What's It Called? Learn Terms to Correctly Order the Size You Need:
"Gang" refers to the WIDTH of your electrical box and therefore the WIDTH of the cover plate.
Count how many "slots" in the electrical box are available for mounting either a switch or an outlet:
- A single gang (or 1-gang) box is only wide enough for 1 switch or outlet.
- A double (or 2-gang) box holds 2 devices side by side.
- 3-gang boxes are for 3 electrical devices.
- And so on all the way up to 10 gangs.
Identify Your Light Switch Opening:
All plates below are shown in the 1-gang size, starting with a 1-gang "Toggle" plate (example #1).
Do your toggles look a little different? Perhaps they're mounted sideways or have a dimmer.
See more types of toggle light switches.
They also come as combination switches with more than 1 switch in a single device, which saves space in your electrical box.
"Decora" is a Leviton trademark term.
Despard switches can be mounted horizontally or vertically. See more Despard examples here.
These sideways switches fit into the same opening as a plug or socket and flip side to side to turn lights and bathroom fans on and off.
Identify Other Odd Switches Here
See 20 photo examples of other vintage light switches & find replacement parts.
There are many types of older style low voltage light switches (some of which are shown here). Use the link above to identify your brand and find replacement parts.
Identify Your Outlet Opening:
Duplex outlets fit plates with 2 oval openings. They may be referred to as Duplex Receptacles, Sockets, Plugs or Outlets.
Be sure to differentiate between "Duplex" and "Block" or "GFI" outlets - shown next - which fit into a different plate.
Rectangular outlets fit Decora Rocker switch plates and may be referred to as Block Outlets (or Block Receptacles) or Decora Outlets/Receptacles.
GFCI and GFI are interchangeable terms for Ground Fault Circuit Interrupt.
These outlets feature reset buttons between the sockets.
Ground fault outlets are typical in kitchens and bathrooms near water faucets.
These 15A 125V outlets fit plates with smaller oval openings than Duplex outlets, and can be stacked to fit 3 outlets in a single plate.
Identify Your Dimmer Opening:
These dimmmers fit the same opening as #2 & #9 above (Decora Rocker light switches & Slide Dimmers).
The round knob covers the rectangle toggle opening, so this is the same opening as #1 Toggle switches & #13 Toggle Dimmers above.
Types of Toggle Switches:
Whether your toggle light switch has a rim, no rim or dimmer, it will fit the standard toggle switch plate opening.
Duplex Horizontal Toggle Opening
This common type of horizontal toggle switch fits into the same oval openings as a duplex outlet.
May also be called sideways toggles.
Pay close attention to the base of the switch to see if it has the oval shape of a duplex outlet.
Decora Horizontal Toggle Opening
This (less common) style of horizontal toggles fits into the large rectangle Decora Rocker opening.
Be certain not to mistake this for the duplex horizontal toggle shown above this one.