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Home > Varilight Switches & Sockets > FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions For Varilight Switches & Sockets

FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions For Varilight Switches & Sockets

Varilight Switches & Sockets are an award winning brand, reknown for quality throughout the world.

Q. I want to decorate my room, how should I protect my decorative accessories?

A. Do not use masking tape on any decorative products. The adhesive may chemically bond with the surface finish.

For screwless products we recommend removing the faceplate and taking care not to paint over the plastic clips as this may prevent the faceplate from clipping back on.

For products with visible fixing screws we recommend turning off the mains power, removing the fixing screws and pulling the product gently away from the wall taking care that the wires remain fully fixed into their terminals.

When the product is clear of the wall, cover it with a plastic bag and use an elastic band to secure behind the product. You can then paint or wallpaper the wall.

Please note that it can take several weeks for the chemicals in paint or wallpaper paste to become inert. Before this time there is a danger that the will react with the product if it has a metal faceplate. For this reason we recommend using a plastic bag as a temporary gasket between the product and the wall once it is dry to the touch. I other words, use the plastic to form a barrier between the product and the surface of the wall.

Q. What does the word "Gang" mean in the title of a switch or socket?

A. Gang is simply electrical jargon for the number of switches or sockets on a particular fitting. 1 Gang defines that there is a single switch. 2 Gang refers to two, and so on.

Q. You offer three different styles of face plate - Standard Plate, Screwless Plate & Ultra Flat Plate. What do these really mean?

A. Our three styles are as follows:

Standard Plate, sometimes known by manufacturers as Beveled Edge, is a traditional style of switch. It protrudes approximately 1-1.5 cm (1/3 Inch to a 1/2 inch) from the wall, has the screws visible towards either end of the plate.

Screwless Plate is a more modern, design. Screwless Switches & Sockets tend to protrude about .75 cm (0.3 inch) from the wall. The screws are still there, but the switch is designed to have a face plate that clips firmly and easily over them, creating the sleek, screwless effect.

Ultra Flat Plate is designed to be as close to flush with a wall as possible. Ultra Flat Plates protrude 1 or 2 mm (1/16 - 1/8 of an inch). The design of Ultra Flat Plate has twin screws visible to either side of the switch.

Other than this change in visual style, similarly rated switches throughout the Varilight range are identical in terms of electrical specification, quality, length of life and manufacturers guarantee.

Q. Where are Varilight Products Manufactured?

A. By Doyle & Tratt Products Ltd in the UK. Doyle & Tratt Products Ltd, have been manufacturing the Varilight Brand of Light Switches and Sockets since 1972.  This British company's outstanding technological advances have been recognised, and in 2005, Doyle & Tratt received the Queen's Award for Enterprise Continuous Innovation and Development.

Q. What's the best way to clean my decorative accessories?

A. Decorative products should be treated with great care when cleaning. Excessive scrubbing or the application of abrasive cleaning products may permanently damage the quality of the finish.

We recommend cleaning with a damp soft cloth. The application of detergents is not recommended. Dilute any detergents you do intend to use and always wipe away with a damp cloth to remove any traces of detergent before allowing the product to air dry.

Q. What is the purpose of a Blank Plate?

A. A blank plate is an ideal solution for covering wires where there was a socket previously,  thus eliminating the need to re-plaster the wall.

Q. Why would I pick the Varilight freestyle range over other brands?

A. The Varilight freestyle range is a british made product and built to a high quality but at the fraction of the cost of other items on the market, such as the Fobres & Lomax range.

Q. How does it work?

A. The Varilight Freestyle range is made up of 2 pieces. The subfame and the top cover. Remove the top cover and place an image or wall paper etc. Clip the top cover back on and you'll have a customised look for your room.

Q. What does the word "Gang" mean in the title of a switch or socket?

A. Gang is simply electrical jargon for the number of switches or sockets on a particular fitting. 1 Gang defines that there is a single switch. 2 Gang refers to two, and so on.

Q. What are USB sockets and why would i need them?

A. With the proliferation of devices occupying our homes, access to power sockets has become an increasingly frustrating issue. Varilight's new USB charging sockets offer a neat solution. Many phones and tablets are now supplied with USB charging cables but until now this meant booting up a PC or laptop to charge the devices or buying plug-in adapters, with these new USB sockets you can plug straight into the wall with the benifit of improvd chaging times.

Q. What fittings & finishes are the Varilight USB sockets available in?

Now with the addition of USB charging sockets to Varilight's range of decorative wiring accessories, double sockets are available with two USB charging ports in Classic Raised Profile, Ultraflat and Low Profile Screwless plate styles and many decorative finishes. The colours available are exactly the same as the other switch and socket finishes so you can get the USB sockets to match the colour of the rest of your switches and sockets.

Q. What can i charge with the USB sockets?

A. You can charge any device with a usb charger with these sockets but charging time can be improved by using the optimised port for your device. The left USB port is optimised to be used with apple products and the right port is for any other device. Charging time will also be quicker if only one USB port is being used at a time. 

Q. Are the two plug sockets affected by the USB sockets?

A. No the two plug sockets will still work as per usual as the USB ports have no effect on them

VARILIGHT Decorative Finishes

In order to select the correct range for your interior design scheme you will need to decide firstly on the finish that best suits your requirements and then choose from the faceplate styles available in that finish.

Please see below for a quick overview. A range prefix is shown to indicate where a particular combination of finish and faceplate style is available. Please click on the range prefix to view an example product image in each finish.

Finish / Faceplate Style Raised Profile Flat Plate Low Profile
Brushed Steel

Jubilee Steel

n/a n/a XYB.JB
Polished Chrome

Brushed Brass

Jubilee Brass

n/a n/a XYB.JB
Polished Brass


XN n/a XDN
Pewter Effect

XR n/a XDR

n/a n/a XDM
Iridium Black

Premium White

n/a n/a XDQ
Jet Black

n/a n/a XDL
White Chocolate

XY.WC* n/a XDW
Duck Egg Blue

XY.DB* n/a n/a
Rose Pink

XY.RP* n/a n/a
Beryl Green

XY.BG* n/a n/a
Pillarbox Red

XY.PR* n/a n/a
Reflex Blue

XY.RB* n/a n/a
Basic White

XO* n/a n/a

* ** Classic Range faceplates are Bevel-Edge unless marked with * for Curve-Edge or ** for Rope-Edge.

Please click on each range prefix for an image representing that combination of finish and faceplate or "range". Please note that there may be a choice between black, white and "decorative inserts" for a range. 

For dimmer switches, please replace the "X" in the above range prefixes with the letter "H" or "T" for our V-Dim Series; the letter "I" for our V-Plus and V-Plus IR series; or the letter "J" for our V-Pro and V-Pro Eclique 2 series; and the letters "IJ" for V-Pro IR series dimmers. 

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