black Bakelite rocker switch

Rocker Switches Turned Off | Tuned In To 100% Compliance

For several years Factorylux sold rocker switches in classic dark and ivory Bakelite. The switches were made in Mexico by a division of Cooper Industries, the US-based global electrical products manufacturer.

The switches are made for the US market and are UL certified rather than CE marked. We’ve made 2015 the year of 100% compliance with the applicable standard for every product we sell. Because the switches are not CE marked or tested and certified to an applicable BS EN standard, we’ve decided to stop selling the switches.

It is a shame because the rocker switches are classics of industrial design: much more pleasing than the cheap plastic in-line switches sold in the UK. The Bakelite ones feel more robust and the switching action is re-assuringly sturdy. The switches are sold in hardware stores throughout the US and are certified for the demanding and litigious US market by the safety organisation UL (Underwriting Laboratories). UL inspects, tests and certifies products in north America. And therein lies the problem: the switches are certified: ‘UND. LAB. INC. LIST.’ and labelled: ‘3A – 120 VAC’, which is ideal for the US market.

black and ivory Bakelite rocker switchesThe switches are really beautiful – classics of industrial design and much more pleasing than the cheap plastic in-line rocker switches sold in the UK. The Bakelite ones feel more robust and the switching action is re-assuringly sturdy. The switches are sold in hardware stores throughout the US and are certified for the demanding and litigious US market by the safety organisation UL (Underwriting Laboratories). UL inspects, tests and certifies products in north America. And therein lies the problem: the switches are certified: ‘UND. LAB. INC. LIST.’ and labelled: ‘3A – 120 VAC’, which is ideal for the US market. But, for the EU, electrical products need to be CE marked and, ideally, tested to the applicable British or harmonised European standard.

Bakelite rocker switchesThe 100% compliance commitment means Factorylux stopped selling the Bakelite rocker switches on 15 January 2015. There’s no recall, because the switches are safe if wired competently. We could get the switches tested and certified to the applicable UK/EU standard, but the moulds in Mexico which bake the UL certification and ‘3A – 120VAC’ into the Bakelite would have to be changed – a huge undertaking for the few hundred switches we sell each year.

We’re sorry to have to turn off the Bakelite rocker switches, but 100% compliance means exactly that.

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