In Home Security, Seacoast Security, Security

Whether you’re going on vacation or you’re just away from home often, light timers are an inexpensive way to provide home security and deter theft. Use this quick tutorial to answer your questions from purchase to set-up.

Let There Be Light

A light timer is an electrical circuit with a built-in clock. Acting as a communicator between the power source and the light, the timer turns lights on and off based on the times you set. Available in a variety of sizes, these devices come equipped with controls ranging from circular dials to digital settings. Light timers can be stand-alone devices with a single electrical outlet, contain multiple outlets or be integrated with a security system. Purchase them at your local home improvement store or have them installed by a trusted home security company.

Plug and Play

For most timers, plug the timer into the wall outlet, and then plug the light into the timer. Turn the light on and leave it on. The circuit in the timer will then be able to turn the light on and off at the times you set. Set the times and you’re good to go. Timers can be used for more than lights. You can plug in televisions and radios to give an even more realistic appearance that somebody is home.

So Many Choices

How do you decide which light timer to buy? Inventory the light sources in your home. In addition to ceiling lights look for:

• Floor lamps and desk lamps

• Ceiling fans

• Outdoor and security lights

• Night lights

Decide which lights you want on timers and when you want them on. Think about your lifestyle and what kind of timers would make your life easier.

• Timers with a single outlet and setting are good for floor lamps.

• Timers with multiple outlets come in handy for desks and entertainment centers.

• Digital timers allow you to set multiple times for different days of the week.

• Integrated systems let you check on your home’s status through the Internet or on your smartphone.

Should you choose the same times every day or mix it up? You want to create the impression that someone is always home. For major lights, choose times that correspond to meal times or regular activities. For floor lamps and desk lights, select various times to give the appearance of differing schedules.


Timers are great, but they’re not infallible. If you forget to leave the light in the on position, the timer won’t be able to turn it on. This is because the timer functions only as a communicator between the power source and the light.

Also, if the power goes out, so does the light. Unlike security lights, light timers don’t have battery backup. If there’s no power to manipulate, there’s no light. Last but not least, timers can’t read the weather report. They only work for the times you set. They can’t make adjustments for dark and rainy days or daylight savings time.

Seacoast Security has been providing Maine and New Hampshire home and business owners with cutting edge home and business security services since 1976 from our offices in Rockport, Freeport/Portland, Hermon/Bangor, Presque Isle, and Portsmouth. Learn more at

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