Manage the lighting inside and outside your home with timers – also known as light switch timers or timer switches. There are a variety of timers with different options and features to choose from to help you save energy and boost your home security.
Digital Vs. Mechanical Timers
When you’re shopping for light timers, mechanical and digital timers are the most common types you’ll find. While digital timers aren’t as straightforward as mechanical timers, they do provide more programming options, such as a lighting schedule for each day of the week. They can also handle more devices than their simpler counterparts.
Mechanical timers are economical, simple and easy-to-install solutions for managing your lights. Simply turn the dial to the desired run time. Once the dial hits the end of the timing cycle, the timer will break the circuit and turn off the attached lights. Depending on the model, you can set your timer anywhere from a couple of minutes to 24 hours.
Indoor and Outdoor Timers
Think about whether you’re going to be placing your timer indoors or outdoors. Indoor timers can be useful when you’re out of town. You can program your lights to turn on and off at random times to give the impression that you’re home, potentially warding off burglars.
Since they’re housed in durable, weather-resistant enclosures, outdoor timers are perfect for controlling exterior fixtures such as security lights, landscaping lights and holiday decorations. These timers can be used to keep your home’s exterior appropriately illuminated after the sun sets.
Plug-in Vs. Wall Switch Timers
The next thing to decide is whether you want a plug-in timer or wall switch timer – also known as an in-wall timer.
• Plug-in timers allow you to program a lamp or light without the need for installation and rewiring. Just plug the timer into an electrical outlet and then connect the light you want to control to the timer.
• Wall switch timers require hard-wire installation, but you can usually control more lights with these timers.
Whether you’re looking to program your seasonal decorations, security lights or living room fixtures, timers are an ideal solution to make your home more convenient, secure and energy-efficient. See our Timers guide for more information on the different types of timers for lights, irrigation systems and appliances.