What Is a Timer Switch?
There are actually two versions of a timer switch:
- The first which is more common in my country is the “manual-setting” timer switch. You can find two types, either analogue or digital. This type of timer switch gives you the option to set “on-off” periods as many times as you want within the 24-hour period. You can use this type of timer switch to control not only lights but also other gadgets like water heaters and air-conditioners. I have two such timer switches installed in my home. One controls the light at the covered car porch or you may refer it as an open garage with a roof. The other controls the sitting area of my home (I don’t know what you call it in your country). We call it lounge. If you look at the photo of my timer switch, it is set “on” at 18.5 which is 6.30pm, and “off” at 24 which is at 12 mid night.
- The other version of a timer switch is the factory-preset type, where each time when you switch on, you have a choice to choose the time period for the “off” command. This timer switch can offer up to as many as 6 choices for the “on” duration. You can choose from 1 minute, 5, 10,20,30 and 60 minutes for the gadget to auto switch off. I would say this is useful for those who are forgetful, or families with children, who more often than not, forget to switch off each time they leave the room. But then again, they may even forget or too lazy to push the “duration” button after switching on! Worse still, they may even press the wrong :duration” button, either ending in total darkness or wasting electricity! So far, I have not seen this second version in my country.
Three Advantages of Installing a Manual (Analog) Timer Switch
These are the three advantages of installing a manual timer switch:
- Convenience: You don’t have to get up to switch on the lights and you can carry on with what you are doing without interruption. I am always on the computer, and when it’s getting dark come 6.30 pm the lights just come on automatically.
- Security: Even if you are out of the house or on vacation, the lights will be on and off on auto mode. This will deter any intending intruders.
- Economy: This is especially so when on vacation or when you are not at home. You don’t have to leave the lights on the whole day and night. On occasions when I went to bed too early, I still would want to leave lights on for awhile. I could sleep peacefully knowing that the lights would be off by 12 midnight.
Jasmine on March 31, 2019:
Thank you! Especially appreciated your photocell explanation!
Arielqiao on October 16, 2012:
Sounds very good and interesting.
Pavlo Badovskyi from Kyiv, Ukraine on October 16, 2012:
I istalled several of them. they definitely help to save money!