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5. Garage and Yard > 60. Control Outdoor Lighting

Control Outdoor Lighting

Controlling your outside architectural or garden lighting with a home automation system is much more flexible than using the simple timer that came with the lighting kit or was installed by your landscaper.

Outdoor and garden lighting can be beautiful, but remembering to turn the lights on after sunset and off when you go to bed quickly gets annoying. That’s why, as with sprinkler systems, they come with a simple, and dumb, timer. The built-in timer might be fine for some, but any self-respecting owner of a smart home definitely will want to do better.

Making a Smart Light Timer

To begin, you need to stop your existing timer from controlling the lights. This control most often is built into the transformer, which you definitely need to keep, so the first task is to figure out how to prevent the timer from switching the lights on and off. Usually you can do this by removing the plastic nubs on the timer’s rotating disk. As the disk rotates, making a complete trip every 24 hours, the nubs make contact with a switch that turns the lights on or off. Completely removing the nubs, as shown in Figure 5-8, means the transformer will remain on all the time. (You have to switch it on manually the first time, of course.)


  

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