So, let’s talk about your light switches and receptacles.
Yes, I know it sounds strange but they are an important part of an accessible home.
Don’t you wish there was a more comfortable way to access your receptacles (plugs) than getting down on your knees and scrambling around in awkward locations, fighting the dust bunnies . Well, there is……
The 2 ways to make receptacles more accessible
#1) Raise the receptacle height to between 15-18in/38-46cm
- this helps reduce having to bend down as far
- do this for the majority of your home’s receptacles
install during construction and not as an afterthought
#2) Install combination light switch + receptacle units at maximum height of 48in/122cm
- this will eliminate bending down altogether
- perfect to install at the main entrance(s) to every room and also in kitchens and bathrooms
- easily retrofitted into where your existing single switches are now
Do as the Swiss do
Imagine how fantastic it would be to have a receptacle at the same comfortable height as your light switches. Wouldn’t it make plugging in vacuums and charging phones so much easier? In fact, I don’t know how I ever lived without them. In Switzerland it is commonplace to have a receptacle directly below a light switch in every room (except the bathroom). I would love to see this standard European feature become the norm in Canada.
Check out this nifty device that hangs by my front door at the switch where I charge my cell phone. This way I never forget it when I go out. Have you ever forgotten your cell phone at home because it was charging in an out-of-the-way location?
Centralized charging station
If you are building a new house or renovating, make sure to plan for at least one main charging station in your house. It would be a great place to install a few combination receptacle/usb outlets. Place it in a central location to recharge all your electronic devices and remember to include storage for cords and plugs. TIP: This could be in a drawer to hide the inevitable tangled mess. The bedroom is a good location for a secondary smaller charging station as long as you have pre-planned where your bed and nightstand will go in order to properly place it.
When renovating or building a new house, always have a professional draw up an electrical/lighting plan.
This plan should include the locations of all lights, switches and receptacles and will be designed around your kitchen layout and the placement of your furniture throughout your home. This will ensure you have sufficient receptacles in places you will really need them and avoid any being installed in useless locations.
Are there any areas in your home where you really miss not having a receptacle or switch?