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Handy Switch: Does it Work?

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Handy Switch: Does it Work?
By: Lauren Keith

Use the Handy Switch like a remote control or mount it on the wall, and instantly you'll power up your favorite lamp.....at least that's what it claims.  Handy Switch boasts itself as the wireless, tool-less way to put a light switch to your plug-in lamps.

"I'm hoping the Handy Switch will eliminate the extension cord," said Audrey Gromer.

Audrey Gromer of Marble Hill emailed me about the Handy Switch, and volunteered to try it in her home.  She'd love to operate her lamps by remote, but she's especially excited to see if the Handy Switch can modernize her late-model remoteless TV set.

Bad news though....the directions say the Handy Switch is intended only for lamps.  There's even a warning inside telling us *not* to use it on any appliances.  So, we place the included 12 volt battery inside the receiver.  Next, plug in the Handy Switch special outlet, then plug your lamp cord into that.  

Audrey and I move into a bedroom, about 15 feet away from the lamp.

"Here goes! All right! It works!" says Audrey.

But you know me better than that.  We're going to really see just how handy this thing is....or isn't.

"We're wondering if this will shoot through the wall, and I'm aiming in the opposite direction," says Audrey.

"It did!" she laughs in somewhat of amazement.

However, it's definitely worth noting: you *can* use more than one Handy Switch inside a room, but there has to be 2 feet between each outlet.

We've already shown you it works from an average distance.  Now, it's time to put that 60 ft. claim to the Does it Work test---and from the outside!

"We can see through that window, so we'll know if the light pops on when I flip the switch," says Audrey standing outside her home, about 60 feet away from her lamp indoors.

"It came on!" she shouts.

We want to know just how far we can stretch this claim.  Here's what we found at about 125 feet away...

"Right there, it's on! Wow!" she shouts.

Indeed...let's go 200 feet away, or the distance from Audrey's barn to her home.

"I'm starting to have my doubts now," she says.  We are pretty far away from her home.

Sure enough....the Handy Switch did not work...not that it was supposed to from this distance.

One last part to test, makers of this product brag about the Handy Switch adding to your home's security.  You can turn on your lights inside as you pull up in your drive from outside.

You can even mount the Handy Switch to your dash, but there's not really a good place for us to do that in this car.

Sure enough, we flip the switch and the lights turns on!

"All right! That's great," says Audrey.

She really thinks this will be "handy" for her, especially when caring for her disabled son at night.

"He stumbles a lot with his gait problem.  This way, I can turn the light on and he could go into the house," she says. 

So, is Audrey flipping over the Handy Switch?

"Originally, I told you a grade 'A+' but when I found out I couldn't use it for my TV set, I was disappointed.  Now I'm going with an A minus because you have to place each outlet receiver two feet apart and that limits me somewhat," she says.

I think we've shed the light on the Handy Switch.  It plugs an A minus on this Does it Work test.

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