(Today I’m sharing how I finally got my kids to stop leaving the lights on, how I solved their desk power cord clutter issue and how upgrading the switches and outlets in the kid’s room made a big impact in our daily life.)
I love my kids and I love my house, but what I don’t love is our builder grade light switches and outlets and the fact that the kids always leave the lights on.
No really, they never turn off the lights. Like NEVER.
I’ve been on the hunt for a solution to both problems for a while so I was thrilled to be able to partner with Legrand and finally find what I was looking for!
I know what you’re thinking, “What does changing the design of light switches and outlets have to do with lazy kid habits?” Oh but it does!
Just wait, I have some momtastic awesomeness coming your way.
First the problem…
For the love of all things good and holy why can’t my kids turn off a light around here?
Does that sound familiar? Yes, that’s my world.
Every day (without fail) the kids leave for school and I walk back to their rooms because I know (despite my many sweet reminders and potential death threats) they’ve left the lights on.
Yes, I tried the “money doesn’t grow on trees” speech. And Yes, I’ve tried reminders followed by consequences. I’ve tried just about everything.
I even designed little signs and hung them around the house. Nothing works.
Seriously boys, when I said to leave the world a brighter place, leaving the lights on was not what I had in mind.
The boys simply smile in agreement and continue on with their Olympic medal dedication to always let their (bedroom) light shine.
So you can understand my joy when I was browsing the Legrand radiant collection for more attractive outlet options and I discovered this….
It’s a light switch with a timer built in!
The little buttons on the right (the left light switch in the above photo) are preset to countdown 60 minutes, 40 minutes, 20 minutes or 10 minutes and then the light automatically turns off.
That’s right boys, it AUTOMATICALLY TURNS OFF! Checkmate! Mom wins.
The only thing better would be if Legrand created a laser light switch that zapped the kid in the rear end as a reminder to come back and flip the switch. (I know! I should have been an inventor right?)
I immediately updated both boys rooms with 1 timer light switch, 1 regular light switch and the pretty screwless switch plate. (I’ve got a feeling I may be waiting awhile for my laser zapping switch.)
No, I’m not a complete jerk, on the right is a non-timer switch that operates one of the outlets for a smaller lamp.
If they want a light on for longer than an hour they can use one of the many lamps around the room. Of course, using their perfectly working young legs to get up and turn the overhead light on again is also an option.
How do the boys like it?
Yeah, I wasn’t sure how the boys would react either but I was pleasantly surprised to find they both really love the new switches. Not only do they not leave the light on anymore but it’s also a great visual timer.
For example, my older son likes to read before bed and has a tendency to lose track of time. With the light timer he can set it for however long he plans to read and when the light goes off he knows its time to go to bed.
He also uses the timer switch when he sits at his desk doing homework. He uses his small desk lamp and sets the overhead light as a timer to keep himself on track.
Screwless Switch Plates, yassss!
Of course, the functionality is a big win but the designer in me is even more thrilled with the streamlined look of the new switches. The screwless switch plates make a HUGE difference. Unlike my old switch plates these blend into the wall beautifully.
In fact, they blend into to wall so well, I had a really hard time getting them to show up in photos.
There is one downside, after seeing how great the screwless switch plates look in the boy’s rooms, I’m going to want them in every room. Suddenly all my other switch plates around the house look like crud in comparison.
I’m going to work on that but before I do, I have one more kid’s room problem to tackle…
Desk Cord Clutter No More
The boys regularly use their desks and like any desk, they have the typical lamps, desk stuff, and multiple teenage USB devices all to be plugged in. The cord clutter was an issue.
At first I thought they would keep it neat on their own but of course, the reality is both desks are always a jumbo mess of cords. Not to mention, no one can ever find a USB block around here.
This is what my oldest son’s desk looked like before.
And here is after I made some adjustments. Much better!
When I was ordering the timer switches, I noticed that Legrand also carries these USB outlets that work with the same beautiful screwless wall plates so ordered and installed these too.
I was able to get rid of the big multi USB block and mounted the power strip under the desk. I moved the cord discreetly to the other side where it’s hidden. All the everyday items are tidy under the desk using command clips and the mounted power strip. The wall outlet is now free for his laptop and UBS devices.
Because the USB outlet was such a great solution, we did the same thing for my younger son’s art desk
Legrand Radiant Collection Outlets and Switches Installation
Here is a list of exact products we used for the boy’s rooms…
Legrand Radiant Collection Switches
- 4-button digital timer, white
- 15a Single Pole Lighted Switch, White
- Two-gang screwless wall plate, white
Legrand Radiant Collection Outlets
As for installing the switches and outlets, it seemed quick and easy but then again, I just I ordered the switches and handed the box to my husband to install. I’m kidding, I helped. I was the official over the shoulder manager. He loved that.
But seriously the installation was easy and Legrand has a great instructional video to walk you through step by step.
One more thing worth mentioning…
I was pleasantly surprised when my husband told me how impressed he was with this product. I knew the product was great but I’m never sure what my no-nonsense techy husband is going to think. (Especially since he’s not always so thrilled with my endless need to design and change All The Things in the house just because I had a new idea. Obviously, that’s crazy because ALL my house ideas are unquestionably necessary and amazing. LOL)
He said the build of the outlets and switches were excellent and he compared the timer switch with other models. He really liked the clean look with the simple buttons of the Legrand switch as opposed to the others which had buttons on the actual switch that made it looked cluttered. He also liked that the wiring was well done and especially liked the USB outlets because USB cables fit snugly in the ports.
I’m counting this as another win for me because I’ve been looking at better switches and switch plate options since we moved into this house. Now I finally found something that we both love. I’m looking forward to doing the rest of the house!
DIY Shark Teen Bedroom & DIY Pop Art Bedroom
DIY Shark Teen Bedroom & DIY Pop Art Bedroom
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Lynn B Spencer says
OK…you’ve convinced me! Aesthetically they are a complete win, but coupled with their functionality…win-win. And do let me know when you’ve patented that butt zapping laser…I will happily beta test it for you.
Have a great day my friend.
Sherry Cole says
I can’t get anyone in my family to turn off the lights and I did not know about these. You are right, it is a mom win! Thanks for sharing because I really need these in our home.
It sounds weird, but those really are some pretty light switches and outlets! I love the idea of having a timer on the light switch!