Thursday, 21 March 2013

Power switches

And no, this is not about the latest Australian leadership spill as I type this blog post. I swear this country has had more leadership spills than is really necessary...

The power switch I'm referring to is the one that flicks the lights on. If you own an older home you are able to buy traditional or Bakelite style electrical light switches or power points  They look quite lovely and are a nice finishing touch for a house restoration or renovation.

Image from Here

I'm not too sure what type of switches would've existed in the Sow's Ear when the original lighting was installed. My parents have a house which is a similar era to ours (late 1920s) and they still have the original Bakelite fittings in their lounge room. I'm going to take some photographs of theirs and investigate whether I can obtain the same style.

image from here

I'd like it to be as authentic as possible if we go to the effort of changing them.


  1. Anita, if you like the old bakelite square style of white or black, you can find some here.

    Or if you prefer the round metal style in brass, silver or a darker, brownish colour, then Clipsal have some in their heritage range

    Hope that's a help

  2. Recollections/Early Settlers have the round ones. Worth a look at their website.

  3. We're all over the bakelites here too. Love them. Leadership spills, not so much.

  4. There is a shop on Windsor Rd at Red Hill that sells all these things both new and used. It's a fabulous little place that is literally packed to the rafters with anything you can imagine for these old houses.

    * just googled - it's called ' authentic lighting and hardware '

  5. I didn't have any idea that you could still find the bakelite ones. How cool!

  6. I miss the pull-switches from the ceiling. If you missed them/ pulled too hard they would swing wildly!

  7. Recollections has the repro bakelight switches, we were told that you can't reuse the old switches because the catch fire easily, don't know how true though?

  8. Ah yes, I always found that to be a dilemma when renovating old homes, as much as I wanted to keep the old switch style my husband and the sparky always won. Since we sold them the budget didn't allow me to indulge, so the cheap crappy white ordinary ones where usually my only option. Hope you can find some vintage looking lovelies.


  9. I love those old bakelite switches. I lived in a house in Herston that had them. They make the most satisfying clunk when they are used. It would be nice if you could just do a few at a time but only if you have an electrician in the house.

  10. Thanks everyone for the suggestions. There's a lot of choice out there, so I think we will do this as a small project over the next few months. xx

  11. We still make these Bakelite and brass switches the same way for the last 60 years be glad to provide what you need


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