At Home DIY Everyday Gear Home Modifications

Easy-to-Use Light Switches

I don’t have arthritic hands (yet), but the things that annoy me most on a daily basis are light switches. Ours are the ones that snap when they get pushed. When they get pushed hard, that is. Try pushing one of those babies when you’ve got a plate of crackers-and-cheese in one hand and a glass of juice in another. Pow — the wall needs washing and the crackers are a-slippin’. Even without arthritis, I don’t have an iota of the strength required to control the awesome power of a sprung light switch.

If I had arthritis, I’d be living in the dark.

My dream is to replace every blooming switch in the house with rocker light switches. I want my light switches to whisper; I wanna be able to Triple Ceramic Rocker Switchplatenudge them delicately with a shoulder — that’s right, a soft, amorphous shoulder, or the palm of my hand, or the side of my arm — and watch the lights glow and dim without making any effort at all. Or spilling anything. I wanna be able to turn lights on and off when I’m carrying two cats. Or a toddler.

Rocker switches are better for the whole world. They ought to be law, by golly.

You can put them in yourself (or get a volunteer to do it). Just make sure the electricity’s turned off at the breaker-box so that the installer isn’t the next thing powered-on at your house.

Rocker switches — cheap, everywhere — at home improvement and hardware stores, and sometimes, even at the grocery store. The triple-rocker ceramic switchplate (less cheap) above is from Switch Hits where you can find a gazillion styles in lots of categories, including “Art Nouveauish.”