Choosing Light Switch Timers
Light switch timers can help you save money, conserve energy and enhance your home’s security. Some light switch timers take the place of your regular switches, while others can go on top of your current switches. You have several options when it’s time to choose your timers.
Most timers fall into one of two categories: automatic timers and programmable timers.
Automatic light switch timers: These are the most common types of switches. Using the switch’s programs, you set up the lights in your home to turn on and off at different times of the day. They come with programmed lighting schemes. A pattern with changing light levels at various times creates the most believable lighting routine. These light switches often have LED or LCD screens.
Programmable light switch timers: These allow full customization of your lighting scheme. You can use these to control many lighting schemes at once from a single switch. There is a slight learning curve to using these, and they take longer to figure out than the simpler, programmed switches. You may need to follow the directions the first few times you use them.
the Right Features for Your Timer
Battery backup: Your remote or digital timer should have a battery backup. If you lose electricity, your timer will keep working, and you won’t lose your programmed lighting routine.
Bulb type compatibility: Some timers work specifically with LED bulbs, and others only work with halogen and compact fluorescent (CFL) bulbs. Advanced timers designed for commercial use may be compatible with any type of bulb. Always double-check to be sure you’re buying the right ones for your home or business.
Color options: Most timers come in plain white, but some manufacturers have created timers that come in an array of exciting, fashionable colors.
These timers use natural light to regulate when they turn on and off. You can set your light-sensitive timer to turn the lights on when natural light falls below a specific level.
Push-button timers are an inexpensive, easy way to get started. These timers replace your wall switches to make basic light programming simple. Most come with preset countdowns that include 15, 30, 60, and 120 minutes. These timers usually have LED displays and are compatible with LED bulbs.
Wireless Remote Control Timers
These feature several outlets and easy, plug-and-play installation. They fit snugly to the wall and allow you to control your lights and small appliances at the touch of a button. An advantage of these timers is that the system is expandable and will grow with you. Wireless remote timers can integrate with your smart home system.
In-Wall Countdown Timers
These can range in features, complexity, and price. A simple countdown timer that costs around $20 will plugin and allows you to control lights and ceiling fans at preset intervals of 5, 10, 15, 30, and 60 minutes. It is usually compatible with CFL bulbs.
A larger timer that runs around $100 gives you total control with electric voltage detection, dawn-to-dusk programming, and automatic adjustment for daylight savings. This heavy-duty timer can program up to 20 items and is suitable for commercial use. You can find some that are compatible with halogen, CFL, and LED bulbs.
Digital Countdown Timers
A digital countdown timer works wirelessly rather than with a push button. Like other countdown timers, they vary in features and pricing. Compatible with incandescent and halogen bulbs, these timers will work on single-pole applications for remote lights.
Mechanical Lighting Timer
Go beyond lights with a heavy-duty timer that also controls exhaust fans, water pumps, pool pumps, commercial lighting, and electric signage. Ideal for indoor commercial and industrial use, this timer works with all LED bulbs.
we Can Help You Choose the Right Timer
If you need help choosing or installing your lighting timer, talk to SESCOS. We offer expert advice on smart home systems, energy-saving devices, and all your electrical questions. Call us today for fast, friendly help.