timers for lights
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Old 12-08-2012, 11:51 PM   #1
driftwoodhunter
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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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Old 12-08-2012, 11:57 PM   #2
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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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Old 12-09-2012, 12:00 AM   #3
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Thanks, that's all I want, too - on & off!
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Old 12-09-2012, 12:33 AM   #4
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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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Old 12-09-2012, 12:59 AM   #5
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We have other brands too - I'll look them over before Brinks...
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Old 12-09-2012, 01:48 AM   #6
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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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Old 12-09-2012, 01:52 AM   #7
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I'm sorry - I didn't specify. These are the digital units, not the mechanicals..
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Old 12-09-2012, 02:06 AM   #8
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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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Old 12-09-2012, 02:10 AM   #9
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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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Old 12-09-2012, 04:49 AM   #10
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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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Old 12-09-2012, 05:57 AM   #11
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These are the POS I'm talking about:




Worthless
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Old 12-10-2012, 02:07 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m00se View Post
These are the POS I'm talking about:




Worthless
lol yeah these suck but the analog ones for about $6 work fine
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Old 12-11-2012, 04:46 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m00se View Post
These are the POS I'm talking about:




Worthless
I'm presently in search of a reliable timer as well. Thank you for posting the pic. Worth a million words! Will keep a mental note and avoid.
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Old 12-11-2012, 06:31 PM   #14
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No offence to the bargin hunters and "People of WallMart". Do be sure your are plugging in a USA made UL inspected electrical device. The fire risk just isn't worth saving a few dollars.
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Old 12-11-2012, 07:14 PM   #15
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I'm somewhat wary of buying anything more then raw materials at walmart. Especially well regarded brand names - a lot of times they will have special product lines just for walmart that are made to lower quality standards and use inferior parts/materials. I know it's the only place to get some items in a lot of the U.S., and I'm rather lucky that I live in an area where I have other options, and would have to go to some effort to get to a walmart.

I thought the book "The Wal-Mart Effect: How the World's Most Powrful Company Really Works-- and How It's Transforming the American Economy" by Charles Fishman
(amazon linky)
was pretty interesting, without actually demonizing the corporation.

Anyways, as to timers, I've always been partial to those ones with individual blocks that are pushed up/down. It gives the option of multiple photoperiods, and is pretty easy to use. I just keep an eye on them, check them every week or month or so, and occasionally re-adjust them. pretty reliable and low maintenance, in my experience.
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