Timers, Dimmers and Motion-Activated Lighting

Timers, dimmers and motion-activated lighting are convenient devices designed to provide cost-effective lighting and power control anywhere inside or outside your home or business.

Timer switches have two main uses: they provide timed On/Off controls of energy-consuming loads such as indoor and outdoor lighting, bathroom, closet or pantry lighting, pool pumps, hot tubs, fans, even hot water heaters. Secondly, accurately timing the energy you need can really reduce energy costs. A variety of quiet, fully programmable and preset electronic models are available to fit every application.

Electronic timer switches are also used as an anti-theft deterrent by giving a home a “lived-in” look while homeowners are at work or away on vacation, by turning lights on and off at preset intervals. The convenience of “set it and forget it” means that you will never waste energy with something you left on, or worry if you really did turn it off.

Hot water heaters use about 20 percent of the energy consumed by an average American household. Fifteen to thirty percent of that consumption goes to keeping the water hot while it’s not being used!

One of the ways you can reduce the cost of heating your hot water and save money is to have a hot water heater time clock installed. Without a timer, your hot water heater attempts to maintain the preset temperatures, even while you sleep, or when you are gone. But with a time clock installed, you can preset the times that you want it to go off (at night, for example, or while you’re away)and come back on when you need it. These time clocks pay for themselves very quickly and then keep saving from there — saving energy and really saving you money.

These automatic timers are installed at your hot water heater or at the breaker control panel. Our electricians will help you program your desired off/on schedules and show you how easy it can be to adjust the settings when your routines change.

Dimmer switches provide a solution for lighted areas that are used for more than one purpose. Lighting is more than illumination; it profoundly affects the way that we feel. Glaring light from a 300-watt bulb could ruin an intimate dinner; on the other hand, candlelight levels are inadequate to do work tasks, reading or cleaning. Dimmers work by adjusting the resistance to current flow, limiting how much power gets to the light and gating its light level to just the right amount for the specific activity. Although dimmers are designed mainly for incandescent fixtures there are special models that can be used with fluorescent lighting. The ability to set these lights at lower levels saves energy and money.

One of the handiest devices ever made for home use is motion-activated lighting. Most everyone is familiar with this product from outdoor security applications that light up the yard at the approach of friends or intruders. The same type of sensor system can be used for inside applications and is especially useful in areas like bathrooms, closets, pantries, utility rooms and garages with transient traffic.

Safe and simple, the sensor picks up infrared energy from people moving nearby and switches the lights on. No need to locate the switch in a dark room and it’s also handy if you have your hands full. After you leave the room the sensor turns out the lights for you, preventing the wasteful and common situation of lights burning for hours in empty rooms — one of the biggest preventable costs in your electric bill.

Installing these energy-saving conveniences is a wonderful way to make life easier and lower your electric bill at the same time. If you’d like to learn more about which applications would benefit you most, contact the professionals at Spire Electric. We look forward to helping you. We serve homeowners and businesses throughout Manatee and Sarasota counties, including Anna Maria, Bradenton, Sarasota, Palmetto, Oneco, and other nearby communities.

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