Because all my light switches are Wi-Fi connected, how would I remove my traditional light switches but still have easy access to turning on and off those wires so I don't always have to go to the breaker box?

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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it's about home improvement, with no relation to the use of computing elements. It may on on-topic on Home Improvement, but you should clarify what you mean by “hide”: do you want to reroute wires or keep the location of existing switches but make them look like the wall around them or what? Where would you access the wires if not behind switches? May 26, 2018 at 10:31
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    I was thinking of a method to hide them but still have access to turning them on and off like using an Arduino and a relay. Capping the wires is a maintenance problem so I need an IoT solution. Having traditional switches that are always on is confusing for guests.
    – Sawtaytoes
    May 26, 2018 at 14:42
  • Just to clarify - you seem to be asking "how can I have manual light switches without having manual light switches" ? Jun 1, 2018 at 7:57
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    @Sawtaytoes Might be best to take into account Gilles' feedback before we would even consider any migration; that said, it would probably be easier to take the feedback from this question and ask a new, more specific question over there instead rather than us sending over this question, then you edit further and might not get any additional input. If you're already happy with the answers here, you may as well leave it be rather than move it elsewhere.
    – Aurora0001
    Jun 4, 2018 at 19:02
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    In the light of the answer referencing wiring codes, I think this is on topic here. Jun 5, 2018 at 8:56

2 Answers 2


You can’t and don’t want to.

First the “can’t” reason for the United States: While not every light and switch in residential dwelling units is considered required lighting, at least one light and switch in every room is required lighting and must have a switch at the door in the US to follow the National Electrical Code.

Lighting outlets in dwelling units must be installed in accordance with 210.70(A)(1), (2) and (3). At least one wall-switch-controlled lighting outlet must be installed in every habitable room (and bathroom) of a dwelling [210.70(A)(1)]. This provision requires at least one lighting outlet in every habitable room and at least one wall switch to control it. The dictionary defines habitable as “fit to be lived in.” Habitable rooms include, but are not limited to: kitchens, breakfast areas, dining rooms, family rooms, great rooms, bonus rooms, sitting rooms, living rooms, parlors, libraries, dens, sunrooms, bedrooms, recreational rooms, etc. Unless meeting one of the two exceptions, at least one lighting outlet controlled by a wall switch is required in every habitable room.

Article 210--Branch Circuits: Required Lighting Outlets, Part II

You also “don’t want to” because you need that backup switch. What happens when for whatever reason WiFi switching isn’t working? In my home the only two standard light switches exist, both control garbage disposals, it’s not very often but occasionally things fail and the light need to be turned on or off easily. If the WiFi switch is tucked away in the basement/closet or inside the light fixture then there is no way to just go to bed and fix it tomorrow, or go to work and fix it later, or maybe your internet provider can’t restore service until next Tuesday... etc etc...

Finally, while you think the WiFi switching system you’ve created is all anyone would ever want, removing wall switches will negatively affect resale value. While many of us embrace such automation most of the world isn’t ready for it yet.

  • What about recessed gang boxes and a flip-top or magnetic cover? It doesn't say they need to be immediately accessible. I've also got IoT buttons next to many switches or somewhere in the room. Would those suffice? It doesn't say the switch needs to physically control the power either.
    – Sawtaytoes
    May 26, 2018 at 15:04
  • I quoted an article about the relevant code sections rather than the actual code, if you dive into it you’ll find for the required light the control must be at the door (stairways and hallways must have multiple switches). Also relevant is that all splices must remain accessible (I.e. not buried or sheet rocked over. As far as recessed boxes and magnetic flip covers, good luck finding items that are “listed” for that use—- but that’s an entire nother related subject.
    – Tyson
    May 26, 2018 at 15:17

There are plasctic switch covers you can put on over your traditional switch. They are covered in the front to prevent accidental toggles, but open on one side so you have access if you need it. I have several on switches that I've put smart bulbs on.

Here's one example: Style Selections 1-Gang Clear Single Switch Guard Wall Plate

Picture of said wall plate


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