As a technology consultant, I’m usually working on high-tech solutions to solve business problems. But sometimes a low-tech solution is the perfect answer to handle a simple task.

This was my little problem: I have a outdoor floodlight on my garage that lights up the driveway at night. As I drive in from the street after dark, the unit’s motion detector turns the light on. After about five minutes, the light turns itself off automatically. It works great — as long as the lightswitch inside the house remains in the on position. If the switch is accidentally turned off, of course, the outside security light will not turn on. Unfortunately, this has happened too many times.

Plastic soup containerI used to put a piece of tape over the up/down switch to keep people from accidentally flipping the switch. But that was a bit messy and inelegant. So here’s what I did: I took a plastic soup container from a Chinese food take-out order. Using scissors, I cut a 4 1/4 x 1 inch piece of plastic. I lined up the piece over the light switch and pierced two holes aligned with the switchplate screws. Then all I had to do was remove screws and reinsert them through the two holes I made in the plastic.

The installed clear plastic cover is barely noticable, yet it’s quite effective in keeping kids and visitors from accidentally turning off the outside security light. If, by some chance, I do wish to change the switch’s position, I simply put my finger behind the plastic guard and flip the toggle down or up. Simple!

That’s it! A DIY switch protector — free and easy!

Finished: diy free light switch cover

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