Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Retro Light Switches in 1950's Built Homes

If your home was built in the 1950's or 60's and has retro looking light switches, they may be Remcon brand low voltage lighting, like the ones shown here:

These switches were popular in the midwest during that time period.

Unfortunately, you can no longer buy new Remcon light switches or switch plates.

So if you want to update the look of the vintage switches in your home, you'll need to change your switches to another low voltage lighting brand called Touch Plate.

Your Guide to Replacing Vintage Remcon Lighting Parts

To update your Remcon switches and wall plates, you need to know that your Remcon lighting is a 3-wire system (3 wires come out of each light switch) and the replacement switches (Touch Plate brand) only have 2 wires.

Since you're switching from a 3-wire to a 2-wire system, you'll wire the switches in a way that requires you to double the number of switches in each cover plate. Get a wiring guide here (free with any purchase at Kyle Switch Plates online).

For example, this wall plate with 3 Remcon switches can be replaced with this 6-button Touch Plate unit. You will use separate Touch Plate buttons to turn the lights on and off.

You will always double the number of switches when updating from Remcon to Touch Plate. That's because each old switch will have new, separate ON and OFF buttons.

Each switch in a Remcon electrical system is connected to its own relay.

Old & New Remcon Relays

If you have a broken relay in your system, you can still buy newly manufactured Remcon relays here.

There are 2 different types of Remcon relays. Look at the relay that you need to replace and note whether is has 2 wires (red and white) or 3 wires (red, white and black) coming out of it.

Buy an R-115S relay with 3 wires here.

Buy an RC-120S with 2 wires here.

Need help identifying which part in your Remcon system is broken? See our Remcon Troubleshooting Guide.

Shop Replacement Remcon Low Voltage Lighting Parts at Kyle Switch Plates.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Centering a Switch in a 2-Gang Electrical Box - Here's How

For whatever reason, you have a 2-gang electrical box with only one switch or outlet, and you'd like it to be centered.

The solution for covering a single device in a double box depends on what type of box you are covering.

Note the location of the screw holes on each box type as well as the dimensions of the boxes.

We'll now look at how to center a device in each of these types of boxes.


A standard box has tabs that the electrical devices mount into.

Typically, you would install your switch on one side or the other, and cover it with a plate that has 1 blank side.

There is no place to mount the device in the middle, so in order to do so in this type of box, you'll need a specialty switch plate that the device will mount to from underneath.

Then, the plate mounts to the box in the standard way.

Shop these links to get a cover for this box type, based on what type of device you're installing (rocker switch, toggle switch or duplex outlet).

  1. centered rocker cover for a 2-gang box (for rocker switch or block/GFCI outlet)
  2. middle position toggle switch cover for 2-gang box (for toggle switches)
  3. middle duplex outlet cover for 2-gang boxes (for outlets with center screw)


In 4x4 junction boxes with screws in opposite corners, you need a mud ring to center your switch or outlet.

The mud ring (also called a plaster ring) slips underneath the diagonal screws to secure to the box. The device then mounts to the ring and the cover plate goes over as it normally would in a single-gang box.

Shop the links below to get these covers, which are all compatible with this center-mount mud ring for 4x4 boxes:

  1. 2-gang plate for centered rocker devices
  2. 2-gang switchplate for middle toggle
  3. 2-gang outlet cover for 1 center duplex

4-11/16" JUNCTION BOX:

For larger junction boxes, you'll use this large plastic ring and oversized covers for centered devices (larger than the ones linked to for the 4x4 box above).

Although these boxes have 4 total screw tabs, you'll only be using 2 screws (in opposite corners) to attach the mud ring.

You can shop the links below to buy oversized covers. Each are compatible with this mud ring for large boxes:

  1. oversized centered rocker gfci outlet covers
  2. oversized center toggle switch wall plates
  3. oversized centered duplex outlet faceplates

Now you know how to cover these different types of 2-gang boxes and where to buy the parts.

Shop Kyle Switch Plates for all your electrical device and cover plate needs.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Types of Screwless Wall Plates - Lutron, P&S, Touch-Plate Comparison

Today we're taking a look at 3 different brands of screwless light switch covers: Lutron, Pass & Seymour, and Touch-Plate Ultra*.

(*Note that Touch Plate is a low voltage lighting brand and screwless Ultra plates are 1 & 2-gang sizes only).


These simple, modern wall plates have no visible screws and are made to cover rocker devices (the large, rectangle shaped ones). This mainly includes Decora* rocker switches, rocker dimmers, and block/GFCI type outlets.

*The term "Decora" is a Leviton brand trademark term often used interchangeably with the term "rocker".

Inserts and modular frames allow you to install screwless covers over other devices, such as toggle light switches or phone/cable jacks.

Here are examples of several rocker electrical devices that fit into screw-free covers:

Switch / Stacked Switch / Combo Outlet / GFCI Outlet / Slide Dimmer / Rocker Dimmer

And, using inserts, blank dummy switches or modular frames, here are more options:

Rocker inserts convert openings to fit other devices & jacks.

Learn more about & purchase switch plate inserts here.


The first difference between these 3 manufacturers is the sheen of the covers.

Pass & Seymour has a satin finish, Touch-Plate Ultra is very matte, and Lutron is high gloss (which the exception of Lutron's Midnight Satin Black, Hot Satin Red & Palladium Satin Gray).


Lutron's covers are the smallest, measuring 2-15/16" wide by 4-11/16 high.

Touch-Plate Ultra and Pass & Seymour's covers are both 3-1/8" wide & 1/4" deep, with P&S's being slightly taller at 4-15/16" high.

For reference, a standard rocker plate with screws is smaller: 2-3/4" wide, 4-1/2" high and only 5/32" deep. The screwless plates cover more of the wall space around the devices, but the cutout is the same size as any standard cover.

Covers are available in sizes from 1-gang (covers 1 device) up to 6-gang (covers 6 devices in same electrical box). Sizes vary by brand:

                                                      1-6 Gang    6 Finishes    Gloss
                                                      1-3 Gang    2 Finishes    Satin

                                                      1-6 Gang    1 Finish       Satin
                                                      1-6 Gang    2 Finishes    Metallic

1-2 Gang    4 Finishes    Matte


These covers each look different when viewed from the side.

One reason is because each manufacturer has a different sub-plate style that the cover snaps into.

Lutron's sub-plate is the same size as the cover, which is why you'll see a very noticeable seam between the cover and the subplate once it's installed.

Pass & Seymour's covers snap into much smaller sub-plates. But the edges do have a seam and taper back as they meet the wall (in a reverse bevel).

As mentioned briefly above, Touch-Plate is a low voltage lighting system brand. These snap-on screwless covers are part of their Ultra line (and are typically purchased to cover special Ultra low voltage light switches in older homes that have 2-wire 28V momentary switches instead of standard 120/277 volt light switches).

However, they can be purchased to use with any standard rocker device or insert if you like the sleek matte finish and smooth edges with no visible seams. Just know that they only come in 1 or 2 gang sizes.


Another thing to consider is the color of your devices (and desired plate color or sheen).

All three manufacturer's have a different shade of white in addition to differences in sheen (no-shine matte vs. high-shine gloss). Take into consideration if your devices are gloss verses satin.

Note that standard devices don't come "matte", so if you buy a Touch Plate cover your switches will have more shine to them even if they are satin.

Each brand offers different finishes to complicate things even further.

Here are your finish options for each brand:

Lutron has its standard line of gloss covers (to match their gloss devices sold here), as well as specialty satin red and black finishes (which also have matching satin devices from Lutron).

White / Almond / Gray / Ivory / Brown / Black
Sizes: 1-6 Gang

Hot Satin Red / Midnight Satin Black
Sizes: 1-3 Gang

White / Almond / Ivory / Black
Sizes: 1-2 Gang

Satin White / Metallic Dark Bronze / Metallic Nickel


Here, we're sharing some installed covers for inspiration.

Pass & Seymour's metallic nickel receptacle and screwless cover installed in a mirror backsplash in a kitchen in Dallas, Texas:

Lutron's satin midnight black outlet cover at a Napa Valley, California winery:

Lutron's GFCI receptacle in a glossy ivory Lutron screwless wallplate installed on a black granite tile bathroom wall at a resort on the island of Kauai:

White Pass & Seymour single rocker screwless cover with locator light on wallpaper in newly renovated California hotel bathroom:

Shop Kyle Switch Plates for electrical devices and coordinating covers.

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Seasonal Dimmer Knobs - Choose a Color + Design

Get decorative rotary dimmer knobs with designs for each holiday or season.

Seasonal dimmer knobs are a fun & inexpensive way to decorate your wall plate.

At Kyle Switch Plates, our decorative round knobs come with etched metal embellishments showcasing Kyle's own unique artwork. Her artistic designs are etched in silver, gold, brass or copper, then molded to fit the curved face of the knob.

Some popular seasonal design choices are the sun, leaf and snowflake dimmers.

But Kyle has 100s of design choices, so pick your favorite season or holiday and create a decorative knob that you'll enjoy.

Our unique knobs come in 18 colors including white, ivory, black, bronze, gray, red and antique brass. (Some finishes are spray painted to allow for more finish options.)

Different brand dimmers have slightly different stem styles, so before placing an order, be sure to pop your old knob off the stem and see which brand you have.

We have knobs to fit Leviton, Lutron and GE dimmers.

Shop decorative dimmer knobs.