Light Switch Style and Why?

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runner9
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Light Switch Style and Why?

Post by runner9 » Fri Mar 23, 2018 6:39 pm

We're having some rewiring done next week and I'm considering changing the light switch from the standard to the "paddle" or "rocker" switch.

Standard: https://www.homedepot.com/p/Leviton-15- ... /100026991
Paddle: https://www.homedepot.com/p/Leviton-Dec ... /100058788

We have a few of the paddle, I think they're easier to operate especially as we get older. We could also get the kind with a light for hallways. My wife doesn't care one way or the other.

Any preferences and why?

furwut
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Re: Light Switch Style and Why?

Post by furwut » Fri Mar 23, 2018 6:49 pm

No reason but I’d prefer the paddle. Have you considered Smart Swiches?

Church Lady
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Re: Light Switch Style and Why?

Post by Church Lady » Fri Mar 23, 2018 6:52 pm

All things being equal, I'd go with the one that is easier to wipe clean, the rocker. If one turns out to be more durable than the other, I'd go with the more durable one.

Good luck!
He that loveth silver shall not be satisfied with silver; nor he that loveth abundance with increase: this is also vanity. Ecclesiastes 1:8

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wageoghe
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Re: Light Switch Style and Why?

Post by wageoghe » Fri Mar 23, 2018 7:14 pm

I like the Decora. I think it looks better and is easier to operate, especially with an elbow when your arms are full. Whichever way you go, I’d recommend getting commercial grade switches, at least in heavier use areas. I’d also recommend specifying that the “push and pray” wiring method not be used. If the switches have clamps, use those. Otherwise, wrap wire around screw and tighten. Do not use the “quick wire”/“push and pray” method.

After the work is done, double check all three way switches to verify that they work correctly.

lazydavid
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Re: Light Switch Style and Why?

Post by lazydavid » Fri Mar 23, 2018 7:28 pm

Decora all the way. Looks nicer, easier to operate, traps less gunk. We replaced every single switch and outlet in our house with Decora as soon as we moved in. Bathrooms got fancy brushed metal plates to match the fixtures, everything else is plain white vinyl.

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FrugalInvestor
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Re: Light Switch Style and Why?

Post by FrugalInvestor » Fri Mar 23, 2018 7:29 pm

My last house had standard because they were more consistent with the architectural style (very traditional). My current house has the rocker type. Once we got used to them I can't say that one is much better than the other, although I find the rocker type a bit easier to find and operate especially when the room is dark. I think it mostly comes down to preference. I haven't had the ones with the switch that illuminates so can't comment. I don't think I'd mix styles within the house as you get used to using one style or the other.
IGNORE the noise! | Our life is frittered away by detail... simplify, simplify. - Henry David Thoreau

123
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Re: Light Switch Style and Why?

Post by 123 » Fri Mar 23, 2018 7:37 pm

I think both styles are available with either "quiet" or "click" operations.

The rocker panel style is more consistent with modern slider dimmer switches. Most people would probably expect the style of light switch to be consistent with the style of wall outlets in the same room. It can be a slippery slope once you start changing one thing.

We did a remodel and went with the rocker panel type switches everywhere. They are generally seen as more modern and "high end" than the older type. I would probably suggest go with the modern rocker panel type unless there is something about your home or the rooms (style or furnishings) that causes you want to maintain a "vintage" look.

Since we did a remodel and put in new wiring etc I don't know if there is a "fit" issue with a modern rocker panel switch in an older toggle mounting box (might be an issue if there is more than one switch in a box too).
The closest helping hand is at the end of your own arm.

FraggleRock
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Re: Light Switch Style and Why?

Post by FraggleRock » Fri Mar 23, 2018 8:54 pm

1. Leviton Decora is good. Comes in various grades. Do research on their website and then buy the most expensive one.

2. Look at LeGrand Adorne. Beautiful.
https://www.legrand.us/adorne/products/switches.aspx

Image
Last edited by FraggleRock on Sun Mar 25, 2018 5:54 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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heartwood
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Re: Light Switch Style and Why?

Post by heartwood » Sat Mar 24, 2018 7:11 am

furwut wrote:
Fri Mar 23, 2018 6:49 pm
No reason but I’d prefer the paddle. Have you considered Smart Swiches?
I prefer the rocker.

I strongly second considering smart switches. We've added some smart wall outlet switches controlled by our google home. Now I can control individual lights or a whole room by saying "ok google, turn on the corner light", or "OKG turn off the lights." I walk upstairs at night and turn off the several downstairs lights after I'm upstairs, all at once.

We're about to replace a hard to reach wall switch with a smart switch. At first it seems like a trivial use of technology, but after a week you ask how you lived w/o it.

wrongfunds
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Re: Light Switch Style and Why?

Post by wrongfunds » Sat Mar 24, 2018 7:42 am

You really should stay with the style of switches which already exist in your house. Otherwise the remodeling stands our as sore thumb.

Leemiller
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Re: Light Switch Style and Why?

Post by Leemiller » Sat Mar 24, 2018 7:56 am

We went with this brand and style, but ours was a lot more expensive. I would check the different models, and consider upgrading. We thought the rocker was a more modern look. I especially like having a dimmer option for our overhead lights. We also went with tamper resistant outlets, which is now code in our area. I’m glad we made the switch, sometimes the little things have more of an impact then you’d expect.

Sandi_k
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Re: Light Switch Style and Why?

Post by Sandi_k » Sat Mar 24, 2018 8:15 pm

We went to an open house years ago where all switches and outlets had been replaced with the Decora style items. It made a huge difference, in a subtle way, that screamed "We've paid attention to the details, both small and large."

Yes, I'd replace them. I'd also go with dimmers in all major areas - we have a dimmer on the LRm, DRm, and bedroom - but not the kitchen. And we should have added that for sure. ;) Soon.

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Lemonaid56
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Re: Light Switch Style and Why?

Post by Lemonaid56 » Sun Mar 25, 2018 5:27 pm

Sandi_k wrote:
Sat Mar 24, 2018 8:15 pm
We went to an open house years ago where all switches and outlets had been replaced with the Decora style items. It made a huge difference, in a subtle way, that screamed "We've paid attention to the details, both small and large."

Yes, I'd replace them. I'd also go with dimmers in all major areas - we have a dimmer on the LRm, DRm, and bedroom - but not the kitchen. And we should have added that for sure. ;) Soon.
We replaced all our switches about 15 years ago with rockers. Easy to locate and flip if hands are full. Did make the mistake of putting dimmers on just about every one and since then with the production of LED bulbs being tricky to operate with dimmers I have gone back through the house and removed dimmers from places we never have used them. (I know they now make more LED bulbs and switches to be dimmer compatible but they are not ALL compatible I found and some rooms we just never dimmed a light)
I can see going back through the house again and upgrading this year to get smart switches for Alexa!

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