Going on a vacation and scared that thieves might break into your house during while you’re gone?
There is one way to trick would-be invaders into believing there’s somebody home: turn on the porch light. Not a lot of robbers would be bold enough to ransack a house with a bright porch. However, leaving the porch light on the entire time you are away is not cost-effective and definitely not energy-efficient. So consider yourself lucky that automatic porch lights with timers now exist.
But what should you look for in an outdoor light timer? Why would an automatic porch light timer be a worthy investment? Read on the find out with our answer-filled guide and top picks.
Oh, and don’t forget there is way more you can do to protect your home, so please take a look at our iHoan Smart Home Wi-Fi enabled security alarm system review.
How to Choose Automatic Porch Light Timers
Porch light timers are very practical. It’s not just about discouraging a thief, because criminals would perpetrate a crime if they really want to no matter how bright your house is. It’s also about being practical. For one, there will be times when you would forget to turn off the porch light – like when you are too busy or when you are already running late for work in the morning.
This could already make a dent on your electricity bill. Having a light timer would mean ridding yourself of the responsibility of always remembering to turn off your porch light in the morning. A porch light timer would also help with keeping your house safe from fire. There are a number of ways your light could start a fire. Having them turned off decreases the number of ways.
When choosing the right timer, it is best to talk to a mechanic or an expert in the store where you will be buying it. You need to purchase the right kind of timer to match the wattage of your light. There are also mechanical and electronic types of timers. Be aware of which among the two will best handle the kind of light you have at your porch.
Precautions/Risks in Using Porch Light Timers
Like any other devices out there, there are still risks in using porch light timers. Here are some tips in order to combat the risks associated with porch light timers:
- Make sure you are using outdoor lights for the porch – There is a reason why there are indoor and outdoor types of lighting. An outdoor light is of course designed to be outdoor, which is why it is more fitting for the porch. This means that the light could withstand too much heat or dampness. (for more in indoor lighting check out our review on Haiku Smart light)
- Use the correct wattage – The fixture for your porch light will indicate the maximum wattage it could handle in a bulb. Make sure you follow the design in order to prevent possible overheating of the light.
- Program your light timer to go on and off at different times every day – The randomness of it all will make outsiders believe that there are people at home. After all, when you are around, you don’t exactly turn on the porch light every day at 6 p.m., right?
How We Chose Our Top Outdoor Light Timers
This is the time of Smart phones, Smart TVs and other Smart devices. That goes the same for light timers. Smart lights are hassle-free, yes, but if you just want your porch lights to turn on and off at a certain time when you are not around, then an automatic porch light timer will do. One advantage you can get from an automatic porch light timer rather than the Smart one is that the former will not be hacked. Oh, and they are way cheaper too. Here are some things to consider when choosing the best porch light timers:
- Value for money – The most expensive light timer doesn’t have to be the best. Just make sure that it has the basic: it will turn on and off the porch light when you are not around to manually do it.
- Convenient manual override switch
- Built-in backup battery in case there is a blackout
- Can be programmed or set up daily timer settings for at least a week
- Energy efficient
- Timer that adjusts during daylight savings time.
The 10 Best Automatic Porch Light Timer
This light switch timer could be programmable for seven days. Made by an American company known for its automation control products and services, this timer is made of plastic and is recommended for use with lights with a maximum wattage of 2,400. It functions with a line wire equivalent to 120 volts, a load wire and wire nut. There is no indicated minimum wattage requirement but the timer could load up to one horsepower. It is compatible with both compact fluorescent light and LED bulbs. It is compatible not just with porch lights but also with other devices like fans and indoor lights.
Another reason why customers are attracted to this Honeywell product is because it is easy to install. It also has a screen that reflects the necessary numbers: date, time and load status. It is very convenient, which is exactly what homeowners need.
This mechanical light timer outlet is great for outdoor placement including the porch. It helps reduce waste with its automatic light switch timer sensor that functions from dust until dawn. This means that it could automatically turn on at dusk and will manage to turn off by itself around dawn. Or you can program it based on the number of hours you want the light to be on—two or four or eight hours.
Made by ECOPlugs, the Ecoplugs Outdoor Mechanical Countdown Timer Outlet can accommodate a maximum of three devices. It is safe, durable and weather-proof.
The product also works well with Christmas decorations. And since it has three outlets, it could accommodate other devices as well, aside from the porch light.
Weather-proof, safe and reliable, this outlet timer is great for the porch as well as for decorative purposes like those for Halloween and Christmas. It has five modes: dust-to-dawn, two hours, four hours, six hours and eight hours. You can program it according to your need. Because of the timer, this product saves you energy and money. This Brightown product is UL certified.
Another product from this famed brand, this programmable switch for lights and motors works on two modes: manual and automatic. This is part of the reason why this item is very popular, because it gives customers a choice. You may program this timer to up to seven days. It could be programmed on a per-day basis so the light will be switched on at random hours and turned off the same way, or you could program it on repeat every day. The Honeywell Econoswitch is also easy to use as programming is pretty straightforward.
This item automatically turns on and off porch lights with the goal of saving energy and money. It is very easy to program and provides homeowners the choice of setting the timer on a daily or weekly basis. There is also an alternative to have a multiple-day programming for one’s convenience. The display on the timer is also very straightforward: time and room temperature. The product can also be used for fans and indoor lights.
The product can also be used for fans and indoor lights.
A timer that controls both compact fluorescent and LED lights, this item could provide 24-hour or seven-day programming for your porch lights. You could configure the porch light to turn on at random hours or have it repeat at a regular time. It also adjusts according to the daylight saving time. It could be applied to a maximum of three items. Many marvel at the product’s astronomic timer that allows it to automatically turn on during sunset and will turn off by sunrise.
Yet another wonderful product from Honeywell, this timer switch is programmable for seven days. It is made of plastic with a sleek design that operates in two modes: manual or the conventional on/off through a switch and automatic. It requires a minimum of 40 watts and maximum of 500 for incandescent or halogen lights.
Another product by ECOPlugs, this outlet has a wall countdown light sensor. This means that the light is automatically turned on at dusk and automatically shuts off at dawn. This way, you don’t have to program it all the time. Although, that is still an option if you want to because of its countdown alternative, which sets your timer to turn off at two to eight hours after dusk. The product also has an indoor remote switch for maximum convenience.
Homeowners are loving this in-wall timer that uses no electricity to operate. The product has a 15-minute spring-loaded automatic shut-off system. Because it doesn’t need electricity, the timer is cost-efficient and saves a lot of energy, hence, a lot of money. Continuing its practical applications, the item automatically limits the time devices are “on” in order to save on energy.
Enerlites join the list with its seven-day digital in-wall programmable timer switch. This product automatically turns the porch light on and off at the specified time and date in the program. It also works for fans, sprinklers and motors.
The Best Automatic Porch Light Timers You Should Buy
It is quite obvious that Honeywell really is the brand to have when it comes to automatic porch light timers. It has a variety of products that provide safety and security for your home. Its automatic porch light timers are not only practical, they are also energy saving. And since you are saving energy, it follows that you are also saving money. While you are reducing the cost of electricity bills, you are also keeping it easy on the electrical utility system of your house. Also, low energy use entails the reduction of the levels of pollutants in the area.
But you don’t have to limit yourself with just one brand. The important thing is that you buy a product that fits your needs and fits your budget without compromising safety and security.