Timers for lighting...

Do you use smart plugs in your home?

  • Ye

    Votes: 1 20.0%
  • No

    Votes: 3 60.0%
  • plan on using them in the future

    Votes: 1 20.0%

  • Total voters
    5

Fishmanic

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I use a fluorescent lamp on my 35 gallon tank. I presently use a mechanical timer to control the on-off cycling of the lighting. The problem with a mechanical timer is that when daylight saving time starts or ends you have to reset the timer. Also if I want to turn on the light for a brief time after the timer turns off the lights, I have to reach over to get to the timer.

My plan is to use a smart plug for controlling the light. These plugs can be controlled by voice via alexa or google home. also Also you can set up a schedule to control the on-off timing or turn them on or off via a mobile phone app. In case of a power failure, the schedule resumes when power is back on without having to reset the device (my old mechanical timer requires resetting).

You could also use one of these smart plugs to control a CO2 device. But I don't think I would trust these smart plugs to control life sustaining devices such as filters.

These plugs have come down in price to a very reasonable level. You can also control other devices such as room lamps, coffee makers, or other appliance. With thesel smart plugs, which work over wifi, you can even control them when away from home via the mobile phone app.

One example is here:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B079MFTYMV/?tag=ff0d01-20

there are many other smart plugs available from amazon or other online companies
 
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EllRog

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This was actually a thought that crossed my mind over the weekend, thanks for sharing
 

Byron

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I use digital timers on my tank lighting so power outages have no effect; the timer can maintain the time for something like 48 hours (the lights do not work, just the timer itself) so when power is restored the tank lighting is exactly on schedule. If you have longer outages that's another issue, but my few outages have never been more than 24 hours, and usually much less.

As for daylight savings, I stopped adjusting the timers a few years ago. This does not impact the fish at all (switching to daylight and then back does, BTW) and it means I have an hour difference but that is just me. So in the winter the tank lights come on at 9 am and go off at 4 pm, and during daylight savings time they come on at 10 am and go off at 5 pm. The fish do not notice this change because the "day" is still the same 7 hour period.

If the tank lighting is on a timer, you shouldnot be adjusting the light outside the timer. This causes problems for fish, as it impacts their circadian rhythm. The real benefit of a timer is the fish are on the exact same light schedule every day, and we now know that this is controlled by the light reaching every cell as well as their eyes. They "expect" darkness and this should be the same time every day. Turning the lights back on after does stress the fish, and may go farther.
 

Deanasue

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I agree with Byron. We, ourselves are stressed and off rhythm for a few days after a time change, why do this to your fish? Let them be.
 

Metalhead88

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I use smart plugs, but I put them on a timer. It ends up being the same as a mechanical timer, but with the extra option of having an app to notify you when it comes on and off. In rare cases, I can easily turn the lights on or off whenever I'd like to through a nearby google speaker. I don't use this much as feeding and water changes are done within times when the lights are already on.
 
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Fishmanic

Fishmanic

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I use smart plugs, but I put them on a timer. It ends up being the same as a mechanical timer, but with the extra option of having an app to notify you when it comes on and off. In rare cases, I can easily turn the lights on or off whenever I'd like to through a nearby google speaker. I don't use this much as feeding and water changes are done within times when the lights are already on.
I feel that totally defeats the purpose of a smart plug. The smart plug has ability to set times for on-off , even multiple cycles if you wanted. Why would you want to use a mechanical timer along with it? I have many smart plugs in my house..controlling 3 fish tanks, a pole lamp, a bedroom lamp, my outdoor lights, and an air conditioner....all controlled via the app or via "alexa".
 

Metalhead88

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I feel that totally defeats the purpose of a smart plug. The smart plug has ability to set times for on-off , even multiple cycles if you wanted. Why would you want to use a mechanical timer along with it? I have many smart plugs in my house..controlling 3 fish tanks, a pole lamp, a bedroom lamp, my outdoor lights, and an air conditioner....all controlled via the app or via "alexa".
I do not use a mechanical timer in tandem with the smart plug. I only use the smart plug. The smart plug itself has an adjustable scheduled on/off that controls when the lights come on and off. They turn on and off every day at the same time and it works well. Sorry if i worded that weird in my previous post.

I use it it the same way you do.
 

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