Looking back on 55 years of Gira F100

Looking back on 55 years of Gira F100

What is an innovation? Our definition at Gira: a new product which offers true added value and improves our quality of life in the long run. That’s exactly what Gira F100 switches have been doing for more than half a century now.

Rethinking light control.

The F100 is one among many milestones in more than 116 years of Gira history. Entering the market in 1966, it replaced traditional rocker switch models that had been used up to this point. In the following years, Gira F100 switches quickly became the new standard in many countries across the globe.

Gira Flächenschalter Zeitungsartikel
When the Gira F100 premiered on the “Hannover Messe“ in 1966, it was celebrated as a “sensation“. Source: Gira

Brilliantly simple: the “switch for millionaires”.

“Switch sensation” and “A simple improvement long overdue” – this is how the daily newspapers talked about the F100 in 1966, after its premiere on the industrial trade fair “Hannover Messe”. Those headlines did in fact not exaggerate: the Gira F100 switch was the first of its kind that could be operated across the entire surface. This development marked a considerable step forward, compared to conventional toggle and rocker switches with relatively small operating units. Both hands full? No longer a problem, thanks to the Gira F100. Now, you could even use your elbow to switch the lights on or off. This benefit was also illustrated in one of the first advertisements promoting the new switching solution.

Gira Flächenschalter Anzeige
Both hands full? With the Gira F100, all you need is your elbow to adjust the lighting. Source: Gira

Just like the newspapers and visitors at the trade fair in Hannover, end customers immediately saw the value in Gira’s product innovation. Soon, everybody wanted to make their lives easier with the so-called “switch sensation” – which meant a huge relief for Gira. Since producing the F100 was relatively expensive, it would cost more than other brand-name switches. Marketers had therefore worried that the Gira F100 would remain a ”switch for millionaires”.

Various designs, surfaces, and colours.

Developers had spent a long time refining the F100 prototype. Finally, they managed to create a switch that met the demands of both product design and architecture: with subtle aesthetics and a flat surface, it blends in with any interior. Architects were impressed and the Gira F100 soon found its way into many well-known buildings of our time – including the New National Gallery in Berlin, the ESSO high-rise in Hamburg, and the container ship “Elbe Express” of the Hamburg-America Line. Today, Gira F100 switches are available in many different designs and colour variants.

How to match F100 switches with your interior.

More than half a century later, Gira continues to produce F100 switches according to the highest quality and safety standards. Their design is anything but obsolete. On the contrary: it still inspires product developments that bring even more comfort – and style – into our daily lives. Today, this innovative force is illustrated in products such as smart motion detectors or pushbutton sensors.


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