I make a monthly pilgrimage to my local LEGO Store. On my recent trip I visited the mall's bookstore afterwards. There I was looking through a book on Steam Punk design and saw a light switch mod that I really liked. This got me thinking of other cool switch mods and with LEGO fresh in my mind a design quickly took hold.
In this Instructabe you and I will walk through the steps for you to build your own LEGO Light Switch. If you're into that sort of thing.
Step 1: Gathering Materials
- One (x1) Decora style light switch
- Two (x2) LEGO 4x4 plates
- Two part epoxy glue. I used LePage 5 minute epoxy, but any two part epoxy should work just fine.
- Something to mix and apply the epoxy (toothpicks, matchsticks, what-ever-works)
- Some newspaper or other disposable work surface.
Step 2: Apply the Epoxy
Next, identify the top of the switch. This is often stamped on the metal as TOP. See photo.
Now, apply the epoxy resin and hardener (the two parts of epoxy.). This is usually done in a fifty-fifty mixture, but read your epoxy's directions. For application I applied and mixed the epoxy directly on the light switch. This eliminates waste from mixing and then applying, but you need be careful not to apply too much. With too much the epoxy may seep out the sides and fuse the light switch. A single stage switch is a switch with no purpose in life. How sad.
Step 3: Setting the Plates
Next, grab a LEGO plate and orientate it so that the LEGO branding on the studs align to the bottom. Take this plate and place it on the lower half of the switch, the OFF part. Push it down into the epoxy and square the edges with the outer edges of the switch. See photo for clarity on this point.
Now you take the other LEGO plate and firmly place on the top half of the switch ,the ON part. This will likely shift the lower plate, so realign and square the lower plate and then align the top plate to the bottom plate.
Now, if you are happy with where the plates are sitting and the alignment of the LEGO brand on the studs then leave the switch be until it cures.
Step 4: Final
Given that there will be force applied by your finger, and counter force by the switch's spring, I recommend giving more curing (drying) time then your epoxy calls for. For example I waited fifteen minutes even though my epoxy states it is 5 minute epoxy. Use your own judgement.
That is it. The switch mod is complete. Now is the part where you decide if you are comfortable installing it on your own. The key here is your comfort.
For switch installation instructions reference a good home improvement book or a reputable online source. Regardless of the instruction you follow always kill the power to the circuit. If you don't have access to your breaker panel to do this then do not install. That is the extent of my safety message.
Last note. When installing be sure to have the TOP of the switch at the top. This is easy to forget and you will not notice until the switch is in and the face plate is attached. That's always the way it works.
Have fun with this. Try to regularly change the LEGO pieces you attach to your switch. It's a short but nice distraction from the chaotic life we all live.