Is it feasible to put a timer on ceiling light switch?

myrtle_59December 15, 2013

We have a greatroom with can lights in ceiling. The most convenient thing for when we are on vacation would be to have a timer that turns the ceiling lights on and off 5-11 just as we do every night when we are home. Is this easily done? Right now it is a double switch plate, on controls fan, one all ceiling lights.

Thanks.

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jreagan_gw

There are plenty of hardwired timer/switches you can install on the light circuit.

I found one online, you can find plenty more.

Here is a link that might be useful: link

    Bookmark   December 15, 2013 at 11:12AM
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jreagan_gw

I should have asked about the lights. CFLs? Incandescants? Check the timer you buy to make sure they are compatible.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2013 at 11:13AM
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myrtle_59

Thanks!

I notice on some of the plug in timers, it says cfl compatible. Why wouldnt any timer work with a cfl bulb? And conversely, if it works with cfl, can i count on it to work with an old incandesecent?

Finally, one dusk to dawn insert said max 100 watt when bulb is upright, max 60 watt when hanging down. Any idea why the differnce?

And... Cfl's arent really 60 ro 100 watts they are equivalent to those wattages arent they? So do the maximums apply there?

THANKS

    Bookmark   December 15, 2013 at 11:34AM
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jreagan_gw

If it says CFL, yes incandescent would be fine.

The down vs up is to do the heat.

CFLs rated at 40W is the "equivalent" to the incandescent. They'll draw much lower (10-14W).

The fixture maximum is in real watts so use the actual CFL wattage as your guide, not the "equivalent".

    Bookmark   December 15, 2013 at 4:34PM
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bus_driver

" Why wouldnt any timer work with a cfl bulb?"
An incandescent has a sturdy digestive system. It can handle any power fed to it so long as the voltage is not much more than the rated voltage. The CFL will develop serious digestive problems ( potentially fatal ) if fed any diet that differs from the design parameters. Some timers supply suitable outputs and some do not.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2013 at 5:31PM
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Ron Natalie

There are two kinds of timers typically on the market. One kind uses a TRIAC (a device also used in electronic dimmers) to control the light. Many non-incandescent loads such as CFLs can cause bizarre behavior on these (I won't get into the reasons, but they're less spectacular than bus_driver would describe). It can cause the lights to just flicker when they should be OFF, for example.

The other kind just uses a motorized switch. It therefore can pretty much control anything that a switch can control (motors, CFL's, low voltage lights).

Another thing to check. Some of the fancier electronic timers need a NEUTRAL in the box to work. This may not be present in older houses. Other timers either use a battery to run the timer part (or are purely mechanical...tick tick tick tick) and don't have the issue.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2013 at 9:33AM
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Ron Natalie

There are two kinds of timers typically on the market. One kind uses a TRIAC (a device also used in electronic dimmers) to control the light. Many non-incandescent loads such as CFLs can cause bizarre behavior on these (I won't get into the reasons, but they're less spectacular than bus_driver would describe). It can cause the lights to just flicker when they should be OFF, for example.

The other kind just uses a motorized switch. It therefore can pretty much control anything that a switch can control (motors, CFL's, low voltage lights).

Another thing to check. Some of the fancier electronic timers need a NEUTRAL in the box to work. This may not be present in older houses. Other timers either use a battery to run the timer part (or are purely mechanical...tick tick tick tick) and don't have the issue.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2013 at 9:34AM
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bus_driver

Here is one report.

Here is a link that might be useful: Fire

    Bookmark   December 17, 2013 at 8:13PM
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myrtle_59

Thank you. I had no idea.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2013 at 9:46PM
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