You know one thing I never expected to disagree with Kori about on this project? Light switches. But we found ourselves at an interesting impass a few weeks back and it led to some really amazing discussions. How many lights switches does one small house need? Well below is a picture of all the light switches in our house as they were and are now.
When I initially put switches into the drawings I followed the rule that wherever you were, you should be able to control the sets of lights closest to you. So at the edge of the kitchen/living room you should be able to control all those lights. This is how our current house is setup and it works pretty swell. Unless you’re on the wrong side of the house and then you have to walk across it to get the lights you want.
Kori argues that this is actually already a stupid setup because you have to think about where you are in the house for what lights to control. She argues that all the switches should be centrally located in a small house becuase when its time to turn out lights – its way easier to do it in one location.
I initially disagreed with her, but the more I think about the logic of central lights – the more I like it. I could argue that every external entrance should have a light switch, but honestly it may still be excessive. And of course each switch we eliminate saves us cost and time on the project. But finding out we want one later has a much higher renovation cost.
Take a look and see some description of our thoughts below:
Initially there were light switches (that we’ve already removed) in all of the purple circle locations:
- This would have controlled the kitchen lights at the edge of kitchen/living room. Specifically the thought was that as you entered from the deck, you might want to turn on those lights. We got rid of it since you have the opportunity to turn on the living room lights and in a house this small, that is sufficient.
- This location also would have controlled kitchen lights in case you made it to the sink and then realized you needed light. This was a pretty easy one to convince me of getting rid of.
- This would have been an extra living room switch – you know – in case you made it to the kitchen on the way to bed and realized you left the living room on. Another easy one to get rid of as you would have passed the front door cluster and its only like 20 feet away from the front door cluster.
- Putting a light switch at either end of a hallway seems logical – until its pointed out the hallway is just barely longer than my arm span. So off with the switch!
- A final switch was going to control a light for the washer/dryer but it became obvious the hallway light would suffice for illuminating our undergarments – if we even need a light there.
Still up for discussion are the lettered locations:
- A. Do we really need a switch here for the back porch and living room? I think a porch light is probably best controlled here but the living room might be excessive. It’s a mere 16ft to reach the light on the other side of the room (by front door). The real question is when we get out of the hot tub will we want an interior light right at that location?
- B. Do we want to control the kitchen lights from the front door? This is a small house so one could easily access the lights in the kitchen itself. However, we also might think about removing the kitchen light switch location by “c” and instead having the kitchen only controlled from near the front door.
- C. This is the light for the hallway. I think it should be here, but do we even need a light in this location? That’s our main discussion. Alternatively, this light could also be controlled by the kitchen switch. It probably means the hallway light is on more often then needed which wastes power, but its one less switch. We also could just put a pull-string light in the hallway for the very rare case we need it.
- D. We have switches to control the bedroom lights on either side of the bed. This is convenient but probably excessive. I’m willing to occasionally lean across the bed to turn out the lights. And who knows, maybe I can steal a kiss from my lover while I do it!
So how many lights should our house really have?
Should we control all lights from a central cluster or maybe just two locations?
We are still trying to decide but will need to decide quickly as we are closing in on architect and final plan time.