Sockets & Switches

Shop for sockets and switches at great prices from Cromwell online. We stock a comprehensive range of electrical sockets and switches from well-known brands, like MK Electric®, SMJ®, Tungsram® and Defender Power & Light®.

What are sockets & switches?

A socket is an electrical outlet which connects electrically powered items to the mains power grid using a plug connection. The switches featured on sockets act as a breaker to disconnect the current going to an item, even while it's still plugged in.

When sockets & switches?

Sockets are available in a wide range of designs, materials and sizes. For use in domestic settings they're often chosen to match with the interior design, while industrial locations choose durable and hardwearing materials like rubber and polycarbonate to protect against impact and debris.

Socket & switch types


Ethernet sockets   -   This is a socket for a network cable.

Multimedia sockets   -   These feature a range of media connections and allow for a single plate instead of multiple plates.

Phone sockets   -   These act as a hub for telephones to be connected to the telephone provider's wiring.

Plug sockets   -   These are one of the most common sockets and are used to connect electrical appliances to the mains supply. They're typically made in 2-gang variants, but singles are also available.

Satellite sockets   -   These attach satellite cables to the mains to allow for a consistent signal.

Shaver sockets   -   These are used to charge electric shavers, toothbrushes, and other similar items to charge them safely in a bathroom setting.

TV Sockets   -   Typically referred to as co-axial sockets, these connect television or radio receivers to an aerial.

USB sockets   -   Instead of a plug, these feature a port socket for a USB cable to connect a computer, mobile phone, or laptop to the mains system.


Architrave switches   -   These are a slim design of light switch usually used when space it at a minimum. They look like a normal switch cut in half and are available in doubles, but with one switch 'stacked' on top of the other.

Appliance switches   -   Similar to a switched fused spur, these are positioned near appliances to isolate them from the mains power.

Grid switches   -   These are a modular design and look like a simple light switch, but with grid fixings at the back to be pieced together as required.

Switched fused spurs   -   These are used as a separate isolator to permanent electrical installations, like a boiler or cooker.

Light switches   -   Available in a click switch or dimmer switches, these are the most common type of switches available.

Outdoor switches   -   Designed to be waterproof and dustproof, these insulated switches can be fitted uncovered in external locations.

Retractive switches   -   This type of switch will retract to the off position immediately after pressure has been taken away and is used for 'press to open' doors for example.

Considerations when choosing sockets & switches

Location - whether indoor, outdoor or in a wet room or washroom, choose sockets and switches to suit the setting in which they'll be used.

Socket type - some sockets are best suited to certain applications, so it's best to do your research based on what the socket will be used for before you make your purchase.

Number of gangs - a socket with multiple gangs is a practical option, however, where spacing is an issue, singles or doubles may be the best choice.

Socket & switch jargon buster

Electrical sockets have numerous components that can be bought separately or as one unit. We've listed some component names and their meaning to help you to better understand our product range...

• Pattress / back box - This is the box that can be fitted either into or onto the wall and contains the wires and terminals used for the electrical connection. It can be made from plastic when wall-mounted or metal when it sits inside the wall.

• Face plate - This is the socket covering and the part that you interact with, either to connect a plug or to activate the switch. The live and neutral terminals are connected into the inside of the face plate.

• Grommet - This is the hole located at the back of the pattress to allow the connecting wire into the socket. When pre-drilled, they're referred to as open grommets, while undrilled is called blind and must be created by the electrician during fitting.

• Bridge - This strip of metal is in contact with the screws that connect the face plate to the pattress. The bridge connects the earth terminal to these screws to prevent them from conducting a current and electrocuting a user.

• Terminals - These are connectors for the live, neutral and earth wires and allow the bare sections of these wires to be connected to the face plate.


Do sockets need switches?

Yes, switches act as an isolator to allow for quick disconnection of an appliance or machine from the mains power. Without a switch, the only way to turn off a mains-powered appliance or machine would be to unplug it. This raises all kinds of safety issues, especially when the machine is heavy or if disconnection is required because of an electrical problem.

Does a double plug socket count as two electrical points?

No, in order to maintain consistent certification, each connection made from an electrical ring is classed as a single point.