. I am looking for a new way of turning the light on. Especially in a way you don’t notice there even are switches. Because even if they have a great design, switches are ugly.

Maybe domotica could be a solution?



permalink this comment Bogie Mon Dec 18, 2006 at 02.08 pm

I too love dimmer switches, but they do have one big drawback - you can’t use them with Edison screw-fit low-energy lightbulbs!  I wish someone would invent a low-E bulb that could be dimmed, maybe using LEDs…



permalink this comment Christopher Bird Mon Dec 18, 2006 at 02.53 pm

Great post! Light switches, such as these, can make quite a difference. They can be very useful in creating different “feels” for various rooms. E.g., stainless steel in the kitchen, bamboo in the bedroom, etc.



permalink this comment Everything Mon Dec 18, 2006 at 03.27 pm

I wish someone would invent a low-E bulb that could be dimmed



permalink this comment Efficiency Expert Tue Dec 19, 2006 at 09.52 am

Maybe domotica could be a solution?



permalink this comment Mike Gowen Tue Dec 19, 2006 at 04.31 pm

Arg, I’m so jealous!! You’re building *my* dreamhouse right before my eyes :)

I’ve been hooked on Danish design lately. I love the simplicity of the lines and the geometric nature.




permalink this comment John Athayde Wed Dec 20, 2006 at 09.19 pm

Those are awesome! The details like this really set a space apart. And considering it is a space you will spend a large portion of time in, you should have it as great as you can. During Architecture school, it was always about the details in the final days of the project. That’s great that you have a wall. Now what happens when the wall hits the floor? When you need an electrical socket?

Those things seperate good fromo great.



permalink this comment baldo Wed Dec 20, 2006 at 10.01 pm

Veerle, I live in italy and I can send you some bticino light switches..



permalink this comment farah Thu Dec 21, 2006 at 01.30 pm

it’s expensive back here in malaysia



permalink this comment Armand Fri Dec 22, 2006 at 10.19 am

HI Veerle

If you ever need them for a wallpapered room you might try this approach.

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