The benefits of exterior home lighting are twofold. Lighting can provide an attractive ambiance to your home and property, but more importantly, lighting provides a line of safety and security. Everything from a lit walkway to a highly suspended yard floodlight provides enhanced visibility. Adding the convenience of home lighting automation makes things even nicer.
Once I was done upgrading all our indoor light switches to the Lutron Maestro models, I focused on the outdoor lights, but Lutron doesn’t make an in-wall programmable 7-day timer switch. I ended up going to our local Home Depot and chose a light timer based on what they had in stock, which at the time was a boring looking Leviton model, which doesn’t seem to be in production any longer. That switch served the purpose just fine for a few years, until one day it quit working.
Without taking an official poll, I would safely assume most people don’t like spending money on replacing things that aren’t that old, but in this case I was happy to have something fail. I now had a solid reason to find a better replacement and solution, and this time around I discovered the Honeywell in-wall programmable light switches, which I find to have some of the best aesthetics and functions, especially the 7-day solar models, which I ultimately went with.
The Honeywell Programmable Switch Models
There is an assortment of Honeywell programmable timers switches to suit various budgets and specific applications. Retail models may suffice most homeowner applications but there are commercial models available too, which includes a longer warranty.
We have included the Aube Technologies models as well since you may come across them depending on your region or internet search. Aube is a Honeywell company, so switches with the exact same look and specifications will just differ in part numbers between them.
Same look, slightly different specifications and warranty:
E.g. Honeywell customer service informed us that, “the RPLS740 is a retail thermostat, which has 1 year warranty on it. This switch is not compatible with 3-way switching wire configuration. It is retail unit available at any retail stores. The PLS750 is a trade thermostat, which has 3 years warranty from date of installation. This switch is compatible with 3-way switching wire configuration. Its available through any HVAC licensed contractor”.
**View the installation instructions listed in each product of the Honeywell sites to check for wiring compatibility for the needed electrical box.
**Switches with 3-pole capabilities have a jumper wire included, along with the appropriate amount of wire nuts.
7-day Programmable Timer Switches
These switches provide the main essential for a light timer switch, 7-day programming. If a simplistic fascia is appealing, you’ll appreciate the control button hidden behind the front panel.
|Model||Load Type||Max. Load||Applications||Pricing|
|RPLS530A/531A||single-pole or 3-way lighting||500 watts||Incandescent • Halogen • Low-voltage halogen with transformer • Fluorescent • CFL • Not to be used with a load below 40 watts or a motor.|
|RPLS730B/731B||single-pole or motor||2400 W / 1 hp||Incandescent • Halogen • Block heater • Fluorescent • CFL • Sodium lamps • Electronic ballasts • Pool filter pumps • Fans|
|TI033 – Aube||single-pole or motor||2400 W / 1 hp||Incandescent • Halogen • Block heater • Fluorescent • CFL • Sodium lamps • Electronic ballasts • Pool filter pumps • Fans|
|TI035 – Aube||single-pole or motor||2400 W / 1 hp||Incandescent • Halogen • Block heater • Fluorescent • CFL • Sodium lamps • Electronic ballasts • Pool filter pumps • Fans|
|PLS730B/731||single-pole or motor||2400 W / 1 hp|
- Manual Mode – The programmable switch operates as a regular switch. Briefly press the switch door to turn the lights On or Off.
- Automatic Mode – The programmable switch follows the programmed schedule (up to 7 programs). You can press the switch door at any time to override the default state for the current program. The lights will turn off if they are on and vice versa. The new state is maintained until you press the main button again or till the next “On” or “Off” program.
7-Day Solar Programmable Timer Switches
The 7-day solar switches add a few more programmable features with in my opinion a more elegant pushbutton control panel.
|Model||Load Type||Max. Load||Applications||Pricing|
|RPLS540A/541A||single-pole or 3-way lighting||500 watts||Incandescent • Halogen • Low-voltage halogen with transformer • Fluorescent • CFL • Not to be used with a load below 40 watts or a motor.|
|RPLS740B/741B||single-pole or motor||1800 W / .75 hp||Block heater • Fluorescent • CFL • Sodium lamps • Electronic ballasts • Pool filter pumps • Fans • Incandescent • Tungsten (1440 W max)|
|TI072 – Aube||single-pole, 3-way lighting, or motor||1800 W / 1 hp||Block heater • Fluorescent • CFL • Sodium lamps • Electronic ballasts • Pool filter pumps • Fans • Incandescent • Tungsten (1440 W max|
|PLS750/751||single-pole, 3-way lighting, or motor||1800 W / 1 hp||Block heater • Fluorescent • CFL • Sodium lamps • Electronic ballasts • Pool filter pumps • Fans • Incandescent • Tungsten (1440 W max)|
Includes all the functions of the 7-day programmable switches, plus:
- Instead of pressing the switch door, briefly press the main button to manually turn the lights On or Off.
- Solar (Sunset/Sunrise) programming – Latitude and longitude coordinates are used to turn the lights on at sunset and off at sunrise. Don’t know you’re coordinates? Just type in your city and state, or specific full address at LatLong.net to obtain precise coordinates.
- Random mode – In Random mode, the programs are automatically set to different times by the switch every day; i.e. giving the impression someone is home during your absence. The first “On” program occurs at sunset. Each “On” program lasts between 1 hour and 1 hour and 30 minutes; each “Off” program lasts between 15 and 30 minutes. The last “Off” program occurs between 10:30 pm and midnight.