timers for lights - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 58 (permalink) Old 12-09-2012, 12:51 AM Thread Starter
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Question timers for lights

Are all timers the same? My work schedule is such now that my lights are on nearly 12 hrs a day. I use a 48" shop light on my low tech 125, and I'm starting to see algae on the glass as well as some hair algae within the tank. I have a Coralife on my 29 & no algae so far, but still I'd like to use a timer on it.

I see timers at Petsmart made by aquarium companies, but I work at Walmart and we have a large selection of light timers - aren't they all basically the same?

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post #2 of 58 (permalink) Old 12-09-2012, 12:57 AM
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I grabbed a few of those 3-5 dollar timers from wal-mart and have been using them for years on my tanks with no issues. I think sometime the more expensive timers have additional features, but a lot of times you end up paying for a brand name. I just want mine to turn my lights on and off, so the cheap guys work for me.
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post #3 of 58 (permalink) Old 12-09-2012, 01:00 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks, that's all I want, too - on & off!

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post #4 of 58 (permalink) Old 12-09-2012, 01:33 AM
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I have had nothing good to say about those cheap crap Brinks timers. I have gone through probably 4 of them in a year. I just keep bringing them back and exchanging them. The leds go out, or they lose time, or if you unplug them for 2 minutes they lose settings.... If I were to do it again I would avoid them like the plague. I am talking about the $5, 6, 7 ones. Emailed the company - never heard back. YMMV
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post #5 of 58 (permalink) Old 12-09-2012, 01:59 AM Thread Starter
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We have other brands too - I'll look them over before Brinks...

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post #6 of 58 (permalink) Old 12-09-2012, 02:48 AM
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I have the Brinks timers on my tank and they have been working great for almost a year with no issues. Yes, you'll have to spin the timer around if it gets unplugged for extended times/there is a power outage, but that takes maybe 5-10 seconds to adjust.
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post #7 of 58 (permalink) Old 12-09-2012, 02:52 AM
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I'm sorry - I didn't specify. These are the digital units, not the mechanicals..
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post #8 of 58 (permalink) Old 12-09-2012, 03:06 AM
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I use a digital timer from Lowes and HD. It's a "heavy duty commercial" unit that runs about $17. Has 2 outlets on it but I have a strip plugged in and run about 6 off that.

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post #9 of 58 (permalink) Old 12-09-2012, 03:10 AM
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I use the white and gray $10 timers. Never found a cheaper one and wouldn't use them anyway. Had my two for 2.5yrs, no issues with them.
Lowes, Walmart and Petsmart have them. Backs say "Marineland aquarium" or "aquarium" on them, depending on where you get them. Didn't realize they did until I just checked them to get a picture....

I also buy a three plug to put into the timer, since I have two fixtures on each tank.
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post #10 of 58 (permalink) Old 12-09-2012, 05:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by secuono View Post
I use the white and gray $10 timers. Never found a cheaper one and wouldn't use them anyway. Had my two for 2.5yrs, no issues with them.
Lowes, Walmart and Petsmart have them. Backs say "Marineland aquarium" or "aquarium" on them, depending on where you get them. Didn't realize they did until I just checked them to get a picture....

I also buy a three plug to put into the timer, since I have two fixtures on each tank.
Those essentially use the same tech as the Brinks models, just not labeled as an aquarium brand. The nice thing about these timers is the plug is down from the dial, where the Brinks one has the plug on the side, making them difficult to use in the surge protectors that have the side-by-side plugs.
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post #11 of 58 (permalink) Old 12-09-2012, 06:57 AM
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These are the POS I'm talking about:




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post #12 of 58 (permalink) Old 12-09-2012, 07:40 AM
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target has good ones with 3 prongs. Its not digital so it wont reset in a power outage. They also have a button to over ride and turn on for servicing.
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post #13 of 58 (permalink) Old 12-09-2012, 12:26 PM
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I use the digital timer power strips that you can buy from Home Depot - http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1...1#.UMSCovWPV8E

amazon also sells it for alittle cheaper - http://www.amazon.com/Globe-Electric...er+Strip+Timer
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post #14 of 58 (permalink) Old 12-09-2012, 05:11 PM
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The digital ones are the worst idea ever, they don't realize that maybe it will be a dark space behind the entertainment center that it is plugged in, and oh yea you have to crawl back there and hit 100 buttons to program it. And when the power flicks off, guess whos crawling back there again! Get the brinks mechanical "mini" timers. It's like $4 for the non grounded and $5 for the grounded and you get 15 min intervals. Found at a walmart.
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post #15 of 58 (permalink) Old 12-09-2012, 05:31 PM
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I have to agree on that one. No backlight, and they're SUPPOSED to have battery backups that keep the settings for a short time WHEN THEY WORK. I'm inclined to bring these 3 back to Walmart and trade them for mechanicals. On my list of things I'll probably never get around to doing :-)
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