Getting Started with Designer Switches and Outlets
Planning your first project? Get to know the basics of our adorne and radiant Collections.
October 20, 2023
Designer switches and outlets are an easy, accessible way to elevate any room with both style and functionality. But with the infinite possibilities provided by Legrand’s two stunning designer collections, it can seem a bit overwhelming to get started. But have no fear – in this blog post, we’re covering all the basics for a smooth start!
From determining which Collection is the right fit for a particular project to helping you select the specific device and wall plate combo for your space’s needs, here is some background to help you select your perfect finishing touch with ease.
Meet the Designer Collections
Legrand’s designer switches and outlets are available from two distinct collections – adorne® and radiant® – both of which feature screwless device faces and wall plates that instantly enhance a space with an elevated aesthetic.
Examining the differences between the collections, however, might help you figure out which option will best complement a specific space and your personal style, while meeting the functionality needs of your project.
To start, the adorne® Collection is a premium offering that features a wide array of devices, most of which are offered in the collection’s signature square. This unique form factor grabs attention with its modern shape and crisp angles, while simultaneously providing a perfect platform for the collection’s show-stopping wall plates to complete the look.
For taking a step up from the ordinary (without straying too far from the familiar), the radiant® Collection improves upon the standard rectangular shape of common switches and outlets with sleek devices that sit flush along the wall without the dated beveling.
Digging Deeper: The adorne Collection 101
While the adorne devices are available in three stunning and on-trend finishes (White, Graphite and Magnesium), the adorne wall plates – made to fit the adorne devices exclusively – are available in more than 30 color and finish options, including options made from cast metals and real materials like woods and linens, as well as plastic plates in both bright hues and urbane neutrals. A custom wall plate option even allows you to use fabric, wallpaper, paint, etc. to ensure your plate is a perfect match.
On top of the aesthetic advantages, the adorne Collection is also noted for its forward-thinking functionality and performance. Meaning it includes devices that incorporate the most advanced features, such as the broad inclusion of Microban® product protection on all switches and dimmers (smart devices not included).
Full-Sized adorne Devices
As mentioned above, most adorne devices are in the square form factor, which is considered “full-sized” within the adorne Collection. These devices fit into a proprietary 45 mm (1.77”) x 45 mm (1.77”) opening, which constitutes one “gang” in adorne wall plates. (An adorne® six-gang wall plate therefore fits six full-sized devices, a four-gang plate fits four full-sized devices, and so on.)
These square devices still install into a typical (and rectangular) electrical wall box using a provided frame, which grounds the device* and allows the device and wall plate to snap into place, fitting perfectly and without any visible screws.
*The automatic grounding does not apply to adorne Pop-Out or 20A Outlets.
Half- or Plus-Sized adorne Devices
There are exceptions to the square, however. Within the adorne Collection, there are both half- and plus-sized devices that allow for greater personalization or performance.
Half-sized devices are named so for being half the width of the full-sized options. This allows users to install two half-sized devices in the space of a one-gang wall plate – yay for more functionality in less space – or be used in other combinations to fill a one-gang-plus wall plate as shown below.
On the flip side, the adorne Collection’s plus-sized devices are larger and rectangular compared to the full-sized devices, coming in at 67.5 mm x 45 mm ( 2.66” x 1.77”). This makes them the equivalent of 3 half-sized devices or a combined half- and full-sized device, and therefore all plus-sized devices also require use of a one-gang-plus wall plate.
This larger size, used for a sub-section of adorne outlets, enables advanced features – like Power Delivery-enabled charging, for example – that can require additional componentry. It also can make for easier access and use of a device’s outlets and/or built-in USB ports.
Both the half- and plus-sized devices also still install into a typical electrical wall box. It’s important to note, though, that the sizing and descriptions of the full-, half- and plus-sized devices above is in reference to the front face of these adorne devices. The sizing of the back body, which installs into the electrical box, can vary. The proprietary frame which comes with adorne devices will include spacers that help hold devices with a full-sized back body properly in place or can be easily removed to fit devices with plus-sized back bodies into the adorne frame.
Switches & Dimmers: Get to Know the adorne Collection’s 5 Control Interfaces
Another way the adorne Collection uniquely allows for personalization is via multiple control interface options for switches and dimmers.
To start, adorne upgrades the standard toggle of a traditional switch with a sleeker paddle option. This interface offers the same up-and-down control action, but with a smoother effect and an elevated look.
But that’s only one elevated option.
There’s also the Whisper interface, which also models the toggle in action and in its narrower touchpoint, but controls the lights with a softer, fluid motion. There’s the sofTap interface which innovatively registers micro-movement for control via a light push action. There’s the Touch interface, which uses touchscreen technology for control that mimics how you interact with your smartphone or tablet. There’s even the touchless Wave interface (switch only), that registers the simple wave of a hand up to 6” in front of the switch to turn lights on or off.
Digging Deeper: The radiant Collection 101
The radiant Collection elevates the standard rectangle of switches and outlets with sleeker lines and rounded edges. Across the collection, devices are available in up to 9 classic colors with wallplates – from one- to six-gang in size – to match. Color options feature a satin finish for a sophisticated touch. All while boasting reliable performance and competitive features across an extensive selection of switches, dimmers, outlets and more.
Meet the Metallics
Of the 9 color options in the radiant Collection, three specifically take inspiration from design trends in hardware and other home fixtures. These “metallic” colors (Dark Bronze, Graphite and Nickel) help homeowners coordinate their switches and outlets with other elements of a space for an even bigger wow factor.
For most switches in the radiant Collection, a smooth paddle is used in place of a toggle for on/off control. The exception to this is the Wave Switches which, like the adorne versions, provide an easy and aesthetic option for touchless control– simply wave a hand in front of these devices to turn lights on or off.
As another option for cleaner control from the radiant Collection, a selection of switches, dimmers and wall plates are available with built-in Microban protection*. The innovative Microban technology works at the cellular level to inhibit the growth and reproduction of bacteria, 24/7, 365, for the entire lifetime of the product. This makes for devices that are 99.9% cleaner. (As noted above, all adorne switches and dimmer, excluding smart devices, also include Microban protection*.)
*No antimicrobial efficacy claims are being made or are valid with respect to products sold in Canada.
Both designer Collections feature a wide selection of devices – switches, dimmers and sensors, smart lighting options, GFCI outlets, USB charging solutions and night lights – allowing you to create an elevated and cohesive look all throughout your home.
Still looking for more tips and details to help you decide on your designer switches and outlets? Check out these other helpful resources: