disclosure: we were sent this product for the purpose of review
I’m always a bit concerned about being away from home and it being obvious that no one is there, especially at this time of year when we all have our lights on so much earlier in the afternoon/evening. When I heard of a new Light Switch Timer from Switched on Products I was eager to try it out. Daddy P was even happier when I told him that no wiring was involved, you just fit the Light Switch Timer over your light switch.
Looking at the instruction leaflet, it looked like a really quick job to install the Light Switch Timer, a job I could easily do by myself. That’s always a bonus in this house as Daddy P is always working!
Basically, you turn your electricity off, partially unscrew the light switch socket – but only enough so you can slip the cradle for the timer over the top. Then you push the cradle down until it fits to the top of the light switch and tighten (don’t over tighten though).
Now our house is rather odd, not too surprising to me, but there was only one light switch in the whole house (you can’t fit the Light Switch Timer over a dimmer switch or a flush-mounted light switch) that I could fit this cradle over. Only one light fitting in the whole house had any kind of gap between the edge of the light switch and the door frame.
As you can see in the picture above there is still not much room between the switch and the door frame. But I wasn’t to be deterred! I eventually managed to fit the cradle over the light switch. I am sure with a properly placed light switch this would have taken a minute or two with no hassle.
Once the Light Switch Timer cradle was fitted it was time to concentrate on the Timer module itself.
You need 2 x AA batteries to power the Light Switch Timer, you then follow the instruction manual to set up the current day and time. It’s very easy to do in a matter of seconds. You then need to set the control wheels on the back of the Light Switch Timer to correspond to the Light Switch you are fitting it over – 1 way, 2 way or 3 way. As you can see I was using the Light Switch Timer with a 2 way light switch.
So I clicked the wheels into the settings for a 2 way switch as shown in the photo above.
I was ready to test the Light Switch Timer before I set my first programme. I fitted the Light Switch Timer into the cradle and pressed the ON and OFF buttons.
I could hear the wheels whizzing and therefore moving down in the unit to move the switches but nothing happened. Always my luck. I re-read the instructions, yes, I’d followed them correctly – strange. I was a little concerned that there might be an issue with the unit being so close to the door frame.
Anyway, after getting some advice (and slap wrist – the information was in the Trouble Shooting section which I hadn’t read properly) I discovered the clear plastic N shaped bit of plastic which the manufacturer suggests fitting between the top of the cradle and the back of the light switch. So, ever determined, I switched the electricity off, loosened the screws on the light switch, pushed the cradle pack up and inserted the N shaped plastic section. Then I pushed the cradle back into place, re-tightened the screws and switched the power back on. Hit the ON button and it turned the lights on 🙂 Hit the OFF button, and yes, they went off. What a relief.
Again, for me this was all a bit long-winded, but I’m advised that this is not normal, and in fact Eileen at ET Speaks from Home recently reviewed this product without any of the installation issues I’d had.
Another good thing about this Light Switch Timer is that it works with all bulbs. We have LED bulbs in our fitting downstairs and normal lightbulbs in the fitting upstairs on our 2-way switch. It wasn’t a problem.
Setting up the timer was really easy. I went for a setting for the whole week for one hour in the evenings – Monday to Sunday, but you can also set a different programme for every day, weekdays from Monday-Thursday, weekdays from Monday-Friday, Weekends only – Sat-Sun and a random setting – great if you are always out at night (shift working etc). It’s just as easy to re-set, cancel and change.
It’s great to know now that I can leave the house and feel more secure that it looks as if someone is home. We were going to watch the Christmas Lights being switched on in town, Daddy P was at work, so I quickly set the timer to come on while we were out. Great to have that little extra reassurance.
The Light Switch Timer was launched at the beginning of November and is about to be accredited by the Police apparently – it’s certainly a great burglar deterrent. There is a special launch price offer on the website so instead of paying £32.99 you can purchase for £27.99. Even better than that – if you buy 2 Light Switch Timers you can save an additional 10% and get free postage – use code Lights-on – this is valid until 15th December 2013. Would make a great present for someone this Christmas too!