Timer Switches for Home Automation Lighting

Never Leave a Light On Accidentally Again

Modern living room
Getty Images/Space Images

Want to know why your monthly electric bill is so high? Take a closer look at the lights and appliances you accidentally leave on. If for example, you pay a low rate of USD $0.10 per Kilowatt hour (rates vary based on where you live), and you accidentally leave on a 100-Watt bulb for 24 hours, it will cost you $0.24 on your next electric bill. That may not seem like a lot of money, but say you do this just once every few days (ten times a month), it's now costing you $2.40. That adds up quick.

Save Money On Your Power Bill

Usually, the lights that get left on are the ones nobody can see, like the porch, the basement, or the laundry room. When home automation enthusiasts uncover a problem, they immediately begin seeking a solution using technology.

Timer switches are a relatively simple and inexpensive solution to the problem of forgetting to turn lights off. At a time when everyone is looking for ways to go green, timer switches are an excellent example of green automation.

Timer Switch Products

Timer switches are simple in concept; after a certain time period has elapsed the light turns off. How often do you go to the basement and forget to turn the light out when you come back upstairs? A better question: How often do your children do that? A timer switch automatically turns off its load after a preset time. The amount of time depends on the switch and its options. Some switches have one preset time (15 minutes is common) while others allow you to set the delay before the timer shuts down.

While timer switches are relatively common and available from a variety of manufacturers, ones that work with a home automation system are harder to find. One of the most popular automation timer product was the INSTEON SwitchLinc Timer (2476ST) from Smarthome, which has since been discontinued. A popular alternative switch (not compatible with ‚ÄčINSTEON or other home automation environments), however, is the ‚ÄčLeviton Countdown Timer Switch.