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My father-in-law set up all of his closet lights to turn on and off when the door opens. He used a switch that was apparently designed for that purpose, with a largish contact switch that turned on when pressed.

I'd buy some of these for my house, but I don't know what to call this item, so I can't find it.

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Shopping questions are explicitly OT, but I'll edit this to something more appropriate. – BMitch Feb 28 '13 at 21:18
Adding a photo may also help get better answers. – BMitch Feb 28 '13 at 21:20
I can't add a photo, I don't have the item. My father-in-law lived in a different state. – Eric Wilson Mar 1 '13 at 3:26
up vote 5 down vote accepted

There are two styles that I've seen:

"Automatic closet lights" that mount at the top of the door and include the light socket. automatic closet light

And "push button door switches" that are mounted in the door jamb and connect to a hardwired light fixture.

push button door switch

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Micro switches with rollers on the end of the contact arm are used, but you have to add your own enclosure – HerrBag Feb 28 '13 at 21:58

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