Have you ever wondered why some bathrooms have light switches outside the door? It might seem a strange and inconvenient design choice, but there’s a good reason for it. This article explores the history, logic, and benefits of having bathroom light switches on the outside and how you can maximize this feature in your home.
The History of Bathroom Light Switches
The origin of bathroom light switches on the outside goes back to the early days of electricity when safety standards were not as strict as today. Electric wiring was often exposed or poorly insulated back then, and water and electricity were deadly. Bathrooms were especially prone to accidents, with high moisture and humidity levels from showers, tubs, and sinks. If water splashed or leaked onto a light switch, it could cause a short circuit, a fire, or an electric shock to anyone who touched it.
To prevent such hazards, some countries adopted regulations requiring light switches to be placed outside bathrooms or at least a safe distance from water sources. For example, in the UK, the Wiring Regulations 1934 stated that “no switch shall be fixed in any position where it may be exposed to spray from a shower bath or tap.” Light switches had to be outside the bathroom door or on the ceiling with a pull cord.
Other countries, such as the US, did not have such strict rules, but some homeowners still preferred to have light switches on the outside for extra safety and convenience. For instance, parents could turn off the lights when their kids are done with their bath time, or pranksters could have fun by leaving their friends in the dark.
The Logic of Bathroom Light Switch
Today, bathroom light switches on the outside are not as common as they used to be, thanks to modern technology and safety standards. Most light switches are now designed to be watertight and resistant to moisture and humidity. They also have to be connected to a circuit that only powers the bathroom so that if anything goes wrong, it won’t affect the rest of the house. Moreover, many bathrooms now have ventilation fans, extractor fans, or windows that can reduce the amount of condensation and steam in the air.
However, this doesn’t mean that bathroom light switches on the outside are obsolete or useless. There are still some logical reasons why you might want to have them in your home:
- They reduce the risk of electrocution. Even though modern light switches are much safer than before, there is still a slight chance that something could go wrong with them. For example, if the switch is faulty or damaged, if there is a power surge or outage, or if there is a leak or flood in your bathroom. Light switches on the outside eliminate this risk, as you won’t have to touch them with wet hands or feet.
- They provide safety and protection. Having light switches on the outside can also help you in an emergency or a problem in your bathroom. For example, if someone slips and falls in the shower if someone gets locked in the bathroom by accident, or if there is a fire or smoke in the bathroom. You can easily turn off the lights from outside and call for help or assistance.
- They are easy to reach. Having light switches on the outside can make them more accessible and convenient for you and your guests. You don’t have to fumble around in the dark or look for them behind a curtain or a cabinet. You can reach for them as you enter or exit the bathroom.
The Benefits of Bathroom Light Switches
Besides safety and logic, there are also some benefits that bathroom light switches on the outside can offer you:
- They save energy. Having light switches on the outside can help you save energy and money by reducing your electricity consumption. You won’t have to leave the lights on when you’re not using the bathroom or forget to turn them off when you’re done. You can also use them to control other appliances in your bathroom, such as heaters, fans, or speakers.
- They create ambiance. Having light switches on the outside can also help you create different moods and atmospheres in your bathroom. You can use them to dim or brighten the lights according to your preference and occasion. For example, you can turn down the lights for a relaxing bath or spa session or turn up the lights for a quick shower or shave.
- They add style. Light switches on the outside can also add style and personality to your bathroom. You can choose from different types and designs of light switches that match your taste and decor. For example, you can go for a classic or vintage look with brass or copper switches or a modern or minimalist look with chrome or glass switches.
How to Make the Most of Bathroom Light Switches
If you have bathroom light switches on the outside, or if you’re thinking of installing them, here are some tips and tricks to make the most of them:
- Label them clearly. To avoid confusion and frustration, label your light switches clearly and visibly. You can use stickers, signs, or markers to indicate which switch controls which light or appliance in your bathroom. You can also use different colors or shapes to differentiate them.
- Use smart switches. To enhance your convenience and comfort, you can use smart switches that can be controlled remotely or automatically. You can use your smartphone, tablet, or voice assistant to turn your lights on or off from anywhere in your house. You can also set timers, schedules, or routines to turn your lights on or off at certain times or events.
- Have some fun. To spice up your bathroom experience, you can have some fun with your light switches on the outside. You can use them to play pranks on your family or friends by turning the lights on and off randomly or unexpectedly. You can also use them to communicate with your partner or roommate by using Morse code or other signals.
Bathroom light switches on the outside are not as weird or annoying as they might seem. They have a long history, a logical reason, and a lot of benefits that make them worth having in your home. They can also be used in creative and fun ways that can enhance your bathroom experience.
If you want to improve your bathroom lighting, safety, and style, you might consider having light switches on the outside. They might be the perfect solution for you.