Monday, July 26, 2010

let there be light!

I know relatively little about architecture, building design and carpentry. What I do know is mostly from watching HGTV, which sadly I no longer have access to. Despite this, I think it is pretty common to have the light switch for any given room inside that room. Sure, there may be exceptions to this rule: outdoor spaces, perhaps even basements or garages (places without natural light), but for the most part, there shouldn't be much variation. As is the case with many of my assumptions, I was wrong.

In my Ohio apartment there were 3 rooms/spaces in which the the light switch was not in the appropriate room: the kitchen, the hallway, the study. 

  • In the kitchen, the fridge backed up to a dividing wall separating the kitchen from the living space. The switch was on the living space side of the wall. Though this quickly became normal to me, it was always slightly amusing to see visitors struggle in the dark because they had no idea where the light was.  
  • The main part of the hallway was on the opposite side of the dining room wall. Where was the hallway light switch? In the dining room, of course. What made this especially interesting was that the hallways light and dining room light shared the same light switch plate. Which light is it?! A game of chance every time as you blindly strike out to hit the switch. The hallway switch was actually the one farthest away from the entrance to the hallway.
  • In the bedroom there was this kind of study area that consisted of desk and bookshelves. Though not truly separate from the bedroom, the switch for the area in the bedroom proper. Again, why?!

Despite the switch-placement oddities, it was actually fairly easy to "adapt." I also assumed that this was just a quirk of this place and that I wouldn't encounter such a thing again. Guess what. I was wrong... again.

For the most part, the light switches in this new place are exactly where one would expect them to be. Except in the 2nd bedroom. Where is that room's switch? In the hallway. Argh. And yes, I keep forgetting. Again. And again. And again.

Has anyone else run into the odd switch placement in their homes?


  1. When you walk in our front door, stumbling in at night, you typically want some light so you can see if you're stumbling over a cat or just shoes. There's a single light switch right there next to the door - but it turns on the outside light. The switch for the lights is past 2 cats, around the furniture, and all the way across the room.

  2. There is a light switch in our front entryway - one goes to the overhead light...the other...nothing in the apartment happens. I secretly hope the next door neighbor's light is turning off and on when we do this.