12 Best Outlet Timers (Review) In 2021
Patrick has been passionate about technology for as long as he can remember. As a graduate of engineering, this allowed Patrick to expand on his passions, learning all about what goes on behind the scenes when designing some of the worlds greatest creations. After spending many years in the engineering industry, Pat now dedicates his time to writing, with a keen interest in electronics, smart devices and technology for the home.
- The Best Outlet Timer
- 1. BN-LINK Indoor Mini 24-Hour Outlet Timer 2 Pack
- 2. BN-LINK 24 Hour Plug-in Mechanical Timer
- 3. DEWENWILS Indoor Plug in Outlet Timer 2 Pack
- 4. TREATLIFE Wifi Smart Outlet with Child Lock and Vacation Mode
- 5. GE 24-Hour Heavy Duty Indoor Plug-in Mechanical Timer
- 6. NEARPOW Multifunctional Infinite Cycle Programmable Outlet Timer
- 7. BN-LINK 7 Day Heavy Duty Digital Programmable Timer
- 8. Honeywell Indoor Digital Plug-in Outlet Timer
- 9. Fosmon Outdoor 15A 24-Hour Mechanical Light Timer
- 10. BN-LINK 8 Outlet Surge Protector with Mechanical Timer
- 11. Teckin Mini Smart Outlet Wifi Plug with Timer Function
- 12. ECOPlugs Outdoor Light Timer Outlet
If you’re tired of wasting precious energy by forgetting to switch out the lights or turn appliances off after you’ve finished using them, the best outlet timer could be the perfect remedy to all that ails your monthly utilities bill. These handy little home gadgets are suitable for your regular lights, your TV or games consoles, and any charging cables hidden next to the sofa. What’s more, some models are even ideal for outdoor use, which is fantastic for holiday decorations such as festive Christmas lights, spooky Halloween models, and more.
Besides protecting your bills, they can also protect your home. Another useful feature includes the randomized vacation lights, which will deter thieves by flicking your lights on and off periodically even while you’re away. When you combine this with the plethora of standard features as well as smart capabilities, you have a product that you’ll wonder where it’s been all of your life. For whatever reason you think is best, investing in timers with lights is a fantastic choice for any household.
The Best Outlet Timer
Easy to use
Automates home or office
Compatible with bulbs, lights, small appliances
Design your own schedule
For the best choice of the best outlet timers, the BN-LINK Indoor Mini 24-Hour Outlet Timer 2 Pack is a fantastic option for your home or even your office. They are easy to use and are compatible with a range of regular household appliances, including lights and bulbs. You can design your own schedule to best suit your needs, and the 24 On and Off settings provide superb versatility. Despite this, as it’s an analog timer, there will be a slight ticking noise, which isn’t the end of the world, but once you notice it, you may not be able to ignore it.
Slim and compact
No loose parts
24 On/Off settings
Slight ticking noise
Save energy and money
Automate home or office
48 On/Off programs
The BN-LINK 24 Hour Plug-in Mechanical Timer will save precious money on your home energy bills and it comes with the versatility you need to ensure you never need to worry about switching the lights off ever again. You can take advantage of 48 On/Off programs, and the dial digits are clear and easy to read, without seeming too crowded. It’s ideal for smaller home appliances and will repeat the program every 24 hours for convenience and simplicity, but it will be larger than the photographs suggest.
Ideal for small appliances
Repeats programs every 24 hours
Quick and friendly customer support
Larger than expected
Suitable for daily schedule
Backup battery system
5 total buttons
The DEWENWILS Indoor Plug in Outlet Timer 2 Pack is a superb, straightforward choice if you’re looking to make your energy consumption fit around your daily schedule. There are two modes, with Always On and Timer mode switches to customize your appliance around you and no one else. The silent operation is a breath of fresh air compared to dial outlets, while the five total buttons are clearly labeled, making it simple, even if you’ve never set a timer before. However, it isn’t suitable for outdoor use, so keep it safely indoors.
Easy to use
Large LCD screen
No suitable for outdoor use
Pack of 4
Voice control compatibility
Group and Sharing capability
The TREATLIFE Wifi Smart Outlet with Child Lock and Vacation Mode is our premium pick perfect for the smart home aficionado, and it comes in a pack of four so you can automate as much of your home or office as possible. The voice control works with Alexa or other smart devices, while the Group and Sharing capability means that multiple people can operate it. The app is relatively simple to use, but it will take some getting used to, especially if you’ve never used an outlet timer before, though.
Safe child lock function
Remote control operation
App will take some getting used to
Two grounded outlets
Programmable daily cycle
For those who intrigued by a programmable timer but aren’t sure if it’s definitely for them, the GE 24-Hour Heavy Duty Indoor Plug-in Mechanical Timer is a great budget pick that is low risk but high reward. The programmable daily cycle works with 30-minute intervals, so whether you want to set the light to switch off or get your coffee ready first thing, this could be for you. There’s also an override switch if your schedule changes. Despite this, the accuracy is ever-so-slightly off, which means you may have to make adjustments to ensure consistent quality.
Compatible with halogen bulbs
Suitable for a range of household appliances
Some issues with accuracy settings
Child lock function
Suitable for a range of household appliances
Suitable for a vast array of household appliances, the NEARPOW Multifunctional Infinite Cycle Programmable Outlet Timer can bring the control back to you and offer some relief from sky-high bill payments. It comes with a child lock function to ensure your kids don’t mess with the settings, while the grouping capability offers more diversity in control. You can set three periods a day to suit your schedule, but you might find it too large for specific outlets, which could affect other products that you need to keep plugged in.
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Set three periods per day
Too large for some outlets
Easily sets up to 8 programs
Simple Set and Go
Random Vacation mode
Backup battery settings
For simplicity combined with dependability and performance, the BN-LINK 7 Day Heavy Duty Digital Programmable Timer will give you plenty to love. You can set up to eight programs with the hassle-free Set and Go design. It also has Vacation mode, recognizes Daylight Savings, and even has a battery backup to keep things working during an outage. It’s highly effective for indoor use, but it isn’t suitable for outdoors as it doesn’t boast the protective casing that ensures it is waterproof.
Save on energy costs
Not suitable for outdoor installation
Easy to use raised buttons
Perfect for lamps
With a 24-hour timer, compact design, and easy-to-use raised buttons, you can find the best value with the Honeywell Indoor Digital Plug-in Outlet Timer. It is perfect for lamps and other low-energy appliances, while the customization features make it stand out amongst the very best products around. The Vacation settings ensure it protects your home at all times, and the backup system means you won’t need to reset your settings after a power outage. Despite this, the clock runs a little slowly every now and again.
Easy to set up
Power outage backup
May run slow occasionally
Customizable 24 hour function
Rugged rainproof casing
Grounded 3 prong compatibility
Arguably one of the best products for your holiday lights, sprinklers, and pool pumps, this Fosmon Outdoor 15A 24-Hour Mechanical Light Timer comes with a rugged rainproof casing that makes it capable of withstanding even the heaviest and more sudden storms. The heavy-duty performance is perfect for every weather, while the 30-minute segments provide a decent variety of power settings. It boasts silent operation and is also easy to use, but the numbers on the dial are a little too small, so don’t forget to bring your magnifying glass with you if you need to change the settings.
Ideal for controlling holiday lights
Easy to set up
Dial is quite small
4 Always On outlets
4 controllable outlets
ETL listed surge protector
Perfect for areas with plenty of appliances that need to be close to each other, such as home entertainment systems, the BN-LINK 8 Outlet Surge Protector with Mechanical Timer is ideal. It is split into four Always On outlets and four controllable ones to maximize personalization, while the ETL listed surge protector ensures consistent performance. You can select up to 48 hours of On and Off settings, but the loud ticking noise is something that could bother you, especially if you use it up in the living room and want to set the mood while watching a scary movie over Halloween.
15 minute increment pins
Up to 48 hour On/Off programs
Easy to install
Loud ticking noise
Voice control functionality
Control via phone
Scheduling and Timer settings
Compact but with plenty of power to turn the lights on and off whenever you need, the Teckin Mini Smart Outlet Wifi Plug with Timer Function is one of the most convenient options around. You can use your phone as a remote control, while voice commands are another possibility. It includes simple scheduling and timer settings as well as device sharing capabilities so everyone can get in on the action. There is some lag depending on the type of smartphone you use though, so keep this in mind.
No dial setting
Doesn’t block the other outlet
Some lag on specific smartphone devices
Waterproof casing and construction
Countdown timer switch
3 outdoor outlets
Anyone still on the hunt for the best outdoor products to turn appliances on and off whenever you need them, the ECOPlugs Outdoor Light Timer Outlet is an excellent choice. The waterproof casing and construction ensure durability, while the countdown timer switch is excellent for activating outdoor appliances when you need to. These programmable settings take the hassle out of getting up to turn things on, while the light sensor will also turn lights or sprinklers on when the sun goes up or down. It’s excellent for holiday lights, but it also isn’t as consistent as other products we’ve selected so far.
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Mechanical timer switch
Ideal for holiday lights
Reduces wasted energy
Not as consistent as other outdoor outlet options
Features To Consider With Outlet Timers
A display function is always a useful thing to have with an outlet timer, but not all timers will use a digital display. Despite this, even analog timers have some kind of display, as the numbers are on the dial. While primitive, especially by modern technology standards, this still makes them easy to read and use, even from a distance. You rarely find displays for smart timers, but you can still view the settings through the smartphone app, which might even be more convenient.
Ease Of Use
You don't want to purchase something difficult to use, but the best outlet timers are relatively straightforward. If you've ever used an outlet timer before, you should get the hang of a new product quickly enough. But as not all products are the same, there still may be a learning curve. If you run into any trouble, be sure to read the instructions thoroughly to identify what you might do wrong to ensure the timers work correctly, otherwise you may end up wasting electricity, which is the opposite of what you want.
Multiple outlets are more convenient, but they will also take up more space around the outlet, which means it may be impossible to plug another appliance next to it. This could be an issue if it is an appliance you don't want to use with the outlet timer, such as something you need to keep on at all times. You can find a range of outlet styles, including a dual outlet on either side, as well as power strip products, where you can plug in eight appliances if you need more than a dual outlet. For outside outlets, you will usually get around three ports so you can plug all outdoor appliances using the best outdoor extension cord, with your surge protector like your holiday lights & smart lights or pool pumps, into one product.
Safety is always something to think about when it comes to using electronics, but outlet timers are ideal for this situation. For one, they will automatically switch off certain appliances after a specific time, which will reduce the risk of fire hazards that come from leaving the lights on. Second, the overload protection will also prevent any serious issues should there be a power surge.
If you have a smart home setup, smart features are a fantastic way to make the most of it. Not all timers are capable of smart functionality, but the very best are equipped to handle your energy conservation even when you are away from home. Some smart features include Vacation mode, child locks, voice commands, and a broader range of timing options. Many outlet timers come with battery backups, which allows it to carry on operating even during a power outage. This is essential for the Vacation modes and will ensure it protects your home even while you are away. As these types of timers do not use a display or analog controls, you can also adjust the settings directly from your phone using an app.
The broader the timer length, the more control you will have over your timer. This is the one feature where analog dial products do not boast the versatility that digital or smart home timers do. While digital models can save settings for up to seven days on average, which is useful for unique schedules and including weekends, analog timers may only use settings up to 48 hours at the most. While this is still useful, it may not be convenient for everybody, especially if your family has alternating schedules that could affect others with specific settings.
Outlet Timer FAQ
Q: Do outlet timers save electricity?
Yes, the best outlet timers do and will save on your electricity bills. This is because, rather than forget to switch off your downstairs lamp or other household appliance, the timer will automatically cut the power without you needing to do a thing.
There is also a variety of methods outlet timers use to do so. The most common way is through a dial that works just like an egg timer and ticks away after it is set. Once it reaches the designated setting, it will shut the electricity for this outlet off, reducing your energy bills. Other methods include digital timers, which operate in much the same way, but use a digital system rather than an analog one, while smart outlet timers for lights and other appliances are something you can set and adjust either through voice commands or via an app. This further saves energy and electricity, as you can set and forget, allowing you to get on with your day with no worries you left the lights on.
Q: How does outlet timer work?
A dial outlet timer for lights and other home appliances works by plugging the timer into the outlet closest to your devices, such as a desk lamp or a coffee machine. Once plugged in, you should flick the timer switch to the On position, which will make sure the product is working.
When you are confident this is set up, plug the appliance into the timer itself, and twist the dial to the desired time. Most dial timers will use similar designs, such as a black arrow to tell you which way to twist the dial, and White/Black backgrounds to show AM and PM. You will also need to set the current time so it switches off when you need it to. Once this is set, adjust the timer which usually jumps up in 30-minute increments, but sometimes does so in 15 minutes, and leave it. If you have done it correctly, the appliance will switch On or Off at the right time.
However, dial timers are not the only type of outlet timer you will come across. Other types of products for your home include digital timers. As we are so used to operating digital devices rather than analog products nowadays, these are arguably easier to use. Plug the timer into the outlet and set the current time. Use the buttons to clear previous programs, as many timers come with data already loaded, and then use the Hour, Minute, Week, and Day buttons to select the timer. Like dial timers, these will save the settings for up to a week, meaning you won't need to reset them every day.
Smart outlet timers are another product you may come across, and these are ideal for smart home environments. These operate without a dial or screen, and you control the settings either through voice commands or the dashboard on the app. If you have smart lights, you may be familiar with the overall setup. With smart outlet timers, you can set and forget settings when it suits you.
While outlet timers of all shapes, sizes, and styles are similar, some will be more advanced with others, so you can add additional settings, such as Vacation timers and Child Lock to prevent theft while you are away, and stop your kids from messing with the timer settings.
Q: Are timer switches a fire hazard?
You should understand that any electrical appliance can be a fire hazard if misused. However, outlet timers are often safer than regular plug sockets as they will come with surge and overload protection. Despite this, you should still exercise caution when using them, and make sure that the appliance you plug into them is compatible with the voltage.
Most timer plugs are only suitable for one appliance, but some will have more than this. It's in these instances that you should be careful not to overload the system, otherwise, it could catch fire.
You should also be careful about which appliances you plug into your outlet timer. While many household appliances are suitable, such as lights, sprinklers, and even pool pumps, anything that generates a lot of heat, like irons or cooking devices, are not suitable. Not only may they be too powerful for the timer, but they could also switch on without you knowing, and if they are close to something that could catch alight, like an iron resting down on the ironing board, there is a massive risk of fire.
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