Light timers are usually considered a convenient energy saving feature since you do not have to remember to turn the lights on and off but, in South Africa, they’re a necessity – particularly for anyone that takes frequent business trips or is going away on holiday.
Essentially these timers, which can be either of the electrical or mechanical type, switch various lights on and off in your home. They work either according to a set schedule or in a random or unpredictable pattern which will then make it appear that someone is home while you’re are away and prevent burglaries.
Electric Light Timers
These timers have more features than their mechanical counterparts, are fairly inexpensive and must be installed directly into your light socket or outlet. Apart from being able to set multiple times for the light to go on and off you can also override the timer and use the switch manually. It is also preferable to ensure you set the timers as randomly as possible so that it does not become obvious that a timer is involved.
DIY – after ensuring that the electricity has been switched off (check by switching the light on and off) you will have to unscrew the plate or outlet, remove the switch component and then wire the electric light timer into the wall socket. After testing that the light works you can then proceed to screw the plate back on and then set the electric light times as per your manual.
Mechanical Light Timers
Mechanical light timers are cheaper than the electric timers and can be installed into a wall socket as described above or plugged into an electrical outlet like any appliance. If you’ve opted to install the mechanical light timer into the wall socket you will then have three power options – on, off and timer or auto. Off means no electrical current will be allowed, on means that the switch can be used manually and auto or timer means that an electrical current will flow only during the times you have set.
Setting up mechanical light timers is fairly simple – once you have installed it into the light outlet you can then set the current time by turning the dial and pointing the little arrow towards your local time – usually 12 hours are painted in a dark colour while the other 12 in a light colour. You will then need to “push” down all the little buttons to indicate the times that you wish the light or lights to be on – these can either be in 30 or 60 minute intervals.
Wall Plug Timers
If you have no interest in changing your light outlet component than you can purchase a plug-in timer which you simply plug into any wall outlet like an appliance and then plug your lamp or lamps into it. This is a great idea for bedroom lamps and will certainly go a long way in making your home a more secure place when you’re not home.
Other Timer Uses
You can also make use of a time to switch a television or radio on and off during the day and night to make it appear as though someone is at home and awake.
In conclusion it is certainly a worthy investment to install at least one or two light timers in your home. If your home is frequently left unoccupied you should consider a radio or TV timer to not only make it appear as if someone is in the home but also provide some audio effects to deter criminals even further.
Additional Lighting Options
While light timers will make it appear as though comeone is home during the night, other lighting considerations are also very important. Since we know that criminals tend to prefer operating under the cover of darkness it is important to ensure that you have sufficient outdoor lighting. I always recommend motion sensing LED floodlights which will not only light up your driveway, lapa and garden but will also be able to alert you to the presence of an intruder. If you get home to a dark house it may be time to consider installing some lights.
3 Reasons to Set up a Light Timer in your Home
You will save power
We’ve all left our garden, patio or balcony lights on during the day at one point or another and, apart from the fact that the realization seems to dawn on us at the strangest times, this unnecessarily consumes electricity. Now you can rely on a light timer to get it right for you and save a whole lot of power in the long run.
Someone’s Always Home
Whether you take frequent business trips, live alone or are planning to go on holiday to the coast it is important to set up a light timer so that it appears that there is always someone home. This will deter burglars from targeting your home and ensure you don’t arrive to find your home broken into.
Deter Burglars & Robbers
Remembering to turn on the garden, garage, shed, lapa or patio lights on every evening is a mission and is something everyone forgets to do. As mentioned in a previous article on tips to secure your garden and home – ensuring that you have adequate lighting to put robbers and burglars off is one of the most important and effective home security measures. With light timers you do not have to do the work and you can ensure your home is safely lit up at all times.