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Timer to flip light switch? Answered

I need a timer that will mechanically operate a wall switch for a light. I've seen a device years ago for sale in the various "gadget" catalogs that did exactly this. It attached to the trim plate around the light switch using the 2 trim plate screws. A battery powered digital timer operated a mechanical slide to operate the wall switch. I can't find this device anywhere now. I know there are many electronic timers that replace the wall switch and have timer capability, most do not work with compact flourescent lights. I'd really like to find a timer for sale or get some ideas on a simple way to make such a device. Thanks for any help. Scott

7 Replies

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Goodhart (author)2008-10-09

if the switch is the soft touch, mercury type switch, a very low powered actuator might fit the bill

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guyfrom7up (author)2008-10-05

wadaya mean they don't work with cfl's? why wouldn't they? It's just a switch.

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Goodhart (author)guyfrom7up2008-10-09

I have burnt out 2 CCFL's in 3 way lamps already, just days after installation, then I find out that I needed the 3 way bulbs for that (they are expensive ! :-)

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tscottme (author)guyfrom7up2008-10-06

http://www.gelighting.com/na/business_lighting/faqs/cfl.htm#1

Q:1. Can I use a compact fluorescent light bulb with an electronic timer or photocell (AKA electric eye)?

A: Be sure to check the lamp package, which will indicate if the lamp is not intended for use with electronic timers or photocells. Some electronic timers and photocells contain parts that are incompatible with compact fluorescent light bulbs; using these bulbs in incompatible products will result in a shorter light bulb life. To find out if an electronic timer or photocell is compatible with compact fluorescent bulbs, check with the manufacturer of the timer or photocell.

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LinuxH4x0r (author)guyfrom7up2008-10-05

Some of those include dimmers

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11010010110 (author)2008-10-05

If the timer maks a click! when it turns on or off its ok to use with CFLs The click is made by a relay which is exactly mechanical switch controlled by electromagnet There is another hack to control lights w/ 2 syringes + THIN pvc pipe to connect them + duct tape

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guyfrom7up (author)110100101102008-10-06

Thats what I thought he was talking about and I was like "what?"

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