After two "burned out" light bulbs and almost three weeks in a new apartment, I finally figured out that the reason my overhead hallway lights wouldn't work was not a problem with the bulbs. I kept flipping the switch at the beginning of the hallway, but it turns out the second switch further down the hallway was the key. No, it didn't control the light. It controlled the other switch. Switch #2 had to be in the "on" position for switch #1 to work and—after much trial and error and walking up and down the hallway—turn on my hallway lights.
This is the first WTF moment I've had in my life as a renter, but friends tell me that they've had simaler moments with ill-positioned switches. One friend in a small unit noticed a switch near the entry controlled an outlet—perfect for plugging in a floor lamp—except that the outlet was the only one within a cords reach of the cable outlet, too. Needless to say, she frequently turned off her cable and internet (which needs 5 minutes to reset) reaching for the light switch each time she walked in the door.
As renters, we really don't have the option to rewire our apartment. In my case, I can deal with the double switch of mystery in my hallway. Have any of you Unplggers discovered weirder wiring in your units? Was there an easy fix? Please share in the comments... I'll be taking notes!
[ Light switch image from user aMAYzing. oO. at Flickr ]