Wednesday, July 13, 2016

New Specialty Light Switch Finishes Give High-End Look

Often when you put the money into high-end switch plates, you want light switches & outlets that match.

Until recently, fancy switchplates (like Venetian bronze and antique brass) had to be paired with plainer switches (like brown and ivory).

But now, electrical switches & receptacles are being offered with a new designer look in 3 stunning finishes:

Dark Bronze:

Lighter than brown with a warm red tone, newly manufactured dark bronze electrical switches add elegance to these already magnificent bronze wall plates:

Antique Brass:

New antique brass switches & outlets are a beautiful deep gold which looks fabulous with a variety of covers, including antique brass shown here:

Nickel Silver:

If you're into the gray wall trend mixed with dark brown wood floors that's recently taken homes by storm, you might have elegant walls stenciled with metallic silver paint mixed with a matte gray.

If so, you'll love these new nickel light switches with dark bronze covers:

Monday, April 18, 2016

3 Best Graduation Gifts for Electrical Engineers

Not sure what to get them when the graduate this May? Here are 3 distinctive gift ideas for electrical engineering students.

1. Creative Cash Bulb

After shelling out 4 years of tuition, most college students feel pretty broke. That's why the gift of money is not only a popular choice, but an appreciated one come graduation day.

Instead of handing over a card with a hundred dollar bill or check inside, get creative! We are loving this crafty idea from Lexie Sachs at Good Housekeeping:

Money tucked inside a light bulb jar is a creative way to gift graduation cash to an electrical engineer. The gift tag that reads "Here's to your bright future!" is the perfect finishing touch.

Find more creative gifts with light bulbs for electricians

2. Professional Business Card Case

Help your son or daughter network once they land their first job out of college with a light bulb business card holder or card case for electrical engineers. Tucking some graduation cash inside will ensure it's extra appreciated!

 light bulb electrician business card holder grad gift

 card case for electrical engineers

These unique networking card holders for electricians can be engraved with their name and grad year and are crafted just for you with custom colors. Add their school colors or just choose a favorite hue.

3. Engraved Tape Measure

Another useful gift for an electrical engineering graduate is a personalized tape measure. These cool pocket sized measuring tapes are Zippo brand and come embellished with an electrical circuit design:

 engraved electrical engineering tape measure

The best graduation gifts for electrical engineers are ones that incorporate an electricity theme. That's why we're sure a light bulb full of cash, networking card case or travel tape measure will be a big hit at your son, nephew or grandson's grad party.

See more electrical themed gifts here.

Have other creative ideas? We'd love to hear them!

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Basketball Switch Plates for Man Caves & Sports Fans

I can't sit down in a bar or restaurant without first analyzing which seat has the best view of the TV screen. Then I choose the opposite side. That's because my husband is well on his way to winning his office March Madness basketball bracket and every game matters so much.

It's fun when you're passionate about something, isn't it? It's even more fun when you can work that passion into your home decor.

My husband is one of those guys who has a man cave. I personally thought the spare bedroom would be more useful as a guest room should we ever have visitors. But, he really wanted that man cave and insisted I keep my decorating touch OUT of it. (Ha!)

He was definitely surprised when I agreed black walls would look great and even helped him paint it. I think he was even more surprised when he liked some of my suggestions for the room. (Like I said before about keeping out - ha!)

One of his favorites was when I brought home this black outlet cover from Kyle Switch Plates with red basketball design to reflect his love of the Bulls. (Yes, in our house we not only cheer on college ball, we follow the NBA too. And by "we" I mean "he".)

And, I haven't told him yet but for his birthday he's getting a matching automatic sports night light to go in this outlet. With those dark black walls it's hard to see in there at night! Although I have to admit it does look cool.

Yah I know, I know. I'm supposed to keep my decorative touch out of there. But, once again, I think he'll be surprised. In a good way. :)

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Fixes for Kitchen Backsplash Switches & Outlets

Sometimes there just isn't room to fit an electrical box vertically on your kitchen backsplash or bathroom tile. A great solution is to simply mount your kitchen outlets and light switches horizontally instead.

I've seen this in many kitchens by the sink where the half-backsplash wall tile or marble leaves little room for electrical devices. Usually it's when there's a ledge that opens up into another room or a split-level island that has a breakfast bar.

In some cases, switches have been mounted sideways but too close together for the cover plates. In that case, you can use plates in which the openings have been shifted to create a short side. Then, you can put the short ends of the plates together like this:

This looks like 2 normal cover plates, but if you look closely, you'll see that where they meet in the middle the screws are closer to the edges of each plate than on the outside edges. Here's what a single plate looks like:

See how the rocker opening and screw holes have been shifted to one side of the plate?

Using these half short wall plates made for kitchen tile or granite backsplashes is an excellent solution when you don't have room for a regular switchplate.

They also come as short duplex outlet covers and as short toggle plates for tight spaces too.

Switch plates with shorter edges are the only solution f you've remodeled your kitchen and run into this problem:

"Oops! My horizontally mounted kitchen switches are too close together for cover plates!"

It's a common problem that we get calls about so often that we've custom created these plates with you in mind. You're welcome!

For more tricky switch plate solutions see our post on Narrow Switch Plates for Tight Spaces.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Protect Your Walls & Paint with Switch Plate Expanders

Standard switch plates don't cover a large portion of the wall around your switches and electrical devices. Over time, fumbling for the switch either in the dark or while not looking can lead to a lot of fingerprints or paint chips around your cover plates. Especially if you have children.

In high traffic areas of your home, office, school or day care, you can protect your walls with switch plate expanders.

 2-Gang Switch Plate Expander for Wall

Wall plate expanders are easy-to-install white metal plates that sit between your switch plate and the wall. They can be used with any switch plate - toggle, Decora rocker, outlet and combination. Above, we show a 6" x 6" 2-gang expander plate sitting under a combo rocker outlet cover.

Extra Wall Protection for 1-, 2- and 3-Gang Electrical Boxes

Protective expanders are available for single, double and triple gang electrical boxes. Use with your current plates or buy new white metal plates for an exact color match.

Click the images below to shop Kyle Switch Plates' expanders and find fewer fingerprints and less dirt on the walls around your cover plates.

1-Gang Switchplate Expanders:
6" high by 4" wide - place underneath any single switch plate or outlet cover.

 1 Gang Switchplate Expanders 4x6"

2-Gang Wall Plate Expanders:
6" x 6" square plate fits 2-gang electrical boxes. For use with any 2-gang cover plate.

 2 Gang Wall Plate Expanders

3-Gang Expanders:
8" wide by 6" tall back plate for triple gang electrical box. Use with any configuration of triple plate.
 3 Gang Cover Plate Expanders

Friday, January 8, 2016

Guide to Light Dimmers & Dimmer Switch Plates

Dimmer switches are great as they offer a way to control the amount of light in the room as well as save on energy costs. Whether you're looking to add new dimmer switches to your home or you've done some remodeling or redecorating and you want to update your light switches to match, there are a variety of dimmer switch styles to choose from.

Dimmers with or without On/Off Switches

One of the most notable differences between dimmer types is whether they have an on/off switch or not. If the dimmer has an off/off switch, you can leave the dimmer pre-set to a specific level, then just toggle the switch on and off. That's ideal if you don't plan to adjust the dimness of your lighting very often and don't want to fuss with adjust it each time you turn on the lights.

In my own home, I generally have the lights either on full blast or off. For that reason, I have dimmers without off/on switches - I just push the slider all the way up when I enter the room and all the way down when I leave. Then, on the rare occasion I choose to dim the lights, I slide it to the right spot.

Dimmer Styles & Finishes

As you can see, there are a number of types of dimmers. Light dimmers come as rocker, slide, rotary and toggle. Choose the look and style that fits your home, or that fits the type of switch plate opening you are trying to fill.

One thing to note is that not all styles are available in every color or finish.

Here are the other options available for each finish:

White Dimmers:

All dimmer types are available in a white finish.

Black Dimmer Switches:

There are also a good variety of dimmers to choose from in black.

Brown Dimmer Styles:

The only style you won't find in brown is the slide dimmer without the on/off switch.

Gray Dimmers:

If you're looking for gray toggle dimmers, you won't find any. But, you can get a gray rotary dimmer which fits the same opening as a toggle switch, or select a clear toggle dimmer as shown here:

Shop affordable dimmers in all finishes at Kyle Switch Plates.

Coordinating Switch Plates for Dimmers

Dimmer switch plates are easy to find - rocker and slide dimmers fit decora rocker plate openings, and the rotary and toggle dimmers fit toggle plates. These very common plate openings can be found in a variety of combination switch plates here.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

How to Replace Rotary Dimmer Knobs & Find Cover Plates

Searching for replacement dimmer knobs?

You may have an old dimmer knob that broke.

Or maybe you're updating the look of your home and the old yellowed knob has to go.

A trip to the hardware store may have revealed that your dimmer has a different stem style than the knobs they carry and so you're having trouble finding a replacement knob.

Kyle Switch Plates carries every dimmer knob style in over 15 colors in our online store.

First, you just need to flip over your old knob or take a look at the stem that's sticking out of your wall and identify your stem type.
You'll either need
-GE / Pass & Seymour (the current GE replacement)

Once you have your stem style narrowed down, you can select a color and easily buy replacement dimmer knobs here.

Did you know that rotary dimmers don't require a special switch plate opening? They fit right into the slot on a toggle switch plate and the knob is large enough to cover the entire opening.

You can shop toggle switch plates for rotary dimmers in 17 finishes or find the perfect combination cover plate at Kyle Switch Plates.

 replacement rotary dimmer knobs