Homepage Electrical stuff

General information

Welcome to the online collection of electrical items! This website is intended to document and showcase devices used in electrical installations from all over the world, both new and old, as well as to describe how they're installed and some of the theoretical aspects behind these installations.

The general idea behind this site is to document these items in their entirety, showcasing what may not be easily found or covered elsewhere - for example, by photographing them from different angles to show exactly how they're constructed.

The main aim of this project is, in the future, to cover (even just generally) electrical installations from all over the world. For now, however, most of the items in the collection are from Europe, and especially Italy, as that's where I currently live.

Italian electrics: a brief overview

Electrical installations in Italy have a number of significant differences from ones found in most of Europe; here's a brief overview of their most unique features:

Types of plugs

Unlike other countries, which generally only have one type of plug, or at most two for earthed and non-earthed devices, Italy has four.

The ones on the left are the original Italian plugs - there are two of them, a 10 and a 16A version, since they were originally intended for two different voltages (generally 120 and 220V) at different tariffs. Plus, there are also the Schuko plugs and the Europlugs, the same as the ones used in the rest of continental Europe.

Most sockets found in Italy will accept standard Italian plugs as well as Europlugs, but not Schuko plugs - however, most earthed or high-power appliances sold nowadays come with Schuko plugs - very few come with Italian ones, generally only laptop chargers and extension cords. Because of this, it's common to see these types of adaptors inside most Italian homes:

These are Schuko to Italian adaptors - a very common sight for anyone living here, but certainly somewhat unusual to anyone else.

Limited supplies

The majority of Italian houses only have 3kW (14A) electrical supplies. The power meters have a built-in limiter breaker, and once you exceed the limit, they trip (specifically, for a 3kW supply that means 3.3kW continuously or 4kW for a maximum of three hours). Suffice to say, these low limits are a problem, as they prevent you from using more than one or two appliances at the same time.

It's possible to get a bigger contract, and that's often done on new or recently renovated houses in order to power things like air conditioners, but you have to pay more per month, and so most people don't bother or limit themselves to a slightly higher upgrade, like 4.5kW.

The only reason why these aren't more of a problem than they already are is because the majority of houses still use natural gas for heating and cooking - however, given that we're gonna have to switch away from these, continuing with these low supplies is quite bad.


One thing used in Italy that isn't all that common in most of the world is the use of modular electrical accessories - that is, things like power sockets and light switches. This works by having a support plate that holds invididual modules, which can be sockets, light switches, buzzers, etc.

This is a pretty useful system, as it enables for a high degree of flexibility. There are however some disadvantages: for one, it tends to make the cost of things higher, as multiple components are needed. Additionally, there isn't a single system of modular devices, there are many, and they're entirely incompatible with each other.