A light switch extension is a long switch or rod that is attached to a light switch in order to enable small children and the elderly or disabled to easily turn a light on or off. If you have young children or anyone with problems reaching the light switch then light switch extensions may be the answer.
When small children enter or leave their bedroom turning the light on or off can be a challenge. A light switch extension will eliminate the need for them to climb up onto a stool or chair. These extensions make it safer as well as easier for them to be self-sufficient.
Using the bathroom in the middle of the night will no longer be a difficult chore for toddlers who are just learning to do it for themselves. Bedrooms, bathrooms and hallways will all become more accessible and will encourage independent behavior in small children.
For some elderly or disabled flipping a light switch can be quite difficult. A light switch extension can help anyone who has problems with mobility. For someone in a wheelchair a light switch extension is the perfect solution if they can‘t reach their arms up. They are also great for the blind or visually impaired.
There are a few different types of extensions and many styles and colors to choose from. The first types are five inch extenders that function just like a normal light switch. They are great for people who have trouble grasping the tiny handle of conventional light switches. They are suitable for children who are thirty inches or taller.
The second types are longer extensions that extend down towards the floor. They are usually 12” but can come in longer lengths if ordered from a medical supply company. They can be matched to any décor or color scheme. The most common is clear plastic acrylic. They will match any room in your house. There are also white, tan and black colored plastic.
You will also find alternatives to the standard colors if you look online. There are glow-in-the-dark styles which are great for the visually impaired. The handles can be plain or come in your choice of an almost unlimited variety of shapes or characters that decorate the end of the rod or stem. Children’s favorite animal, shape or color can be matched. For an adult they come beaded or with other contemporary end decorations.
Another type of light switch extension has a rotating handle that turns 360 degrees. It can be locked into any direction.
Installation of some types is very simple. They fit by simply snapping over the existing light switch. There are no screws or tools needed. They can be removed just as easily. If you travel or visit friends or relatives they can easily be brought with you and installed anywhere. Even light switch extensions that do require installation require only a screwdriver and a few screws.
Kidswitch Extender is manufactured by Just Kids Inc. and is available for under ten dollars. It fits over the existing faceplate. It requires two screws that are included with bushings. It consists of a flat plastic acrylic stem with a loop at the top that fits over the light toggle switch. There are many on-line companies where they can be purchased.
Just Out of Reach extension rods are 12” plastic rods that have no installation other than snapping the top over the light toggle switch. They are under ten dollars a piece if bought singly. You can save money by purchasing them in multi-packs. They can be purchased on-line from justoutofreach.com. If you’re looking for children’s designs this is the place to shop. They have a large variety of shapes and colors.
For an elderly or disabled person who needs additional length there are 14” medical extenders available on-line from enablemart.com. They also have snap on installation and are under ten dollars.
Make Your Own
If you want a small project to do at home you can make your own light switch extender. All you need is some heat shrink tubing and some type of rod or handle. Apply the tubing to the top of the handle and heat with a blow dryer until it is secure. Then repeat again on the toggle switch. If you like you can decorate the handle. This should be simple and easy and may be a project you can do with your children.