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Stair Lift glossary of terms

Acorn Stairlifts are specifically designed to be a safer solution to using your stairs, this page aims to define those stairlift terms.

•DC (battery) power
•Diagnostic digital display
•Dual electronic and mechanical braking systems
•Fold-up seat & footrest
•Heavy Duty
•Infra-red remote control
•Lockable isolation switch
•Overspeed governor
•'Paddle' switch control
•Rack and pinion drive
•Safety cut-out sensors
•Smooth start/stop action
•Stand or Perch
•Swivel seat with locking catch
•Weight Capacity

DC (battery) power


All Acorn Stairlifts, including our straight stairlift and curved stairlift, are DC battery powered which means that they are power efficient and you'll still be able to use your stairlift even in a power cut!


There are many advantages of having a DC powered stairlift and they include:

◦No messy trailing cables that could cause you to trip and fall over
◦In a power cut your stairlift keeps on working for up to 25 journeys
◦The stairlift is power efficient, only charging when needed and not constantly using power


The history of battery powered stairlifts


Acorn Stairlifts pioneered DC technology in the stairlift industry. This was chosen due to the inherent advantages of safety, smooth power delivery and the ability to operate normally during a mains power failure. Interestingly, all of Acorn's stairlift competitors have followed this lead and now offer a DC product!

Diagnostic digital display

The Acorn 180 Curved Stairlift and the Acorn 120 Straight Stairlift are fitted with a digital diagnostic display which states the current status of the stairlift.


Faults are rare and are displayed digitally as numbers and/or letters, providing clear and simple information for users and engineers. When calling customer support, be sure to make note of what code the display shows.

Dual electronic and mechanical braking systems

Fitted as standard on the stairlift are double safety braking systems mean that the stairlift is unable to descend unexpectedly or at speed. This is an essential safety feature that is imperitive to have on your stairlift.

Fold-up seat & footrest

All Acorn Stairlifts have a fold-up seat, arm rests & footrest. When not in use, the seat, arms and footrest of the stairlift can be folded away to provide easy access to the stairway.

Heavy Duty

Specifically designed individuals who may be of a larger build, our maximum weight capacity on either the outdoor, perch or straight stairlift is 350lbs.

Infra-red remote control

The stairlift can be 'called' or 'sent' up or down the stairs by using a remote control similar to a TV remote control.

Lockable isolation switch

The stairlift can be locked with a key so that others (children, for example) cannot use it. The stairlift continues to charge when locked.


If the stairlift overhangs at the top of the stairs there will be an extra piece of track that protrudes onto the landing.

Overspeed governor

Controls the speed of the stairlift to prevent sudden or rapid descent.

'Paddle' switch control

The up and down motion of the stairlift is operated by a simple paddle switch on both arms of the chair.
The paddle switch controls come as standard with our straight stairlift and curved stairlifts.

Rack and pinion drive

The stairlift track uses this secure drive mechanism to provide smooth and stable movement up and down the stairs.

Safety cut-out sensors

Special safety sensors in the stairlift footrest and carriage prevent it from moving if an object is obstructing the path of the stairlift.

Smooth start/stop action

The stairlift's upward and downward movement begins smoothly and slowly, without jarring or sudden stops. This enables you to have a smooth ride up and down your stairs.

Stand or Perch


A stairlift specifically designed for people who have issues bending at the knee. The lift allows the user to perch gently on the higher seat or stand upright.

Perch Stairlift


  • Designed for users who have trouble bending at the knee, the Acorn Perch Stairlift still allows the user to travel in safety and comfort.
  • Suitable for those with knee troubles
  • Suitable for narrow staircases
  • Safe, comfortable and easy to use

Sit / Stand Stairlift


Designed for multiple users with different requirements, the Acorn Sit/Stand Stairlift allows the user to either sit or stand.


  • Sit or stand - it's your choice
  • Suitable for narrow staircases
  • Safe, comfortable and easy to use


View Acorn 120 Sit / Stand Stair Lift

Swivel seat with locking catch

The seat of the stairlift turns for ease of access at the top of the stairs, and locks to prevent accidental slipping.

Weight Capacity

This refers to the maximum weight a particular stairlift will carry.

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