Turning on outside lights on at dark?

Old 02-06-16, 07:14 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 6
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
Turning on outside lights on at dark?

I want exterior lights around my house to turn on at dark every night. Unfortunately, they are all on different switches.

It looks like these are the three options:
1. Install photocells into each socket.
2. Install the Honeywell direct wired timer at each switch that can be programmed, based on lat/long, to activate at night.
3. Install a smart switch and use the app to schedule on/off.

Old 02-06-16, 07:30 PM
Join Date: May 2015
Location: USA
Posts: 3,345
Received 86 Upvotes on 68 Posts
Skip #1. The ones that screw in the sockets never end up aimed the right way, they raise the bulbs a lot, and they often cause flickering because of reflected light. The photocells that mount separately and can be aimed at the sky work fine, but are a bigger effort to install.

#2 works very well. I have two similar timers (not Honeywell) that automatically adjust for sunrise/sunset based on time zone, not L/L. You can add an offset to account for being at eastern/western edge of zone. I don't remember if they require a neutral in the box, but they might and that may be an issue for some.

#3 Is fine too, although the neutral issue is there for sure. Probably makes the most sense if you think you will add other controlled devices down the road. I don't think I'd bother for basic dark/dawn operation.
Old 02-07-16, 09:43 AM
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: USA
Posts: 212
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
I use #2 for two outside lights. No problems. Just works. Easy and done!

My limited experience with smart switches is that they are garbage. Maybe one day they will improve.

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Your question will be posted in: