Make the Switch!
By Victoria Figueiredo
They’re something you never really think about, but you use them every day. Have you taken a look at your light switches lately? Chances are you, like most other people, probably haven’t. Just look at the switch cover we pulled from one of our clients houses a few weeks ago:
You’re reading right – that plate was manufactured in 1974. The fact that this outlet cover is made of metal seems a little dangerous, no? Despite that, the outdated design is really the biggest issue with this relic. Small details like the look of your switch plate and outlet covers can really make or break a room!
We rarely see covers anymore that made their market debut the same year the Beatles broke up, but what we do see quite often are plastic plates that are cracked, stained, or just plain dingy with age. Thankfully, the solution for this issue is just a trip to your local hardware store away. Find some nice outlet covers that suit the design of your home, pop off the old ones, and screw the new ones right on! That’s a five-minute project that can elevate your room on a budget, making it look updated and clean.
While you’re looking at your switches, you should consider whether they’re doing the most they can for your home. After all, unless your house was built quite recently, you’re probably still using toggle switches to turn your lights on and off. Considering the sheer number of lighting options that have cropped up in the past few years, this is a missed opportunity to modernize your living space for relatively cheap! Check out the options below to figure out which updated light switch is best for you:
1. Decora Switches
Changing out your toggle switches for decora switches is the absolute easiest and most cost-effective way to make a room look sleek and modern. A basic decora switch costs just a few bucks at your local hardware store, but the difference in appearance is incredible! The way these switches lay flush to the wall is their biggest selling point when it comes to design, but the benefit of installing them doesn’t stop there.
If you have a room or hallway with multiple sources of a light, a great investment would be a 3- or 4-way switch operation. These setups allow you to control multiple light fixtures from one switch plate. Think about it – you’ll never have to make a mad dash down a dark hallway after watching that creepy movie late at night. Peace of mind is just an electrician’s visit away!
2. Dimmer Switches
These switches are great for use in dens, bedrooms, dining rooms — basically any room that you’d like total control in when it comes to how bright your lights are. By regulating the flow of current to the system that enables the light bulb (dimmer capable, of course), you can adjust the amount of light being emitted to whatever you want! Dimmer switches come in a couple different forms: slides, dials, and secondary buttons are the most common ways to control the light output. Just think – next time you have a dinner party you’ll be able to set the mood right away, just by flipping your switch and moving a dial or slide. Not much of a party person? Just turn the brightness all the way up and everyone should take the hint! Does your current lighting situation have that much to say?
3. Timer Switches
This little guy is yet another fossil that we pulled from a client’s home in favor of an updated system. His purpose is still relevant, but modern timer switches come in much sleeker looking (even digital display) models. These switches work just the way their name implies. Mostly seen in outdoor settings, timer switches leave the light on for as long as you want and shut them off automatically once their time is up! These switches have residual benefits, too — one of our clients has been loving the timer switch we installed in their bathroom to control the exhaust fan! They just set the timer switch to run the fan for thirty minutes after they end their shower and, just like that, the steamy bathroom cools down and dries off without them having to worry about turning anything off. Not only does this help them save on their electric bill, it also cuts down the damage that steam can do to furniture and walls. Talk about multi-tasking!
4. Digital Devices
Maybe you’ve seen the commercials on TV. Digital devices that allow you to control the lights in your home right from the palm of your hand have been cropping up in recent years. Various devices of many makes and models allow you to achieve this next-level lighting game. Devices range from special light bulbs like the ones made by Hue, to voice-controlled hubs like Amazon-made Alexa, even light bulbs that can sync to whatever music or movies you’re playing! Whichever one you choose to include in your home, it’s guaranteed to look a little silly if the light fixture itself is out of date. Update your fixtures to modern looking hardware in trendy brushed metals to give your home that 2001: A Space Odyssey vibe (minus the computer takeover). Since these light bulbs and systems are all compatible with any fixture you choose, the sky’s the limit when it comes to choosing the look that’s right for you!
No matter which kind of light switch you decide to upgrade to, we don’t recommend you take the job on yourself. There are so many components to the job and special tools required that it makes the most sense to invest in a job well done. Our technicians are trained and skilled in the art of electrical work, so rather than risking a shock to the face or a loose fixture crashing down out of nowhere, give us a call and schedule an estimate today! We’ve got the tools and resources to bring your lighting situation up to date, and you can rest easy knowing the task was completed quickly and correctly, with an included one year warranty to boot – you lucky devil!