Mains wires how to control them?

It seems such a simple thing, I have been searching for a solution for years. My studio has many cables. The way I deal with them, using extension leads is daisy chain them (keeping an eye on amperage) until I end up with one plug for sound, one for PC, and a few ‘occasional’ plugs, such as printer, organ etc.

To a table leg I have nailed (true) a further extension lead, this extension lead has both individual switches and a power light for each socket. I plug in what I need and switch on what I want at a given moment. It works but its ugly, a bit cack handed.

A couple of times I have tried to buy a switch box, but even a visit to a professional electrician suppliers left them scratching their heads. What I was trying to describe was a box of some form where there were mains cables going into the back and in the front were switches and lights. I even bough a few but they did not end up being suitable and had weird wiring issues.

I wonder what others do to solve this problem?


Nowhere do you seem to describe just what your problem is! You talk about feeling you need some kind of unobtainable switch box - Why? What features are necessary to make such a box “suitable”.

As long as you keep an eye on your grounding scheme, power bussing shouldn’t be major problem.

this is the sort of thing I am hoping for, each input should be 15 amp. I am UK so German sockets on the back are not suitable.

I have my studio working without it, but would rather not route everything via an extension lead nailed to a table leg - as at present


Look for Power strips, you can get these with individually switched sockets, as master slave units, with conditioning and surge suppression etc. I run about 10 different types of them in my studio, six of them have been mounted flush either in the walls or mounted to the rear of the desk.

No ideas folks? Something that fits the bill? Its not so easy I know!


I place AC where I need and use remote controlled (RC) switchboards (like this and this - for Australia), to control them, so avoiding runs just to have inline switching conveniently located.

The studio lighting has individual RC control for each light, while all the audio – studio and mixing – is controlled by one switch so it has a common earth.

The RC powerboards can each be controlled from multiple remotes, so I have one for the lights in each of the studio and the mixing desk.

Not the best solution, but I’ve also been using one high rated multi-outlet strip, and then plug in other multi-outlet strips into that…paying attention each device is not exceeding their ratings. When I want to kill the power during a storm, I have to crawl on the floor and reach on the side of my desk to shut off power to all DAW equipment.

What I’ve been thinking about doing at some point, is build my own custom heavy-duty power outlet distribution system with a conveniently placed main multi-switch panel. Using all standard electrical components typically found at any Home Depot.

That’s why I have a mster extension lead (different names in different coutries), nailed to a table leg.

Surely not the right way to go! :astonished: :confused:


Actually it get’s worse, I have to go around my entire house & shut off multi-outlet/surge protectors during storms…beginning with the home studio floor crawl, then the living room big screen LED TV, master bedroom big screen LED TV (only one readily reachable), inside office closet for my kitchen LED TV, & another floor crawl for the office computer. Though I’m not going to be building any custom electrical outlet/switching for the entire house (just the home studio) I definitely need to make shutting things off more convenient.

Over the 5 years in our house, we’ve had a few items get’s blown out or screwed up due to power failure related issues, so I’m not taking any chances.

They make these mains adapters these days that sit between socket and plug. You can control them with a remote controls you can buy them in packs

Like this and this (for Australia), and this (for USA). The second is designed to use any old IR remote you may have lying around.

Many hardware store chains have them these days.

However, RF RC devices are not always sure to work if there are a lot of RF obstacles around, like walls and metal frames.

I also don’t know if I would rely on them in electrical storms. For those wanting guaranteed shutdown in such storms, going to the main power board and flicking off the main switches for the required lines, or even the master (fridges will keep things cool for a few hours), is going to protect the best, and keep the hidden house wiring from getting fried.