Electrical – What’s a good way to customize or recess a lightswitch


I saw this etsy project:

Working Arcade Light Switch

And while it's pretty cool, I'm not huge into arcade or fighting games, so I was going to make my own, and change the buttons.

How would be a good and easy way to do that?

I don't want to make my own switch, but rather, reuse an existing switch. I don't want to modify the internals of a switch, because I want to leave safety mechanisms in tact.

My first thought would be to use a "decorative" switch and replace or cover the button mechanism, but the biggest problem with that is that the switch sticks out too far to be easily covered by the wall plate. So, I'm thinking I want to recess the switch somehow, and I might be able to manage something by bending the metal part the screws screw into, but I'm not sure that's a good option, and feels quite hackish.

Any suggestions?

Update: I think that everyone misunderstands my request? I don't want to open up the light switch. I want to change the appearance of the system.

Thought experiment: Let's say I really like chocolate bars, so I want to make a chocolate bar light switch. I want to follow all the UL rules.

  1. Glue a plastic chocolate bar to a rocker light switch. I look at it from the front, and it looks great, covered the switch. but I look at it from the side, and I can still see the light switch, I don't like the look of it (because I want to hide the light switch).
  2. I measure the amount the chocolate bar sticks above the wall. Let's say that's 1 inch.
  3. I take a jig saw, and cut out all the sheet rock that would be covered by the chocolate bar.
  4. I remove the switch, electrical box, and move all in-wall wiring aside for the time being.
  5. I then remove 1 inch (or the amount discovered in step 2) of the stud the electrical box was attached to, everywhere that is now exposed by the sheet rock.
  6. I reattach the electrical box, now 1 inch more recessed than it was before (presume there's still room, because it's a big wall)
  7. Re attach the wiring, and put the switch back into the electrical box.

Voila, I now have a chocolate bar lightswitch, and it looks the way I want. Did I violate any UL rules? Or otherwise do anything an electrician would say is a bad idea? I don't think so. If so, please let me know which step is wrong. I could do all of this, but step 5 is an annoying step, (as is step 3). Can I avoid any of those steps and recess the light switch in another way?

Best Answer

I would not recommend this. Switches are tested to electrical safety standards which includes making sure they have adequate insulated properties that prevent you the user from getting a shock. They are also designed to drain a short circuit to the earth/ground by cross bonding metal components built inside the switch. Modifying a switch could invariably invalidate those safety features. Making it a hazard for you and anyone else using said switch.