If you are combing the market to find a programmable light switch, then you are at the right place. To begin with, everybody’s busy life requires that you invest in various items and equipment that save time and energy.
A programmable timer switch for LED lights eliminates the unintentional waste of electricity costs by switching off lights during the day.
It also saves you from coming home to total darkness after a busy day where it could be difficult to find the light switch (Source).
Such importance explains the surge in demand for these products on the market. The best programmable light switches should be functional, have an attractive design, be compatible with your smart home, and offer an app to control it.
In this guide, we will review programmable light switch timers and provide some key insights on what you should look for.
What Are Timed Switches?
Table of Contents
- 1 What Are Timed Switches?
- 2 1. Honeywell Econoswitch RPLS740B Light Switch – Best Overall Smart Switch
- 3 2. Leviton ODS10-ID Switch Occupancy Sensor – Best Switch for Commercial & Residential Applications
- 4 3. Philips Hue Dimmer Light Switch – Best for the Money
- 5 4. Lutron Caseta Wireless Dimmer Light Switch – Best Feature-Packed Light Switch
- 6 5. Wemo Dimmer Wi-Fi Programmable Light Switch – The Smartest Light Switch
- 7 Things to Consider Before Buying a Programmable Light Switch
- 8 Types of Timer Light Switches
- 9 Time Switch vs. Timer
- 10 Ready to Program Your Home?
Programmable light switches, also known as time switches, can save serious energy if you forget to turn your lights off often when leaving the room. As these switches are based on timers, they often replace traditional light switches.
This is done by taking out the regular switch and installing the timed switch inside the electrical box. Time switches can greatly assist with safety and discourage intruders from thinking you’re not home.
|Honeywell Econoswitch RPLS740B Light Switch|
|Leviton ODS10-ID Switch Occupancy Sensor|
|Philips Hue Dimmer Light Switch|
|Lutron Caseta Wireless Dimmer Light Switch|
|Wemo Dimmer Wi-Fi Programmable Light Switch|
1. Honeywell Econoswitch RPLS740B Light Switch – Best Overall Smart SwitchHaving exterior home lights provides two benefits. First, it enhances the ambient glow of your home and property. Second, it gives a sense of security and safety. This would be much better with the Honeywell Econoswitch RPLS740B Light Switch.
Switch by location
The Honeywell Econoswitch RPLS740B Light Switch doesn’t sense the presence of light like other automated switches does. Thus, for functionality, users are required to enter their longitude and latitude as well as the time and date. The switch then calculates the exact sunrise and sunset times.
Setting up the latitude and longitude can be easy. However, getting the switch to auto modes and other menu items might be quite daunting. Nonetheless, once the switch gets to auto mode, you won’t have to touch it again.
Manual and vacation modes
If you don’t need much automation, you can switch to this mode where it turns to an ON/OFF switch.
On the other hand, the vacation mode is specifically designed to make the house look occupied. It randomly turns the lights on and off throughout the day. Additionally, it uses the saved longitude and latitude details to switch on the lights at sunset for 60 and 90 minutes.
After that, it turns off the lights for 20 to 30 minutes and repeats the cycle until it finally rests near midnight.
Visually, its design is sleek and fits well with the wall plates. The switch has three buttons, and it comes with an LCD screen that is large and easy to read with a blue-black light whose brightness can be adjusted.
Notably, the best part of this device is the tiny blue LED light at the lower corner that glows when the switch’s circuit is turned on.
This programmable light switch can also be used as a standard timer. Users can program up to seven programs in the switch. However, only one program can be active at a time.
Unlike other mediocre switches, the Honeywell Econoswitch doesn’t lose its settings in case of power blackouts. This includes the internal clock that keeps working. When the power comes back, the switch functions normally.
2. Leviton ODS10-ID Switch Occupancy Sensor – Best Switch for Commercial & Residential ApplicationsThe Leviton ODS10-ID Switch Occupancy Sensor is an ideal energy saving method of choice for automatic lighting control in various commercial and residential applications.
The device certainly can’t win the design awards as it features a low profile design, but it has a no-nonsense approach towards lights control.
Automatic light control
This switch allows automatic control of fluorescents, low-voltage lighting, and incandescent lamps using magnetic and electronic ballasts.
Alogside that, it provides an adjustable 180-degrees field of view with uncompelled sensitivity alterations, delayed off time, and ambient light override. It also features a manual override switch that can be used to keep lights off when necessary.
The switch uses a passive infrared detection technology through segmented Fresnel lenses to monitor the room for occupancy. These lenses divide the field of view into sensor zones such that when a person passes through one zone, the zone detects motion and switches the lights on.
Users who bought this switch claim it helps to save energy. The convenience of this switch will ensure you don’t have to get out of bed to shut the lights off. This switch was tested in one basement and lasted more than five years. After that period, it was still working. The only complaint we have is that the the shutters on the switch are not adjustable.
This switch can work in a home, a workshop, or any other commercial space. Even if you have 600w of florescent lighting, this switch will handle it. The programming is simple and easy to use, with a straight forward screw-knob adjustment.
3. Philips Hue Dimmer Light Switch – Best for the MoneySince its inception, Philips has been in its own class when it comes to connected lighting. The Philips Hue Dimmer Light Switch makes this technology much simpler to adopt specifically for new users. This switch comes with dimmable bulbs and two configuration options.
Additionally, it offers simple remote hue lights control ranging from bright to extra low dim via a wireless and battery-powered system.
Setting this up is pretty easy. You can follow the steps outlined on its user manual. Alongside that, simply install the hue app to ease pairing the system with your bridge.
Ease of use
Once you have connected the Philips dimmer to the hue bridge, you need to configure it with the app. Here, you can set your favorite light scene even without using the smart device.
The dimmer runs on batteries and can be used as any other typical wall switch. For this, you can place it at any convenient spot on your house.
The Philips Hue Dimmer Light Switch features a magnetic base or a wall plate that allows users to mount it using magnets.
The Philips Hue Dimmer Light Switch is perfect for those who need to alter the lighting scene such as adjusting brightness. It is perfect for dining and living rooms, and you can cycle through various pre-set scenes and easily change both the color scheme and mood.
4. Lutron Caseta Wireless Dimmer Light Switch – Best Feature-Packed Light SwitchThe Lutron Caseta Wireless Dimmer Light Switch has various features that make home automation desirable in all angles. Some of the most noteworthy include the one in-wall switch, wireless remote, and smartbridge hub that can be used to control Lutron Caseta shades and fans too.
From its design, the switch looks high-tech with several control buttons laid out for numerous option offers. Factually, Lutron can be described as better in fashion over function, but doesn’t let down on its performance.
The white and grey buttons placed front and center with touch-sensitive controls are not only intriguing but also eases its use. Meanwhile, another feature is geofencing that implies that the switch will automatically turn the lights on and off when leaving or arriving at home.
Additionally, it provides an option to schedule when your lights turn on and off at particular times or days. Dimming capabilities and compatibility with various smartphone home systems will make it easy to use. Users can also control this programmable timer switch using voice commands through Amazon Alexa, Google Home, and other apps.
5. Wemo Dimmer Wi-Fi Programmable Light Switch – The Smartest Light SwitchThe Wemo Dimmer Wi-Fi Programmable Light Switch is perhaps the best designed smart switch of the era with its wide range of new and thoughtful features. Some of the outstanding features of this product include:
- Control from anywhere – you can control the Wemo Dimmer from the wall, Wemo app, or even using your voice from the Google home app and Amazon Alexa.
- Sync with your schedule – you can easily set a schedule so that your lights do what you want at the right time.
- Night mode – this device allows you to have your desired low light level to protect your eyes from bright light.
Things to Consider Before Buying a Programmable Light Switch
As mentioned above, there are various programmable light switch options to choose from.
This calls for a thorough search that involves looking into the specific features of each product. Some of the key factors to consider include:
- Design – is the light switch attractive? Note that the best often comes in multiple colors. You can choose one that matches your home décor.
- Functionality – does the switch support three or four connections? Always consider a switch with the best functionality in terms of connections.
- App – most programmable light switches can be controlled using smartphone apps. Ensure that the app is easy to work with and provides a wide assortment of features.
- Smart home compatibility – inquire if other smart home devices can work with the switch. The more, the better.
Types of Timer Light Switches
Whether you choose to buy an electronic or a mechanical timer, you should know both can work as plug-in options or actual switches.
Electronic programmable timer switches are basically digital devices that offer various on and off settings. Such switches are smart enough to variate the times they turn on and off, making it seem like you are home even when you leave. For this reason, electronic switches are highly favored in comparison to their mechanical counterpart, but can more difficult to install or program.
Plug-in timers are ideal for turning on lamps automatically, without replacing a traditional switch with a timed switch. Simply plug this timer into the wall and control whatever’s is plugged into the outlet. Alternatively, you may purchase a screw-in timer that goes right onto the socket of your lamp. Then, the lamp’s bulb goes into the actual timer.
Mechanical spring-wound timer switches have a special dial that you turn when you want a fixture to turn on. Set the light to stay on for as long as sixty minutes with one turn of the dial. This type of dial is mostly used in bathroom fans.
Time Switch vs. Timer
People often confuse time switches and timer switches. As the names are used interchangeably, you’ll learn that the two are actually different. A time switch is normally used in commercial operations, in industries like HVAC (dealing with air conditioning, heating). Also, time switches are common with traditional water heaters.
Time switches almost always have advanced programming functionality and can be rated for 30 or more amps, as well as 120-240 volts of electricity. Timer switches are used in traditional projects and residential homes, where you need to control your light with a switch. For homes, the standard is usually 120 volts.
Ready to Program Your Home?
Home automation is perhaps the best technological advancement that benefit various homes. By using programmable light switches, you can easily control your home or commercial building lights to save on energy and time.
Switches like the Honeywell Econoswitch RPLS740B Light Switch, provide an additional sense of security through its programs like the ‘vacation mode’.
Go for a product that has an intriguing design and a feature-packed functionality; alongside being easy to control using the app, and being compatible with various smart home techs.
That said, what type of project are you looking to buy a switch for? Share with us below!