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if you've known me for more than a minute you may have heard my expression for what it feels like when i get an idea that just makes sense: 'it's like a white hot hammer of inspiration to the back of the head'

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Hurricane season light hack

i know when the power goes out, i still have that instinct to reach for the light switch. 
just got an idea that will work with that instinct. 
for summer storms and hurricane season i always keep some little LED keychain lights around in drawers and on shelves, in most rooms. 
because fumbling around in a dark room on a shelf is such a good idea, that they've been there for months now, just hanging out.

then i saw a product online that's a lightswitch plate with hooks built in. $5.99 each. 
technically that lightswitch plate is designed for hanging your keys from. but i immediately thought "hey, if i hung the LED keychain lights from one of those, i'd always know where it is. it's pretty easy to find a light switch you are used to in the dark" 

i'm not about to replace my 49 cent switchplates with $6 ones. not even my $2 glow in the dark switchplates. what? they're useful. even a tiny dim glow in the dark helps when i wake up disoriented and needing to chase the raccoon out of the house.

then it hit me: utility hooks. i love these things. i use them to hold up wire racks in the pantry, the bread basket i made out of old wire shelving, the cargo net across the back of my car [which is NOT a smart idea when you have side curtain airbags in the piece of frame i attached them to by the way. i was just desperate. so while i suggest using these hooks to bend around keychain rings to make attachments, i don't suggest putting them where i did.]

since i love them so much, i always keep a few packs on hand for when i suddenly think of something i need them for.
this took under two minutes, and half of that was finding the flathead bit for my screwdriver

remove switchplate lower screw
place hook
replace screw
hang lightweight item of your choice

yep, that's really it. it probably took you longer to read this than it took me to install the hooks. and i already love them. next time the power goes out, i know i will instinctively reach for the light switch, but this time i will actually get light. 
since these lights can be switched on, i could even leave them on during the whole blackout and still have at least one light in each room

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