The positioning of the electrical switches for the home is a carefully pre-planning based on the rooms’ various functions. Residents should not find inconvenient distances between an appliance and an outlet. Yes, extension boxes do exist, but the ergonomic of a residence should create a system that requires minimum effort and maximum aesthetic. A power bar protruding from under a table can look ungainly to the outside observer.
There is a governmental lower limit to the number of electrical outlets provided in a flat, and residents may often add additional outlets based on their special requirements. In this blog post, we address the doubts of both residents and building contractors and outline the ideal positioning of home electrical outlets based on common trends and behavior in households.
We outline them based on the type of room.
1. Living Room
i. Entrance: The living room is situated near the main door. When designing, always keep the natural path of the residents in mind. The electrical outlet that powers the main light source of the living room should be placed at the living room entrance so that residents can turn on the light when coming in late at night—people need a clear field of vision.
ii. Main Area: Nowadays, most people will have one smartphone and other electronic devices on their person. Considering that the living room is the area where guests are entertained, you will need to provide a sufficient number of outlets in as many places as possible, and they should all be housed in concealed electrical boxes for aesthetic reasons.
Residents will need to visualize their layout beforehand so that they know where their sofa sets, couches, and tables will be placed so that they can then place additional outlets. Ideally, socket outlets should be at table height. If there is to be a central flatscreen, the outlet should be behind the screen at its height, to hide the cords and wires. Since living rooms are large, you should provide at least an outlet at each corner, and one in the middle of each longitudinal wall.
i. Entrance: As it was with the living room, it is essential to place at least one outlet near the bedroom entrance or outside the bedroom so that residents can switch on the light and fan before coming in. Otherwise, if you want to avoid this, you could provide low-intensity LED nightlights at the lower half of the bedroom wall for ease of passage.
ii. Main Area: Secondly, the bedroom is dominated by the bed, so residents should first understand where it will be placed before deciding on electrical outlet positions. Placing one outlet at table height over each bedside table is ideal. Creatively, there could be a three-way light switch connected to the entrance outlet and the two bedside table outlets so that each person can switch off the main light before going to sleep, no matter which side of the bed they are on. Lamps will also be attached to the outlets at the bedside table.
iii. Ancillary Areas: For study tables, electrical outlets should be placed at table height, but since table placements can be difficult to know beforehand, an outlet at ankle height can also work. One particular problem is the placement of wardrobes and armoires, which can completely block off an outlet. Residents should be advised to think about this before installing concealed electrical boxes for outlets within the wall. Otherwise, contractors and architects can assign readymade wardrobe spaces beforehand, so that outlet placement is made easier.
If there is a connected bathroom, refer to the next point.
i. Entrance: You can arrange your main light outlet in three ways. You can place it outside the bathroom to avoid water seepage problems. The only problem with this is outsiders being able to control the light when someone is using the bathroom; this could cause a bathroom accident if the light gets turned off.
The second way is to use ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) plug points inside the bathroom, which are specially tested for bathroom usage. Place this at the entrance of the bathroom, near the door. Water seepage doesn’t cause problems, as bathrooms tend to have a dry zone near the entrance anyway.
Ii. Sink and Dry Zone: Place another GFCI outlet over the sink for electrical razors, trimmers, and other appliances. The hot water geyser outlet should ideally be in the dry zone, at the entrance. An attached washing machine will also need a separate outlet due to its higher current requirements.
i. Main Appliances: Kitchens contain several “heavy load” electrical appliances such as refrigerators, convection ovens, microwave ovens, electrical ranges, dishwashers, and, in some cases, washing machines. You might need to install several separate outlets rated from 20A to 50A. Each of these high current outlets could be controlled by a separate miniature circuit breaker. Keep them well away from the sink and its supply/drainage pipes.
ii. Countertops: In the kitchen, you will also need blenders, mixers, electrical kettles, and other cooking appliances for the countertops. So, you must design outlets at well-spaced points on the wall at countertop height. These can also control low-intensity nightlights near the bottom of the cabinet doors for when someone comes into the kitchen late at night.
Designing the positions of home electrical outlets requires foresight. Residents and contractors are expected to learn the common trends outlined here to make the task easier. But there will always be special requirements based on the owner, so one should also look into customized options such as modular switches and their aesthetic outlets.
Precision Electricals is a well-established electrical switches manufacturer in Mumbai that can aid your process and design sensitivity in choosing your home’s appropriate electrical outlets. Make sure to take advantage of our experience to gain aesthetic and functional coherence in your household electricals.