Landscape Lighting: Set It And Forget To Worry

It’s an overstatement of the obvious, but landscape lighting is only effective when it is turned on! For some homeowners, remembering to turn on their outdoor lighting may be a challenge. For other homeowners, the idea of leaving unnecessary outdoor lights on all night seems wasteful and potentially irritating for neighbours. This is where timers and controllers can help you keep the different parts of your yard and landscape lit exactly when you want them to.

Here is a brief overview of the types of timers and controllers that are available to help you think about what system would work best for you.

Analog Timers

An analog timer is a manually set timer with a dial and pins. The dial turns at a set rate and the pins tell the timer when to turn lights on and when to turn them off. This is the most basic outdoor timer you can set up. They are a simple, cost effective solution, however they will require reprogramming as the seasons change.

Digital Timers

Digital timers function in a similar way to an analog timer, however they offer many more customization and programming options. Many types can be set to automatically adjust for things like daylight savings, however they do not automatically adjust for sunset and sunrise changes.


A photocell is a great option and automatically adjusts as the seasons change. One disadvantage of a photocell is that this type of timer cannot be programmed to turn on and off at any times other than dusk and dawn so all the lights controlled by a photocell will be on all night. Another consideration is the location as a photocell will need to be in a location where it can easily sense the sunlight.

Timer/Photocell Combination

Many systems use a combination of a timer and a photocell to customize a system which will give homeowners a little more control of their outdoor lighting system. This will yield a system that will adjust as sunset and sunrise timings change, but will allow some lights to be turned off when they are not needed in the middle of the night.

Astronomical Timer

This is a much more advanced type of control that allows for very intricate programming. These systems can be set for a specific location so that sunset and sunrise will be automatic instead of depending on a photocell to sense the sunlight levels. Although it may sound very complicated, once these systems are set up they require very little adjustments.

Smart Home Systems

There are some systems that can be integrated through wifi or bluetooth with your smart home system. These systems allow a great deal of control and programming to be done. With some systems this programming and customization can be done remotely through your phone while you are away from home.

This was just a brief overview of what types of timers are available. For more information on integrating a timer with your landscape lighting system, contact Nite Time Decor Oakville today!