Industrial-style dimmer switch


Whatever the word is for the cultural pathology that makes me want to replace every light switch in my house…

I have the same affliction. I think it should be called Bauhaus Syndrome. I currently have a garage full of steel stools and cabinets that I picked up from a factory that was closing in Chicago. I have no immediate need for any of it but I just couldn’t bear to see them tossed into the scrap heap. Something about the simplicity of design and patina of age and daily use just seemed to scream “take me home”, so I did.


Eh, to my tastes, those things look much too pretty to be called industrial. I want something that belongs in the laboratory of Okabe Rintarou.

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It won’t be as cheap as the bottom of the barrel plated and/or ‘silver’ plastic; but (as is…oddly common…in situations where art overlaps with other areas that use the same parts) you might have better luck purchasing from somebody who supplies industrial knobs to industry.

Good old McMaster-Carr is Not Exactly the bargain choice; but they do have a lovely selection, including knurled knobs.

MSC Industrial Supply also has some reasonably promising candidates in “Handwheels, Levers, Handles & Knobs”. (Conveniently, many sorts of machine tools require proper knobs for adjustment, so there is already a market for good, solid, industrial, fiddly bits)

You could also look for suppliers of ‘panel mount’ potentiometer and rotary encoder knobs; but(while sometimes finely crafted) those tend to be a bit less ‘industrial’ and a bit more radio age/Cold War chic. Not necessarily a bad thing; but answers to a different question. Electronic Goldmine is, alas, sold out of their 25-knob assortments; but still has sets of 7 and individual Raytheon knobs. The assortments are, shockingly, a bit of a mixed bag(some totally undistinguished, some definitely rock the ‘control panel for the tube-based doomsday computer from an alternate universe where transistors were never invented and the Cold War never ended’ vibe). The Raytheon units are more uniform, and nice knobs; but also more ‘Colossus: The Forbin Project’ than ‘Industrial’. Not that I, um, don’t own several now, for reasons that are totally defensible.


Isn’t Bauhaus Syndrome a bleak post-punk/ambient electroglitch band that almost every human alive is insufficiently cool to have heard of? They certainly sound like it…


Formerly known as Helvetica Scenario.

It is just a toggle switch (I don’t see how that makes it industrial). And a note to the DIYers, many toggle switches aren’t rated above 12V or so. So don’t try connecting one to 120V or higher unless it is designed for that.

Damn queen atom. I wonder if neonicitinoids are to blame?


A friend of mine might be extremely interested those cabinets and stools if you want to move them on to other good homes. He deals in many things salvaged and neglected. Haha.

I wish I had f*****g light switches in my house.

I mean, I have a couple, but whoever designed this house suffered from that obnoxious American syndrome of not wanting ceiling lights anywhere, so when you enter a dark room you have to fumble all the way across it to the nearest outlet, then scrabble about for the switch on a lamp. This includes all four entrances to the house.

I recently bought a remote control switch for a room like that, it’s great. About $30 I think. So now I hit a button on a little key fob thing hanging about where I would put a light switch rather than digging under a table for the power strip. They are all plugged into a single outlet, thank goodness for energy efficient bulbs! The six lamps add up to about 80 watts.

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Nice! I need to explore that. Something online, or Ace Hardware?

I don’t remember. They are definitely available on amazon. “remote control light switch”
Be sure the wattage is rated high enough for whatever you want to connect.

Oh, and for multiple rooms you would want to make sure they used different frequencies or something :slight_smile:

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I’m having a similar problem… I would like light switches that resemble big push buttons seen on control panels from early sci fi movies. I have found some industrial machinery buttons that might work out, but other than that I can’t find reasonable solutions. I was surprised to realize how few options there are for basic home light switches on the market.

The hell is up with that anyway?

…The clapper?

You know, I’ve thought about it.

Amazon reviews are informative.

Apparently it’s a very poor quality product. 3/5 stars. Failures, burn outs, unreliability, control issues.


I believe you can get those from supply houses for the handicapped and disabled. There are lots of styles, from brutally industrial to kid-themed big colorful candylike buttons.


Just keep in mind that anything that uses remote control eats power all the time. This may be acceptable to you, depending on application and/or your own ethical values, or not.

Every year several millions tons of pollution, contributing to both climate change and unnecessary smog deaths, is released into the atmosphere so that people can run all their billions of remotely controlled appliances 365x24. Myself, I put everything with a remote control on a hard-switched power strip - but then again I’m not in the same unfortunate situation you and @Ratel are.