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Sierra Electric Low Voltage Lighting Info

Sierra Low Voltage Lighting

Sierra Electric low voltage light switches, switchplates and relays were installed in mid-century homes built between 1940 and 1980 and were also known as "Square D" or Despard low voltage switches. Sierra went out of business in the early 1980s and was purchased by Pass & Seymour.

despard light switches

Sierra brand switches are no longer manufactured, however, replacement low volt switches are now made by Pass & Seymour.

These momentary low voltage switches (3 amps, 24 volts AC-DC) are for use with copper wiring only and feature 3 quick connect terminals on the back for simple installation. They fit into Despard style interchangeable switch plates and mounting straps as well as cover plates from old Uniline systems produced by Bryant Electric.

despard switch plates

Despard Switch Plates for replacement Sierra switches (called Despard switches) are available in several quality finishes including satin bronze, dark bronze, oil rubbed bronze, satin, polished and antique brass, brushed aluminum, polished chrome, stainless steel, brown, black, ivory, light almond, and white - although not all configurations are available in every finish.  Single and double gang sizes are available to house 1, 2, 3, 4 or 6 switches. Switch openings are 29/32" by 11/16" and screw holes measure 3-13/16" apart, center to center. 

Sierra Despard Mounting Straps

Replacement low voltage Sierra switches work with horizontal Despard mounting straps for up to three switches and vertical mounting brackets for a single switch.

Each metal yoke has electrical box mounting screw holes that are 3-9/32" apart and switch plate screw holes are spaced 3-13/16" apart.

sierra low voltage lighting parts

Your home may have a single switchplate that houses regular 120 volt Despard toggle switches, outlets, or pilot lights mounted right alongside your Sierra Electric low voltage switches.

They all fit into the same mounting bracket and style of switch plate.

At Kyle Switch Plates, we carry Despard switches and outlets if you're looking to replace those as well.

Old Style Sierra Outlet

Here is an older style Sierra outlet shown with a replacement Sierra outlet cover. We carry these old style Sierra cover plates in ivory.

Old Style Sierra Outlet

Get replacement sierra triplex outlet covers if you need a plate for this old style of triple Sierra plug.

Leviton Despard

You may also have old Despard style outlets made by Leviton as pictured here. Shop Sierra Low Voltage Lighting for replacement straps, switches and face plates.

despard face plates

For tight spaces like counters and cabinets or in other tricky installation areas, narrow Despard style switch plates and tall, skinny Despard switch covers are available.

Narrow plates comes as small as 1.5" wide. Also available are 1.75" Despard switch plates, 2" Despard plates and 2.25" covers. Device openings and screw placements are the same as on a standard sized Despard plate.

tall despard cover plates

Tall Despard Switch Plates work well in door frames, are 1.75" taller and cover 2 or 3 switches or other Despard devices.

These taller despard plates are designed for use with a 2 vertical switch bracket or a 3 Despard switch mounting bracket.

despard switchplate inserts

You can convert any rocker style switch plate to fit your older Sierra switches with Kyle Switch Plates' inexpensive Despard switch plate adapters.

Shop conversion inserts with 1, 2 or 3 device openings to create your own custom switch plate:

Single despard switch, double switch and triple switch inserts.

decorative despard switch plates

Kyle Switch Plates' exclusive line of decorative art switchplates for Despard switches dress up old, outdated switches. Uniquely handcrafted with beautiful decorative metal overlays, these designer Despard art wall plates will add chic flair to your home and come in a wide vareity of gorgeous finishes to meet any decor's color scheme. Choose the decorative design you like for your home and select the Despard style opening plates from the drop-down menu when you order.

sierra replacement relays

Replacement relays for Sierra systems, manufactured by Pass & Seymour, can be purchased on our site.

Another option for replacing discontinued Sierra remote control relays are GE brand low voltage relays.

Make sure your switches are compatible with these relays by checking that they have three wires coming out of them in back.

ge low voltage switches

You may also replace each Sierra low voltage switch with one of the GE RS2 series two-button low voltage switches.

These momentary light switches are a rectangular shape and would require a new switch plate, but are otherwise rated the same as the Sierra switches (3 amps, 24 volts) and are compatible with the old Sierra remote control relays.

low voltage toggle switches

GE's toggle style low voltage switches are another option if you wish to use standard switchplates with your low voltage system, however they may cause some confusion because they look similar to a regular switch even though they really are a part of a low voltage setup. It is generally better to keep a similar look throughout your low voltage system.

Complete Guide Replacements for Sierra Low Voltage Light Switches Vintage

There are several options for replacing vintage Sierra light switches.

See our complete guide to replacement switches for a Sierra systems here.

Kyle Switch Plates is a specialty supplier and retailer of these traditional Despard low voltage wall plates and matching metal brackets as well as replacement Sierra style low voltage switches.

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