Simple on/off solution for up to 8 plugs.
December 29, 2018 12:04 PM   Subscribe

My mom loves lamps. Last night, I counted 8 of them in the dining room (the largest room in the house). She nearly always turns on all the lamps in any given room. I would like to help her by setting up a solution so that she can turn on as many as 8 at once with the click of a button. I’d prefer it to be a solution that doesn’t require WiFi, and I do not want to use extension cords. Does such a thing exist?

I’m aware of solutions that have a remote with one button per plug or per two plugs. The essential thing here is handling up to 8 plugs at once.
posted by ocherdraco to Home & Garden (10 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
It seems to me that X10 receivers all set to the same address would respond to a single button.
posted by Marky at 12:26 PM on December 29 [1 favorite]

Well, one way to do this—arguably, the best way—would be to get an electrician in to put a switch on the circuit that the lamps are on. If the lamps are all already on the same circuit (i.e. all the outlets in the room are on the same breaker) then this might be a pretty reasonable task. If circuits needed to be reworked, it might involve a certain amount of opening walls and then having them closed up again afterward. Probably more expensive than you're looking for here, but not impossible and it would solve the problem pretty definitively.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 12:37 PM on December 29 [4 favorites]

Lower tech, not quite what you asked, but putting the lamps on timers might be helpful.
posted by sarajane at 12:55 PM on December 29

The Hue system can do this, with just a remote and the smart bulbs - no hub or WiFi required. See here.
posted by doomsey at 1:14 PM on December 29 [1 favorite]

In our house, we do his using Etekcity remote outlets. Each button on the remote can be paired with many outlets, and the process is simple. The outlets are cheap too and you can easily buy more and add on. Highly recommend! The one I linked to gives you two remotes and five outlets for $30, way cheaper than other options. They have other combos of numbers of outlets & remotes if you want.

(Not sure if you can pair -eight- outlets per button, you may be limited to five or so, but it’s still simpler to press two buttons than to switch eight lamps.)
posted by wyzewoman at 1:24 PM on December 29 [7 favorites]

Timers are very handy. Day length is pretty variable in Maine, so I change the timer @ 4 times a year, ideally midway between solstices and equinoxes.
posted by theora55 at 1:59 PM on December 29

I didn’t realize you could pair multiples to one button! This is perfect. (And I’m gonna be making some changes to my own setup when I get home.)
posted by ocherdraco at 2:18 PM on December 29

My first thought was The Clapper, but maybe that just marks me as an oldster.
posted by Johnny Assay at 5:50 AM on December 30 [1 favorite]

We also have a very similar solution to the etekcity remote outlets for our baby’s room. There are different remotes you can get that have a master on and off so you can turn them all on or off at the same time.
posted by chillmost at 9:40 AM on December 30

An multi-outlet extension cord power-strip based solution is fine as long as all the lamps have LED bulbs in them (making them low wattage), as they should anyway. Just make sure the cord is routed sensibly along the wall, under carpets etc, if needed.
You can get a simple remote controlled power switch to connect the multi outlet through, avoiding a need for a more complicated wi-fi/smart home solution.

There are a million other ways you could do this, with one or more smart power strips (those are a thing now), some kind of smart home hardware, smart LED bulbs, but the way I initially described is the simplest.
posted by w0mbat at 3:06 PM on December 30

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