What you have is low-voltage switches controlling the relays which your wife heard inside the panel-boxes. I haven't seen this system in more than 30 years, but it is nice and safe. Allows the 120v wiring to be very compact and relatively short, only from breaker to relay to lamp. Then your control-switch wiring at low-voltage, just like typical thermostat and door-bell wiring, can be much lower-cost materials, and occupy much less wall-space. And very easy to add-on: If you want an additional control-point, say at your bedside for the bedroom light, just add-on new control-switch at 24V in parallel to existing at doorway, to achieve 3-way, 4-way, or more function without changing the master-relay. Changeover to "conventional" system would mean opening up ALL of you drywall to insert conventional boxes and 14-2wgNMB (or more)cable.