A Comparison of Rocker and Toggle Light Switches

Light switches tend to be a fixture more focused on function than style. After all, you don’t need your light switches to be especially fancy; you just need them to turn the lights on and off. Still, there are two main types of switches out there to choose from, so it’s essential to understand how they compare not only in their functionality but also in their style. Keep reading to get a comparison between rocker switches and traditional toggle switches.


It goes without saying that both types of switches serve the same primary function: turning your switches on and off. However, there are still a few differences in their functionality that are worth noting. Rocker switches tend to require less hand pressure to operate, making them easier for children to operate (or, at the very least, make it less likely that you’ll miss the light switch altogether when you try to turn it on as you walk by). However, rockers are slightly more likely to get “stuck” between the off and on positions than toggles. Rockers are also slightly quieter when turning the lights on and off.


Because of their smooth design, rocker switches are easier to clean than toggle switches. Though you might turn the lights on and off a few types as you clean them, they only require a quick wipe down, and you’ve cleaned every surface. With toggle switches, you have to be a bit more meticulous to clean all the way around the switch if you want to ensure that you’re cleaning every nook and cranny of your light switches.


Cost is always an essential factor to consider when comparing products. As the older option of the 2, Toggle switches are cheaper than rocker switches. They’ll usually cost about $1 at a hardware store, while rocker switches are likely to cost you about $3 each.


Are you considering upgrading your home and adding smart devices like smart bulbs and switches? Then you’ll want rockers. If you purchase smart switches, these will already have the rocker design; but even if you opt for smart bulbs, it’s good to upgrade to rocker switches instead of toggle ones. If you have toggle switches with smart bulbs, you’ll need to ensure the switch is always in the “on” position. If it gets switched off, your smart bulbs won’t work.


Finally, you can’t ignore style. Rockers have a sleeker, more modern style associated with newer homes, and they can upgrade the look of your home too. As mentioned above, toggle switches are the older option, so their look is generally considered to be a bit more outdated. Remember to get appropriately sized switch plate covers if you choose to swap out your light switches.

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