Do LED Lights Work with Timers?
Timers are fully compatible with energy-saving bulbs and LEDs. However, there may be some flickering or continuous lighting if the correct installation procedures aren’t followed. This is because these kinds of lights are inductive and do not have a resistance characteristic to offer. It results in the timer continually turning on and off as the inductive element is charged and discharged. The small current generated through operation of the switch timer is also sufficient to keep the LEDs dimly lit. This will result in the timer switch fuse blowing at the same time as the light bulb, meaning that the mains must be switched off before replacing a fuse.
There are different ways to overcome the issues associated with the use of LED lights. There may be the option of fitting a large external resistor between the bulb and switch allowing bulbs of 20w to operate. Another solution is to increase the number of bulbs so that the minimum load requirements of the timer switch can be met. It is also advised to use digital timers to power LED lights.
How Does a Light Timer Work?
The light timer is an electrical circuit with an integrated clock. It can be set to turn the lighting on or off at specific times, according to individual requirements. The buying choices include devices featuring single or multiple electrical outlets, as well as those included within a complete security system. There is a wide variety of mechanical and digital timers available.
Digital timer switches are typically connected to electrical circuits powered via the mains supply. They feature timing circuitry, switching devices, and no moving parts. Such switches can be used to turn lights on or off at times selected by the user. Some of these switches allow for the pre-setting and cyclical arrangement of lighting levels.
How Do I Know Which Wire is Neutral When Installing My Switch?
The connection of a neutral wire is required in order for a light timer to remain powered and function correctly. This wire allows remote communication, keeping the correct time, and controlling the load.
You should be able to identify two white neutral wires in the electrical lighting box. These wires may be tied together and capped with a wire fastener. However, such neutral wiring will not be present in all instances. A flathead screwdriver, Phillips head screwdriver, and handheld voltage tester will be required to identify the neutral wiring.
The identification process is as follows:
Step One: Flick the Switch
Test the light switch to ensure that the lighting system is working properly.
Step Two: Power Down
Turn the power off at the circuit breaker and make sure that the light remains off.
Step Three: Remove the Wall Plate
Use the flathead screwdriver to remove the light switch wall plate.
Step Four: Move the Switch
Unscrew the switch from the wall box and pull the switch towards you (taking care not to touch the wires or screws on the side).
Step Five: Use Your Voltage Tester
Use the voltage tester to ensure that the power is off.
Step Six: Conduct a Visual Inspection
Inspect the colours of the wiring within the switch box (two entwined white wires will indicate neutral).
Step Seven: Investigate the Box
If the two control wires are white and black, then inspect the box. The presence of separate white, black and copper leads running into the box will indicate that there is no neutral.
Step Eight: Talk to an Expert
Consult an electrician if you are still in doubt over the presence of neutral wiring.