Light Switch Guard

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Posted in HomeLife-hacks

Introduction: Light Switch Guard

Do you have a wall toggle switch that always should be on? Do you or your family members forget and turn it off? I do. That is where this 5 minute fix came from. This is an instructable that is so simple, I almost did not take the time to post it.

I have a 5 year old (and wife, ahem!) that cannot remember which switch should turn off what. I have a 2 gang box with 2 switches. One is a 3 way switch for lights and the other is power to a ceiling fan that is controlled by a remote. When the switch for the ceiling fan is off, the remote obviously doesn't work. This defeats the whole purpose of the remote. I then have to get up and walk over to the switch and turn it back on before I use the remote. After adding labels which my child did not read and tape which looked terrible and did not last, I added the following "fix". I have not had a problem since.

I also have a similar set up where another 2 gang box has a switch for an electric fireplace and another for the blower that should always stay on since it has a heat-sensing switch at the plug.

Step 1: Parts

1. About 1-2 inches of color-coordinated wire for your switch
2. Screw terminal for wire
3. A paint pen or small amount of paint to cover chrome parts of terminal.

Step 2: Cut Off the Plastic From Screw Terminal

Take a razor or Dremel and cut off the plastic insulation from the wire screw terminal.

Step 3: Remove Top Screw (or Bottom Screw for Always Off) From Light Switch Plate

Step 4: Line Up Screw Terminal

  • Line up the screw terminal and estimate the length of wire needed to hold up the switch.
  • Take off the screw terminal, clamp down the wires and cut off the excess wire that extends above the terminal with a razor.
  • Take a color-coordinated paint pen and paint the chrome parts to match the color of the switch.
  • Let it dry and replace over switch and replace screw.

Yay. You are done. Hold off telling your child for the 35th time or programing the divorce attorney number on speed dial.

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    user

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    45 Comments

    Tip from an "insider": Find any Orthodox Jews in your area and ask them where they get their Sabbath light switch covers. At home we have older snap-in units (see picture); there are newer more cosmetically-appealing models which you may purchase (Judaica stores may carry them online).

    switch-cover.jpg

    You could always just remove the switch too. Problem solved! Or there are AC lock switches available too. Although for what they cost I might just try to convert a regular wall switch into a lock style one.

    I bought this little gem I found, elock switch guard. It looks good and functional. I bought 4 because my home is riddled with switches I don't want touched. Even the one that controls the very computer I'm typing on

    guard 2.bmp

    I bought this little gem I found, elock switch guard. It looks good and functional. I bought 4 because my home is riddled with switches I don't want touched. Even the one that controls the very computer I'm typing on

    guard 2.bmp

    Brilliant! Thanks! Much better than any solution I could come up with. And the tape looks so tacky.

    1 reply

    tape? tacky? I git jokes!

    Another option is to just connect the two wires going to the switch with a wire nut. Then either put everything back together and use the switch as a blank (as it will no longer work now) or get a blank plat to cover the open and remove the switch all together.

    You idea is much simpler and a bit easier, but if you didn't want anything visible...

    This is freaking brilliant! I have a switch that powers an electric clock. I keep forgetting and turning it off which makes me set the clock yet again. This is getting made up tomorrow. Thank you.

    If you don't have the wire connectors on hand and plan to buy them you can get them without insulation.

    You can't see or hear me, but I am applauding. Well, I was before I started typing this, which interrupted the applause.. Thanks for sharing this bit of genius!

    "Common sense is genius in its working clothes".
    -- Albert Einstein

    WOW! So simple, yet so clever! I think we all have one of those switches.

    I'll give it a try, hopefully the screws are long enough to reach the switch once the wire connector is placed.

    "Delightful" to read. VERY bright idea - ingenious!

    user

    Awesome

    This is what instructables is all about!!!

    Great idea. I think your instructable looks a lot better than those big plastic things that will probably end up getting dingy looking from running into it turning the other switch on and off. Good job!

    In the past, I usually put the packing or duct tape over it -- it works for me. Also, I put labels on each switch so we won't get confused which one is and as well as led light inside the switch itself. (You can find it at Home Depot as well) Very nice Instructables tho!!

    I love this idea. It's simple, and if you have the parts at home it would be really quick to put together. I use a commercial product called the Switch Guard (http://www.ebay.com/bhp/switch-guard) and like the fact that the switch is still accessible. There is also one made for the Decora style rocker switches (http://www.amazon.com/Light-Switch-Guard-Decora-Shields/dp/B00DUBOSTA/ref=pd_sxp_grid_i_0_0). I don't sell or benefit from these products in any way - just figure if someone has to go for parts anyway, why not be aware of the alternatives available?

    www.homedepot.com/p/100628705

    "The Amerelle Switch Guards (2-Pack) cover standard toggle
    switches to help prevent the accidental turning on or off of devices.
    The sturdy plastic construction provides strength and durability."