Introduction: Lo-tek Remote Lightswitch/dimmer Control

Light switch too far across the room?

Hate it when you're starting to get it on and have to get up & walk across the room to dim the lights?

Impress the geek boy/girl in your life with your clever use of fly fishing line & a binder clip!

I actually came up with the basic design when i was 8 and terrified of turning off the lights before my head was under the blanket (because that's when you're the most vulnerable to monsters). This solved that problem also quite well, proving its usefulness & practicality for all ages.

Step 1: Collect Materials

You will need:

- an installed lightswitch (or, preferred, slide dimmer)
- 4 sewing bobbins (preferably with small diameter cores)
- 4 nails (with heads large enough that the bobbins won't fall off of them)
- a binder clip (optional; for the "non-destructive, non-adhesive" installation style *
- enough thin fly fishing line (preferred) or regular fishing line to complete a full path to your target location and back, plus up & down the walls.

  • You can alternatively drill through the light switch/dimmer to attach the line and save your binder clip for other exciting uses.

Step 2: Install the Bobbins

If you live in a victorian, etc. with wood trim high on the wall & wooden baseboards, bonus. They're perfect for mounting your bobbins.

Otherwise you may need to find studs in the walls or something else suitable to mount them to.

You want one bobbin mounted almost directly above the lightswitch, one almost directly below, and the other two bobbins directly across from the first two, at the place where you wish to have control of the switch; the bobbins should mark the corners of a square with the vertical sides passing through the lightswitch and through where you want to control the lightswitch.

The bobbins really don't need to rotate at all, as long as they're smooth enough to let the line pass around them without much friction.

Step 3: Attach the Binder Clip and String the Line

Attach the binder clip to the switch/dimmer. Tie one end of the line to the top, string it over the bobbin above the switch, over to the second bobbin, down, over, and back up. make it taut but not too tight, and tie the other end to the other side of the binder clip.

You may need to play with the clip with a pliers a little bit to de-springify the little levers (you ideally want the central clip to still be tight but the finger levers to be free to move without bouncing back into place; this will help keep the clip from spontaneously detaching from the switch/dimmer).

Alternatively you can tape, glue, or drill the lightswitch to better attach the line. Of course you should know what you're doing and how a lightswitch is put together and disconnect electricity or whatever's necessary to make it safe if you're drilling. Standard "don't be stupid" warnings apply.

Step 4: Enjoy Your New Sense of Liberation

Operation is pretty obvious. Move the line up and the lightswitch goes down and vice-versa.