With Christmas coming up, I decided that it would be a good time to upgrade that run-of-the-mill timer that I used last year. So here is my timer!
Why? Because I was shopping at walmart and noticed they had timers on sale so I picked some up, and decided to use one for this. It also gives the added benefit of having a GFCI for extra protection of your outside lights and helps protect in the event of a short of your lights.
DISCLAIMER: I am not responsible for any of you killing and/or hurting yourself or others while attempting this project. This should only be done by someone with some experience in electronics.
Step 1: Parts & Tools
I got all my parts at Walmart and Home Depot.
You will need:
1X Digital Timer ($17.94)
1X GFCI ($14.99)
1X Outlet Cover ($2.59)
1X Outlet Box ($2.09)
2X Romex Clamp (bag of 5 $1.69)
1X 40 FT Extension Cord ($7.78)
2X Wire Nuts (my timer had several in it) ($0.00)
Step 2: Hack Some Metal Off
My timer wouldn't fit in the outlet cover out of the box. I had to use my wire cutters to snip parts of the timers mounting bracket. After snipping parts of the tabs off it fit without a problem.
Step 3: I Had to Snip the Screw Tabs Off the GFCI Too
The GFCI wouldn't fit in the outlet cover either, so I had to snip some off of it too.
Step 4: Get to Some Stripping
Cut the wire in a convenient spot, I selected a spot near the beginning of the extension cord, and cut it. After you have cut it strip it and insert it into the box. I used a Quick-con for the ground, but you can just wrap the wires on the screw, but the Quick-con provides a cleaner look.
Step 5: Connecting Things!!!1
I connected the incoming power directly to the GFCI that way if something goes haywire in the timer it will trip. From the GFCI the hot wire is connected to the timer and the neutral comes from the GFCI and goes directly to the output. The blue wire from the timer connects to the hot of the output. And the Grounds are all tied together.
Step 6: Button It Up!
Mount it all together and test it out! The timer had a manual on/off that I can turn the lights on and off manually, but I tested out the timer function and it worked just fine. Now all I have to do is build another one for the tree and hook it up, although for the tree I'll probably just use a regular outlet in the box instead of the GFCI since the tree is indoors and just use a power cord I have laying around here.