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Alright, pinned comment time:Firstly, putting outlets on a dimmer switch is definitely not kosher. That’s why I said some folks might find that terrifying (it’s a good way to kill things that aren’t lamps), but I should have explicitly said this isn’t up to code.But here’s a list of options you have when one of these is in your life: •Obtain *lamp* and use it, occupying that plug and preventing confusion •Use an extension cord to relocate the lamp(s) away from the switched outlet when desired (within reason) •Don’t want a lamp? Try using it with items with vampire loads so that you can easily disable them when not needed. •How about a fan? Or something else? It doesn’t _have_ to be a lamp. •Don’t want it at all? Buy a “light switch guard” to cover the switch to keep it from being used. No need to mess with wiring, and just like that you’ve effectively disabled it.The moral of this video (though I perhaps overdid the delivery) is _you have options_ and you should use them! There’s no reason it needs to remain an annoyance in your life.
@Michael Graham it is allowed, you just need 16amp switches and they need to be on a socket circuit or spur rather than a lighting circuit. Alternatively, you can have them with a low power switch which sends power to the actual switch in the socket. So the switch on the wall is on a lighting or even 12v DC supply but it activated the 13A supply to the socket. The former method is how under counter or fully integrated appliances are usually switched (in new installations, you have to have an accessible switch and it *should* be within two metres of the socket or wired outlet but not directly above it (although that guidance is routinely broken for reasons of convenience).In new builds, you'll tend to find that there are grid switches that control 7 or more sockets plus the extra for fan and extractor boost. Outside bathrooms, you may find a triple switch with one for the light, one for the fan boost, and one for the heated towel rail or under floor heating (again, usually a grid switch where the light one is a conventional light switch while the others are 16A double pole switches), the towel rail may even plug into a socket outside the bathroom but still controlled by the switch.
I HATE floor lighting.I'm 6'4"
@Michael Graham Exactly! The stupid and annoying thing about the subject of the video is not that they do it but that they use the same style of outlet as all the others.
6:39 was amazingly funny. Still gorgeous
Youre still gorgeous
My folks renovated my childhood home before we moved into it. They gave my room a switched outlet for my bedside lamp, but I've since re-organized my room and now it's on my record player. Now I can set it up so I walk into my room, flip a switch, and have my music play 😎
In my former child bedroom turned into an office, the switched outlet is used by the UPS. Turn it off and an alarm sounds! It is also labeled "Don't turn off"...
wow, what bangers youve been playing there mate.
This is what I did with my bathroom and a radio. Its quietly plays smooth jazz every time I walk in and turn on the lights 😎
@imark7777777 Lets be honest. Pressing the play button on a piece of plastic is pretty exhausting.
OK that might be one of the very few really good uses for switched outlets to end up in a different location than said bedside table lamp.
I moved to Canada from Europe a few months ago and now I know why I have extra light switch and strange outlet that I thought wasn't working... And I needed the switch and an outlet for the floor lamp! THIS IS GENIUS! Now I use the outlet and switch properly and want to have this in every room. Thank you Technology Connections.
you take that back, that idea is dumb and imma knife fight over it.
@Maryna Reznikova Here the public buses get tire chains in ice/snow, so not so fast but they're still around. How hindered are the ones there?
Hi @Mark O! The weather is still okay in GTA. Pre-christmas winter storm was harsh, but passed fast. It's more rain than snow now. The only thing that disappointed me is the unreliability of public transport in winter.
@kindlin When it comes to stereotypes, I think Canadians hit the jackpot.If the only blanket generalization people make about us is that we're "too nice", it really can't get much better than that.
@Maryna Reznikova Just checking back to see if you still feel that winter is "not so bad"? I live in Newfoundland, and we've been lucky recently, but the central and western parts of the country seem to be getting battered pretty hard. Hope you've been safe at home.
While I'm not too bugged about switched outlets, what does bug me is the common practice of hanging overhead lights directly in the center of relatively small living and recreational spaces where furniture normally is against the walls facing into the room. This places the light in almost the least useful possible location when sitting, shining directly into the eyes and in the wrong direction needed for comfortable reading, etc. I much prefer having diffuse light distributed along the upper perimeter of the room, and/or reading lights in strategic places. It's much more comfortable and less fatiguing.
Don't forget that having the light between you and the TV screen means you either crank the brightness on the TV up, or suffer the glare. Lighting placed to the sides of the screen, or above the seating, is _significantly_ better!
Not to mention that for photosensitive individuals (e.g. autistic Collin Beal), it's not fatiguing or burdensome, but instead actually painful and stressful. Had to get a bedside lamp for the room because some dipshit decided that what a bedroom needs in the center of a 10 foot ceiling was a quadruple light array with a fan that is either off or full blast. Now I have my Bluetooth-adjusted smart bulb with a shade around it set to 20% brightness relaxed color profile by default, and along with my air circulator that blows air instead of slicing it, I can now rest comfortably.
i have some old 50s boob lights alternative that is frosted plate thing so less light goes stright down and from the side the light is bare. so it though light agisnt the walls so it bounces down and lights the room more evenly.
ooh good point! lights like that should really be in the top edges or corners so they're behind you instead of glaring into your eyes
Honestly, the idea of making your switched socket a different color is GENIUS! The first thing I'm going to think if I walk into a room with four off-white and one grey outlet is, "What's up with that one?"Edit: There is also such a thing as a single outlet, as opposed to a duplex. So you could use that...if you don't mind losing an outlet.
Using a different shape of connector would be even better. Use one with round pins or different spacing.
@ChrisK3 AHAHAHAHA thats funny total knee slapper... ahem my outlets are labeled, as are the wires in the wall and the circuit breakers for easy knowledge, this is a habit ive had for years as it is easier to know what does what and goes where, its not common in america, no but doesnt mean no one does it, its also not common in a lot of other countries as really its just not necessary
You can probably buy coloured light switches, too, which would eliminate confusion, requiring only minimal experimentation from the user to go "oh, the grey sockets are switched from the grey switch!"
I'm sure it's probably frowned upon, but landlords paint sockets all the time, you could probably paint just one half? LOL
In commercial settings, orange outlets usually mean backup generator power, so you plug your servers etc. into those. Sometimes they'll also be labeled with shapes to indicate which electrical circuit they're on or which breaker box they're wired to, etc.
The heat is running, the snark levels are high, I'm prepared for some *hot takes*.
@Danny Boel yup, the snark here is very entertaining 😁
My favorite hot take was buy and put lamp on the lamp outlet if you forget that the lamp outlet is a lamp outlet
Go Leafs Go!
@Joseph DESTAUBIN being "allowed" to doesn't prevent the people of doing bad and potentially dangerous installations or modifications. And others do not care if it's allowed anyways.Like here in germany: theoretically as layman you aren't allowed to do anything except changing bulbs and stuff. But noone really cares, most people replace their whole ceiling lamps or remove socket covers when painting their rooms.
A really good November joke 👍
Our house was actually built with both overhead lights and a switched outlet in every single room. I find it extremely handy, and we actually do have lamps plugged into most of them.
That's the ideal situation assuming you have two seprate switches that controls the outlet and the ceiling fixture separately. That way you can use the ceiling fixture to install a ceiling fan without light and still have a lamp that can be turn on at the entrance of the room.
I am an Australian living in America. I am very slowly coming around to switched outlets. Unfortunately, some previous owner of my apartment thought it made sense to have a switched outlet in the bathroom. This just makes no sense. At all. We still have over head lights, but having the only outlet in the bathroom also switched is more frustrating than anything else. So I'm okay with them in principle, but so far I have found them more frustrating than practical.
I lived in a house in Australia built maybe 60's with this same setup, it was a vanity outlet (probably for a shaver) that was only on when the light switch was.
@CoffeeConsumer Oolrait, pettämätöntä logiikkaa, täytyy nostaa hattua.
@NivolDica Noh ittellä porukka latoo enkun kielisiä lyhenteitä koko ajan joten miks ei itteki
@CoffeeConsumer aattelit sitten että englantia puhuvat ihmiset täällä eivät pelkästään ymmärrä mitä muovi-muovi-johdin tarkoittaa, vaan tietävät myös termin lyhenteen 😅
While the switched bathroom outlet was probably intended for a shaver... you could use it for a lighted vanity upgrade.
I laughed through most of this video and nodded enthusiastically through the rest. 11:21 The look on your face when you’re turning the switch on and off is absolutely hilarious!I grew up with switched outlets and for the most part love them. The only exception is in my bedroom where the switched outlet is almost directly below the light switch. Most other rooms it is at least 5 feet away, which isn’t ideal but is at least far enough away that a floor lamp can be put 8-10 feet away from the switch. So even though it’s on the same wall at least it’s still useful.
In EU we have so called "stairs switches", so I can control the light from multiple places, e.g. there is one switch at the door and second near the bed. Simple :)
In NL we call it a hotel switch or circuit. It is only used for overhead lamps. I have never seen wall sockets being controlled by a switch.
UK hotels have those and I love them but can't get them installed at home in the EU The electricians who could do it all moved to the UK...
We have them in the UK, too. Many hotels use this so you can switch the room from both the door and the bed. It works well so long as you're happy that one switch looks like its turned on and the other switch looks like its turned off.
@AGTMADCAT It's definitely _a wizard did it._EDIT: PS: Wouldn't it be nice to be a wizard?PSS: *Insert [You're a wizard, Harry!] Meme Here*
@kindlin A wizard did it. They're so weird.
I thought light switches were only used to power-cycle smart bulbs?
Me entering a dark room and pulling out my phone. I check facebook, watch a youtube video and reply to emails. An hour later I wonder what I'm doing in a dark room and remember I got my phone out to use the lighting app to turn on the lights.
With the amount of time messy-hair-Alec switched the outlet the light bulbs would have been properly reset!
Who are you?
That’s what the breaker is for
Not that smart if you keep needing to power-cycle it. Rebooting a lightbulb has to be peak current-year.
My bedroom during my late kidhood had a switched outlet. I would rather have had a ceiling light. So I attached a lamp (really just a bulb socket on the end of a long cord) to the ceiling. Do not remember how I did it. Probably with a bunch of thumbtacks. Also covered the light with a small lampshade. probably with more thumbtacks involved. It was very kludgey, but it got the job done.
I would actually like to see XOR switched sockets become more common - a switch near the bed/desk and the door so you can turn on our off the lamp without crossing the room in the dark.
I've encountered a lot of that for hallways. The issue with bedrooms is that the layout may change or it might not have been designated as a bedroom during construction. (For context, I live in Switzerland, but I'm sure it's not exclusive to here.)
Sounds like a 3 way circuit
A big problem is when you have poorly set up switched outlets in an apartment, and therefore cant do anything to make them better.
@rolls _879 Ah, yeah. US Northeast here, that's probably it. I always though both terms were Americanisms.
@Andrew Ray I don't think we say condo(minium) very often here in au
@rolls _879 Hmm, maybe a regional dialect thing? To me, an owner-occupied unit is a condo and a tenant-occupied unit is an apartment.
@Andrew Ray idk, people can own apartments, more desirable to do so in the city ig
@rolls _879 "Apartment" kinda implies that you don't.
I see one more problem with that bathroom where everything is controlled by one switch - actually, two problems. First off, if the bathroom has a window that illuminates it enough in the daytime, you might not /want/ to turn on the lights when you just need to take a shower and then dry your hair. If you want to put on your makeup under natural light conditions, that'll add some inconvenience too. Second issue, which was the first I thought of, is some people have night lights in their bathrooms so that, if they get up in the middle of the night to relieve themselves, they won't have to be assaulted by bright white overhead lights, and can have just a dim red lamp to make sure they don't trip and can see the sink enough to wash their hands afterwards without grabbing the toothbrush instead of the soap. I've done that. Wasn't fun realizing I just grabbed the head of my toothbrush with the same hand I had a mere 15 seconds earlier used to wipe my rear end with single-ply toilet paper.-~-~-~-~-~-On another note, I'll share the issue I faced with switched outlets: In my childhood home, the living room had no built-in light fixtures (same for the bedrooms, actually, but the living room is the key one here). It did have three switched outlets, and two non-switched ones. (These being pairs, of course, and every pair was either switched or non-switched, none were mixed). The two non-switched ones were in highly inconvenient spots for hooking up to a television set, and we eventually ran an extension cord to where we wanted the danged thing. The switched ones, meanwhile, were all controlled by one switch. It wasn't near the door leading to the entryway. It wasn't by the door to the dining room. It wasn't by the door to the kitchen. It was by the sliding glass door leading to the patio. Lemme give you an idea of the layout. I don't actually remember the cardinal directions, so I'll designate the front of the house as being south. Enter the front door, you're in the entry hallway, and immediately on your right is the door to the living room. The living room has windows along the south wall, the west wall of the living room has the door to the entry hallway and a good spot for the TV. The entry hallway has the front door at the south side, the garage entrance in the southwest, the stairs to the second floor with the bedrooms in the northeast, the back door in the north, and the laundry room/downstairs bathroom in the northwest. The only path from the front door or the garage to the kitchen area is through the living room, or out the back door, across the backyard, and into the kitchen's back door. Now, there's a 12 by 8 foot carveout of the room in the northwest for the stairs, but on the northernmost wall, there's windows and a sliding door to the patio, alongside the only light switch in the entire room that's technically on the west wall but it's six inches away from being on the north wall, and about 12 feet east of the westernmost west wall that the entry hallway door is on. On the east wall, we have two doors, the northern one leads to the kitchen, the southern one leads to the dining room. The only spot for the television that doesn't get annoying backlighting from the headlights of the cars going down the street - and doesn't put it or the seating in front of a doorway - is against the wall of the stair carveout, meaning the sofa is against the south wall. In between, as you'd expect, is the coffee table and a walking path. If the kids (read: me and my brother) wanted to hook up the nintendo to the TV, there'd be some controller cords running across that walking path. Yes, we wanted to have the nintendo hooked up to the TV. Yes, that poses a trip hazard, especially when the room is dark.My most generous guess as to what caused that was the code in the area might've been worded such that the required light switch *must* be by the exterior entrance if there is an exterior entrance to the room. In the case of that room, the only entrance to it that leads /directly/ to the outside is the sliding patio door, as the front door leads to an entryway that has another door in between it and the living room. If they wanted to cut costs or were just lazy, not wiring in a second light switch with an XOR or XNOR gate, then it makes sense (to some degree) to not have a switch in any other location. The entry hallway has a switch by the door that turns on some built-in overhead lights, with no such switch by the back door, laundry room door, or the garage entrance, which lends credence to my theory that they wanted to cut costs by not wiring in any additional light switches with pesky logic gates. The kitchen light switch was in the corner adjacent to both the exterior back door and the door to the living room, so, like, who knows there lol. Dining room switch was by the entrance to the living room. Upstairs hallway had the light switch at the top of the stairs (which also controlled the lights for the stairs themselves), and no other room had multiple doors unless you count non-walk-in closets. Master bedroom didn't have an attached master bathroom, my parents had to use the same bathroom as the kids at the end of the upstairs hallway.
Back in the day, the computer room at my school had two light switches next to the door. One of them controlled the lights, and the other one controlled everything else. If you happened to lean against the wall right next to the door, your butt could accidentally poof everyone's unsaved work out of existence. Guess how I found out.
Mandi, some filesystems lose data on power loss
Yeah my 3d printers have m112 buttons
@DonOblivious eh, you do have a fair few modern PC power supplies that have a hard switch on the power supply itself. Both my current power supply and the one before it have hard switches. Of course since my computer is on an UPS, I just turn that off whenever I shut off my computer.
@Trina Morrison I understand why you think that but here's why you're simply mistaken - You can't just plug in 50 computers and 50 big chonking CRT monitors in the existing circuit that the room already had with just some power strips or something. They *had* to do electrical work to upgrade the capacity of those rooms. No real way around it. That means that the weird quirks in the light switches and stuff that those computer labs have are in fact deliberate.
@Paul V every single desktop computer in existence (to my knowledge at least) still has a switch at the back. Using it harms (or has the potential to) the computer however, since it completely shuts off power. Computers now have a button that shuts down the computer through software to minimize that risk, as well as giving it the ability to shut off with a hotkey or similar.
The multiprong adapters are still a pain when they are behind furniture and you can't move it flush against the wall. Overhead lamps can often be converted to lighted ceiling fans (with appropriate stud-fastened ceiling boxes) which saves you floor space for fans AND lighting. Also kids and drunk adults love to knock over torchiere lamps. I've switched all my "switched" outlets to always-on receptacles with voice-activated lamps.
Y'know what, this actually explained a smouldering question I had for years.Like you see how in horror movies the protags just enter a room for the first time, trace their hands along the wall and just find a lightswitch? I always felt that it was plot convenience! Now I know it is standard practise to install one by the door. At least in the US.Around here there is a dedicated switch for each individual lamp in the room.
Who wouldn't install light switches right next to the door? Also, installing them at all is quite the no-brainer.
Man this is some extremely targeted content and I am here for it. I was so puzzled when I first ran into one of these in college. Now I use remote control outlet adapters to control my lamps and have a remote mounted at the door. 🤣
Switches on outlets can server a similar purpose. Coming from the UK the switch can come in handy say if your lamp is up high so you don't have to reach up and turn it off, and some lamps don't even have built in switches. I know what you're saying that you could just unplug it, but it looks much untidier with plugs on the floor everywhere, it's much less trouble to just flick a switch than keep plugging and unplugging.I do love this idea though, we use mainly lamps and it would be nice to have them on a switch by the door.
OMG. I moved to the States from Europe 9 years ago and I just learned from this video that some of the outlets are not just dead… this is amazing hahaha. Why no one told me this before? Thank you
We have an outlet on a switch in our living room and it's extremely useful because the house is old and there's no built in light on the ceiling. We plugged a floor lamp in the corner behind the couch into it and can control it with the wall switch by the front door instead of walking all the way across the room and then trying to climb over the couch to get to the switch on the lamp itself.
My pet peeve with switched outlets stems from the fact that this isn't common where I'm from. Couple it with the fact that, in my new place, the switch is directly above the outlet and it controls BOTH outlets (and which is nowhere near where I (or anyone, I believe) would put a lamp to begin with), and I am infuriated by the thing. When my nephew visited, he nearly killed the house's internet (cause yeah, that outlet also oh-so-conveniently happens to be close to where the fiber comes out in my place)...
Exactly the same problem here. I want to fix it, but the switch is inconveniently a double-switch with an outside light, so it's gonna look really screwy if I bypass just one.
I'm more a fan of using light switches for ceiling lights and lamp switches for lamps, but it would be handy to not have to walk across my room three times to turn on my lamp at night. Then again, the same could be accomplished by having a pair of switches and a xor gate control the ceiling one
1:20Some things do spark when you plug them in to a live socket vs. plugging them in to a socket that's been switched off.In the uncommon event that I move my desktop PC for example, I turn off the power supply and the wall socket. Plug the cable into the wall and into the power supply. Then turn on the wall socket and then the power supply.If it's all on then there is a small electrical "click" sound when plugging the cable into the power supply. If the power supply is off but the wall socket is on, this click sound is slightly quieter.It's likely fine but it feels uncomfortable. It's nice to have everything definitely off while you're plugging stuff in and turn it on only when needed
Smart plugs have been an amazing thing. I was skeptical, but having them now, it's awesome.
We have lamp switches in most living spaces even though only one room does not have an over head light. We also have a second switch next to our kitchen sink, the first being the sink disposal, but the second is hooked up to our dishwasher. So when a guest flipped it on accident it took us over a week to figure out why our dishwasher wouldn’t start. So now we have a trash can sticker under the disposal switch and a dishwasher sticker for the dishwasher.
Some cities have added dishwasher switches to their electric code requirements. I’ve noticed this at my friends place in Houston TX. It’s a plain when someone kills your dishwasher mid cycle.
They make switches for garbage disposals that run off of air now so you are completely isolated from electricity. It’s a little button you push in. It’s also handy so that you don’t have guests thinking it’s a light switch.
I lived in a house where the outlet right by the front door was on a switch, but that's also where they retrofitted the internet coax cable to be screwed in, so that's which always had to be on because the alternative was to run the internet cable across the middle of the living room to the opposite side of the room in order to run both power and the internet signal into the modem
Didn't you guys invent the "clapper" so you didn't need light switches to control sockets? I like the idea of switches controlling sockets, as long as they are different coloured like you did. Also, you can always put in two way lighting circuit by the bed. I find this increasingly common amongst the villas I do because things are planned never to change. Unlike a real house, where people are always moving things.
@JosephP And give Amazon all that more much power because we couldn't be bothered to buy a $20 Clapper. -TBF I know smart homes do other things.-
We invented the light bulb too
Now you just talk to Alexa, or google, or Siri, and they'll turn your lights on and off for you.
In the bedroom example, my home had all top plugs on a single switch. I replaced the entire outlets near the bed to return them to normal because each side has a cell charger and a table lamp. Then I placed a 3rd lamp in the room on a dresser so that I can use the light switch and still have all normal functions near the bed. I think this is ideal and it costed me $2 in receptacles.
I’ve got all Hue lights in lamps now, so I’ve been toying with the idea of a permanent bypass & a blank plate. The issue I have is that the two home offices in the house have non-critical but still y’know, delicate electronics that aren’t on the UPS and the occasional brain fart that hits the light switch on the way out the door can be very frustrating
I made the (wonderful) mistake of watching the connextras video first, so I was allllll riled up on this one and got very confused very fast. Whoops.My favorite part of having the light switches for outlets though, is turning on a lamp from the door. I bash my legs on furniture a lot less (listen I have a lot of problems). I also like having light switches for outlets that will have shit I don't want children, accidents, or pets turning on like space heaters and, partially confusingly, dishwashers.
Interesting idea. In the UK, with almost all outlets having a switch on them, many people are in the habit of leaving the switches on even when the item is removed (a bad habit, but not that dangerous due to the shuttered design). The fact of being able to switch off without removing the plug is a convenience thing, but, I agree, it doesn't make that much difference. There are a few places where you will sometimes find a separate (sometimes adjacent, sometimes a distance away) switch for an electrical outlet, but usually this is for items that are permanently connected, like bathroom extractor fans, electrical supply to a gas boiler (= US: 'Furnace') or similar, or for a fridge which has a plug socket behind it in an inaccessible place. In some hotels, they seem to follow the American idea of switches by the door controlling bedside lamps, and I understand that, though, in most cases, they are permanently wired in.
The switches on UK receptacles are not a safety feature. They are to prevent arcing when connecting or disconnecting reactive loads, such as a laptop charger. The ring main can deliver far more than the rated 13 amps to those receptacles (hence the fuse in every plug) and arcing can cause severe pitting of the contacts. If you use the switch as intended you only ever plug or unplug a dead circuit and the possibility of arcing is eliminated. Of course, children need to learn that so they are often wrongly told that it's a safety feature.
@Scott Featherston Interesting - wasn't aware of that. I understand that most Americans use furnaces, and most Europeans use boilers (and I have known a hot-air system where it was still referred to as a 'boiler', but I understand what you're saying.)
Just to be pedantic (but that seems fitting in a Technology Connections video), a boiler and a furnace aren't the same thing! A furnace will directly heat up the surrounding air and then use a blower motor to send the hot air through ducts all over the house, while a boiler will use gas to boil water to heat rooms through radiators.
I've lived in places for long periods of time (10+ years each) that flipped between ceiling lights and switched outlets. I prefer the ceiling light approach because it's easier to wire in a ceiling fan (provided the box is rated for it). Places without a ceiling light meant that I had to get into the attic crawl space (upstairs) or tear up a bunch of drywall (downstairs). I live in a warm area and our ceiling fans are on for most of the year, so it's not as easy as just dragging out a plug in fan.
I had an idea. For anyone who has something like this, you could have the switch cover color coordinated with the outlet. If the switch controls an outlet, you could take the cover off both and replace them with an orange or yellow one. And for instances where you have multiple switches, with one controlling the outlet and the other controlling a light, just remove the faceplate, and paint the half that controls the outlet. And do the same with the outlet in case the switch only turns off one outlet. That way when you go to plug something in, you'll notice that it's different colors than the other ones, and may help you remember that it's connected to a switch.
Like Melmo, my last apartment had a blue dot sticker on the switch and a blue dot sticker on the half of the outlet it controlled. Took a minute to figure it out, but once I did, I thought, “Nice,” and then plugged my nightstand lamps into it (with a splitter). Once I made the move to smart bulbs, the blue dot on the switch helped remind me to not turn it off, and it was never an issue.
The last apartment complex i lived in had a dot of red paint on the switch and corresponding outlet. Saved so much hassle when deciding where to put furniture.
I've got a switched outlet right next to the door which is a really inconvenient place for a lamp given the size and layout of my room. Never had an issue with it because I just leave it on. I could see it getting sticky if you have more than two or three light switches but it's not that hard to just remember which one is which
Getting very strong "My friend keeps complaining about this thing they could have fixed in less time than they've spent complaining" vibes from this one.
@Vistico93 Just take the switch out and splice the wires together inside the box (following all necessary local electrical codes etc)
"My friend keeps complaining about this thing they could have fixed in less time than they've spent complaining, so now I'll make a 15 minute video complaining about the complaining so that the time it's... now I've gone cross-eyed."
I don't have a choice in that matter as the switch controls every outlet in the room except the dedicated 20 amp air-conditioner outlet. I just got a switch cover to prevent any guest from accidentally shutting off my computer
I mean, the only times I've lived in houses wired like this was when I was living with my parents who refused to bypass the switch no matter how much it inconvenienced us all so I definitely couldn't have done anything about it.But TC has convinced me I was wrong for blaming the wiring.
It is also a cheap alternative to lighting fixtures when they are building a new house, so it is fairly common in mass build homes and less so in custom builds. I did away with most of the ones in my house and had ceiling fixtures installed.
There's also the possibility of using it for non-lamp uses! I use the switched outlet in my living room with a floor fan, super convenient in the summer when you can just switch off a fan.
putting switches on the wall is useful to stop things drawing vampire power, and also just to stop things going that you dont want to unplug, but dont have a switch on the item
I had my room built out of a loft, and there were two switches, one for the fan/light fixture, and one for a socket. The problem was that I only had 4 outlets in the room (only 2, including the switchable socket, are semi-convenient to plug in a phone for example) and the worst part was that the switches were on the outside of the wall (outside the room, not inside). Before the room was built, whenever I used the socket, because someone wanted to turn the lights off (and didn't know which switch was connected to it), both switches were turned off, and when I had something like, for example, a *PC that needs constant power* plugged in, and the switch is turned off, causing me to lose all my unsaved work or downloads in progress, you can see how this could be inconvenient. Then, when the room was built, what ended up happening was people would still flick those switches for various reasons, such as because the light was left on in my room, or they thought it controlled the light outside my room. Because of this, my computers suffered, and when I thought my phone was charging, it wasn't, leaving me with a dead phone (and it was very difficult to charge, it could only be wirelessly charged and overheated frequently...) I can understand the complaints of people who need their power to not be shut off by anyone in range of the switch...
This was a GREAT video, but I still have one issue with my switched outlet in my apartment. I have it controlling the exact same lamp that you featured later in the video. The very tall one that you have to assemble. Yes, I like the fact that I can turn this lamp on and off when I enter my apartment. I don't like the fact that I have to leave that lamp close to that outlet. I would like to be able to re-arrange the room yet still have this feature. As you brought up, extension cords are not safe. I do have another room in my apartment that I had to use my a beefy extension cord to plug 2 of those lamps into a switched outlet. I have one lamp on each side of the room yet the switched plug is close to one. I love your channel. Thank you.
The only issue I had with this was in an apartment I lived in, my modem had to be placed next to the light switch receptacle, when I had guests they'd flip the switch
My biggest complaint about the switched outlets in my home is that, in literally every room, they are all in the wrong place.
In my room, my computer is nearest to a switched outlet, which means that I had to run an extension cord around one side of the room (and made sure to buy a large enough gauge cord) to power it. But that outlet is next to my bed, so I had to run another different extension cord to power a bedside lamp. For many years, I had a third extension cord running from the switched outlet that I had to tape down across my doorway to where I wanted a room lamp to actually be. There's another utility room that has two light switches, one for built in lights and another for a switched outlet - the only 120v outlet in the room - but it was also the only convenient place for a wireless access point, so we have that light switch taped over.A lot of this was annoying in the moment, but we also got used to it overtime and it wasn't until this video that I was remembering all the annoying things I've had to or still have to deal with because of annoying switched outlets. If they were that split design with one live and one switched outlet, so many of the problems (aside from the taped down cable) would have gone away.
To be honest, the switches on UK sockets are pretty useful because UK power plugs take a fair amount of force to remove, plus the resulting loose plug will maim you if you are careless enough to step on it.
@Joey Nebulous and that's a big reason for the switch, the live pin can get so hot it melts the insulation on the pin and discolours or even cracks the socket. A switch makes it safer to pull the plug in that situation. Plugged appliances aren't meant to use 13A for continuous loading. This is why car charging cables are limited to 10A and you're not supposed to plug in 13A ovens. The plugs and sockets are only rated for 10A continuous draw or 13A peak. A kettle can be 3.25kW and have a warning against refilling it for a number of minutes after last boil. From experience, 240-250 seems to be the norm. The limits on UK plugs can be frustrating though as neighbouring countries have 15, 16, and 20 amp sockets that are rated for continuous loads (contrary to other comments here, locally and remote switched sockets aren't exactly rare in Germany etc. The insulated pins seem to be the weak points of the UK's plugs though.
@W Clark new build houses tend to have lots of sockets so you don't have that problem. For a desk, you should have protected supply anyway so putting a ten or 12 way strip in the cable management tray of the desk is sensible. In our old house, there were six sockets in the 2m x 2m study. It was plenty. Also, if space is an issue you can use protected IEC sockets for that niche situation. The reason the cord hangs down is so that in the event of water getting onto the flex it doesn't run into the plug or socket. When plugged into a 12 way strip in the cable management tray (often sized perfectly for the purpose) all cables point the same way (apart from some chargers) meaning you can get them all in nearly, organised, and taking up less space than plugs with the flex coming out of the back. That said, all those safety features exist because of how dangerous the UK's main wiring is (and was when the standard was created to save copper)
@zachary carlson The problem as I understand it (and to be clear I don't think it's at all a common occurrence) is a hazardous fault on the device end rather than the plug end. In such an eventuality it might be important to be able to cut the power quickly; when the seconds matter, you don't want to be tugging at plugs. Alec refers to this kind of situation in his follow-up video: he says in the eventuality of some kind of fault where you can't just turn the device off using its own switch, if you have to reach to the plug to turn off the outlet anyway, why don't you just unplug the device? My answer is that if the device is in a dangerous state, the (admittedly brief) extra time it would take is extra seconds of dancer.Granted, there are lots of other safety measures in place that will keep you well protected if you're using well-designed products sensibly, but if for example someone were foolhardy enough to try that fractal wood burning technique that was going around social media they would be bypassing the protection of fuses and circuit breakers. If they did end up shocking themselves (as several people have), someone else being able to turn the power off at the socket could be crucial.
@zachary carlson not to worry, the sort I'm talking about aren't nearly as common as they used to be. Most modern ones are very light and if an outlet couldn't retain those then it'd definitely be a serious problem. The sort that I'm talking about are nearly as bad as plugging an Apple laptop power supply into the wall without the extension cable. The worst ones were usually the ones that ended in barrel plugs and were for older Mixrosoft products.
@Joey Nebulous yeaaa.... ok so small issue... the UK plug is brilliant in design no arguments, but dont you lot have ring main circuits with like 30 amp breakers... boy i would love to encounter a fault there... like i know the whole fuse in the plug thing, i also watch big clive and know some devices are sold with either no fuse in the outlet or the fuse isnt connected to the circuitso safe as houses plug... incredibly weird and kinda even more dangerous electrical system.
House built in late 1950's, so I'm used to some rooms being just like that. One or two outlet pairs are switched and the rest are always live. And like he said, as long as you keep it in mind and plan ahead it's convenient.
I live in Spain and I have one switched outlet in my living room. It is very useful if you want to leave the room at night and then turn the small lamp off. We also say here "the light is out", or the "light bill". (se ha ido la luz / el recibo de la luz)
The whole light switch situation in bedrooms is so confusing on campsites that I have replaced tons of switched bedside lights with unswitched lights. Also, I had lots of unswitched spares and I needed switched bedside lights elsewhere. Win-Win-Win.
Switched outlets work in some cases, but they become superfluous when you use smart outlets. I often want to turn on a lamp in the other side of the room without getting up. I just leave the switch in the on position all the time though.
As an Australian this feels like I am listening to an alternate universe's problems. Makes me want a fantasy version of Technology Connections where a really persistent magic nerd describes in depth mechanics of something
He is far from being a nerd.
@Somluck so these round socket plugs are the lamps able to plug into a "normal" plug OR only special "lamp plugs" ??
@gladitsnotme 'canned lights' lolYes, rooms have lights, but we also happily plug in lamps. Although in the UK we all live in castles, so ours are mostly flaming torches lit by pet dragons.
@Alan Hilder We don't have two way switches in N. America. Just the one location single, two location three way, and multi location four way.
@vegancam American electrics can't be all that bad. After all, the standard Australian wall socket was actually invented in America, by Harvey Hubbell. Although, Australians did add the switch, to make it more British looking. The Chinese use it, too, only they turned it upside down. But only in America can you have a 7 Amp cord with a 15 Amp plug plugged into a 20 Amp socket.
I've never seen an outlet like that but when you talk to me like this I feel a sudden urge to defend how bad they are 😆
Or it can be like my apartment where we have 2 light switches, one when you enter the front door and one in the master bedroom, that connects not to any overhead light or any outlet. They are wired up but just seem to disappear into the wall with no idea where they terminate lol
back when i was doing the legwork of my job in IT, i worked for a company that owned a building with two addresses. Think like an industrial condo. One side had one set of offices, and warehouse space, and then with a wall dividing them, there was a second set of offices and warehouse space. Even though my boss owned the whole building, he didn't need it, and leased out half to another company. Then he outgrew his warehouse and needed the warehouse space so he knocked down the wall, kicked out the tenets and moved into the bigger warehouse. The offices were still not being used though, so he leased that out to another company, and then eventually one day, that company moved out and he never released it. Fast forward 20 years and in 2015 when i was working there, we were growing and needed more office space. So, one weekend i run fiber from our main office over to this second office, set up a second network here that all came off a switch that was connected to this fiber. During all of these, office space was at a premium, we were really over extended, so they decided we should move the server over to a this side of the building and free up the space in the main office for another desk. Everything was set up and working just fine when we did the install. Now, our CFO liked to work late, later than anyone else, and especially later than the guys in the new office on the other side of the building. So at 5:45 one afternoon, he calls me and says our server is offline. I try to ping it, no luck. I ping our public IP, success, in ping my workstation in the building, the network is up... something is wrong with the server. So i drive down to the office, flip on the lights to the room the server was in, and check everything. The server was running, i checked the last time it was rebooted, and that was that morning when we installed it, i pinged my workstation from the server, success. walked over to my workstation, pinged the server, success. Told CFO i couldn't find anything wrong, and he tried again and everything was working. So i go back to the other office, close everything up, shut off the lights, and leave and as i'm about to get in my car i get a call from CFO "It's down again." so i walk back in, but don't turn the lights on, the server is running as expected, i go to ping my workstation again... its not connected to anything. The entire network for this office is offline, so i go flip the lights on so i can see whats going on... and the network comes back up, lights off, network off, lights on, network on... Someone, on the same circuit as the overhead lights for this room, wired up one of the sockets and i had plugged the network switch into that socket. Any time the lights were off in that room, the server was unreachable. And that was the day i swore i would never put a socket on a switch. and I STILL WONT. because you can get this functionality with a $20 product for a wireless light switch that can be plugged into any socket and the switch mounted anywhere in any room, no construction or wiring required and you won't ruin anybodies day in 20 years because of your poor electrical choices
All of my switched outlets are immediately next to the door and are effectively useless. I would kill for overhead lighting. I will continue to loathe these outlets.
I've been using smart bulbs that is remotely controlled with a smart dimmer where the light switch is. Now all sockets are switched sockets. Some riomes have multiple lamps on different sides of the room. No voice control needed. Normal looking switch
I wish my apartment had boob lights on the ceiling. I like the more intense overhead lighting. As it stands, I have my bedroom's switched outlet hooked up to three different lamps with five 100W equivalent bulbs between them, and I feel like I'd need fewer bulbs to get the crazy amount of light I want if I had an overhead fixture.
My issue with these is that the last few houses I've lived in had two switches by the door. having grown up with one switch being light and the other fan, I find it very awkward that these switches are now for the light and a switched outlet, while the ceiling fan is left un-switched. I find it much less convenient to turn the fan on and off by pull chain as opposed to switch. Most recently I ended up getting a portable fan to plug into the outlet because it was less work than using the chain. one room I feel does this properly and has three switches for light, fan, and outlet. If there's a ceiling fan it should have a switch as well.
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PS: They make light switch covers (assuming you don't have a paddle switch) so you can flip the switch on, install the cover, and now you won't touch the switch, because, you can't.PSS: They also make lighted light switches that light up when they are turned on, or there are some that light up when they are turned off.
Two things. One, that room design with the double half-grey outlets is SO FREAKIN GOOD! Two, it took me half the video to realize that the haggled looking dude with the crazy hair and t-shirt was still you. The ponytail and the suit go a long way! 😂
Next up: topknot. Let’s go!
Yes that means he would look awesome with a short hair cut. Funnily enough i have grown out my hair before and some time i miss it but then he reminds me that i wouldnt look more handsome if i did. I skipped a correlation or 2. The point is tied back is similar to a buzzcut. So you can get that old look when your hair was shorter and still keep the long hair to flick around gloriously in the shower.
Amazingly, it's the same t-shirt, just no coat! Sure does make a difference in perceived age.
Also the slack-jawed "dimwit" look, just a shift in facial tone can sometimes be jarring.
Just want to give huge appreciation for the full-effort subtitles, even in November.
Here in Australia we don’t have switched outlets but I run smart globes in my lamps and leave them powered on. Best of both worlds as I can turn them off in bed or before I get home and they always come on
I remember we had our computer set up in the laundry room when I was a kid, and the outlet we had it plugged into was hooked up with the light switch which also controlled the overhead room light, it made for some... moments lol
Damn as an Aussie I was confused for a sec before I realized not everywhere had switches directly on the outlet, one per output...
Just want to appreciate that you write your own closed captions. They're accurate! (And sometimes funny... loved the musical scatting at the end there...) I wish more presenters would do it.
alec's definitely one of the best creators i've seen when it comes to captioning. having worked in transcription, i know how frustrating and time consuming it is to transcribe video dialogue, so i really appreciate that extra mile. a lot of channels will just not do captions at all, or copypaste the script in which often has inaccuracies and timing errors compared to the final product, or pay for one of the cheapo subtitling services like the one i worked for, where employees* are paid so little per audio minute that they literally can't afford to take the time to double-check and be accurate if they want anything approaching minimum wage.[*probably actually gig-economy "independent contractors" with no benefits or protections]it's a tricky problem to deal with especially for smaller creators, because quality captions simply take a lot of time and effort that they either have to put in themselves or pay someone else for (especially after youtube's absolutely horrible decision to remove community contributions) so when channels do put in that effort to make sure they have *good* captions, and even take the time to sneak in a few personal touches and jokes, it's something i'm really grateful for
Confoundingly smooth comment!
@chitlitlah Not only did he say it, he wrote it too
I'm glad you pointed this out as I rarely watch anything with captions and would've missed it, but it was worth rewatching the end with them on. Automatic captions wouldn't have caught his phone going off either. And he said this was no effort...
@Luke O'Connell I don't remember which video but one of his videos had a group of people playing a game and the captions were color coded for each person! I didn't know that was even possible. Tom is the best.
7:14 so this is why the Sims had so many floor lamps. I never understood who on earth would ocuppie floor space like that.10:40 Also, that would be a niche case in which a switch on the wall might be useful. You could use the switch on the wall and the one next to the door to switch the lamp on and off and it would work everytime. I'm not sure how do you call this in English, but basically when you have two switches controlling the same thing.
My first apartment (1977) had this arrangement, Unfortunately, I wanted the lamp on the other side of the door, by the bed. 💡! After a trip to Radio Shack, I had a 6V power supply that I could plug into the outlet. The low voltage wire went along the trim to the lamp on the other side of the room. A relay in the lamp base turned the lamp on and off. 💡! The relay was double throw, so with the addition of a double throw switch in the lamp base, I had a three way light circuit!. I could always turn the lamp on and off from the doorway or the bed regardless of switch position!
Loved the snark and always questioned how folks didn’t get the concept of a switched outlet. I suspect many might also be flat Earthers …
My new apartment has exactly one switched outlet, and go figure it's connected to the only light switch just inside the door. I have pretty much no furniture in the living room and have no lamps to connect to it, so I have to walk across my dark living room to turn the dining room light on to be able to see anything. Great distaste, but I can see the appeal.
The shots of Alec flipping a switch with varying degrees of crazy is so far my favorite part of no effort november. Thank you for that!Also still waiting for the day that I can wirelessly power my lamp so I can place it in the room wherever I darn please, without the need for annoying cable hooha or silly switch outlet placement.
@donkmeister I am totally not jealous of those big old plugs you guys have.; Those things are huge. I've never had to deal with them, but they seem unwieldy.
Yeah, need to make a GIF of the last one! XD
@Chris aka Schulbus wat
You don't want that. Trust me.
@christo930 I don't think it's jealousy, it's more a certain sort of "fear of the unknown". An easily relatable equivalent is that as a Brit, I have learned that 50% of videos showing traffic driving on the left will have at least one person commenting some variation of "herpdy derp why are they driving on the wrong side of the road?"... I don't think these people are jealous of us for driving on the correct side of the road, it's just that it seems wrong to them because they've never traveled.Obviously as I am a Brit, I assume you would like to see my awesomely chunky electrical plugs and sockets that you totally aren't jealous about? 😜
I used to have one of these switched outlets (in Europe). The PC was plugged into it. The switch was the flat kind, so it flipped when you leaned on it. It also happened to be right on the inner corner (it was an L-shaped room) where you'd lean to talk to the person using the computer. And it was before everything autosaved constantly. Many hours of work were lost to that switch.
So that's why I have light switches in my house that seemingly have no use, and why some of my outlets don't work. I've just dealt with it for years, never bothering to research why either of these things were true. I feel like my mind just opened.
for the bedroom you might need a vexel switch which lets you turn on light from ether side with out needing to turn on light in the morning
As a kid our tv always got plugged into a switched outlet. Switching it off was a great way to annoy the family
He's either joking about it being no effort, or just gotten really good at this. I love how you take a "boring mundane" subject like outlet switches and made it interesting.
@Tahgtahv That's because it was a (bad) opinion piece :)
Yeah, this is his "low effort". No special props, no restarts when there are background noises, playing through sometimes when there's an error, generally looking like a goofball when off set.
Well yeah, but as usual, the videos end up being more how we inhabit our everyday spaces, how small things matter (like how reaching for a well-known wall switch is much more intuitive than reaching for 10 different possible lamp switches), how history influences current trends and so on. It's not really about the technology but about the thought processes behind it and the human aspects of it.
Maybe low effort, but there wasn't really anything special in this video. No particular research or special props needed afaict. On par with a Connextras video IMO.
The whole bedroom lamp thing can be solved by a three way switch, one at the door, one(or two) at bedside.
I'd be quite interested in how two-way switches work -- I mean when there are two different switches that can each turn a light on or off, with each switch acting as a toggle. I've never understood that.
Think of it this way: the ground wire is connected direct. The two switches are connected to switch between wires A and B. If both a switched to A, or both switched to B you have power.For longer chains I think you need switches to two in two out and the switch switches between crossconnect and direct connect.
Those switches are rare to me, & when I run across them in hotels I often think the outlets just don't work, then I find out later they needed the light on to function. That was annoying cause I ended up moving all my charging equipment cause I thought 2 outlets were faulty
My biggest take away is to think of our house's electric as 2 or 3 sperate systems: light (overhead or switched outlet) vs. outlets (vs. wired appliances with their own circuit).
Here in Ireland (and I think the UK) we have 5A round pin sockets for lamps and 13A rectangular pin sockets for everything else. Problem solved!!!😊
My house has a switched outlet in every room and we never used lamps so it was frustrating to accidentally plug something important into one. Recently, it turned into a blessing in disguise when I wanted to install smart switches and learned there was no neutral in any of my switch boxes. The switch controlling an outlet has to run a wire to the outlet box that has a neutral. If I turn the switched outlet into a normal always on outlet, I can repurpose the now unused wire to run neutral back to my switch boxes. No new wiring required for my smart switches!
Weird case for me: I had a monitor and a lamp hooked to a switched outlet, which was great because I could download things on my PC overnight and just turn my monitor off with my lamp at the same time.Also, that same monitor will have a bright, flashing LED that will keep me up at night unless I turn it off. I did some rearranging in my room and now miss being able to turn the monitor off with the light switch
I personally love the snark level in this video, it’s hilarious.
I've seen switched outlets in Europe too. But often they're at another height, often near the ceilling. Handy if you want to plug in a fan or ceilling light. But looks silly if it's a floor lamp. I'm not sure if there might be some norms that dictate/suggest to place them at a higher lever or it just seems intuitive to distinguish outlets. You won't plug in your vacuum cleaner there.
Switched outlets are pretty handy for a lot of things besides lights. Wax wamers (a sort of flameless candle thing used to add fresh air to a room) are a good fit. If you don't want to have your chargers powered at all times for whatever reason, put them on a switched outlet and only flip it on when you want to charge something. Powered speakers pick up ambient radio signals when you're not feeding something into? Switch! Have some phantom-energy device like a old CRT for retrogaming? A switch will keep it from causing any problems.
Imagine adding a third equation into the mix. All of my bulbs are “smart” connected to Alexa. There have been numerous times where I’m not sure if my night stand is off at the wall, the switch on the lamp, or Alexa has the bulb off 😅
Yea, at this point there is no reason to have the switch anymore.
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Love this ep. Agreed with every point.Let me just say, once you have a nice array of recessed lights that are dimmable and color-temp controlled, there's no need for floorlamps anymore. That was the only and only reason I got sick of having switched outlets in my house. If I want to vary up the lighting, I can change individual lights or even animate effects across the array, and do this per room.
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Meanwhile, we have wiring where there are multiple switches for the same light (e.g. one by the door, one by the bed). Toggling either switch toggles the state of the light. Nifty.
I used to live in an apartment where the bedroom had a single light switch that controlled both the overhead lights AND both outlets on either side of the most logical place to put the bed, which meant there wasn't a way to use bedside lamps, alarm clocks, phone chargers, etc. without turning the overhead lights on. On the upside, we now own a LOT of extension cables.
My parents have a large room where all but one or 2 outlets are double connected to the light switch. This means for most of the room, everything is either on or off. We had to put a blocker on the switch so you don't accidentally don't turn it off which would knock off the computer and inter router which means all the TV's too. *laughs*
For some unholy reason, the switched outlet in my house is... not in my house! It's tied to the outside outlet for lawn tools!
As an englishman moving to the US some years ago, I set up a tv and vcr, and I plugged the VCR into one of those switched sockets. Took me for ever to figure out why the VCR would never record anything while I was out!
I had no idea that negative attitudes toward the switched outlet had become so hostile. Switched outlets are fun, I have always found a use for them and especially love using them for studio electronics and power amplifiers. Surge protector gives peace of mind, and the outlet gives peace of mind that I’m not paying for all the electronics to idle.
When we moved into our new home we thought that it was so convenient that we could turn of our corner lamp by using the switch. Until we came home, after a long day out, and our living room was freezing since we had also turned of the radiator.
No one in my house has ever, to my memory, been confused by any of the many switched outlets in my house. Now, literally just one or two days after I found this video, my dad says an outlet isn't working. I had forgotten about this video, but after Googling the symptoms I observed (measuring around 39V which drops to
This is so 20th century lol. Smart bulbs, turn on them from even vacation spot on the other side of the world. And yes, it can be done securely. And no, hackers don't care about switching your lights off.
my grandmother's house, that my grandfather started to build in 65(added on to it slowly in the years following), has a fairly big living room, with a 4 switch panel right beside the door that controls all the outlets in the room. i think the room was added in the 70s, as it did, and still does, have yellow shag pile carpeting, with probably over 500 pounds of that white floor powder stuff in it that my grandmother used over the years. anyway, at current, my grandma has like 3 lights in those plugs, and it also turns on the air conditioner in that room too.
I'm trying to think of how to use this plug with a relay and a microcontroller to make the house a little smarter
An electrician I worked with told me sometimes they would run everything in a bathroom through the GFCI receptacle. This allowed the receptacle to protect the light fixture and exhaust fan. He agreed he didn't see the necessity, but it was often requested in rental units.
I think the idea of a dedicated light socket is a good one, I think it'd be nice to control all the table lamps and standard lamps from the same location as the ceiling lamps. I disagree with your opinion on switches right by the sockets, though, not from safety, but convenience; sometimes I want to just switch something off but keep it plugged in (I do this with a television set, a printer, and a handful of USB chargers when they aren't in use) maybe you don't like plugging a phone in, finding it isn't charging, and having to switch it on, but I don't like having to wake up and remember to switch my table lamp on in order to switch it off, which makes as much sense as clicking "start" in windows in order to stop the computer - some things make no sense, but we get used to it and then can't think of doing it any differently. The other thing about individually switched sockets is a minor one, but if you switch off a socket before you unplug it, you prevent arcs when you pull it out from marring up the contacts on the plug itself.