In Which I Tell You The Truth About Clap Lights

“Oh, you have a clap light? Can I try it?”

It’s the same question whenever new people figure out that there is a clap light in the family room of my house. And while I do somewhat enjoy seeing the childlike glee in people’s faces when they try it, let the record state that clap lights are NOT as cool as they seem. And my family can attest to this.

Our light turns on and off with two claps. And I mean two solid claps. They have to be loud, firm, and have the same beat. CLAP. CLAP. If one clap isn’t loud enough, or they’re too fast, it won’t work. You gotta cup your hands a little to make it loud.

the simpsons goodnight clapper lights off

But okay, that just takes getting used to, right? I suppose. Though it has been several years and we all still struggle. My mom has the weakest clap of us all and if she can’t get it after three or four tries, she’ll get someone else to do it. My brother, who often lies on the couch nearest to the light, has masterfully learned to knock on the wall with the same beat and intensity, and that can sometimes do it.

So yes, we do struggle to turn the light on and off when we want it. The irony is that the dang light seems to always love turning on and off when we don’t want it to. I’m sure you’re familiar with my odd habit of sneezing? Yes, my sneeze fits have been known to make the light go on and off. Sometimes my sneezes will just have the light turn on, and I’ll be too tired to turn it off by clapping, so I’ll leave it on. At which point my brother will glare at me to “turn it off!” No, I like it on, I often lie.

But it’s not just me who accidentally turns it on. The light also responds to voice, so during an argument, that light will go on and off and on and… Sometimes the argument will momentarily pause so someone can turn the light off, but eventually we realize that once the yelling continues again, it’ll go on again, so we might as well just leave it.

I mean, yes, sometimes it is handy to deal with it without getting up, but honestly, this light bugs me more than I like it. Sometimes it’ll be late at night and the light will be on (though I didn’t turn it on) and the family will all be asleep so I’ll have to clap it off as quietly as I can but still with enough loudness for it to register. And the clapping itself sucks. I’m not great at it, so I have to try several times and by the time I get it, my hands hurt. Some people just have a naturally loud clap. I’m not one of those people. My father is, though. When he goes to turn the light on and off, I have to close my eyes until he’s done because the loud sound makes me flinch.

The funny thing is, clap lights were originally advertised for old people so they don’t have to get out of bed. And if my family and I are struggling, there’s no way some little elderly lady can handle it.

So yes, you are welcome to try our clap light. Go for it. But then you can walk away from it whereas we are stuck with. Why do we still have it, you ask? Great question. I think my father still enjoys it, and it is a neat conversation starter.

I hope you heed my warning, so the next time you’re at Walmart and see one, you don’t buy it. I’m saving you. Trust. You’re welcome.


21 thoughts on “In Which I Tell You The Truth About Clap Lights

  1. Okay, that is too funny that your sneezing makes the light come on!! 😀 I’ve never attempted a clap light before, but my family DID have a touch lamp (I guess that’s what it’s called), where lightly touching the base with your finger would make it come on. It wasn’t particularly hard to use, but just like your clap light, other things could turn it on – severe thunderstorms, slamming doors, etc.

    • It’s been said that sneezing is supposedly the expelling of demons from the body (Hence “bless you”) so I guess the uncontrollable lights going on and off is fitting. 😛

  2. This is so awesome! I want a clap light now!

    On a more serious note, clap lights would be great for all of those highly questionable ghost shows. They all feature random “paranormal” noises that sound exactly like someone knocking on walls with their knuckles. So if you bro’s learned to operate the light by knocking on the wall, the ghost people could knock the wall and have one of these lights turn on at the same time! Then they could run around screaming to make it even more convincing!

  3. I’ve always been slightly… obsessed with clap lights but now, after reading your post, I can honestly say that the obsession has dwindled down a little. Especially as I tend to sneeze more than once in one sneezing session. I can just see the lights switching on and off now… *Shudders at the thought*

  4. Oh my god! I cannot get over the cuteness of your blog! Also, your writing style is unique and you are doing a great job! Keep it up!
    Cheers !
    Happy blogging
    (Found you in the community pool)

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