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40 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Automates Outdoor Lights, Sleek, Minimal Fuss
My need was to automate turning on the exterior porch lights at dusk and off at dawn - for security purposes. Doing it manually is often forgotten and I can't really it do while away from home at night or on vacation. A home automation system was overkill and expensive. Putting in a light sensor switch on the fixture wouldn't work because the bulb is enclosed and can't...
Published 17 months ago by G33kman

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35 of 38 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not for CFL or LEDs
The fact that this requires a minimum 40 watt load should be featured more prominently in the description. That means no CFL and also no LED lamps, since neither of those will be over 40 watts in power consumption.

It is not uncommon in timers, dimmers, etc. to find that they don't work with CFLs. But I've never before seen a product that won't control LED...
Published on June 23, 2012 by Faraday Gauss


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40 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Automates Outdoor Lights, Sleek, Minimal Fuss, July 6, 2013
By 
G33kman (Colorado, United States) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Honeywell RPLS540A ECONOSwitch Programmable Timer Switch, White (Tools & Home Improvement)
My need was to automate turning on the exterior porch lights at dusk and off at dawn - for security purposes. Doing it manually is often forgotten and I can't really it do while away from home at night or on vacation. A home automation system was overkill and expensive. Putting in a light sensor switch on the fixture wouldn't work because the bulb is enclosed and can't detect dawn apart from the light itself. By chance I found this Honeywell timer. It does the job very well, blends in with the existing decor, has a number of programming options, and was easy to install with no rewiring. Details below.

Be sure to get the right model! Answer these 3 questions:

1) Does your existing light switch have a neutral wire? Green or a bare copper wire is usually "ground" - ignore that for this purpose. If you only have 2 other wires on the switch, it's easy: you do not have a neutral. Otherwise you *might* depending on whether or not it is a 3-way switch. Generally newer homes (late 2000s) will have neutrals. See the user's manual on Honeywell's web site for a better description than I can provide. I made the mistake of not noticing the difference - don't do the same! I'm putting this review under both models that I purchased.

2) Do you want a simple device that turns on/off at a set time on each day of the week? Or do you want one with a larger back-lit screen, that can do dusk/dawn detection (based on longitude/latitude), and optionally turn it on/off randomly? Go for the "basic" or the "enhanced" depending on your answer (my words).

3) What color: almond (beige) or white?

No neutral wire required (40w-500w load, incandescent or halogen only):
RPLS530A - white, basic
RPLS531A - almond, basic
RPLS540A - white, enhanced
RPLS541A - almond, enhanced

Neutral wire required (0w-1800w load, any bulb or a motor):
RPLS730B - white, basic
RPLS731B - almond, basic
RPLS740A - white, enhanced
RPLS741A - almond, enhanced

The disadvantage of the no-neutral version is that it is incompatible with solely energy efficient bulbs (no LED or CFL). Does *not* matter if you meet the minimum load (I confirmed that). It powers itself when the lights are off by bleeding small amounts of power - not enough to turn most traditional lights on, but causes others to flicker. But you *might* be able to make it work if you mix it up - put (1) 40W traditional bulb in with other sockets that have CFL/LEDs.

Installation & feature notes:
* Be sure to pickup a standard rectangular wall plate to go with it. Nothing custom here - same ones used for those larger paddle-style switches.
* After reading the manual it took me ~20 minutes to install and setup.
* The timer switch is deeper than a standard switch, so it was difficult for me to get all the wires into the box. It fit, but just barely.
* Follow the manual for setting it up. It's easy to read and not difficult to do, but the process is not intuitive on its own.
* The backlit model has 3 settings when sitting idle: on, low, off. When you press a key it goes to full brightness for 8 seconds.
* You'll need the longitude and latitude of where you live for the enhanced model. There's a list of common cities in the manual, but if you live in a backwoods area you'll need to google it or use a GPS. It's nice to have this because it will adapt to sunrise/sunset automatically depending on the season.
* It's very easy to override the timer - just press the big button light a normal switch.
* Backup battery keeps your settings in the event of a power outage - nice!
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47 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great timer. Its depth may require some work-arounds..., December 28, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Honeywell RPLS540A ECONOSwitch Programmable Timer Switch, White (Tools & Home Improvement)
While this is the only timer I have ever purchased/installed/used...I can honestly say that this is a relatively inexpensive, easy, and functional home improvement project. I have two of these. One is installed to control the exterior lights out front of my garage, while the other is installed to control the light outside the front door. They both turn on at sunset...with the front door light turning off at 830pm...and the lights outside the garage turning off at 11pm.

While as others have noted, the setup and use of the unit is pretty easy...the installation can be a little difficult depending on the depth of the electrical boxes installed in your home, along with how much wiring is already in there. The Honeywell switch is much deeper and wider than the standard light switch, so you MAY have difficulty getting it to fit into the electrical box.

I installed the the one in my garage first, which is a triple-gang box. The fit was pretty tight...but I was able to squeeze it in there by man-handling some of the wiring that was already in there.

When I went to install the one controlling my front door lights, however, which was in a double-gang...I simply couldn't get it to fit, despite a liberal dose of cussing. After some research, however, I ordered an Arlington BES2 Gang Extender, which expands the box outwards by ~3/4 of an inch. Installation was MUCH easier with that additional space. I am uploading a picture of my timer with the BES2 installed for reference. As of right now, unfortunately, the BES2 is not available on Amazon. I purchased mine through Safemart for about $10.

Also be aware that you'll likely need a new wallplate to install this timer. You'll need one that will have the same number of gangs that you're desired install site has...and can fit a GFCI sized component. For my two-gang install, I used a
Leviton 80405-W 2-Gang 1-Toggle 1-Decora/GFCI Device Combination Wallplate, Standard Size, Thermoset, Device Mount, White
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35 of 38 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not for CFL or LEDs, June 23, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Honeywell RPLS540A ECONOSwitch Programmable Timer Switch, White (Tools & Home Improvement)
The fact that this requires a minimum 40 watt load should be featured more prominently in the description. That means no CFL and also no LED lamps, since neither of those will be over 40 watts in power consumption.

It is not uncommon in timers, dimmers, etc. to find that they don't work with CFLs. But I've never before seen a product that won't control LED bulbs. You may not care about this for the present, but 5 years from now this switch may very well be useless.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This will work with CFL's with total load over 40w, November 21, 2011
By 
Andrew A Hanke (Kirkland, WA United States) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Honeywell RPLS540A ECONOSwitch Programmable Timer Switch, White (Tools & Home Improvement)
I purchased this switch because I don't have a neutral wire available and wanted a timer switch. Some people (and packaging) say this switch will not work with CFL type bulbs. I installed this switch and it works flawlessly with a total load of 90W on 5 CFL bulbs. I would guess the manufacturer wants a 40W minimum load regardless of bulb type but it will work with CFL's.
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22 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect Solution, September 21, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Honeywell RPLS540A ECONOSwitch Programmable Timer Switch, White (Tools & Home Improvement)
I was really excited to find this product as it is a more elegant solution than a light sensor or an analog timer. I intended to use this switch with an exterior light circuit having two 13 W CFL light bulbs. So I was disappointed when the packaging and instructions said that the switch required 40 W minimum and that it was not compatible with CFLs (missed that in the product description). But so far (only 3 days in) the switch is working fine with the CFLs and 26 W load (have not observed dimming or irregularities in the display as the manual warned if operated with less than 40 W). No idea if the switch or CFL life will be affected, but I will revise my review when/if either fails. I found the installation and programming of the unit to be very straight forward. So far I am very happy with this product
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Smart Timer, November 10, 2011
This review is from: Honeywell RPLS540A ECONOSwitch Programmable Timer Switch, White (Tools & Home Improvement)
The light of my porch is about 20 feet high, so there is not way to access it in a easy way to make some changes like installing a Dusk-to-Dawn Photosensor. The solution? The Honeywell Timer! I just love it. Sleek, smart, cute, easy to install, and easy to program! I read that it does not work with CFL lights, well, I have a 18 watts CFL, and I don't see any problem. The instructions say that it needs a minimum of 40 watts, so I don't know what to say other than it works!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best one on the market, June 6, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Honeywell RPLS540A ECONOSwitch Programmable Timer Switch, White (Tools & Home Improvement)
This is by far one of the best timers on the market. Price is pretty reasonable compared to the ones at Home Depot. I chose this timer for its sleek design; it even has a backlit LED that can be adjusted to low illumination. It is very easy to set up (3 lines to correspond to your standard wall electrical wires: LOAD, LINE, and GROUND) with an optional 3-way wire. Installation is a snap, takes less than 5 minutes. Programming control is not difficult if you follow the owner's manual. Switch can operate in 3 modes: Programmable, Manual, and Random. You can't go wrong with this one.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love the timer, just don't rush the install. CFL's work!, April 21, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Honeywell RPLS540A ECONOSwitch Programmable Timer Switch, White (Tools & Home Improvement)
I purchased this timer for my outdoor garage lites so I used the 3 way installation instructions. I installed this into a 2 gang box and it was a tight but didn't need any box extender. If you are not familiar with electrical wiring take your time and read the instructions a few times, take a few photos of your existing switch before you disconnect everything for reference. The red jumper wire converts your additional 3-way switch into a single pole switch. I took my time and wire nutted everything and tested before I crammed it all back into the gang box. Once the timer and face plate were on the box it was time to setup and program. The setup was fairly easy, set the time and date and then you can enter your Lat/Long and start on/off programming. It took me longer to get it installed than programming. I have (2) 26 watt CFL bulbs on this timmer and working great.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I Love this switch, and here's why..., January 11, 2012
This review is from: Honeywell RPLS540A ECONOSwitch Programmable Timer Switch, White (Tools & Home Improvement)
Through trial and error, I've finally found the switch ideal for my situation:

1. Display: Is large, well lighted, easy to read, and gives a cool modern look to your wall. You can turn off the backlight if you want.
2. Programming: Very easy to install and program. Instructions are pretty good. Do read them.
3. Value: The price is great for what you get.
4. CFL Bulb Friendly: Watch out, some switches require high wattage bulbls. This one works with everything.
5. It actually works: I've had hit and miss experiences (GE switch was the worst). This one is excellent.

The one gripe I've heard from some is that they don't like the very small blue light located in the bottom right corner of the switch. If it's super dark at night, this little light helps you find the darn switch! For some reason, a few people just can't live with this minor distraction (if they are trying to go to sleep at night and are staring at the switch I suppose). For these poor soles, I recommend a bottle of white-out or white nail polish. A little dab on the blue light bulb and ta-dah, problem solved. It's like that light was never there :)
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Switch failed within six months, June 30, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Honeywell RPLS540A ECONOSwitch Programmable Timer Switch, White (Tools & Home Improvement)
Installing the switch was easy enough. It's just like any other switch. Programming is simple as long as you have the manual. Decent set of features for simple programs. Random on/off feature is nice for long trips away from home.

Bad side is that my switch failed at about the six month mark! Six months! Very disappointed. I inspected the switch and verified power. No damaged wiring, no burn marks on the outside of the switch. It's simply died on us out of the blue.

Not sure what else to say other than six month life span for a simple electrical device is simply unacceptable. I'm several months past return window so now I'm out about $35.
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