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Author Topic: Upside down light switches?  (Read 6571 times)

Mike Sokol

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Upside down light switches?
« on: April 22, 2017, 03:59:44 pm »

I've been in the Netherlands for a few days and have discovered that all the light switches on the wall get pushed "down" to turn on the lights, and "up" to turn off the lights. And one of the brits here says that's how it is in the UK as well. That's upside down of the USA where UP is ON and DOWN if OFF. How is it in other countries? Is "UP" ON or OFF?
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Jeff Bankston

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Re: Upside down light switches?
« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2017, 04:37:19 pm »

An upside down switch in the USA says NO.
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Samuel Sjöbergsson

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Re: Upside down light switches?
« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2017, 05:24:26 pm »

In Sweden up is on and in Romania down is on mostly but even tho that's the standard not everybody follows it.

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John Roberts {JR}

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Re: Upside down light switches?
« Reply #3 on: April 22, 2017, 06:05:05 pm »

In my house different rooms are different...   :o

JR
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Doug Boyd

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Re: Upside down light switches?
« Reply #4 on: April 22, 2017, 06:36:07 pm »

We're upside down anyway, but in New Zealand and Australia, down is on
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John Fruits

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Re: Upside down light switches?
« Reply #5 on: April 22, 2017, 07:25:57 pm »

Topic swerve but some random thoughts.
In the early days you would find a surface mounted rotary switch (sometimes with surface mounted twisted pair covered with cloth).
Then there was the two push-button switch.  The on part sometimes had a pearl look insert.
Then there is the indicator switch which had a duplex outlet form factor, one was an indicator light in one opening and the other opening was filled with a left-right toggle switch.
Finally you have the three-way switch in which one is always wrong.
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Jean-Pierre Coetzee

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Re: Upside down light switches?
« Reply #6 on: April 22, 2017, 11:41:47 pm »

South Africa down is on, probably a remnant of our British past... Seems odd to me to think of up as on.
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Jeff Bankston

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Re: Upside down light switches?
« Reply #7 on: April 22, 2017, 11:46:53 pm »

so what about 3 and 4 way switches in those other countries ?
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Jean-Pierre Coetzee

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Re: Upside down light switches?
« Reply #8 on: April 22, 2017, 11:50:57 pm »

so what about 3 and 4 way switches in those other countries ?

There will be at least one that is the wrong way, there is no way to get around that. But honestly push button switches are becoming a thing as well so if I had to install a 3 way I would just use push button with some logic circuit.
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brian maddox

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Re: Upside down light switches?
« Reply #9 on: April 23, 2017, 09:57:24 am »

Slight topic swerve...

Another thing i found, first in Eastern Europe although i've seen it elsewhere as well, is that light switches for smaller enclosed rooms without windows are usually placed OUTSIDE the room.  Think one person bathroom in a restaurant, or even in a home.  i've also seen it with closets and other rooms as well.

The first time i saw this all i could think of was 'why oh why do we put the switch on the INSIDE of the room?'.  I mean think about it.  How many times have you gone into a small public bathroom, let the door close behind you, and then had to fumble around like a blind man trying to find the stupid light switch?

One of the things i really enjoy about traveling outside of the U.S. is finding out how other places do things, especially things i've always taken for granted as always being done one way.  Sometimes their way is silly and ours is clearly more efficient, but often their way is so obviously superior that you wonder how "the greatest country in the world" could not have seen to do it that way.
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Re: Upside down light switches?
« Reply #9 on: April 23, 2017, 09:57:24 am »


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