As the holiday season approaches, many homeowners are thinking of the best ways to decorate and save money at the same time. But if you’re torn between the extensive light display of your dreams and cutting down your electric bill, you don’t have to be – that’s where a timer comes in.
Not only will your lights turn on and off without you worrying about it, but you’ll keep your home safe and lower your chances of accidental fires.
Should I use a timer for indoor or outdoor lights?
The short answer: both.
All of your holiday decorations, outdoor and indoor, can benefit from having a timer. If possible though, you should consider having any hard-to-reach decorations on a timer.
There are several types of timers that you can use for the holidays. Some timers are smart phone capable, allowing you to turn your lights on and off from your phone. Plug-in timers and other mechanical timers allow you to set it and forget it, and will turn your decorations on and off at a set time each day without you worrying about it.
What sort of timer should I get for holiday lights?
Generally, plug-in timers are the best option when it comes to seasonal decor. Here are a few popular timer options to consider this year:
Digital timers are easy to program, as they display your timing options on a small screen. Important to note: unless you choose a digital timer with battery backup, you may have to reset your timer if you unplug the timer or lose power in the outlet it’s plugged into.
Mechanical timers, which look a little like kitchen timers with plugs, are a simple crank-to-set option that tend to be a little less expensive than digital timers. Like digital timers, it’s best to choose a mechanical timer with battery backup in case of power outages or accidental unpluggings.
Photocell timers can tell daytime from nighttime and are especially useful for outdoor lighting. Most have a variety of different settings, so you can keep your lights on for specific time intervals or from dusk to dawn.
Programmable smart outlets are a more permanent option, but depending on your year-round light usage, they may be a good choice for areas where you need regular light timing. These switches are designed to completely replace your normal outlet, and can connect to an app on your phone or computer, allowing you to control power to the outlet no matter where you are. And, once the holidays are over, you’ll still find your smart outlet useful throughout the year. For example, if you know you’ll be returning home late after a Fourth of July party, you can set your outlet to turn the light on for you before you get home.
Smart outlets are great to have, but if you’re not sure how to install them, ask an electrical handyman to help.
How many lights can I plug into one timer?
That depends – but when in doubt, don’t overdo it. If you’re struggling to find enough outlets for your holiday light collection this year, an electrical handyman can help install a few more to keep your home safe, merry and bright all season long.
Which timer is right for my home?
The timer you choose is going to depend a lot on what decorations you’re putting up and the level of convenience you’re looking for. Regardless, if you’re worried about lighting and home safety this December, an electrical handyman from Handyman Connection can help you get ready for the holidays.