Which Low Voltage Lighting System Is Installed In Your Home?
Have an older house with a low voltage wiring system? Kyle Switch Plates specializes in replacement parts for low voltage light systems. We stock odd switch plate configurations for older style low voltage rocker switches plus more recently discontinued RS2 series square or rectangular pushbutton electrical devices that are compatible with systems installed in houses built in the U.S. during the 1940's, 1950's, 1960's, 1970's and 1980's. Review the main systems here to determine your series then shop for replacement parts by brand: GE, Bryant, Touch-Plate, Sierra / Despard, Remcon, Pyramid, Enercon, Douglas or LiteTouch.
IMPORTANT: Locate the relays for the quickest and most accurate way to identify your low voltage system brand.
Some brands have discontinued production of light switches, and as a result, some or all of the switches in your home may have been updated to a newer compatible brand. You must still use the same brand of relays as there were differences in functionality (voltage, polarity, single coil vs. double coil, etc.) that made them incompatible with other brands even though physically they look very similar.
The relays will indicate the correct brand of your system, and the system brand will affect which new parts you need to purchase when replacing broken relays, switches, etc.
Use the images of switches below to get a feel for the type of system you have, but be sure to locate your relays to verify your system's original brand. Relays may be located in the ceiling near the light fixture, or in a relay panel in a garage, attic, basement or closet.
Terminology: LOW VOLTAGE SYSTEMS = feature momentary switches and lighter weight wiring for switches that use 24V. Regular line voltage switches will damage a low voltage system. MOMENTARY SWITCH = switch is briefly touched to change the state on the relay then it flips back to the neutral or center position. RELAY (or solenoid) = component that often has a black box with a cylinder protruding from it; clicks when the switch connected to it is actuated (pushed/flipped, etc.) 2-WIRE = low voltage system with two wires connected to an unlighted switch - one for ON and OFF, one for COMMON; the same button is pushed ON/OFF. 3-WIRE = low voltage system with three wires connected to an unlighted switch - one for ON, one for OFF, one for COMMON; the switch either rocks one way on/other way off or there are ON and OFF buttons within the same switch. GANG = 1 position in an electrical box (one set of screws); a one-gang plate may have up to three stacked switches on it.
CLICK ON the image below that looks like your system to learn more about ordering proper replacement parts.
**See below for more styles and parts to help identify other lo-vo systems.**
Low Voltage Switch & Relay Styles
Description: Rare, old-fashioned GE low voltage lighting systems have mini 24 volt 3 wire rocker switches, part numbers RFS-3, RFS-6 or RFS-9 that are mounted in narrow steel straps, also called brackets or yokes. Installed until the mid 1970's. The RR9 and RR7 relays are still in full production.
The switches have a gap in the middle, one side says ON the other side says OFF. The switches rock from side to side. Many homes had these plates installed horizontally so the switches go up and down. The switch plates can have either 1, 2, 3, 4 or 6 switch openings that are .656" high by 1.092" wide and cover the strap mounted devices. Wiring system uses transformers and solenoid relays. Electrical wall boxes were usually mounted horizontally (screws on the left and right).
Replacement options: Kyle Switch Plates has the Original Style switch plates custom made because GE no longer makes switches. Be sure to keep your mounting brackets because they are no longer made. The old style switches were updated to the RS2 series switches from the mid 1970's until early 2019. These switches functioned the same and were a direct replacement except they were a little bit larger than the old style switches. As a result, any location getting the newer switch required using a New Style switch plates. Note that switches for both new and old style GE switches have now been discontinued but Kyle Switch Plates has replacement options available here: GE Light Switch Replacement Options. Replacement relays and plates are still in full production.
To buy parts, visit GE Low Voltage Lighting Systems Replacement Parts.
Description - RS Series Snap-In Low Voltage Sizes: These were the replacement light switches that were available until 2021. The switches were notable for their black borders around a pair of square on/off buttons. The GE RR7 and RR9 relays are still in full production.
General Electric low voltage lighting systems featured switch plates that had 1-gang versions with one, two or three horizontal openings that are .76" x 1.278" or with a single vertical opening.
The RS series GE replacement switches snapped or clipped into the front of the switch plates. This system used the new style GE RS series snap-in electrical devices without a strap and allowed you to mimic the format of the old style Bryant or General Electric wall plates and light switches with up to 3 switches on a single gang. (A "gang" = one position on a wall box and uses one set of screw holes; 2 gangs use two sets of screw holes, etc.)
Both the Original Style switches and straps (shown in image #1 "GE" above) and these newer RS Series switch are no longer manufactured. If you currently have the RS2 switches and need replacement plates, visit GE RS Series Snap In Low Voltage Lighting Parts.
To buy replacement light switches that are compatible with GE systems, visit GE Low Voltage Replacement Light Switches.
Description - GE Bracket Mount Low Voltage Sizes: General Electric's bracket-mounted low voltage lighting system featured switch plates that had one to four vertical openings on one and two gangs. These switches required brackets that were available until 2019. The plates as well as the RR7 and RR9 style relays are still in full production.
RS series switches featured a pair of square ON/OFF buttons surrounded by a black border and were mounted in diamond/octagonal shaped one- or two-gang brackets. The electrical wall boxes were mounted vertically (screws top and bottom) as opposed to the Old Style or New Style series where the boxes were generally mounted horizontally (screws on left/right).
Confirm this is your style if you are using newer style General Electric RS series electrical devices (with black borders around a pair of square ON/OFF buttons) clipped into a metal bracket mounted in an electrical box.
Switch plates mounted onto bracket, so they could be removed without disturbing or unwiring the switches.
You could mount 1-2 switches or 3-4 switches in a single-gang or double-gang GE bracket mount plate.
These multiple vertical openings are 1.178" high by .756" wide, spaced .906" apart, with device bracket mounting screw holes spaced 2.375" apart center to center.
To buy plates, visit GE Bracket Mount Low Voltage System Parts.
For replacement options see GE Low Voltage Lighting Replacement Switches.
Description - GE RTS-5 Switches: These vintage switches have the basic shape of the common toggle switch, but with a couple of distinctions. The base of the switch can have either a strictly rectangular shape or one with round edges on two side (Despard shape). And because the switches are momentary contact, the switch returns to the center after flicking lights on or off. Older style of interchangeable toggle low voltage switch has been discontinued.
One way to distinguish between momentary switches compared to regular toggle switches is whether the switch remains up or down or returns to the center position when you release it. Update to GE's new look with modern low voltage switches and cover plates.
Replace any broken model RTS-5 GE switches with low voltage despard momentary switches which fit Despard switch plates. Note that all switches on a wall plate must be replaced with the same type because the strap or switch itself may be slightly different that the vintage models.
Description - GE Trigger Switch: As with most of these vintage light switches from GE, this style of light switch is no longer manufactured.
If you prefer the functionality of the old trigger style switches (that return to a centered position after being pressed one way or the other), you can also replace these old GE ones with despard low voltage momentary switches & despard covers.
Description - RCS Spec Grade Sizes: General Electric RCS spec. grade low voltage plates have the largest openings in the older wiring systems that are .906" high by 1.25" wide for one, two or three devices. Note that the 3-switch opening is an open rectangle that is very similar in size and shape to current Decora style wall plate openings, but cannot be used interchangeably because they don't fit. These switch plates were designed for General Electric's large wide rocker switches and pilot lights know as their RCS series. (Pilot lights have a long lighted rectangular red bar in the middle that illuminates when the device is turned on.) This series was produced mainly in the 1970's. Kyle Switch Plates manufacturers the replacement stainless steel light switch plates for the discontinued RCS line of switches. These switch plates may also be used in some off-grid battery electrical set-ups typically used in boats & RV's. To buy replacement wall plates, visit GE Low Voltage RCS Switch Plates. Kyle Switch Plates is the only manufacturer of replacement switch plates for GE's old RCS low voltage line. The relays are still in full production. See GE Replacement Low Volt Light Switches to buy both unlighted and pilot lighted low voltage switches.
For multiple gang switch plates in the General Electric Decorator series, we recommend using Ultra Decorator Switches with pairs of buttons for ON and OFF. LED pilot lighted switches with reverse polarity are also available. See Ultra 1 GE Pilot Light Switch Replacement for an example for replacing a plate that had a single GE pilot light switch on it.
Please contact us for more information.
Description - Bryant Original Low Voltage Sizes: Bryant low voltage wiring systems were installed in older homes built in the 1950's and 1960's. These rare, old-fashioned style low voltage lighting systems have brown mini rocker switches with the word "BRYANT" on them mounted in narrow straps. The switch plates have openings that are .656" high by 1.092" wide. Other switches were similar to the #5 GE RTS Switches above and the #9 Sierra Electric low voltage system below. Bryant wiring systems are 3-wire momentary systems that were based on the same type of transformers and solenoid relays used in General Electric systems, so parts in this series are compatible with GE lighting systems. Note that original style Bryant straps (yokes) and devices are no longer manufactured. To buy parts, visit Bryant Low Voltage Lighting Systems Replacement Parts and see the parts for replacing GE Light Switches.
Sierra Electric low voltage wiring systems use straps that are similar in look to those used by other brands. The major difference is that the Sierra switches fit into switch plate openings that are flat on two sides and rounded on the ends known as Despard switches. This is in contrast to typical low voltage series that have rectangular switchplate holes. Sierra Electric went out of business and was purchased by Pass & Seymour which continues to produce both low voltage 3A switches trigger switches and regular 15A and 20A Despard switches. Kyle Switch Plates carries Despard switch plates in a wide variety of metal finishes and configurations.
To buy parts, click Replacement Sierra Switches and Cover Plates.
Leviton Despard Outlets
Some older homes have similar Despard outlet switches made by Leviton as pictured here. We do not have replacement plates for these versions that had unusual spacing from the standard Despard plates or which had a contiguous scalloped opening when covering three switches. For these older outlets and low voltage switches you will find replacement parts by Sierra. If you have regular (not low voltage) Despard devices, you can buy replacement Despard switches and outlets and the matching Despard switch plates.
Description - Remcon Sizes: Very old Remcon lighting systems featured low voltage rocker switches that were curved/flared, stacked and permanently mounted into brackets. Old style Remcon switchplates were typically installed horizontally with switches rocking up and down vertically to turn lights on and off. Devices were used in conjunction with box-mounted step-down transformers. Newer switches were small black rockers that snapped into stainless steel wallplates with openings that were .4375" high by 1.1875" wide for one, two or three devices. All original Remcon low voltage replacement switches, wall cover plates, and relays are no longer being manufactured. Kyle Switch Plate has replacement options for updating your Remcon parts.
Visit Remcon Low Voltage System Parts for an explanation of replacement parts and upgrade paths depending upon what needs replacing - from a single relay or light switch plate to replacing all of the system.
Pyramid switches, relays, and cover plates have been discontinued. You are no longer able to purchase replacement Pyramid switches or switch plates like the ones pictured here. The picture is shown to help you identify your low voltage system. Pyramid was the precursor to Remcon Low Voltage Lighting and Kyle Switch Plates has recommended replacement parts compatible with your old Pyramid system.
To learn how to order new parts, click Replacement Relays & Switches for Pyramid.
Description - Touch Plate 5000 Series Low Voltage Systems: The Touch-Plates 5000 series looks very similar to the GE & Bryant series of wall plates that have 1, 2 or 3 switches per gang. The difference is that the switches are slightly wider and are spaced closer together than on the GE or Bryant layouts. A standard one gang switch plate measures 4-1/2 H x 2-3/4" W (4.5" tall by 2.75" across) with one, two, or three stacked horizontal switches that are 5/8" high x 1-1/8" wide (0.625" H x 1.125" W) mounted on a bracket with a separate switch plate cover. Openings are spaced 2-9/32" from top edge of upper switch to the bottom edge of lowest switch on two and three button switch covers. Box mounting screw holes in the brackets are spaced 3-9/32" (3.281") apart center to center. Touch-Plate Electro-Systems lighting control systems were installed in the 1940's, 1950's, 1960's, 1970's and 1980's. To learn more or to buy parts, visit Touchplate Low Voltage System Parts.
The type of system is determined by the type of relay.
You may have Touch Plate switches that are wired to Remcon relays because Touch Plate switches are the only replacement for Remcon brand systems.
Remcon relays are now discontinued and would require upgrading. If you have Remcon relays read more about Remcon Low Voltage System Replacements here to determine which replacement path is right for your location and setup.
Before ordering new relays or light switches, check which brand of relays are installed because the type of relay you have (Remcon vs. Touch Plate) will determine which Touch Plate switches are the correct ones for your system.
Touchplate's Frame Series may be replaced with any of the current Touch-Plate control stations.
Read this important note regarding relay brand here (Touch Plate vs. Remcon in Section #12 above).
Description - Touch Plate Genesis Low Voltage Sizes: The Genesis series has larger buttons and features industrial quality mechanisms. A standard two gang switch plate measures 4.5" high x 4.5" wide. The two gang wall plates have switches that are 27/32" (.844") across by 1-23/32" (1.719") tall and spaced 1-13/16" apart on the 2 button wall plates and 1-1/4" apart on the 3 button wall plates (center to center). Box mounting screw holes in wallplate are spaced 3-9/32" (3.281") apart center to center. The switches are screwed into the back of the wall plate. Touch-Plate Electro-Systems lighting control systems were installed in the 1940's, 1950's, 1960's, 1970's and 1980's.
Be sure you have Touch Plate relays (and not Remcon) before purchasing replacement any broken relays - learn more here. To learn more or to buy parts, visit Touchplate Genesis Low Voltage System Parts.
Description - Touch-Plate Classic Sizes: The Classic series features control stations with 1/2" square button caps in arrangements of 4 or 6 switches per gang (8 or 12 buttons on double gang switch plates) that will control an equal number of lights. Switches are mounted on a bracket with a separate plastic screwless switch plate cover that snaps over it. Touch-Plate Electro-Systems lighting control systems were installed in the 40's, 50's, 60's, 70's and 80's. These updated modern systems by Touch Plate Lighting Controls are still installed today.
If you have these older style lighted Touch Plate Classic switches, you can update to the modern LED Classics, which have a small green LED light next each button (shown in image above).
To learn more or to buy parts, visit Touchplate Classic Low Voltage System Parts.
Verify your system is wired with Touch Plate brand relays (and not Pyramid or Remcon) - learn more about relay replacement here.
Description - Touch-Plate Ultra Sizes: The Ultra line by Touch Plate is the most modern looking low voltage system for homes. This is a 2-wire system with momentary contact switches.
To buy Ultra line parts, visit Touchplate Ultra System.
Before replacing a broken relay, check the brand (it may be Touch Plate or it may be Remcon) - learn more here.
Certain old GE switches aren't mounted in a strap with a cover plate (as shown in example #1 at top) .
If you have a surface mount low voltage GE switch like the one shown here, your solution is to buy a Sierra switch with cover plate and a box extender.
The box extender will allow you to mount your new switch on the surface of your wall.
Shown: 3 surface mounted vintage GE switches on wall without cover.
These buff finish RSS-1 GE switches had bulky ivory covers like the one shown above.
Buy Replacements: We recommend using a 1-gang box extender with GE replacement switch & plate sets for 1-, 2-, or 3-stacked switches.
GE RSS-1 switch in buff with ivory cover shown with original box.
The GE RMS-2A lighting control station is no longer manufactured, and the RMP235 frame is available but the switches are now discontinued. The recommended replacement is the 9-Switch 3-Gang Despard Low Voltage Master Panel Set which would require a 3-gang wall box or 3-gang low voltage mounting ring. If some switches are no longer used or you wish to combine areas to be controlled by a single switch, this 2-Gang 6-Switch Despard Low Voltage Control Panel may be a good option for the available space.
Another option - the 12 Switch Panel for GE Switches - would allow the addition of three more lighting controls (or the unused openings could be filled with blank inserts).
This RMS-4A Low Voltage GE Master Selector is no longer manufactured. (Photo below courtesy Gretchen Steinberg). The closest interim replacements were the GE remote control low voltage master selector panel (frame is still available if you have the switches) which only held 8 switches (switch areas required combining to reduce them from 12) but offered the ability to lock the switches in the on or off position. Kyle Switch Plates has an exclusive 12-switch replacement wall plate: New Style Snap In GE Low Voltage 12 Switch Wall Plate Covers, but again the switches are now discontinued. These may be options if you currently have extra RS2 series black-bordered switches or if you can find used ones on resale sites.
CURRENT REPLACEMENT OPTIONS
The current replacement options for the GE Dual Dial 12-Switch Master Control Panel come in both Pilot Light and Unlighted Switch options:
These unit are available with unlighted or pilot lighted versions. These units fit a 4-gang box (double the size of the box used for the RMS-4A). If horizontal space is limited, options include using a pair of 6-switch 2-gang versions that again are available in both unlighted or pilot light switch models:
Another example of the vintage lighting control with 2 dials for a GE system.
This part is one option for replacing the an old GE controller or master selector panel only if you have the discontinued GE RS2 series switches. These units came with keys to allow all the switches to be locked.
Note that the switches and the panel itself were sold separately.
For a cheaper replacement, if you can get 8 GE Switches (same as required to fill the panel shown), this lower-profile 8-switch cover plate was another option compared to the bulkier locking selector panel.
CURRENT REPLACEMENT: For a 2-gang 6-switch option see the GE 6-Unlighted Switch Wall Plate Replacement Control Station or the GE Pilot Lighted 6-LED Replacement Switch Control Panel.