Multiple light switches

December 01, 2003 | View Comments (7) | too hard

Ever walk into a room that was dark and you needed to turn on the lights? When you find the light switch panel there are three perfectly spaced switches and each of them controls a different set of lights. You only want the middle lights to turn on so you flip the middle switch. That doesn't work, so you have to guess the other switch. You flip the left one yet that turns on the back lights. So then you decide to turn on the right one and the middle lights finally come on. You walk away and remember that you only need one set of lights so you go back to the switch panel, but forget which switch controls which light. The light switch dance begins anew. Oh joy. jandrugs.com

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The problem gets much worse when you work at a University and teach in auditoriums where there are 10 different switches. The students are always amused at the 10 minute intro to class that involves the festival of lights.

Posted by: University Teacher at December 1, 2003 11:19 AM

University Teacher is right. In my experience, mostly the problem arises when the professor wants to use an overhead projector or some such device. The lights are often on in the room all day, but turning them off always presents a challenge.

Posted by: Tamara at December 4, 2003 03:00 AM

Ah, overhead projectors are another mess all on their own. Another thing to write about.

I read an interesting story about a using a map of the room with switches on it that represented where the light were. Of course this looked kind of awkward from a design point of view, but from a common sense standpoint it made perfect sense.

Posted by: The Scholar at December 4, 2003 09:44 AM

And then there are those light switches that don't seem to go to anything. I wonder if when I turn on the switch in my bedroom if I'm really turning the light off in one of my neightbors house. ;)
This is a really nice simple design - I like, and I'll definitely be back. :)

Posted by: kristine at December 5, 2003 04:00 AM

I know about those light switches because I have them at my place. They control the power to the outlets. Very confusing at the beginning because flipping the light switch always turned off my TV and I couldn't figure out how to get it turned back on.

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