Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Getting Technical

I absolutely love having everything be automatic in the house.

We have a lamp in the living room that comes on with a timer before my alarm goes off. That way I never have a dark house to wake up to.

Another lamp in the living room comes on automatically for a few hours in the evening.

The air conditioning in our house is set automatically to change different temperatures through-out the day.

Our sprinkler system has a schedule to it. (We just didn't get the rain sensor, which would have made it even more technical!)

And our lights on the garage come on automatically and our porch light has a sensor on it too.

The downside with the porch light was the sensor. If the weather got bad, it would turn the light on prematurely. And once it came on, it was on until the eight hours it was programmed for were over. It defeated the purpose. Our porch light wouldn't be on at night like I wanted it to.

The reason we had the porch light on a sensor/timer was because we would always forget to turn the light off, so it would sit there all day lit up.

I bought the sensor from Target and it was fine. Our other timers are plugs, but since this was a toggle switch, I needed a different solution.

Previous Sensor/Timer in Porch Light

This device did the job, but like I said, it was too sensitive and came on too early at times. Plus, it made the lightbulb hang outside the glass enclosure. You screw the bulb into the device, and then the device screws into the light fixture.

While I was on my business trip a couple weeks back, I was browsing in the SkyMall magazine and found a timer for a toggle switch.

It's not the prettiest thing, but it was getting closer to my goal. I really wanted a timer, not a sensor, for my porch light.

Last week, I then googled "toggle switch timer," I found similar ugly items, but then I found this beauty.

You replace the toggle switch altogether with this bad boy.

Time to cut off the power and get started.

I had to get a new faceplate too, but that only cost $3, so that was okay. Only problem was it doesn't cover some of the drywall imperfections, but I can fix that.

What's really awesome about this timer is that you enter your latitude and longitude and it knows when your sunset and sunrise are. This includes Daylight Savings Time. I always have to adjust the plug timers for this, but I won't for the porch light!!! Plus, there is no battery to replace.

Can you tell I'm excited? I was really trying to figure out if there was anything else in our house I wanted to make automatic, but I failed at coming up with one.

Speaking of failure... I was trying to sneak this project in while the little one napped, and I came to a roadblock. I had followed the directions, put the faceplate on and turned the breaker box back on, when... nothing. The timer had no display.

So what did I do? Fix myself a bowl of ice cream. But after the bowl of ice cream, I cut the power back off and un-did my wiring and re-did it. Turned out I had the wires switched. Thank goodness it was an easy fix!

I highly recommend this light timer. I seriously want to find more things I can use this for!!

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