Introduction: Redirecting a Light Switch

Picture of Redirecting a Light Switch

This is a simple solution to the problem of inconvenience with a misplaced light switch. My roommates light switch has been strategically placed in the corner of his room, behind the door by an ingenious electrician. As a result, the person occupying the room must enter the dark room, averting disaster and avoiding the many obstacles in the way, to simply flick a switch, turning on the lights. To solve this dilemma, I will simply redirect the switch to a more appropriate place.

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Step 1: Step 1: Components

Picture of Step 1: Components

8 eyehooks



Electrical Tape

Scissors (or any cutting device)

Step 2: Step 2: Placing the Eye Hooks

Picture of Step 2: Placing the Eye Hooks

Place two eyehooks above the doorframe, one at each corner.
Place another eyehook on each side of the door frame, at light switch level.
Place an eyehook above and below the light switch.
Place two eyehooks where you would like the new switch to be.

Step 3: Step 3: Cut String

Picture of Step 3: Cut String

The string needs to be cut into two six-foot pieces. These pieces of string will be the on/off switches.

Step 4: Step 4: Pull String Through Eyehooks

Picture of Step 4: Pull String Through Eyehooks

Simply run the string through the eye hooks one by one until you reach the light switch.

Step 5: Step 5: Attach String to Switch

Picture of Step 5: Attach String to Switch

Using electrical tape, connect the two strings to the light switch, cut off any extra slack.

Step 6: Step 6: Enjoy the Improvement!

Picture of Step 6: Enjoy the Improvement!


marybeth-sst made it! (author)2016-01-29

Great idea. This fix was easier and cheaper than any other. I used fishing wire as suggested by another commenter. I used washers over the switch because it looks a bit nicer than tape.

marybeth-sst made it! (author)2016-01-29

Great idea. This fix was easier and cheaper than any other. I used fishing wire as suggested by another commenter. I used washers over the switch because it looks a bit nicer than tape.

zaston (author)2014-01-09

As a trained electrician, seeing a switch on the wrong side of the door like that gives me a bit of a nervous twitch...

Anyway, nice fix, but personally I would have just rewired the switch to the correct side,

wjordan (author)2011-10-21

That's a fricken hilarious quick fix. I love it, very ghetto!!

KEttenger (author)2010-10-03

Install The clapper! CLAP ON, CLAP OFF!

tfortone1 (author)2009-04-02

Another solution - new door hinges and have it open the other way. It may not have been the electrician - since the door would likely have gone on after the wiring - it's the genius who put the door on at fault.

thinkdunson (author)tfortone12009-04-02

no, the door should open towards the wall, as it does. it was the electrician, he should have thought of that.

Grimarr (author)thinkdunson2010-06-09

Agreed, this is definitely the electrician's fault. The door opening toward the wall like that is pretty standard.

vitruvian8807 (author)2009-04-23

I've done this for my dorm room, so I could switch the lights on and off from my bed. One thing I can't comprehend, are the geniuses that design a bathroom next to or behind a kitchen. It's sick! Who wants to smell a bathroom at mealtime? Those two rooms should be on opposite sides of the house.

With the exception of the shower because then you can make bacon while in the shower & who doesn't want bacon right after taking a shower.

Kaelessin (author)vitruvian88072009-08-25

chances are they're cheap and skimping on plumbing . . .the kitchen and bathroom both need piping so placing them very close together means they can be both very near the main pipe and require much less in the way of materials, design, and engineering . . .yay laziness right?

Christopher-J (author)2010-02-20

I did this in junior high in my bedroom, so I could turn the light on and off from my bed. I like reading before going to sleep. Although I didn't put as much thought into it at the time and ended up with two pull-ropes snaking around my room; one for "on" and one for "off". Anyhoo...

pyra_builder_1337 (author)2009-12-02

cool idea but not what i was looking for

hesseluke (author)2009-04-03

at least you have a light switch. I don't even have one in the bathroom. the light is on 24/7.

Valche (author)hesseluke2009-08-22

What genius designed that?? Lol

Lazy Ape (author)hesseluke2009-04-10

buy a clapper

Valche (author)2009-08-22

Might a more elegant option be to simply flip the hinges on the door?

vitruvian8807 (author)2009-04-23

Oh, and I used thick fishing line for less visibility, and a pair of "charms" on the ends.

husker (author)2009-04-11

You should find a cool way to cover this up (sorry I don't have any suggestions)

jgeekw (author)husker2009-04-14

how about the stick on plastic conduit at a hardware store?

jgeekw (author)2009-04-14

why not rig it to turn on the light when you open the door. Shouldn't be too hard to figure out, just a few minutes of thinking about it should do.

CurtisArts (author)2009-03-13

dont blame the electrician, blame the carpenter who installed the door. . . nice mod. i dig it.

xproplayer (author)CurtisArts2009-03-15

you dont know who came first in the job the electrician or the carpenter so you dont know.

HailDanzig (author)xproplayer2009-04-12

The carpenter? Oh please - we don't touch those jobs. Those doors come with all the hardware in place; the contractor installs them (typically). Like someone said, the door opens the right way - against a wall. It seems as if the drywall was up, and the electrician had to find an easier way (and he's not to blame; if the owner wanted it done right, I'm sure the electrician would have charged appropriately - this may have been a quick fix). In any case, that's done with and our poor pal is stuck with his pulley system for now. Flip the door; you've got everything there. ;-)

bwpatton1 (author)xproplayer2009-03-18

Carpenters come first, Then Electricians & Plumbers

blame the contractor who let that happen in the first place and the designer! they are the ones at fault.

and the inspector

sammyBoy (author)CurtisArts2009-03-13

Just have to defend the carpenter the door is the right way round - it's the sparky who's wrong.

MePerson (author)sammyBoy2009-03-14

No, blame the architect who designed the room.

Crusty_07 (author)MePerson2009-03-16

Agreed. The architect designs where everything goes and which way around the door goes. The electrician and carpenter just need to do their jobs.

Re-design (author)Crusty_072009-03-16

Read my post above.

stib (author)Re-design2009-04-06

My money is that the wiring is a home job. I've lived in rental places that have all kinds of wonky plumbing and wiring and it's because the landlord thinks he can save money by doing it himself, or getting his dodgy mate who knows all about it to have a go. When moving in to a new place I used to go around with a multimeter and test which of the power points had the active and neutral wires mixed up.

Re-design (author)MePerson2009-03-16

Architects DON'T design houses!

robogobo (author)Re-design2009-04-04

??? Architects DO design houses.

MePerson (author)Re-design2009-03-16

They usually do, but if you insist, PLAN a room. Same thing.

blame the contractor and the inspector.

xproplayer (author)sammyBoy2009-03-15

read above comment by me

Skor459 (author)CurtisArts2009-03-13

But if the door was the other way around, then it would open into a corner...

whoismezero (author)Skor4592009-03-13

What are you talking about, the door currently opens into a corner, which is the way is should be.

Skor459 (author)whoismezero2009-03-13

I mean like it opens and then you're walking into a corner. The door is the the way it's supposed to be so that when the door is open it is against the wall leaving you a pathway to the middle of the room. If you flipped the door around the opening of the doorway would make you walk into a wall.

xproplayer (author)Skor4592009-03-15

if you look at the pics you can see that if the door was switched it would make you walk one one side of the room then you can turn right and walk into the center of the room

DrHughes (author)xproplayer2009-04-02

Ha ha- This is a great and important discussion ;) Here is my attempt to sort it out, though I'm sure my logic is flawed too: - IF design drawings were prepared for the room AND this was the design, then it's the architect's fault - IF there was a design drawing AND this wasn't the design then it is the fault of the contractor - IF there was no design drawing AND the carpenter fitted the door first (which would be unusual), it's the electrician's fault. - IF there was no design drawing AND the electrician came first, then its the carpenters fault. - IF the door swing has been changed after occupancy, then it is the fault of the lazy person who couldn't be bothered to move the light switch too. This is why apportioning blame for defects is so difficult in the construction process- everyone can just blame each other if the process is at all hazy. Construction contracts can help, but they are also open to interpretation. Ultimately only the lawyers win. Both types of door swing are legitimate and allow you good access- if you are concerned about privacy then a door swing opposite to the one shown would be normal (less of the room is revealed as you open the door), if the room is a public one then the door swing shown is more customary and would allow you slightly easier access as you don't have to open the door so wide to get through. Anyway, nice instructable!

thinkdunson (author)DrHughes2009-04-02

whoever was having the house built didn't catch it when they did a walk through, the foreman didn't catch it, so many people didn't catch it… it's everyone's fault.

Optimus (author)xproplayer2009-04-02

hehehe.. think guys think. you can't build the wall without knowing where the light sockets go. So we build the wall first, and leave a hole for the light socket. And then just before we plaster the wall, (here in SA we use bricks to build our walls) we place the door frame in position.. the door frame has the hole where the door can lock into the frame to thus lock the door. opposite the hole is where the hinges should be. And that is how - I deduce - we know that the guy who installed the door must have been 7 years old.

natebman (author)CurtisArts2009-03-18

wouldnt it be the contractors fault?

Dr.Bill (author)natebman2009-03-24

Would be the architect's fault.

HailDanzig (author)2009-04-12

If you'll be living there awhile and that switch is in a oft-used room, I'd suggest flipping the hinges and the door, remounting the strike plate and well on the opposite side, and reinstalling the lock. You may want a door stop depending on whats on the right side of the room. Obviously, moving the switch would be best, but that will tame some time and likely some cash. You can flip the door for free in under 20 minutes.

purplemoss (author)2009-04-08

I did the same thing when i was 12 for my bedroom light! think i would go with x10 now though. all around good instructable.

shamanwhitewolf (author)2009-04-05

When I started reading this, I expected a tutorial on moving the switch, box, and wires, basic home electrical work that, while not trivial, I can do blindfolded.

But this is inspiring!

I live in a rental and the bathroom, amongst many issues with it, has an old pull-chain light in the center and two doors, one on each side. I tried some cheesy remote control switches, but the wiring is old and ugly, with spurious transmissions that would turn the light off or on randomly.

With your awesome idea, I can run a pair of strings, one to each door, to control the light. Thanks!

robogobo (author)2009-04-04

or you could cut a hole in the opposite side of the wall and install a pair of 3way switches, back to back, one on the outside, and one on the inside.

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