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Radio Shack sells a timer that works by sending signals through the house wiring to turn on or off "modules" that plug into wall sockets and have sockets themselves. You set an on itme and an off time, plug the module into the wall, and plug your tank lights into the module. The signals turn the module on and off at the set times. It is accurate to the nearest minute. The only noise is a clunk! when the signal makes the module connect or disconnect. The timer can operate up to 12 different modules, and each module can have one or two on and off times set.
 

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Pineapple said----I'm not sure whether there are any issues with X10 technology in the circumstances of a power cut (black out). It strikes me that this is an interesting high tech approach to the problem, but one with which I am leary of using.
I assume that "X10 technology" refers to the Radio Shack timers. I have found them to be reliable. The timers have a place for a 9 volt backup battery that preserves the time and all the settings during a blackout. If the battery is run down, all the settings and time are lost during even a brief blackout. It does not take very long to reset the time and the on-off settings. When the power returns the timer stays at whatever state it was in when the power failed (on, or off). If you need accurate timing, this is the only way to go. I use the timers to operate the air pump that empties bags of 4% CO2 into my tanks. The timing is critical here so that the timer turns the pump off just as the bag reaches empty.
 
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