I've been on the hunt for amazing steampunk light switches for ages now, and my search has yielded three very different styles I think you guys are gonna love.
First, and most common, are the kinetic gear covers from Green Tree Jewelry:
These are gorgeous and fun - and with lots of different styles - but I've always been bugged by the visible light switch. I wanted something more convincingly period-looking for our steampunk room.
Then I found these:
... and absolutely flipped. (See what I did there?) That's plasma-cut steel, so it's hefty and really real looking, plus it completely covers the existing light switches.
The only problem? I needed two double switches... and I'm too cheap to pay $136 for two light switch covers. 0.o
Finally, about 3 weeks ago, I stumbled across these:
They're 3D printed, so they don't cost much, and the knife-switch operation (which most call the "Frankenstein" switch) is positively ingenious. Like the other two, it fits right over your existing wall switches!
I waited so long to post the ones we bought because John and I have been busy trying to refinish ours. We tried something called vapor smoothing to smooth out the 3D printing grooves - twice! - but sadly it just didn't work. Maybe it's the wrong kind of plastic?
So then I applied several coats of a heavy build-able primer, which smoothed them out a little.
By that point it had been many days and I was getting extra impatient, so I called them "close enough" and slapped some paint on.
I'll be honest: I'm not thrilled with the finish. You can still see some diagonal printing grooves, and the "metal" parts are far too rough to ever really look like metal.
Happily our steampunk room is quite dark, though, and the switches look WAY COOL from a distance:
I also can't tell you how fun it is it turn the lights on and off now. The switches make a really satisfying snap, and the levers feel pretty substantial.
Since I didn't apply a clear coat, though, some of my top coat is starting to scratch off the switch mechanism, down to the red primer underneath:
So I think I may take another crack at refinishing them - especially since I found this amazing version by Thingverse member sdrazga:
Really digging the patina'd copper and aged black! I think aging the "metal" is key, so it doesn't need to be smooth.
And here's a much better version of the color scheme I was trying for, from Thingverse member kyag:
Just to show you guys that these switches can look better than mine. ;)
And finally, if you have your own 3D printer you can actually download the single switch design - for free! - here on Thingverse. There are also alternate versions for rocker switches.