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Old 03-09-2008, 10:33 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Light timer

All,
I'm in need of automating some things around the house since I can't get around (blew knee ligament). Is it possible to plug the light fixture into one of those devices from a harware store to turn the lights on and off automatically? Or will this cause problems? Thanks,
Rob
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Old 03-09-2008, 11:21 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Light timer

Hi Rob,

Newbie myself, but have some recent experience in this area. My old setup had a 20 watt standard flo strip light with magnetic ballast over the tank and a lower cost Intermatic "Appliance Timer" which was rated of 1875 watts and it worked well.

My current setup has a AH Supply 96 watt compact flo light with an electronic ballast and when I tried the new light on the old timer the timer almost immediately got very hot and started to smell. I immediately unplugged it, went to Home Depot, and purchased an Intermatic "Heavy Duty" timer. It handles the 3 prong ground plugs, and it is working well on my system with no heat problems.

Hope this helps!

Roy

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Old 03-09-2008, 12:01 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Light timer

You can always use the cheap, mechanical Intermatic timer, the one that you push little plastic clips around the rim to control the on and off times with. Those will operate almost anything. But, ballasts for fluorescent lights will often destroy an electronic timer. Intermatic had to stop selling some of their electronic timers because they all would fail when used on fluorescent fixtures.
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Old 03-09-2008, 12:05 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Light timer

Radio Shack sells a remote control timer that operates modules plugged into wall sockets anywhere in your house. They make a module for fluorescent lights. I have been using this kind of timer for my aquarium lights for years, and have not had any problems. It is accurate to the nearest minute, which is more accurate than the mechanical timers. Maybe it would be safer to say that Radio Shack used to sell this timer. I have not checked to see if they are still selling it.

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Old 03-09-2008, 05:08 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Light timer

I like the Brinks heavy duty digital model from WalMart. It has a battery backup in case the power goes out for an extended period of time.
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Old 03-09-2008, 06:59 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Light timer

I have been thinking about trying a power strip / timer combination device for some time now. There are several available that are marketed towards the hydroponics industry (and thus fluorescent lighting I believe) such as this one: http://www.daytonhydroponics.com/pro...roducts_id=364

Once I try it out I will give a full report.

Dave
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Old 03-09-2008, 09:05 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Light timer

I have used a power strip plugged into a heavy duty timer that I got at a drug store. Works fine. It was a three prong. It has the little pins you pull out to set when it comes on and goes off. No problems, nothing fancy, and cheap!



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Old 03-10-2008, 06:29 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Light timer

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveS View Post
I have been thinking about trying a power strip / timer combination device for some time now. There are several available that are marketed towards the hydroponics industry (and thus fluorescent lighting I believe) such as this one: http://www.daytonhydroponics.com/pro...roducts_id=364

Once I try it out I will give a full report.

Dave
Lowes used to carry them, but no longer does. I have a couple of those powerstrips for timers as well as the Brinks model and both work well.
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Old 03-10-2008, 07:28 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Light timer

I forgot to say that it's CFL, 2x96. I guess I just need to find the heaviest duty timer available, three prong. Thanks for all the advice -
Rob
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Old 03-10-2008, 08:04 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Light timer

The nice thing about the Radio Shack model is that it can control a number of different appliances independently. Each appliance can have its own weekly schedule. It sends on or off signals through the house wiring to the modules for each appliance.
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