Electrical switches may not appear to have changed much since Feller AG’s iconic toggle switch was first conceived and introduced in 1946, but new manufacturing techniques, safety considerations, and partnerships have resulted in a more varied landscape of electrical control systems in this present age. While a significant proportion of modern designs follow the same path forged by Feller to produce the ubiquitous wall-mounted switch in white plastic, we have lined up five brands that offer improved designs and expanded options for personalisation to replace the decades-old designs that have been favoured in the past.
If you’ve ever admired the sleek electrical switches in some of the modern boutique hotels around Malaysia and the region, you’ve got ArtDNA and their Chief Design Adviser Michael Young to direct your praise to. Featuring a frameless panel design with LED displays, silver-alloy contacts, rivet-free bronze pieces, and a flame-retardant polycarbonate case, the pictured 10A 2-gang retractive switch is an example of ArtDNA’s convention-defying and Sirim-tested electrical switches endorsed by Malaysia’s Energy Commission (Suruhanjaya Tenaga).
Since its inception in 1904, Legrand has been a leading global name in the realm of electrical control systems – so much so that they have worked with the likes of Schneider Electric to set the standards of electrical infrastructure in Europe. Featuring rounded rockers, a slim-profile frame, and a matte-satin finish in dark grey, the pictured 4-gang rocker wall switch – from Legrand’s revamped Mallia range of wiring devices, blends into the backgrounds of neutral-coloured modern interiors.
With a start as an importer of electrical wiring accessories in 1986, Liwida acquired the know-how from global brands of the time to become the largest homegrown manufacturer of wall switches made to the British Standard (BS 7671) and approved by Malaysia’s own Sirim. Liwida’s offerings largely mirror the dependable designs made famous by Feller, with diminutive and frill-free rockers set into generous frames of white plastic for versatility with a wide range of interiors.
In previous articles, we have raved about Schneider’s revolutionary AvatarOn wall switches and the near-limitless range of façades that can be presented on the completely personalisable polycarbonate housings – but for the uninitiated, this is the world’s only electrical switch that can be decorated to match any style of interior. While Schneider currently provides around 190 different combinations of switch types and decorative styles including wooden or metallic finishes, their partnership with Photobook Malaysia provides a means of decorating wall switches with your own personal photographs.
As one of the three entries in this list with over a century of history to its name, the Simon brand has a global reach, a head office in Barcelona, and a portfolio of high-profile projects bearing their offerings – such as Beijing’s “Bird Nest” Olympic Stadium, in addition to many of the Hyatt and Shangri-La hotels around the world. While the pictured i7 series of switches are presented in white, the Simon brand offers a range of colours and finishes including polished metals. In addition to a varied catalogue of finishes, Simon also provides a laser engraving service that will etch the words of your choice on each switch.
* Brands are listed alphabetically
Article by Kevin Eichenberger