Wall mount light switches that have a neat light indicator that turns on when the switch is in "off" position are quite common. The purpose is to make finding the switch in the dark easier.

Looks like outlets would benefit from this too if they had a light indicator that is permanently on. This way it's easier to find the outlet behind the table and also it's immediately clear if there's a power outage (or the breaker has tripped).

Yet I've never seen an outlet with a light indicator.

What are they not in use?

  • 1
    Finding the outlet alone won't help you. Have you tried plugging something in in the dark? You need to be able to see the actual holes, not the outlet. Or they should be redesigned so the plug guides itself into the socket automatically.
    – endolith
    Commented Oct 30, 2013 at 19:32
  • Where are they quite common? In the US I've only ever seen the opposite pattern (indicator lit when the switch is on), used for things like an external light switch for attics or other rarely accessed areas where accidentally leaving lights on for an extended period would be possible. Commented Nov 21, 2013 at 20:46
  • @DanNeely: In Europe they are quite common. For example, Legrand brand has plenty of those.
    – sharptooth
    Commented Nov 22, 2013 at 6:43
  • there are many examples of lights on sockets, almost all of the four way adapters in my house have them, and most sockets have some adapter like that in the them so that two sockets can be converted into ten (a very common use case)
    – Toni Leigh
    Commented Apr 29, 2014 at 22:00

1 Answer 1


The main usage scenario for finding a light switch is when it's dark. So it makes sense to make finding the light switch in the dark as easy as possible. Hence the indicator.

Outlets, on the other hand, are rarely needed when it's dark. You mostly need them at day, and you can always turn on the light before finding the outlet ;-)

Or let me put it this way: The probability that you need to find an outlet when it's dark (as opposed to when it's light) is 50%—at most. The probability that you need a light switch when it's dark (as opposed to when it's light) is, I'd guess, more in the 80% area.

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