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I would like to replace some wall switches ("like for like", circled red in the picture below) These are for overhead lights but i have confused myself with whether I need 1-gang, 2-gang, 2-way etc...

There are 3 bulbs, lets say bulb 1 (hall), bulb 2 (landing) and bulb 3 (office).

There are 3 switches:

  • Switch A with 2 switches on, which respectively control bulb 1 and 2
  • Switch B with 2 switches on, which respectively control bulb 2 and 3
  • Switch C with a single switch, which controls bulb 3

The 2 switches for each bulb work together in the way that if the bulb is turned on by one switch, it can be turned off by the same one or by the "other" one.

My attempt at a schematic

Which type of switches do I need to replace A and B?

The reason I am wanting to replace them is primarily cosmetic. They are working fine as-is but have become very discolored, full of paint etc over time, and I have a range of 'nicer' ones in mind as part of an overall redecoration.

NB: The wiring is such that they are only earthed to the 'box' that the switch is in, not to the earth circuit, so I know I can only have plastic-type and not the nice metal ones :)

  • Can you take pictures of the switches and their wiring and include them with your question? Your drawing is a bit confusing. – JACK Jun 13 at 18:21
  • I haven't opened up the wiring of the switches yet, but they look something like this: media.screwfix.com/is/image//ae235?src=ae235/… The arrows in the picture from each side of the switch mean "operates on" that bulb. – seventyeightist Jun 13 at 18:32
3

You need

  • 2 x 2-gang 2-way and
  • 1 x 1-gang 2-way

A faceplate with two switches on is two-gang.

Note that 1-gang 1-way switches are also available, slightly cheaper; this will not work in your application.

Switches that can be wired to operate from two locations is a 2-way.

(This is UK terminology. USA terminology is different.)

http://wiki.diyfaq.org.uk/index.php/2_Way_Switching

| improve this answer | |
  • Thank you! First of 3 has been successfully fitted yesterday :) – seventyeightist Jun 15 at 18:55

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