how to set electrical timers for lights

How to Choose and Install a Programmable Wall Switch Timer

Turn your switch to the auto setting. This is the only way your light will go through the cycle of turning on and off at your set times. Step 3 Set the pointer on your light timer to the current time. Sep 17,  · This Video Show you how to Setup programmable Electric Timer. While Nobody At Home, It Automatically Switch the lamp light. and can use it on other Home appl.

Make sure the timer is plugged in and that the light or appliance attached to it is working; replace any blown bulbs. In the "on" position, the power will bypass the timer, leaving the lights on like an ordinary switch. Obviously this is intended for cases in which your normal routine is disrupted and your usual settings no longer apply, such as when you're entertaining company. However, in order for the timer settings to be changed, it needs to be in "T" mode.

For a manual timer equipped with push-in tabs, there's a dial as the main body of the switch and a pointer on the dial. So if your current time is 5 p. Some timer dials will show hour time as opposed to a. Then, push down the tabs for the hours during which you want the power to be active. The other tabs should remain up, so the light will remain what is volume of a cuboid at these times.

For example, if you want the lights to be turned off from 7 a. This way the lights will automatically turn on at 7 p. There are also digital timer switches that will require you to program them in much the same fashion. Use the labeled buttons to change your days and times and set the hours you want the lights to be on.

Since there are many manufacturers for these kinds of switches, you should consult the instructions included with the device if you're having trouble programming your switch. If not, return all the tabs to their original position and start the previous step over. Do this as many times as necessary, until how long to monarch butterflies live can get your settings exactly how you want them.

For a digital timer switch, you can conduct your test similarly, by reprogramming the current time to the intervals at which you've set your lights to turn on or off.

Then, how to set electrical timers for lights the clock back to its correct time if your test is met with success.

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View our Privacy Policy here. Toggle navigation subscribe. How to Set a Light Timer. Written by Sanket Baxi. To ensure our content is always up-to-date with current information, best practices, and professional advice, articles are routinely reviewed by industry experts with years of hands-on experience.

Charles Ouellet. What You'll Need. Manual or digital timer. Step 1 - Plug the Timer In Make sure the timer is plugged in and that the light or appliance attached to it is working; replace any blown bulbs.

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Do you have a neutral wire in the switch box?

Position the first pin to the time you want the electrical item to come off, setting the second pin to the time you want it to turn off. For example, if you want the timer to turn a light on at 7 p.m., set the first pin at that position on the dial and the second at p.m. if that is when you want it to shut off. The light timer is an electrical circuit with an integrated clock. It can be set to turn the lighting on or off at specific times, according to individual requirements. The buying choices include devices featuring single or multiple electrical outlets, as well as those included within a complete security system.

I have a porch light controlled by a wall switch in my entryway. Rather than having to manually turn this light on at night and off in the morning or worse, forgetting and wasting energy having it on all day , I wanted to install a timer where the existing light switch was to automatically do it for me. Now, there are several different types of programmable timers. Some are mechanical.

Some are digital. Some require only two wires, while some require more. Before you buy the timer, you will need to do a little investigation to determine which type of wiring you have, which will determine what type of timer you can use. Note, if you are not comfortable using a voltmeter to measure the voltage of household wiring, then you should probably leave this project to a professional electrician. The first thing to determine is whether the existing switch that you want to replace is a three-way switch or not.

A three-way switch is when two switches control the same light. This is often the case in a long hallway or staircase, where you can control the hallway light from either end. Three-way switch wiring is more complicated and will require a timer that is specifically for three-way switches. Luckily, most things that you would want to put a timer on, like a porch light, only have one switch controlling them.

But, double check to be sure, and note which type you have so you buy the right kind of timer. This is actually the trickiest part of the project, but doing this before you go out and buy a timer can save you the hassle of going back and returning it. Before buying anything, you need to find out if your switch box has the neutral wire available. New homes are required to have a neutral wire, but if your home is old, it might not have it.

Some experimentation might be necessary to find the right circuit breaker switch controls the light. Turn on the light and go through your switches to find the one that controls that light. Next, unscrew the cosmetic wall plate and put it aside. Once the switch box is exposed, unscrew the switch and pull it out slightly so that you can see the wires that are available inside the box. You then need to figure out how many different types of wires are available inside that box.

The answer will be at least two, since the switch needs a wire coming from power and a wire going to the light in order to work. The neutral wire is usually white. Note that neutral is different than ground. The ground wire is often bare copper or sometimes green. When I opened my switch box, the wires looked like a plate of spaghetti. To make matters worse, many of the wires were covered in white paint so they all looked white. But, after some careful observation and some volt meter measurements, I was able to ascertain that I had all four wires.

That was good, because I had already purchased a timer that required four wires! The packaging or description should say what wires it requires. Also, if the timer is not battery-powered, it will need the neutral wire. Okay, now that that painful step is out of the way, I can start talking about the pros and cons of the different types of timers. Many two-wire timers require a battery, so watch out for that!!!

These are super simple to install: just remove the existing switch and connect the timer to the two wires that used to be connected to the switch. Of course, you can use a two-wire timer even if you have four wires available. If you are intimidated by electrical wiring, this is the way to go. Why, then would anyone go with a timer that requires a neutral wire? The neutral wire allows them to run off of wall power. These types of timers tend to be simpler in construction and are less likely to fail than two-wire timers.

Note that you can have an electrician add the extra neutral wire to a two-wire setup, but that is more hassle than just getting a two-wire timer, and probably not worth it. A mechanical timer usually consists of a dial with some switches that indicate when the lights are to be on and off. When I first wrote this article, most digital timers, like the one on the below, were unreliable and ridiculously tedious to program at least it was for me, and I have a degree in electrical engineering!

Since then, some better digital timers have come out that are much easier to program. But, be aware that it requires four wires. This is an independent review site that receives compensation from the retailer or manufacturer at no extra cost to you when you purchase through the affiliate links on this site. This site is not owned by any retailer or manufacturer. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. If you have the neutral wire, and are comfortable with doing the extra wiring, then get a four-wire timer.

OK, if you did your homework and identified the types of wires available, then installation will be a breeze. Make sure power is shut off at your circuit breaker and follow the instructions that came with your timer. After all of the wires are connected, turn on power at the circuit breaker and test the timer. If all is well, screw the timer into the wall, and re-attach the cover plate.

Subscribe to my blog to get an email when I write a new article, usually fewer than one a month. Email Address. I am a freelance web developer living in Southern California who is interested in technology, living simply, and saving money. I hope this article was useful to you. Please say hi in the comments below! I have a three way outside porch light.

I installed a timer on one of the switches. The timer works great, except if the power is turned off on the non-timer switch. If the other switch is turned off, you cannot operate the light using the timer switch. Have I done something stupid wiring this thing? The timer is a 5 wire type Honeywell. It has a neutral, ground, 2 black wires, and one red wire.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed. Is the existing switch a three-way switch? Do you have a neutral wire in the switch box? If you measure the voltage using a volt meter after carfully turning the power back on at the switchbox , you will find about V AC. If you measure the voltage using a volt meter, you will find V AC when the switch is on, and 0V when the switch is off. Neutral: usually white, often tied to other white wires, sometimes comes from a cable containing AC and Ground.

Ground: usually bare copper or green, often tied to other wires of the same type, sometimes comes from a cable containing AC and Neutral.

After careful investigation, I was able to figure out what each of the wires was for. Jasco Indoor Wall Timer. Digital timer. This type of timer is almost impossible to program without the instruction sheet, and the tiny display and buttons are difficult to work with. I installed the mechanical 4-wire timer on the left. You can tell at a glance when the light will be on by the tiny switches going around the dial pushed towards the center for off, and out for on.

Did You Like This Article? Keep in touch! About The Author. Brian I am a freelance web developer living in Southern California who is interested in technology, living simply, and saving money. Related Posts.

Dave on Jun 11, at pm. Sounds like your lIne and load wires are probably switched around. AKA your two black wires. Ken on Dec 30, at am. Brian on Dec 30, at am. Hi Ken, What is the model number of that Honeywell timer? Thanks, Brian Loading Please leave a comment or question!

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