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Home > Technical & FAQ Info > How to Install Light Switches, Choosing Pattress Boxes

How to Install Light Switches, Choosing Pattress Boxes


The choice of pattress boxes for UK installation is relatively simple, 3 different types of boxes for the wall types, then you have either 1 gang (Single width) and 2 gang (Double width) and varying depths, starting from 16mm working through to 47mm, note not all depth of sizes are available in the pattress box variations, please see our videos below:

Metal in Wall Pattress Boxes

Metal In wall pattress boxes (Galvanised Steel) are designed for brick, masonary and other hard wall installations where the metal pattress box is installed into the wall, the switch is then inserted into this pattress box, screwed in and fits flush with the wall.

Sizes available are 1 gang (Single sized) or 2 gang (Double sized), with depths available being 25mm, 35mm or 47m. The UK Standard size is usually a 35mm depth of back box and this will be suitable for most switches and sockets.

However there are variations to this and these are detailed below:

Shaver sockets - These items have a deep electrical unit to the rear of the switch plate and will require a 47mm depth of back box.

Dimmer Switches - These items will fit into a 25mm back box, the standard plate items will even squeeze into a 16mm depth of pattress back box. However, the air around the dimming module at the back of the switch helps to cool the dimming module and will enable a greater product life if operated at lower temperatures. (Basically the resistors and components burn out faster the higher the temperature - So much so, European dimmers are made differently to UK dimmers to allow for higher EU operating temperatures).

Plasterboard Pattress Boxes

These boxes are available in 1 gang (Single sized) or 2 gang (Double sized), with depths available being 35mm or 47m only.

The installation of these is for use in dry wall / cavity installations, the two yellow clips hold the plastic box into place and allow the switch to be installed into the recessed space and screwed into place.

White Plastic Surface Mounted Pattress Boxes

Ideal for when your installation wall is incapable of internal mounting, the surface mounting boxes are cost effective, both in terms of cost price and installation price (No wall cutting and filling).

Decorative Pattress Boxes

Also note the Pattress boxes are also available with a decorative surface mounting option, available in brushed  matt chrome (Stainless steel), polished brass and polished chrome, please see our video below to see how this looks:

The Decorative Pattress boxes are made for surface mounting purposes only. Screws at the back of the pattress box fix to the wall, the switch once inserted then mounts into the pattress box, with the colour of the switch and pattress box matching, this creates a unique visual appearance on the wall, vastly improving a mix of white surface mounted pattress boxes and coloured switches, please click here to view the surface mounted pattress box range.

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