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Thread: Labeling light switches

  1. #1
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    Labeling light switches

    I want to label switches in several bathrooms. Lights, fan, heater. Something like rub on letters or symbols. Ideas?

  2. #2
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    I use white devices and a black-on-white Brother labeler in the shop.

    Elec-phase-2-E_Wall-2.jpg

    I don't know that you could match other colors but the labels have stayed on for years despite heavy use and periodic cleanings.
    "A hen is only an egg's way of making another egg".


    Samuel Butler

  3. #3
    I have been looking at this 'problem' for 4-5mo. We've got numerous 4-gang switch banks for outside lights, with as many as 14 switches* for a single light. In many cases, the light(s) are not visible from the switch :: no feedback :: guests wear the switch out wondering why it doesn't work. Labeling is high on my list.

    Previous owner tried Brady/P-touch style labels, and they are not durable enough IMO. There are pre-printed stickers/symbols available from numerous sources, but I fear they will be subject to same wear. Some are even non-adhesive; stick via surface tension, so easy to move/replace.

    One of the big names in switches (Hubbell?? ...Lutron?? name escapes me at the moment) offers custom engraving, but I have not gone so far as to get prices ($$$!!!???). I have considered buying laser engraver and doing my own, but stumped by how to get good contrast.

    In a previous 'engagement' (job), we laser engraved all our own legends for industrial switches & pilot lights. Base materials were perfect for contrast, but how to shape them into a switch cover...?

    I have even considered 3D printing the entire cover plate (...excuse to get a 3D printer?)

    So many questions. And procrastination rules the day. For the moment. Maybe someone will have a suggestion to get me moving?

    --------------------
    *- Guessing original owner was an electrician, as this is accomplished with 24vdc switches to relay panel that controls 120VAC to the fixture(s).

  4. #4
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    Sep 2016
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    I use lighted switches in gang boxes for the switch most commonly used in that gang. This also makes it easy to turn on the lights in a dark room.
    At the lab all devices had an engraved label of which breaker panel and which breaker# fed the device.
    A trophy shop or jeweler should be able to engrave a switch plate.
    How about dog tag embossed metal super glued on.
    Color code lighted/lights red/heat, blue/cooling fan. etc
    Bill D

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Malcolm McLeod View Post
    ...*- Guessing original owner was an electrician, as this is accomplished with 24vdc switches to relay panel that controls 120VAC to the fixture(s).
    I once owned a 1940's-era twin-screw cabin cruiser that had belonged to a guy with an electrical-supplies store. It had, if I recall correctly, 5 separate souces of 120v AC power, among other things. It was a nightmare when I opened things up. The ultimate answer was to get rid of most of the stuff and re-wire the rest.

  6. #6
    P touch labels last fine. I've had one (black/clear "cold") on my kitchen faucet for years, ones on the stove (front/back burner), and on many cordless power tool batteries, etc.

    IME, any ganged switches over 4, and often even then, will never be figured out by the users, even ten years later.

    My realtor wife currently has a house coming up for sale that the owners paid a guy many many thousands of $ to make "smart". A tutorial is needed on how to turn on a room light, which doesn't always work, and is promptly forgotten. I estimate that this will ultimately reduce the selling price by $50k.


    Even some micro bumper stickers on the work truck. These have been in place at least 10 years.

    IMG_4417.jpegIMG_4418.jpeg

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Find a sign / vinyl cutter in your area and get them to cut vinyl graphics (names) on contrasting color vinyl. This is the same vinyl that you see on business windows, back windows of soccer mom SUV's showing the family tree you know the silhouette images of mommy daddy three kids a dog a cat their ATV a boat RV and a personal diving bell.

    Possibly one of your neighbors has a Cricut vinyl cutter they are big with home crafters and can cut all the vinyl labels you need
    https://www.amazon.com/Cricut-Joy-Machine-Portable-Personalized/dp/B084LMTR98/ref=asc_df_B084LMTR98/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=416712691199&hvpos=&hvnetw= g&hvrand=2192601830697989004&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt =&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9005146&hvt argid=pla-886412629599&psc=1&tag=&ref=&adgrpid=93357453985&h vpone=&hvptwo=&hvadid=416712691199&hvpos=&hvnetw=g &hvrand=2192601830697989004&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmd l=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9005146&hvtargid=pla-886412629599

    as an alternative there are a million vinyl cutters guys and gals out there that will cut and ship your vinyl the same day.
    here are some links from a google search on cut vinyl buy sources. and then there is ETSY

    The attached picture is cut vinyl text I made for a police pen just to give you an idea of what can be done and how small.
    IMG_2023-06-09-13-49-25-522.jpgIMG_2023-06-09-17-19-28-233.jpg

    https://www.stickermule.com/uses/custom-decals?utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&src=GOOG&c id=657485261&gclid=CjwKCAjwoqGnBhAcEiwAwK-OkSPsdHgDciv2VVS3VUgUPW8W0fjWkmcznEPJOe6gey9XB_tpo heRtxoCdKwQAvD_BwE

    https://www.stickergenius.com/shop/transfer-decals/


    and then there is ETSY
    https://www.etsy.com/market/custom_cut_vinyl
    calabrese55
    Let your hands tell the story of the passion in your heart

  8. #8
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    I need to take my vinyl cutter out of the box. Thanks Mike.

    There are also plenty to choose from on Amazon.
    https://www.amazon.com/Switch-Sticke...92&sr=8-2&th=1

  9. #9
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    Mar 2018
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    Moscow, ID
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    We have labels on the outlets at work that were made by a Brother P-Touch. They've been on for 8 years now and have lasted well, even in wet areas like the bathrooms and break room.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Dufour View Post
    I use lighted switches in gang boxes ...
    I have considered this (pilot lights), then you'd know exactly what light is 'on' regardless of which switch initiated it. But would need to wreck out the walls and pull wires to drive each pilot from the associated relay. Most relays are driven from 3-4 switches, but we do have that one '14-er'. ...not happenin'.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Rutherford View Post
    ... ultimate answer was to get rid of most of the stuff and re-wire the rest.
    I'm lucky. Whoever built it did a very professional job: fused, neat, wires labeled, documented - excepting the switches themselves.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cameron Wood View Post
    P touch labels last fine. ...IMG_4418.jpeg
    No clue of the as-found label brand, but all worn and peeling. I replaced with P-touch. We'll see how they last.

    IME, any ganged switches over 4, and often even then, will never be figured out by the users, even ten years later.
    My need is exterior lights on a short-term rental house. With guests guessing at function, I fear I'll arrive to every light in the land blazing.

    My realtor wife currently has a house coming up for sale that the owners paid a guy many many thousands of $ to make "smart". A tutorial is needed on how to turn on a room light, which doesn't always work, and is promptly forgotten. I estimate that this will ultimately reduce the selling price by $50k.IMG_4418.jpeg
    I've considered a PLC in place of the relay panel, then small graphic panels replacing each switch bank w/ serial comms between all of them by repurposing the existing low voltage wiring. Programmable. Customizable. Feedback. ...Expensive. Plus what you said!

    Cricut is interesting idea ... my niece has one. ...hmmmm?
    Last edited by Malcolm McLeod; 08-25-2023 at 7:31 PM.

  11. #11
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    My uncle lived in a house in Pasadena with german made low voltage relay controlled lights. When an airplane flew over lights went on and off and garage doors opened and closed in the neighborhood.
    1960's when technology would soon solve all our problems.
    Bill D

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Derek Meyer View Post
    We have labels on the outlets at work that were made by a Brother P-Touch. They've been on for 8 years now and have lasted well, even in wet areas like the bathrooms and break room.
    I use a P-touch for this application, typically clear tape with black lettering as that works with the white electrical trims I mostly use.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Dufour View Post
    My uncle lived in a house in Pasadena with german made low voltage relay controlled lights. When an airplane flew over lights went on and off and garage doors opened and closed in the neighborhood.
    1960's when technology would soon solve all our problems.
    Bill D
    Similar situation involving things that fly. In the 70's I belonged to a radio control aircraft club, models of course. Our field was about 300 yards off the NY state thru way.
    Back then the frequencies we used were on 27 hundred Mz, and very close to the frequencies used by CB radios. The truckers back then were notorious for running foot warmers, slang for a souped up transmission booster on their CB radios. Every now and again the right guy in the right truck putting out 1000000000 watts would swamp our radio signals. We lost a few planes
    calabrese55
    Let your hands tell the story of the passion in your heart

  14. #14
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    Quorn United Kingdom
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    Would it be possible to colour code switches with a small spot of nail vanish

    When I worked as a pharmacst in retail I had a member of staff who put a spot of nail vanish on the lock to cosmetic cabinets and a spot on the the key to enable easy matching

  15. #15
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    Found a great solution on Amazon

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09NVFGX4H...G9uZV9kZXRhaWw

    Thanks everyone!

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