House-off Switch by Jack Godfrey Wood

It is a switch that allows a user to turn off all non-essential electronic items in their home from a central switch. Push the button to turn your house on when you get home; push it again to turn it off when you leave. Aiming to make the green way the most convenient way, the House-off Switch was part of a larger project to encourage ‘green’ action among the environmentally disinfranchised.

The project searches for a kind of ‘environmental everyday’ where people take up ‘green’ behaviours because they want to rather than because they think they should. An everyday where ‘being green’ doesn’t imply sacrifice.

A more expensive version of the same concept has a central switch that also allows the inhabitant to leave some items plugged into safe sockets around the house which can be left on for security or peace of mind when everything else has been turned off at the central switch.

Designer: Jack Godfrey Wood


  • Artemis says:

    So how do you obtain one of these?

  • duluoz says:

    Very usefull!

  • Aleksandr says:

    Im very interested in this electronic switch.
    Is there any working model… how exactly does it work??

  • debbie says:

    how does this work? i need more information please!

  • debbie says:

    i need more information please.

  • Hun Boon says:

    Just flick the switch at your circuit breaker.. and voila, everything is switched off! 🙂

  • red says:

    Nice, but how do you make it or how can you purchase it?

  • Duh says:

    This can be with any switch. All you need is low voltage switcable breakers. These breakers turn on/off with a low voltage signal that can be wired into any switch. flip the switch and all the breakers connected turn off, flip it again and all the breakers turn on. This is nothing other than a decorative switch

  • Robert JOHNSTON says:

    Here is how I did it.

    When renovating a 45 year old bungalow, all that I had the Electrical Contractor do, was to wire the HVAC, refrigerator, garage door, and security lights to one electrical panel. And, all the other electrical items to a second panel.

    When we leave the home, we simply shut off the one major breaker at the secod panel.

    No wasted ghost powerdraws, or inadvertently leaving items turned on.

    And, yes I did have to cover all those idiot digital clocks with black electrical tape. We use a real clcok.

  • TorkLugnutz says:

    Good idea, but virtually useless for me for the following reasons: When my TV loses power, I have to reprogram the channels. When my clocks lose power, I have to reprogram the time. When my AC and Fridge lose power, I have to do a lot of makeup work to get them cold again. Plus, having my desert abode rise to above 85 degrees is going to damage certain of my durable goods (like artwork, for instance) resulting in a need to replace them at a high environmental and economic price. My irrigation system requires power to operate. My burglar alarm, if I had one, requires power to operate. Repair and replacement of damaged goods after a burglary carries a high economic/environmental pricetag. There aren’t many items that I could unplug when not in use that wouldn’t cause a huge headache for me to deal with when I turn them back on. The exception is my Heated Toto Chloe Washlet, which has a sleep function. On extended leaves, I turn it all the way off, but not on day to day outings. Convenience is more importan than Carbon, because I have my doubts as to the impact of humans on global warming in the first place.

    • news says:

      We need the manufacturers to manufacture devices that do not require constant power- PC’s have a battery that ‘remembers’ what the time is- why do we need to have plug in power for these devices? Manufacturers should be fined for producing equipment like this. The problem is that people & manufacturers still live with the mindset of 50 years ago when human byproduct had a (relatively) negligible effect on the planet. We also need to address the issue of people thinking that they need a ‘heated toto chloe washlet’ to survive in this world- something that may take a little longer… it worries me that people have a ‘let them have cake attitude’- so negligent of the people who have nothing- we are heading towards a macrocosm of paris in the late 1700’s…

  • Pope John Peeps II says:

    Uh, if you’re leaving for long enough to warrant that you want to make sure every appliance is turned off (i.e. vacation, weekend, etc) then wouldn’t you just connect this switch to the main line running into your house, and live without automatic sprinklers for the day? I mean… I’m assuming people CAN live without automatic sprinklers.

  • Mr.Purple says:

    This is not a new concept, they have had these in europe in some houses for years (a house I was at was wired in 1980). I personally have one like this (but it is more elaborate and diabolical 🙂 (it consists of a really big red button and a keyswitch).

  • Photophile says:

    This is a great idea for those with a bit of OCD. I have to check lights multiple times before I leave the house to make sure I’ve shut them off, it’s really annoying. One push with this, and they’re all off. You don’t have to hook it up to everything, just the stuff you want. Shutting off all interior lights would be perfect.

  • Thinder Child says:

    nice idea, but i would recommend it not be used with children…or anyone that happens to live with someone else that can get mad…”huh? why no, i don’t know how your computer (and every other electronic device in the house) got turned off…..”

  • Guy says:

    Have a look at their system does exactly this. It even allows you to have complet control of the house over the internet, or from your phone. Not easy to rectrofit to an existing property but ideal fopr a new build or refurb.

  • jata says:

    omg…just idiots need this,what about ur PC and fridge etc.

  • johnniewalker says:

    @jata – read much? “It is a switch that allows a user to turn off all non-essential electronic items in their home from a central switch.” I guess if you don’t read, or don’t comprehend, then you are the idiot.

  • Greenswitch is not necessarily a design gem, but engineered very well. As for the guy not wanting to turn off non-essential items.. you can do that with Greenswitch no problem.

    Phantom loads will account for nearly 20% of home energy usage in a few years. A total waste. The system works on a wireless channel, so no rewiring.. just swap out the outlets and thermostat.

  • brian magoo says:

    Wow, shut everything off but the water heater and HVAC equipment. This is so brilliant. I cant wait to start saving the $4.00 a month this is going to save me on my electric bill Sign me up now!!!!!!

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