Product News

Which Wall Plate is Really Best For Me? Making Educated Purchases

Is it me or do you find yourself relying on Google to define, differentiate, and describe things that are coming up in every day situations?  The human race is constantly perfecting, advancing, and expanding in every direction.  It forces us to look things up in order to follow conversations and understand exactly what’s going on.  It is particularly difficult when it comes to the world of technology.  It’s hard to keep up, and I work in the industry!

These days it’s common to hear someone “google” information or “photoshop” pictures.  Each year Webster’s Dictionary adds new words based off of technological advances.

It seems like every year new chargers are on the market with new cables, cords, and devices to aid with compatibility and keep up with speed.

Advances are all around us. We have a lot of resources at our disposal to help us make purchasing decisions.  On retailer websites such as Target or Best Buy, next to each product is a star rating system, and user comment feed.  You can see what other people thought of the product and how they used it.  The problem is, the filtering system on these sites is nothing special.  So you might get random people who just “feel like” leaving this or that comment on a product.  Often times, there’s no way of verifying the validity of the review.  It could even be the case that the reviewer never actually used the item.  Unfortunately the internet allows for hostile reviewers, dishonest hidden shoppers, and trolls.  So take what you read there with a grain of salt, because the likelihood of the review or ranking being accurate varies.

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With Amazon you get a much more filtered, policed review system.  You will see the “verified purchase” banner next to a review, meaning that Amazon has verified that the reviewer indeed purchased the item.  Amazon takes it a step further and ranks reviewers.  You can earn “Top Reviewer” badges and even the “Hall of Fame Reviewer” badge if you leave useful feedback.

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So with these you can feel a little more confident with the reviews you are getting.  It’s less likely that you are reading a biased review, but still possible.

Consumer Reports is an extremely reputable resource.

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The reviews are a lot less likely to be biased at all, and the information is useful in making purchase decisions on big ticket items like appliances, vehicles, or anything with a serial number.  People rely on these reviews and take them very seriously when making decisions.  The catch is you need a paid subscription to access the information.  But if you’re actively purchasing or upgrading your home over a period of time, it’s a fantastic investment.

Doing the research for purchases is time consuming.  It’s hard to know what information is real, what’s written by competitors and hostile shoppers, and what’s actually going to be applicable for your situation.  Let’s say you don’t want to look at consumer reports or consider reviews when making your purchase decisions.  It’s tempting to just go on Amazon and buy the Best Seller of whatever it is you’re trying to update.  After all, you can filter your results by reviews or ratings if you want. But when you try to be a more educated shopper, or when you have specific needs that need to be met, you have to rely comprehending the fine print.

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Why are some things more expensive than others?  Why do certain items rank higher or sell better than others?  Side by side many items look the same.  But product descriptions and details will give you the information you need to really determine if what you’re looking at is what you want.

You might notice on our TOPGREENER website that when it comes to wall plates we talk a lot about metals, chemical properties, treatments, etc.  This might not make a ton of sense to you unless you’re a scientist or electrician.  It’s probably nice to see so many different options of wall plates, for example, but how do you know which material is right for you?

Enerlite’s SI8831-W screwless decorator switch wall plates are Amazon’s Choice products.  These wall plates are made from unbreakable Polycarbonate material.  What is Polycarbonate and why is this so good?  Is it really unbreakable?

Polycarbonates are polymers containing carbonate groups.  The specialized combination of these polymers gives it its durable, heat resistant, unbreakable quality.  This material is often used in tools and engineering equipment.

The TOPGREENER screwless decorator wall plates are tough and durable.  They will withstand any distortion that could occur during packaging, transport or installation.  If twisted, they return back to their original shape.  They come in black, white, ivory, and light almond.

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Another option for wall plates is also from Enerlites.  The Enerlites 7731 Decorator Wall Plates are made of 430 Stainless Steel.  Stainless Steel is so common and we basically know that a lot of kitchen appliances are made from this material.  But what is it really, and why would you want a wall plate made from Stainless Steel?

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Stainless Steel is known for its corrosion resistance.  There are various grades of surface finishes of stainless Steel.  Its most common applications are where properties of steel and corrosion resistance are required.  The properties of Stainless Steel allow it to go through passivation.  Passivation is a term used in chemistry that refers to a process through which a material goes through to be less affected or corroded by the environment.   It forms a thin layer of chromium oxide on the surface, which blocks oxygen diffusion with the material and prevents corrosion.

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There are over 150 different grades of Stainless Steel.  A numbering system grades steel.  They are basically divided into five types:

Ferretic: These steels are magnetic, and chosen for their resistance to stress corrosion cracking. They are somewhat limited in use because they cannot be hardened by heat treatment.

Austenitic: These are the most common types of steel.  They have added amounts of Nickel, Manganese, and Nitrogen.  They cannot be hardened by heat treatment but are vulnerable to stress corrosion cracking.

Martensitic:  These are like Ferretic steels but have higher Carbon levels, allowing them to be hardened and tempered.  They are magnetic.

Duplex: These are 50% austenitic and 50% ferritic.  They have enhanced strength and resistance to all forms of corrosion and are weldable.  They are not magnetic.

Precipitation Hardening: These steels are often strengthened by adding Copper, Niobium, and Aluminum.  They can be somewhat moldable into different shapes and tolerate different treatments with minimal distortion.

Stainless steel is 100% recyclable.

The Enerlites line of Stainless Steel wall plates are designed for use with toggle switches, rocker switches, duplex switches, and dimmer/fan modules. They are available in single, double, and multi-gang sizes.

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The wall plates described in this article replace nylon and plastic wall plates.  Why would you want to replace nylon or plastic?  If you screw too tight on nylon or plastic, you crack the plate.  Stainless Steel and Polycarbonate plates do not fade in color over time.  You can also paint over them to match walls.  Metal wall plates usually come in more shapes, sizes, and varieties to customize and accommodate different applications.  They also have a more high-end look and modern feel.  These are facts.  They’re not the opinions of random possible purchasers or hidden reviewers.  With this knowledge, take a look at the huge selection of Enerlites wall plates, decorative and standard, for toggle and dimmer, even blank plates too, and choose what’s right for you.  What did you decide?  What factors most appeal to you with regards to wall plates?