I get into bed because I am tired. When I am tired, I don't like to get out of bed. That simple.

This Rube Goldberg shows one simple way to shut the lights without getting out of bed:

enter image description here

Is there a simpler way to accomplish this burdening task without getting out of bed?


Although my switch is a normal flip switch, I'm interested in hearing solutions for all types of switches since I am sure others in the community have the same issue with different kinds of switches.

enter image description here

  • 1
    Welcome to Lifehacks SE. This seems like it has the makings of a good question, but it needs some verification. Is the light a lamp or is a light switch? Also, how far is the lamp or switch from your bed? This information could greatly affect the answer, so it is necessary. Thanks :)
    – michaelpri
    Jul 16, 2015 at 4:55
  • @michaelpri I've edited my question with the type of switch, yet I am interested in hearing solutions for all kinds of switches. As for distance, I would estimate the switch to be about 10 feet from my bed, yet I do not feel the exact measure is that important since anything out of arms reach is too far away!
    – Tot Zam
    Jul 20, 2015 at 12:02

9 Answers 9


Remote control

Today there exists loads of remote controlling actions in the shops, just try searching for remote control light switch or remote control light bulb or variations over these terms. Tons of solutions will be given to remote control to switch either the switch or the bulb. Controls can be a separate remote control or an app in your smart phone.

However where is the fun and lifehack of this solution? Enter the line remote switch:

Line operated remote switch

If you add a few hooks/rings you can run a line from the light switch to your bed, and in the configuration shown you would detach the line from the end hook releasing the hammer which falls down and turns of the light!

Variations over this if you have different kind of switches could easily be made. If you have the ones with a tap sticking out you could possibly make it go both on and off using the line and a sliding mechanism close to the switch

  • 1
    Since you posted remotes here I'll just add mine as a comment to yours. Arduino is more than capable of accomplishing this task, just look for arduino boards and a toggle board. Then program the board to toggle the switch when it receives an ir or wifi signal to do so. Lots of work, but the possibilities are almost endless. Jul 16, 2015 at 21:20
  • When I was a teenager, I built something very much like this. Instead of a hammer, I just taped the line to the switch. Then, in bed, I pulled on the line to flip the switch off.
    – Nathan
    Feb 12, 2019 at 19:21

Use a long stick. You might have to build up your arm strength to hold it depending on how far your stick will reach.

If the switch you are flipping is a toggle style, then moving the remote end of the stick will change the switch.

If the switch you are flipping is a rotary style (think lamp twist switch), you can use tape attach the stick to the switch. This method may leave the stick where it is a hazard to passersby. Mark your stick responsibly where appropriate.

  • 1
    There should only be one solution per answer. I've edited out option number two in this answer. If you would still like that to be an answer, post it separately because separate solutions should be voted on separately.
    – michaelpri
    Jul 20, 2015 at 7:54
  • 3
    Whether or not this become accepted practice for this site, removing half on an answer is very aggressive. And you have no way of knowing which of the options I would have left in place. Lastly, leaving the header of Option 1 when removing the other options makes the answer even more confusing. Jul 20, 2015 at 14:46
  • 3
    When I clicked to add another answer, the site prompted me saying, "Are you sure you want to add another answer? You could use the edit link to refine and improve you existing answer, instead." Jul 20, 2015 at 14:50
  • 1
    Right now, having only one solution in answers is a site policy. There is also only one proposed way of how to deal with these types of answers. Because there were only two solutions here, I edited out the second one because the first one was obviously more of a life hack. Also, I'm sorry that I forgot to edit out Option 1, that was my mistake and I should have been paying better attention. If you think that we should handle these types of answers differently, please leave your opinion on the meta post I linked to above.
    – michaelpri
    Jul 20, 2015 at 16:52
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    I like that this approach is practical. One suggest though, instead of using tape which will become unsticky and will need to be changed after a short while, use velcro. Put half the velcro on the rotary switch and the other half on the stick. This will allow for many more uses. Just make sure to put the fuzzy part of the velcro on the switch so you can still turn it by hand without scratching yourself :)
    – Tot Zam
    Jul 28, 2015 at 1:28

If you don't want to just turn off the light and then get in bed (as for instance you read a bit before going to sleep), just get a lamp that clamps or screws to the headboard, so that you can use that instead of the room lights. Been doing it for decades, myself.


Simple! You're looking for Home Automation. It's rather all the rage right now, as "The Internet of Things" becomes the buzzword for marketers over the next couple of years.

But it's not really that new; I remember having a system in the 1970s when I lived with my folks where they had a box with several buttons on the bedside table and could turn lights and certain other appliances on or off with it. In those days, and assuming I'm recalling it correctly, these systems worked by sending an RF signal through the home's electrical system. Here's a photo of a device not unlike my parent's:

Lutron Home Lighting System

With the advent of widespread networking protocols, cheap microprocessors, and cheap (!??!) software developers (perhaps I should say "the ubiquitous development of software" instead, because not ALL programmers are as underpaid as I am), you can now control more devices, perhaps, soon, virtually ALL devices in your home and garage, from your laptop or smartphone.

Here's an example of someone who's "rolled his own" Bluetooth solution: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gam1PqXju6Q

But there are plenty of commercial options available. So, you should be able to plug your phone in to charge overnight beside your bed, hop in, press the screen a few times, and "LIGHTS OUT" ... :-)

  • 1
    The problem with this, though, is that it doesn't work unless you take your laptop or smartphone to bed with you - and I for one am not THAT much in love with technology :-)
    – jamesqf
    Feb 20, 2016 at 19:09
  • If you're THAT tired you won't be doing anything with something you ARE in love with, either, then, are ya? ;-) I agree: I don't want tech IN bed. However, my USB charger's on my nightstand; my phone or tablet is usually reachable. You could also use a (wired or wireless) remote, voice recognition, motion detector, or many of the other ideas suggested here by holroy & others as a "front end" to your automation system. If bedtime is regular (not sure I can guess from your ?; maybe yours isn't?) you could use a cronjob or a timer. Plenty ways to skin this cat if you're not a "negative Nancy". Feb 22, 2016 at 17:41

Another day, another idea (or two):

Clapper Switch for Lights

Some years make it was very fashionable to use clap on/clap off lights. This could possibly also be an interesting variation over the remote control light option. (That is as long as you don't have a partner which would be awakened by you clapping... )

  • Can you provide further details or additional links for this solution? I have never heard of a light which is activated by clapping.
    – Tot Zam
    Jul 28, 2015 at 1:15
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    @TotZam The most famous system is literally called the Clapper
    – intcreator
    Feb 19, 2016 at 20:50

Delay switches

Instead of using remote controls as suggested in another answer, you could also add some sort of delay mechanism to turn off the lights. This could be in the form of timer delay switches which can be tuned to shut of the light after a given amount of time (enough for you to get into bed). These switch could either be built into the switch by electricians, or you could use the 'kitchen safety' variants and put a lamp instead of your kitchen appliance into it.

But yet again, where is the fun and lifehack of this solution? Here is a suggestion for a DIY delay switch solution:

Bottle delay switch

The principle here is that you build a little bracket around the light switch, which are constructed out of three main parts:

  • The bracket holding everything together
  • A receiving container which slides within the bracket, so that when it is heavy enough it will push the light switch and turn of the lights. You might need to modify the bottom of this container so as there is a point/stick/... which easily hits the switch
  • A delivering container which has a small hole delivering the content into the receiver after a suitable length of time

In my drawing I've used a water bottle with a hole in the side, and some mug to receive the water. Normally water and electricity is not a good combination, but this setup should be safe as long as you don't have more water in the bottle then can fit into the receiving container.

You could of course also switch to sand or some other media, but water is the simplest to describe and to make! When you want to use this device you turn on the light, and insert the bottle with enough water to give you a proper delay.

  • I like both your answers, but they assume a certain type of switch. A switch that none of the houses I've lived in actually use. Jul 16, 2015 at 21:17
  • In my part of the world, those are the main type of switches. The solution could however usually be transformed into other types of switches as well. So please upvote :-)
    – holroy
    Jul 16, 2015 at 21:22
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    Do not use this with water! You're only one spill away from electrocution. E.g. if you use a plastic water bottle, it'll dent and wear out over time, and pretty soon you'll have a leak. Sand would be better.
    – Hobbes
    Jul 20, 2015 at 10:36
  • Creative, yet I'd be scared of ending up with a puddle of water on the floor.
    – Tot Zam
    Jul 28, 2015 at 1:18

Another day, another idea (or two):

Light Sensor Lamp

If carefully placed you could have a lamp/bulb with light sensor, so that when you are entering the room, or leaving the bed the sensor triggers and lights up the room. Do be aware so not let the sensor trigger when you are in bed and move at night.

I used a LED flashlight with light sensor like this in an adjoining room to my bedroom which I had to cross to get to the batroom. When triggered it stayed on for approx 30 secs, which gave me enough time to cross the room. In addition in case of power failure, it would light up for a minute allowing me to find the light and use it as an emergency flashlight.


My solution is to use a lamp with a Tabletop Dimmer, for my lamp that is not within reach of the bed. I bought one for my grandad when he was 95. The device works like a 'switch extension'. It plugs into a wall outlet (mine is operated with a wall switch, which I turn off when I'm not in the room), & the lamp plugs into the back of it. For folks with poor eyesight, like me, it can be dimmed to provide just enough watts to act as a nightlight.

  • Welcome to Lifehacks SE! Please do not link to specific products, as we don't want to become an advertising site. Please remove product link.
    – holroy
    Jul 18, 2015 at 21:36

Get someone else to do it for you, (e.g., spouse, significant other, child, parent, pet, etc.). How you train this being to perform the task is way beyond the scope of this question.

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