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What is the difference between switch and socket?

Difference between switch and socket

When you need to add light to your home or office, you might think about adding a light switch or a socket. Both of these devices can be used to control the power supply to an electrical lighting fixture, but they are very different and serve different purposes. Understanding the differences between a switch and a socket can help you choose the best option for your space.

To increase safety and reduce the risk of shock, it’s advisable to have all exposed wiring in your home accessible from an electrical panel so that you can shut off power when necessary. When installing new lights, dimmers, outlets, or switches, it’s essential to understand how each device operates and how they connect to the wiring in your home so that everything is safe and efficient. Read on to learn more about the difference between a switch and a socket.

This blog will clear all doubts about sockets and switches and tell you the profound difference between switches and sockets. In addition, this blog will help you to understand the Electrical socket and switch installation process.

Socket vs. Switch- overview

All of you know that sockets and switches work together on an electrical board. Switches and sockets are essential in giving electricity to your electrical appliances. Due to these tools, you can use electrical appliances, including televisions, bulbs, and even phones. But do you ever think about the actual definition of sockets and switches? So below are the definitions of both devices.


Switches are the component that makes or breaks the electrical circuit. You can use switches for making or breaking circuits manually or automatically based on your requirement.  Switches mainly work on the two mechanisms- ON, which opens the electrical circuit, and OFF, which closes the electrical circuit. However, you will learn about switches’ working process later in this article. Numerous circuits hold

Switches that actuate different characteristics of the circuit.

There are many types of switches available in the market, and every type has its function, but toddle or toddler switches are widely used at home to give electricity to light, fans, and other devices. Mercury or silent switches are also used at home to control the electricity of lighting. The oil switch has its live part immersed in oil that reduces arcing. The aggregate of switching, also known as circuit breaking tool, is usually installed in power stations or transformers.

Suppose your switch is not working correctly. Then you must consult an electrician for relocation and repair service in Edmonton. An electrician will detect and solve the issue of your switch.


An electrical socket, also known as an electrical outlet, or wall socket, is equipment that helps electrical appliances or equipment connect with the electrical grid. The electrical grid is equipment that provides an alternative current to the electrical outlet or appliances.

Now I assume that you have gained enough knowledge about the basics of sockets and switches. You will learn how sockets and switches work in the next section below. First, you must contact an electrical socket and switch installation electrician.

How do switches and sockets work in an electrical circuit?

As you read above, switches and sockets work together to provide current to the electric appliances. In this section, you will learn how both devices work separately to provide electricity to the electric appliance. Let us start with the electric switch.

Electrical switches

The electrical switches work as per their design. For example, on/off toggle switches are most common worldwide. The three-way circuit and dimmer circuit work off of a similar switch design. Three-way circuits are made up of two switches that control a single device like a lamp or fan. On the other hand, the dimmer circuits only circulate the amount of electricity they earn.

In short, electric circuits only work when electricity is free to move in a continuous loop. When the loop is broken, electricity will not pass through the electric circuit. The electric switches with ON or OFF toggle break the loop whenever you push the toggle to off, and when you push the toggle to ON, the loop will be completed.

Electric socket

The electricity is brought to your house or office with a power plant or power line. Then the electricity or a current is distributed by a circuit breaker. The circuit breaker is connected to each electricity outlet at your home or office. The electrical circuit has three holes; one hole is known as a neutral hole, which is located on the left of the socket. The second hole is hot and located on the right of the socket. Last but not least, the third hole is known as the ground hole, which is generally located on the top of the socket.

Each socket hole performs a different task to provide efficient current to your electrical appliances.  The hot hole is connected to the wires that supply the electric current. On the other hand, a neutral hole is linked to the line that provides electricity to the breaker box. When an electric appliance, such as a light, is plugged in. The current flows into the lamp through the hot hole of the socket, and the current turns on the lamp’s light bulb. The current comes back with the help of a neutral hole to complete a circuit. When you unplug the lamp, the circuit will break, and the lamp bulb will turn off.

Suppose you think any electrical socket at your house is not working correctly. Then it would be better to consult an electrician for relocation and repair service in Edmonton before the minor issues in the socket become major.


Electrical sockets and switches are a perfect combination which is very useful for home and office. This blog has discussed the critical difference between electrical sockets and switches. An electrical socket is a device that provides electricity. On the other hand, Electrical switches control the flow of current. However, both devices are used to provide electricity to electrical appliances.

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