The Best Outlet Timer
To help you find the perfect outlet timer, we continuously put forth the effort to update and expand our list of recommendable outlet timers. Our team collects, edits and publishes new information, in order to present it to you in an accurate, significant and neatly arranged way.
Runner-ups: 10 Best Outlet Timer Alternatives
Table of Contents
Buying Guide for Outlet Timers
Many people have seen timers used in places like golf courses, hotels, and parking lots. Large lawns would be unmanageable without using timers that control things like sprinkler systems. Parking lots at commercial and industrial sites, gas stations, and highways have lighting systems that operate on precision timers. Even things like the huge fountain and light show at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas are controlled by sophisticated timers.
Home electrical outlet timers are designed after these types of systems, but are much simpler to operate. They are designed to bring an element of automation to the home, without losing access to an outlet. This automation takes away the need to be physically present in order for something to work. In a sense, outlet timers are controlled by proxy. A home owner sets a timer to turn an appliance on and off at specific times of day, but does not have to be there in order for it to work.
Freedom Of MovementIt's difficult to believe, but some people would rather miss a chance to go on a great vacation, than leave an important job around the house. Some people think they can never be away from the home for more than a few days because there are too many maintenance issues.
With outlet timers, any number of tasks can be taken care of daily with no worries. If a job includes electrical power, it is a simple matter of plugging an appliance into a timer that bypasses an outlet, instead of directly into the outlet itself. It's as easy as setting a few programming details, then taking all the time needed to enjoy a long getaway.
Security When AwayAnother reason people don't like to be away from the home for too long is the issue of security. If a home is left unlit for several days, it announces to certain others that the owner is away. Using timers is a great way to make it seem as if someone is at home each day. Very sophisticated outlet timers can be programmed with different commands for each day of the week. At certain determined points, timers can turn on a lamp, a porch security light, or even a musical device.
Some people also do not like to return home from work in the dark. If a person knows they will be home at a certain time, they can set an outlet timer to turn on a garage light minutes before they arrive. Timers are even wonderful for simple conveniences like initiating a coffee pot to provide an aromatic alarm each morning.
Are Outlet Timers Difficult To Use?Timers are designed around a person's needs. The vast majority of models have bodies that are single pieces. They feature a socket adapter, and can be plugged directly into an outlet. It takes very little electrical trade knowledge to install and use these types.
A few digitized timer models are actually outlets themselves. These types can interface with home smart systems, and operate on internal computer chip controls. For these complex models, it is best to have an electrician install them. They will likely need to be inset into a wall, and hardwired directly into a home's electrical system.
As far as programming is concerned, each model will have its own commands. Some timers only require the turning of a dial similar to a cooking timer, or a heater thermostat. Most timers with digital displays will have at least a few easy-to-understand buttons for programming. Very complex models could require panel programming, coordination with a remote control, or communication setup with a phone app, or computer. Again, the vast majority of everyday outlet timers are simple to use, and are sold with detailed instructions on how to operate them.
Matching Outlet Timers to NeedsA great example of a simple outlet timer with no added digital “bells and whistles,” is the Century 24 Hour Plug-In Mechanical Timer. It features a simple turning dial that indicates certain hours of the day. Set it to power a device starting at one hour, and to stop power at another. It is an adapter that has a single plug-in, a power indication light, and a ground button. This is an ideal model for people on a budget who only want to power one device like a fan, a string of Christmas lights, or a hydroponic waterer/heater.
Another timer that is similar to the Century 24 model, is the UKOKE 7 Day Electrical Timer Switch. It is also ideal for single appliance needs, and is equipped with a ground. The big difference is the inclusion of a 10-event digital program display, and precision timing to the minute. Each of the settings can be different for each day of the week.
Sometimes, with things like ceiling fans and LED light panels, it is good to manually initiate a timer. The Intermatic 12-Hour Spring Wound Timer is a hybrid timer that uses no extra wattage, and replaces a standard toggle, or flip switch. It does require a bit of wiring knowledge, but eliminates worries associated with power over-consumption due to leaving things unattended.
A slightly more advanced timer for people who need to plug two things into the same outlet is the iPower 7-Day Dual Outlet Digital Program Timer. This is a precision timer that is easy to install, but has a moderately complex programming protocol. It can control two different items on completely separate to-the-minute schedules. This is a wonderful timer for indoor gardening and small pet care because it has a back-up module that saves settings in case of a power failure.
A great example of a timer that integrates with smart technology is the WiTenergy Bluetooth Smart Electricity Usage Monitor and Programmable Timer. This timer can be used in concert with up to nine others, and is controlled with Android and iOS apps. This model is very useful for people who rely on smartphones to run a great deal of their lives. The timer not only controls power for anything needing an outlet, but relays power consumption and performance readings through the complimentary app. It's an advanced way to operate things away from home, and to monitor power consumption for budgetary needs.
For people who need a timer that can handle higher electrical loads and operate sensitive systems, the Intermatic 24-Hour SPST or DPST Electronic Time Switch is perfect. This is an extremely durable timer with battery back-up and a protective polymer shell. It's a great model for large home security systems and things that need precision control for very long periods without monitoring. It's also a model that requires electrician attention because it needs direct field wiring.
It really is not that difficult to find an outlet timer that suits a person's needs. Take into account the number of things that require timed power, the power events anticipated, and how precise the power periods should be. Also, consider the reasons behind installing a timer. Is it for vacation timing? Is it to minimize human effort on a daily basis? Will using a timer help save money through regulating power consumption? Virtually anything that requires an electrical outlet can be used with a timer. An endless variety of timers makes simplifying certain parts of life much easier.
Top Rated Outlet Timers
If you're looking into finding the best rated outlet timer, you should probable check out the APC Wall Surge Protector with Timer-Controlled Outlets. We looked at various sources of reviews and found this one to have the best mix between review count and average rating stars.
Often, going for the best price is a simple but good option. With a price of $6.95 (last checked on March 21, 2019), we do not list any other outlet timer cheaper than the VIVOSUN 1-PACK 24 Hour Plug-in Mechanical Timer. Just remember that it's not always the best option to go for the cheapest one.
The Outlet Timer with the Most Reviews
With at least 2843 reviews and counting, the Belkin Conserve Socket Energy Saving with Timer might be another option to consider. This large amount of reviews signalizes that many people are using it, with most of them beeing satisfied.
It's quite rare that the saying "You get what you pay for" turns out incorrect. If you have the money on the sideline, feel free to choose the most expensive item from our list: The Smart Plug Works with Alexa Google Assistant IFTTT for Voice Control currently sells for $33.99.
Most Clicked Outlet Timer
If you trust us and our users, feel free to check out the APC Wall Surge Protector with Timer-Controlled Outlets. Our statistics say that it is the most favorite Outlet Timer from the list above.
If you're still undecided, I would recommend that you go with the masses and choose the top selling outlet timer: The Century Smart Digital Countdown Timer for currently $11.99 on Amazon (last checked on March 21, 2019).
That's it for now, please remember that this list is updated on a regular basis.
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Further Reading on Outlet Timers
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… In accordance with yet another aspect of the present invention, a wall outlet timer is provided for turning on and off an electrical device … Referring now to FIG. 6, in an alternate embodiment, switch 60 is in the form of a wall outlet timer …