You may occasionally want a switch in your home to operate automatically. While you’re away from home, you might want to prevent burglaries. Perhaps you have a regular wake-up time and dislike stumbling around in the dark every morning. Or perhaps you simply prefer the comfort of lights during times when you know you’ll be at home. Whatever your motivations, one solution to this issue is the use of an automated light switch timer. So, we have compiled a list of the best light switch timers in this article.
Three of the best models money can buy will be thoroughly examined for you. But first, here is a brief summary of your choices and some considerations for your decision-making.
Different Light Switch Timer Types
Mechanical timers are probably something you remember from the dark, prehistoric decade of the 1990s when dinosaurs still roamed the planet.
These were timers that could be used to power a variety of appliances by plugging them into an electrical socket. Since they could be used to turn a few lamps on and off while you were away, they were especially well-liked by regular travelers. They typically operated by placing groups of pins into a rotating dial. The pins would turn the switch on and off as the dial turned.
In a similar vein, mechanical bathroom timers are nothing new. The switch will activate when a dial is turned, usually for five to one hundred minutes. They are frequently used in hotels to operate infrared lighting and bathroom fans. There aren’t many more practical uses for them, though.
Simply said, digital timer switches represent this technology’s next step in development. They take the place of a wall light switch in a manner similar to a mechanical bathroom timer. They also provide you the option to plan the on and off times of your lights, much like a mechanical plug-in timer.
A mechanical timer, however, has several restrictions. You can only set one schedule using a single 24-hour dial. You can typically set a different schedule for weekends or even a seven-day schedule with an automated light switch. Today, we’re going to be looking at this kind of switch.
Factors to Consider
Let’s discuss features now that we are aware of what we are looking at. You must first determine how many watts your circuit needs.
You probably won’t run into any issues if your switch only operates one ceiling light. For a full room, many people, however, employ automated light switch timers. Even circuits that manage a line of kitchen appliances can use them.
If you wish to turn off those outlets at night to conserve phantom power, this is helpful. However, under these higher-wattage circumstances, you should double-check your features.
Considering the kinds of lights or appliances you’re powering is another crucial step. An outdated incandescent bulb can be powered by any switch. LED and CFL lights, however, have distinct specifications.
Additionally, you should be aware that the majority of switches do not accept dimmers. In addition, some light switch timers are inappropriate for use with motors. This is due to the “peak wattage” that electric motors have, which occurs when they are turned on. The typical wattage may be handled perfectly by a switch. It must nevertheless be able to handle the peak wattage.
Remember that not all lighting circuits are created equal. Three-way circuits, for instance, have switches at both ends of the room. There are also four-way circuits, in which the same light is controlled by three switches. However, not all automated light switches support multi-way circuits. All automated light switches will operate on a typical single-switch circuit.
A light switch timer, as the name suggests, essentially combines a timer and a light switch. In order to automate the use of the various lights in your home, you can connect timers to them.
But before getting one, check out these factors below:
Number of Switches:
Even though you can easily purchase numerous light switch timers for various lights throughout your house, many of them come in packs of two switches. These two-switch timer packs typically provide the user with a better value for their money while enabling you to power numerous lights simultaneously.
You must make sure that whatever switch you purchase can manage the power requirements of your light bulbs. Thankfully, even if you want to use these light switch timers to power household appliances, it shouldn’t be a problem as the majority of them have a maximum wattage rating of roughly 1800.
Your light switch timers should be dependable in addition to being able to manage large power loads so that they last for a long time and do not interfere with your light bulbs. Thankfully, most of them offer a 1-year warranty, and a few of them even have a 5-year warranty.
Even though these characteristics and factors are some of the most significant ones, there are still other things you need to be aware of.
As a result, in addition to listing different switch timers along with their features and specifications, we have also provided a “Buying Guide” for the top light switch timers.
Best Light Switch Timers 2022
Leviton Programmable Light Switch Timer
Enerlites Programmable Light Switch Timer
Intermatic ST01K Astronomic Digital in-Wall Timer
Honeywell Programmable Light Switch Timer
DEWENWILS Programmable Light Switch Timer
Enerlites HET01-C Programmable Timer Switch for Lights
If you’re looking for a new light switch timer that is not only extremely powerful but also extremely dependable, Leviton is one of the higher-end options available on the market.
The most reliable and resilient choice on this list is the Leviton VPT24-1PZ Decora light switch timer.
In addition, Leviton provides this switch timer with a rather high wattage rating of 1800 watts.
Even though it’s a premium option, the box just contains one switch.
This is because no other light switch timer on the market now offers a 5-year warranty, which makes up for the high price tag’s superb build quality.
Another entry-level brand of light switch timers is Enerlites, which also sells the switch timer we’ve listed above among other affordable options.
Our Enerlites light switch timer is ranked fourth in this article because it is an option to consider if you have a limited budget but yet want a timer with a tonne of features.
Despite having many timer modes, a backlit display, and many features for the price, it only comes with a single light switch timer in the package.
Since it is rated at 1800 watts, Enerlites has thankfully not sacrificed the performance of this light switch timer.
It also has fantastic build quality and a one-year warranty, which are both great features.
Due to its 15 amp lighting control, the Intermatic Astronomic Digital Light Timer is the ideal light switch timer.
This enables the timer to be installed in both residential and commercial settings.
Users can automate typical lighting schedules and increase energy economy by programming 40 ON/OFF events.
Its astronomical feature, which enables users to turn specific times of the year ON and OFF based on local dawn and dusk patterns, simplifies daily use.
As a result, you have more control over the gadget yearly.
You can read the load status, mode, and time of day on the huge LCD panel.
It is simple to install and offers dependable battery power.
The battery stores the programming in its memory without using household electricity.
This timer has a rapid installation and retrofitting feature because there is no neutral wire connection.
The outdoor light switch timer from Intermatic can be connected to regulate both LED and CFL lights.
Additionally, it has an automatic DST (Daylight Savings Time) capability that maintains schedule synchronization without the need for additional maintenance throughout the season.
This light switch timer is ideal if you want a reasonably priced device with a number of useful features.
Due to its extensive list of accessories, the Honeywell Programmer Light Switch Timer is the best premium light switch timer.
It features planned programming that enables the gadget to turn lights on or off automatically, helping you save money and energy.
With the push of a button, users can reduce their energy costs thanks to its Solar Time Table.
Seven programs on this switch timer can run for a week.
A single program may run all day long or may be repeated several times each week.
Beginners can easily program the device based on their preferences thanks to its three-button interface.
The device’s Solar Time Table determines the correct sunset and sunrise days throughout the year when a user enters the longitude and latitude of their residence.
This assists in supplying light at the most practical times while also assisting in energy bill savings.
The Honeywell Programmable Light Switch Timer is a little more expensive, but it has all the features you need to keep your lighting system running smoothly.
On the opposite end of the scale, Dewenwils light switch timers have a considerably lower price tag and are a far more cheap brand.
The Dewenwils light switch timer, which offers outstanding value, is ranked fifth on this list.
Despite being one of the least expensive choices available, it still has the greatest output rating—1875 watts.
Another fantastic feature is that, even at the suggested price, you still receive 2 light switch timers in the box.
Although its build quality is a little on the mediocre side, that is to be expected from a budget option.
Thankfully, it still comes with a respectable 1-year warranty for dependability.
The finest light switch timer to buy is the Enerlites Digital Programmable Timer Light Switch.
It allows you to set up 18 ON/OFF timing settings, providing you with more control over how your home lighting is customized.
It operates using predetermined lighting based on use.
Because it doesn’t have as many extras and supplementary features as some of the other options, this model doesn’t perform as well.
It has subpar construction as well.
Frequently, the door panel that gives access to the controls has trouble closing all the way.
Even while this model is very easy to install, it doesn’t really make up for its underwhelming performance.
Buying Guide for the best light Switch timers
When purchasing home security, there are several factors to take into account before installing any systems. Automated light switch timers, however, are among the most basic systems.
Now, you might be interested in automated light switch timers for reasons other than security. To avoid having to worry about something again, you might want to set times for things like motorized blinds or pool pumps. Put it in place and walk away.
Things to consider…
You need to be aware of the appliances you already have in your house before shopping for automated light switch timers.
Which kind of lighting?
Halogen, fluorescent, incandescent
How is the electrical connection made?
one pole, three wires
Do you also have to decide on the purpose?
Is it just to turn the lights on and off?
You must next determine how programmable you want it to be if it is for the lights.
Additionally, you must confirm that it has the capability of operating a little motor if you wish to time the functioning of something else.
Things to look out for…
Check for minimum and maximum power restrictions when choosing an automated light switch timer.
You don’t want to bring it home only to discover that it won’t operate.
Additionally, you must confirm that a matching wall plate is included.
Most don’t, so you’ll need to purchase them separately.
How to Install a Light Switch Timer Safely
Light switch timers should be fitted in accordance with the manufacturer’s published instructions and installation diagrams.
If you have any concerns regarding safety or are unclear about the proper installation techniques, it is best to get in touch with a professional electrician.
It is anticipated that the installation will be finished in around 15 minutes.
The following steps should be taken during the installation process:
Step One: Turn the Power Off
Turn off the power at the circuit breaker to start the installation.
To make sure that no power is generated, a voltage tester should be employed.
Step Two: Identify the Live Wire
Reset the circuit breaker, then locate the live wire with the tester.
Before marking the live wire with electrical tape, turn off the power once more.
Step Three: Split the Wire Ends
Make sure the wire ends are kept apart so they don’t touch the switch box or other objects.
Step Four: Connect the Wiring
The electrical wiring should be connected using a terminal block.
The amount of space and number of wires needed for the connection will determine the best type of terminal block.
To power the light switch, the block must also be able to conduct the maximum amount of current.
Testing will be necessary to make sure there is no overheating and the wires are still firmly in place.
Step Five: Arrange the Wires
Gather the wires with care, then tuck them into the switch box.
The timer switch should then be firmly fixed to the mounting before the cover plate is secured once more.
Now it’s possible to turn on the circuit power once more.
How to Program a Light Switch Timer
There are various types of light switch timers, and each one requires a unique programming procedure.
As was said before, you should adhere to the manufacturer’s recommendations and get advice from an electrician if you have any questions.
It’s crucial to check that the illumination is working properly and that the switch timer is firmly fixed.
On and T are the two modes available on manual timers (Timer).
The power will bypass the timer and the lighting will function properly if you select the “on” setting.
To have the lighting change automatically at different times, you must use the T setting.
It is recommended to program the manual light switch timer as follows:
Step One: Identify the Dial
Find the dial with the pointer on the main section of the switch.
Step Two: Adjust the Tabs
To set the times you want light, align the pointer properly and push down the tabs.
The lighting won’t be on during those times, so the remaining tabs should all be open.
Step Three: Test
Test the manual switch timer, then make any necessary modifications.
A digital switch timer works in a manner that is very similar to the manual variety. Applying the labeled buttons will ensure that the lighting is at the proper levels throughout the day. Such equipment should be used in accordance with any provided instructions.
In many situations, you might want the lights in your house to switch on automatically in a particular location at a particular time. This can include lights for your aquarium, nightstand lamps, outdoor lighting for the front or back yards, planter box lighting, and many other things.
All of these switch models have been listed together with pertinent details like features and specifications in order to make this listicle extremely informative. And now, going one step further, here is our in-depth buyer’s guide to the top light switch timers:
Number of Light Switch Timers
The quantity of switches included in the box is one of the most fundamental yet crucial considerations when purchasing light switch timers.
In general, you’ll discover that the majority of them merely include a single light switch timer.
Fortunately, if you want to use a switch timer to power various lights in your home, you can easily purchase more switches. A couple of them do, however, also come in sets of two switch timers. You typically receive a greater value for your money when purchasing such packs of light switches, which is always a plus.
The wattage rating of a certain light switch timer is one of the most important criteria that determine how well it works. As implied by the name, this rating merely informs you of the maximum power load that a switch is capable of handling.
It’s crucial to consider whether you want to add a timer to one of your home appliances or power several high-watt bulbs with a single switch.
The average wattage rating of light switch timers is roughly 1800 watts, which is significantly more than you will ever need for light bulbs.
Even though this has no impact on how well a light switch timer performs, it is still crucial to make sure you purchase a dependable light switch timer.
This is to guarantee that whatever product you purchase will last for a long time before you need to replace it.
Almost the majority of the light switch timers covered in this article come with a one-year warranty. Having said that, there are also possibilities for warranties of up to five years.
What are the Best Light Switch Timers to Buy?
There are many different light switch timers available that are perfect for various uses. You can program each of these timers to turn on and off the illumination at specific times, creating the impression that someone is on your property and discouraging trespassers. They work with single, double, or triple switches and the entire range of light bulbs. You should be careful to choose a light switch timer that will work for your needs and be simple to install.
Do LED Lights Work with Timers?
LEDs and energy-efficient lamps can be used with timers without any issues. However, if the right installation techniques aren’t used, there can be some flickering or continuous lights. This is due to the fact that these lights lack a resistance feature because they are inductive.
The inductive element is continuously charged and drained as a result, causing the timer to cycle on and off. The switch timer’s modest current output is also adequate to maintain the LEDs’ low brightness. Due to the timer switch fuse blowing simultaneously with the light bulb as a result, it is necessary to turn off the mains before changing a fuse.
The problems of using LED lights can be solved in a variety of ways. It may be possible to insert a sizable external resistor between the switch and the light bulb to enable the operation of 20w lights. Increasing the number of bulbs is another option to meet the timer switch’s minimum load requirements. Additionally, it is suggested to power LED lights with digital timers.
How Do I Know Which Wire is Neutral When Installing My Switch?
For a light timer to continue receiving power and perform as intended, a neutral wire must be connected. This wire enables load control, accurate timekeeping, and remote communication.
Two white neutral wires should be visible in the electrical lighting box. These wires could be fastened with a wire fastener and linked together.
Such neutral wiring won’t necessarily be present, though. To locate the neutral wiring, a flathead screwdriver, a Phillips screwdriver, and a handheld voltage tester will be needed.
How Does a Light Timer Work?
The light timer is a clock-integrated electrical circuit. According to each person’s needs, it can be set to turn the lighting on or off at particular times. Devices with one or more electrical outlets, as well as those integrated into a full security system, are available for purchase. Both mechanical and digital timers come in a huge variety.
Electrical circuits powered by the main suppliers are commonly coupled to digital timer switches. They lack moving parts and have switching and timing electronics. These switches can turn on or off lights at predetermined times. The pre-setting and cyclical arrangement of lighting levels is possible with some of these switches.
You can save a tonne of time and electricity by using a device like a light switch timer. You can easily automate any light in your home or office that you want to turn on for a predetermined amount of time each day by using one of the top light switch timers mentioned earlier in this article.
The Dewenwils offers a very high wattage rating of 1875 watts when it comes to the wattage rating of light switch timers. Additionally, you receive two light switch timers in total, which is more than most other products on the market. With this one, you receive a standard warranty of one year.
However, the Leviton VPT24-1PZ can be a fantastic option if you’re looking for a light switch timer that is incredibly dependable and has a warranty. The only option listed above that comes with a 5-year warranty is this one. This one offers the purchaser an additional wattage rating of 1800 watts, making it perfect for heavy-duty use.