I bought a digital timer so that I could keep a spare car battery
charged and ready to go by having a trickle charger charge it for 10
minutes every day.
And, I was surprised to find that when the timer was supposed to be off,
there was still a small voltage across the slots in the receptacle of
the timer. So, even when it was in the off mode, it was still feeding a
bit of current through whatever was plugged into it.
That small current is the only reason I could see why a switch operated
by a finger works fine, but a switch operated by a timer doesn't.
Heck, I'd buy them and find out.
But what is the actual issue?
Would the small amount of leakage actually light the bulb? Would the
constant low current damage the bulb?
In other words, why do we care that the timer switch is never 100% off?
It would depend on the type of timer. If it used mechanical contacts (a
relay) to do the switching the load would have no way of knowing and would
work fine. On the other hand, if the timer used electronic switching then
the odd load presented by the LED electronics might cause a problem.
Problem as in the LED might stay on all the time either at full or partial
brightness or might not switch on at all or might switch on and not switch
off. At the worst (very unlikely and requiring some sloppy design work) it
might be possible that the timer or LED electronics might be damaged.
I REALLY dont like electronic timers, mine lost its settings every time the power went out, it became so annoying I bought a mechanical timer and tossed the electronic one in the trash.
at the time a incandescent burn out, I happened to see it go white hot and die damaed the timer, and honestly I was happy to deposit it in the trash.
It was hard to program too..
On Saturday, April 12, 2014 10:28:22 AM UTC-4, bob haller wrote:
I've seen that happen too. A bulb fails with a notable flash/pop
and destroyed the electronic timer.
That can be a problem with many of them too. On the plus side, some
of them have features you can't find in a mechanical, like they can
do a somewhat random on/off cycle to mimic someone being home in
the evening. Also not sure of the form factor. The only thing I've
put in to replace a standard switch was the electronic type. Not
sure if they have mechanical in that form factor. The mechanical
I've seen have been plug-in.
I have some 'electronic' timers around, Stanley IIRC, and they are pretty
good. First, they actually run off of small coin cells so power failures
mean nothing. Second, they use relay switching so there are no troublesome
TRIACs to blow up. The programming is not as easy as I'd like but since
they don't lose their program even during battery changes it isn't all that
bad. For things like the auxiliary heaters in the bathrooms I've installed
old-timey wind-the-dial 1-hour timers -- simple and effective.
The switch, if electronic, "steals" power to operate via a trickle current
that passes through the bulb. But that only works for incandescents. The
trickle current that tries to pass through an LED or CFL bulb instead
charges up the bulb's switching power supply capacitors and flashes the bulb
when enough current in accumulated. The process repeats itself
Surely you've seen this with a CFL plugged into an older X-10 module. The
same process is occurring. Trickle current charges lamp PS caps enough to
flash the bulb and then repeats. The lack of trickle current reaching the
switch in those cases usually means the timer electronics won't operate
properly. But not always. Depends on the bulb's design.
In the X-10 world this process can be circumvented by putting a small,
incandescent night light (or other bulb) in parallel with the LED/CFL to
allow the trickle current to pass through *something* to reach the switch.
I have a three bulb overhead fixture that runs through a "trickle powered"
X-10 wall switch. It behaved very erratically until I took a small night
light bulb and placed it in one of the three sockets in the lamp. Not as
efficient as three CFL's but a lot easier than running a neutral to the
switch leg, the other solution to the problem.
On Sat, 12 Apr 2014 08:06:34 -0700 (PDT), trader_4
If the filament open cleanly, no problem but if one of the standoffs
flops over and hits another one you end up with a bolted fault that
will smoke a transistor junction. If this happens on a regular snap
switch, it will trip the breaker.
I have an X-10 controlled 4' florescent shop light. Before I added the
"Christmas Candle" to the circuit, the light would turn on when the
motion sensor told it to, but it would immediately turn off.
It was ironic that with all the inconsistencies that X-10 will display,
the on-off of the shop light was 100% consistent. The Christmas Candle
solved that issue nicely.
I had an "old-timey wind-the-dial 1-hour timer" for the vent fan in the
wife's bathroom. I recently upgraded to fan/heater unit so I needed an
additional switch for the heater which meant another switch box, etc.
I decided to "go big or go home".
New dimmer for the lights, humidity sensor/timer for the fan, electronic
timer for the heater. This is what I ended up with:
The wife is quite happy and therefore, so am I.
The wife really likes the humidity sensor for the vent. She doesn't even
turn it on...just lets it do it's thing.
She said the Panasonic fan does a much better (and quieter) job than the
On Sunday, April 13, 2014 11:10:25 AM UTC-4, DerbyDad03 wrote:
Don't get me started on that.... Around here builders are putting the
cheapest, noiseist piece of crap fans in $1mil houses. It's unbelievable.
The sound is horrendous.
I don't have a problem with a builder putting in cheap light fixtures,
because many times people are going to want to change them and find their
own preferred lights. But lights can usually be changed pretty easily.
A bathroom fan requires tearing apart the ceiling. And just going from
$30 to $50, you get a big difference in reducing noise level. At $75
they are really quiet and nicer too. But builders here seem incapable
of doing simple things like that which would cost them very little and
then using those things as marketing points to help sell the house,
get a better price, etc. I'd rather be a builder who put $5K more into
a house like that, asking $10K more, and pointing out all those difference
to the buyer. I think you'd easily get the additional $10K and probably
move the house quicker too.
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