Introduction: Turn Your Lights on and Off From Bed
I've been meaning to do this forever in my room at home but now that I am moved in to my new apartment and my light switch is on the far side of my room, the time has come to finally make this happen.
Essentially I am using a few small hooks to run a string from my light switch to my bed. This allows me to turn my lights on and off while I am laying in bed. I usually brush my teeth, then go into my room where I take off my clothes and get my bed ready, tidy up my desk, and then crawl into bed. The problem is I never want to do all of that and then walk all the way across my room again just to turn off my light so I usually just brush my teeth, turn my light off, and my clothes end up on the floor, its too dark to really tidy anything up and then I end up feeling around my whole room looking for my teddy bear and my phone charger, finally getting to bed only to wake up with my room messier than it was before I went to bed. But now I get ready, tidy up, get in bed, and then turn off the lights.
Step 1: What You'll Need
- Hammer or Pliers
- Measuring Tape
- 2 Small Weights
Step 2: Pick a Path for Your String
CAUTION: MORE HOOKS = MORE FRICTION
Small threaded eye hooks will have less friction then the kind of hooks that I used. Initially, I went straight up to the ceiling and followed the corners around my room over to my bed and then dropped the string down right next to my bed. The problem was that there were too many hooks and changes of direction to be able to turn the light on or off so I changed it up and just went up to the ceiling and straight across to where I dropped it above my bed.
I would suggest making your path the shortest distance from the switch to where you want to turn it on and off. AKA a straight line.
Chances are you won't want to run your string to more than 1 part of your room but you can make as many extensions (Step 2.5) as you want so you can turn your lights on and off from your closet or desk. You might also want to connect your string to multiple light switches (Step 2.5), which could be controlled from the same string or separate strings. There are no limits to what you can do but you'll have to make plans accordingly.
I modeled my room in Sketchup and then drew the paths for my string (highlighted in blue in image). However, this is not necessary. This may be more helpful if you plan on splitting your path to reach different light switches with the same pull string or to be able to control the same switch from different spots in the room.
Step 2.5: Splitting and Connecting Strings
If you decide to split strings to reach two switches or connect strings to reach a single switch from various places in your room it is important that your split/connection is tied so that both strings pass through the same ring. This will also make sure that your strings are all straight. This will also ensure that if you are pulling one of two strings that connect, the other string will not be affected by pulling. If you do make a split/connection without passing both strings through a hook you will end up with a T that will be pulled likely resulting in more of a Y shape than a T shape. You might not understand this and its not that important. I just think that by following the diagrams it will look cleaner and possibly function just a bit better.
Certain knots work better than others for connecting or splitting strings. Because some string materials are extremely slippery, it can be hard to tie certain knots with them because they can come undone
Step 3: Place Hooks
You will likely want to have two strings connected to the switch so that you can turn it on and off depending on which string you pull. The way to do this is by placing one hook directly below your switch and then redirecting the string to meet up with the other string that comes from the top. I drew up two possibilities for doing this.
As for the installation of the hooks, it is pretty straightforward. But here are a few suggestions/cautions.
For your hooks that you will pull from, they should be placed in the wall instead of the ceiling so that the force of the pull isn't pulling the hook out of the wall. If your hook is in the wall, the downward force will be perpendicular to the hook and the chances of pulling the hook out of the wall is very unlikely.
You might want to place to hooks right next to each other at each spot where your string changes directions so that your two strings each have their own paths. This will keep them separated and tidy while also ensuring that they don't get twisted which will also increase friction.
Step 4: Measure String and Run It Through Your Hooks
Because I used a few of the strands from the inside of some paracord I had laying around, I had to tie a few of them together. I used the same method that I did in the previous step to make a connection or a splitting except instead of tying it in the middle of the string, I tied the knots in the end of each string and then used the same method of feeding the end of one string through its own loop to connect them. I had to do this three times to get it to reach.
Also REMEMBER that you will need two strings to be able to turn your lights on and off.
If you are doing two strings, once you have run them through your hooks, make sure they are not twisted because this will create extra friction that is unnecessary. I did this by placing a pen between the two at the switch and then sliding the pen through the strings throughout the whole path. When I would get to a hook, I would just wiggle it a little bit until I could move the pen to the other side of the hook and put it back between the strings and then kept sliding it to make sure the ropes were not twisted. The other alternative mentioned in the previous step is placing two hooks at each spot and having two separate paths that run right next to each other.
Step 5: Connect to Switch and Add Weight
I simply made a loop at the end of my strings and looped it around the switch and then taped it down. There are many alternatives such as gluing. Another idea that I had involves drilling a small hole through the switch towards the end through which you could thread the string and put a small knot on the end of it so it wouldn't pull through. This would also allow you to use a single string that went rom your bed to the switch, through the switch, and back to your bed with a knot on either side of the switch (check drawing).
As for the other type of switches that are on a rocker that are either pushed in from the top or the bottom, I have yet to come up with a great solution to make this work but I know that the Instructables universe can make it work. Let me know in the comments how and if you make this work!