Wiring Old Bakelite Light Switches

By Andy the stuff doer

Yes old Bakelite light switches can be used as long as you need a screwdriver to take the lid off them.  Some have covers that are screwed on, these should not be used under the current wiring regulations as there a risk that inquisitive little fingers can get to exposed live terminals.

The switches we had in the cottage originally are being reused after cleaning and checking.  As I had taken these off I knew how to put them back on.  Not surprisingly they aren’t nearly as easy to fit as modern switches but it’s still not a difficult job.  Just one that need getting right first time as there’s nowhere to tuck any slack cable.

Wiring a period Bakelite light swith

Connecting a period light switch

The step by step guide will be on the web site when I get around to it. Please comment below if you would like to see how I did it sooner rather than later.

2 Responses to “Wiring Old Bakelite Light Switches”

  1. Hi, please advise where you found backboxes from to replace the wooden ones?


  2. Hi Maddie, I’ve not got round to full write up yet but for now:
    Here I’ve used the old wooden pattress. the back is hollowed out so the individual wires can be spread out and passed through to line up with the holes in the bakelite switch:
    Bakelite switch pattress fitting
    I made my own double pattress to fit two bakelite switches on some paneling this covers a metal back box that was used previously for a double switch.
    home made double pattress

    Unfortunately I have no idea where you could buy similar patresses, you might have to find a joiner / hobby woodworker / turner who could knock some up for you.

Leave a Reply