Since Sedagive? and I both work late, we were faced with two options during the winter months: leave a light on all day for the dogs, or let them sit in the dark. We’d taken to leaving a CFL on all day until we moved into our recent home.
The real estate agent had left a mechanical timer behind. I remember my dad setting up a shit-ton of these like boobytraps whenever we went on vacation. I remember two plastic wheels and the plastic tabs that allowed him to program the day and time the lights would come on, like some modernized Mayan calendar.
Separated at birth?
Not only was the Intermatic Time-All hard to figure out, it was super loud. I was eager to get something that was easier to program and was a little more quiet.
I found the Stanley 31200 digital timer on Amazon.com for less than $10 shipped, and thought I’d give it a try.
The Stanley 31200 allows you to set up to eight different profiles. In addition to a start and stop time, each profile can be activated on a daily, week daily, weekend daily, or weekly basis. For our downstairs “dog lamp,” I have it set to kick on at 4PM Monday through Friday, and then off at 10PM. It doesn’t activate during the weekends. We have a second timer upstairs to run a window fan, and that runs every morning from 2AM to 4AM.
Stanley does make a more simple timer (the 38425), but it only allows you to do daily programming, and I think every day has to have the same program.
The TimerMax has a three prong, grounded outlet. That’s good, especially since the leftover Intermatic was just a two-pronger. Unfortunately, the TimerMax only has one outlet, so if you want to run multiple devices off of a single timer you’ll need to get a power strip or something.
The timer is great. The only catch is that you have to make sure the ON/OFF/AUTO button is set to AUTO if you want the timer to run. Someone in the house pushed the OFF button once and forgot to reset it to AUTO. There were six eyes shining in the dark when I got home that night
Overall, at less than $10 the Stanley 31200 TimerMax does what I want it to do. You can get less expensive options with less functionality, but even with all the bells and whistles it’s easier than the doomsday calendar my dad used to struggle with.