How many times have you said, “Man, I wish I had a light switch right there.”? Too late ole bud, the wiring is finished and the drywall is up. Re-locating that switch is now going to be a MAJOR undertaking. You can look forward to spending a lot of time, effort, and money tearing out drywall, drilling some holes, pulling new wire, installing a new box, patching and painting. Not to mention the mess you will make. Have fun with that!
Well, I recently faced the same dilemma. When I built the house I was going to use the small room in the shop as a small bath with a corner shower. The way it was laid out I needed a door that opened to the left so I wired the light switch to the right. I recently decided that a better use of the room would be to use it as a laundry room. I was still able to keep the toilet and sink but the shower had to go. The problem is that a left opening door would interfere with the washer and dryer doors opening and it would be hard for me to maneuver around when loading the machines. I had no choice but to put a right opening door in. Now the light switch was behind the door and it was a real pain to get to. Just a bad layout. I wanted to move the switch to the other wall.
I was about 10 seconds away from tearing out drywall and just going for it when I paused and thought, “I’m going to see if there is anything out there that might be an easier solution.” What I found was that you can buy switches that operate wirelessly/remotely. I didn’t know such things existed. Very cool. I found several different products with marginal reviews. Some reviewers said they did not work if the circuit has other lights or outlets wired in series, others found that using florescent or LED bulbs caused the switch to get hinky, and some reported that they interfered with their garage door opener. Not sounding too promising.
Then I came upon a product that had good reviews. It is made by a company call Skylink and the product is call the Skylinkhome SK-8 3-Way On/Off Kit. I ordered it From Amazon and got it the next day. I also ordered its companion product called the Skylink TM-002 Stylish Cover. It’s basically a cover plate to dress up the remote receiver/switch.
The way it works is that there is a switch module that goes into your existing electrical box once you remove the old switch. It has a short flexible antenna that you run into the wall. Just simply punch out one of the tabs in your electrical box or drill a small hole to feed it through. The module has a green/ground wire that hooks to your ground. Then there is a black and red wire. The black wire is the live/line wire. It hooks to your existing wire that has power coming in, i.e. it’s hot all the time. The red wire is the load wire and that hooks to your existing wire that goes to your light. If you are not sure which is which you will need to very carefully check each wire with a volt meter. Once you find the one that has juice on it you know that is the line. The other wire will be dead.
The next component of the kit is the remote switch/wall plate. It’s flat and does not recess into the wall. Find a good place for it and drill a couple of holes accordingly. You may have to use the supplied drywall anchors if you are not going into a stud. The remote switch has a watch battery in it so you will have to replace that every couple of years. No big deal. You have to program the two units so they can communicate with each other. The instructions are very clear and straight forward on that.
The way this thing works is kind of like a garage door opener. The switch module just “listens” until the remote switch send a signal to cut on and off. When you hit the switch, the module opens or closes the switch and turns the light on or off. It works every time. When I was playing with it I stood about 30 feet away and it operated fine. It simply works!
I paid under 60 bucks for everything. That might seem like a lot of money for a light switch but when you compare it to the time and money involved in physically moving a wire for a new switch, that 60 bucks in nothing. A real bargain. Not to mention the mess and aggravation. What would you rather do, spend a day tearing out drywall, pulling wire, installing a new box, hooking up a new switch and then another day patching and painting drywall, or spend about an hour (tops!) installing this wireless switch? Pretty easy answer for me. Still not convinced? Watch my video…..