The office I work in has light switches located near an elevator. This switches control the lights in my department.

It is a fairly often occasion where, when waiting for the elevator to arrive, people will lean against the wall and accidentally flip the light switches. They only seem to notice it about once out of every four times it happens.

Since this is a place of professional business, I can't just duct tape the lights on, it would look far too tacky. Also, though I'm not around at night to tell for sure, I assume the lights are turned off when everybody has gone home, so I can't do too "permanent" of a solution.

How might I be able to keep the light switch on in a professional-looking manner, while also not disabling the functionality completely?

  • If the lights are turned off automatically by night, it is most likely not the switches which are used but a secondary system. However you would like for the switches to be available so late-night workers can turn the lights on again...
    – holroy
    Dec 8, 2015 at 23:15
  • Easiest, cheapest method: Print a sign that draws attention, "do not lean on light switches"
    – Just Do It
    Dec 10, 2015 at 19:01

3 Answers 3


You can use one of these light-switch guards designed to cover the switch while still allowing deliberate access:

enter image description here

Ironically, these are commonly called "child-proof switches"… although I'll leave any workplace jabs about that to you.

Product Search: Child-Proof Light Switches

  • <chuckle> Those only look childproof for children too short to reach them...
    – hBy2Py
    Dec 9, 2015 at 1:50
  • 1
    I think something like this would be more effective.
    – k-l
    Jan 26, 2017 at 19:41

The long term solution would be to have building maintenance move the switches. I've seen that done, but how long it takes probably depends heavily on how much rent your employer pays and how important your department is within the organization.

A more immediate solution would be to install a shield over those switches that are to remain on while the department is occupied. This could be as simple as a (very) short length of large pipe cut in half lengthwise, placed so the switch can be reached from top or bottom, but so that leaning on the wall will bump the cover instead of the switch. Attachment method is left up to the installer, but I'd suggest something like double sided tape or RTV silicone.

  • I started imagining something completely different when you went with 'very short length of pipe....' Dec 10, 2015 at 17:46

I would opt you to use this.Thus you and your staff can open the case and switch it off incase if not needed. At the same time, a sudden key press of lift users can be restricted too until they find the proper lift button or if they lean towards wall while waiting for lift.And I do not think that it will be much costlier one for you.Be careful when placing this case, because you are messing up with your office lights.So hire an electrician.

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