Outlet timers are great products for saving money and managing your home better. They can be used either indoors or outdoors (depending on the model) and, after you properly set them up, they are capable of turning lights off and on and activate appliances according to custom schedules. This can make your life more convenient so if you have an interest in purchasing such a device, perhaps researching them a bit wouldn’t hurt. You might also be interested in our articles about the best electric water heaters and best projection alarm clocks.
It’s essential to carefully analyze certain key features before you can make an informed decision. The characteristics to evaluate are:
Having a device that’s simple to set up and use is very important. Many outlet timers on the market can have more to offer when it comes to a more simple operation. If you’re interested in a quality outlet timer, make sure that it’s created with user-friendliness in mind.
There are multiple types of outlet timers and the most common are mechanical, digital, or photocells type. Mechanical models operate using precision clockwork and are basic units to do some simple programming. For a more modern option, you can try digital timers which for some are more simple to set up and they usually offer more programming options. Finally, there are photocells timers which are great for outdoor use as they have a light sensor for sunlight.
The design of indoor timers should be ideally compact and slim while the outdoor timers must be prepared for tougher conditions. It’s also worth paying attention to its construction and the safety measures in place to ensure that you’re getting a reliable product.
Outlet timers can have lots of applications and are really simple to use once you get over the task of setting them up. Now that you figured out the most important aspects to take into account when shopping for them, let’s take a look at the best products on the market today. The following timers have been carefully analyzed and researched and they only made it here if they’ve been deemed worth the money. There’s enough diversity to satisfy a good variation in budget and needs so you can be certain that you will discover a fitting outlet timer no matter what your particular demands are. Let’s see which are the best outlet timers for the cost.
Best Digital Outlet Timer
1. Century FD60-U6 Digital Dual Outlet Timer
By far the best option for a digital outlet timer, the Century FD60-U6 is a versatile unit that’s convenient to use and simple to set-up. It has a solid selection of programming features including a “Random” vacation mode that can potentially protect your home while you’re away.
Programming this timer is quite easy. A maximum of 8 programs can be set for controlling various electrical appliances including fans, lights, TVs, and more. You can schedule programs to water plants, turn on the lights in the morning or you can get creative and use it to make yourself a fresh cup of coffee at the start of the day before you’re even out of the bed.
This is a digital model so theoretically, it’s easier to use than mechanical ones. One if its most interesting features is the random function which can be used to turn on and off the light in your home at random so you can fool onlookers into thinking that you’re not on vacation. This has some good security potential. To activate this, you will need to press two buttons simultaneously, ‘HOUR’ and ‘WEEK’.
Another great ability of this outlet timer is the Daylight Savings Time switch and the small red LED which gives you a clue about the output. Century offers a built-in battery to make sure that the unit remembers its programming even in the eventuality of a power outage.
A manual override switch allows you to turn the device on or off manually whether you prefer before or after the time that’s been programmed. The timer has two grounded outlets and one nifty little feature that you will certainly appreciate is that settings can be made very short, for just one minute if you wish.
Considering the ability of this digital outlet timer to save you a good amount of time and money, the Century FD60-U6 is a very cost-effective way to automate your home’s electrical appliances. It does everything you’d expect from a quality and reliable outlet timer so this is why it’s strongly recommended.
- Simple to program
- UL Listed
- DST Switch
- Manual Override
- Two grounded outlets
2. Intermatic TN311 15 Amp Timer for Indoors
For those who want a more classic model, the Intermatic TN311 is a reliable mechanical outlet timer that offers a 3-wire grounded plug and can control various appliances with up to 3 On/Off settings per day. There are quite a few interesting featured in this timer so let’s take a more in-depth look at it.
Intermatic is a global leader in the industry of energy management and their outlet is designed with reliability and precision in mind. It’s ideal to program a huge number of electrical appliances including but not limited to: chargers, heaters, CFL & LED lights, PCs and A/C units. You’re limited to three On/Off settings during a full day but it’s a decent level of control.
Using the programming features of this timer is a breeze. To set a certain program you will first have to insert On and Off trippers into the provided slots at the exact times (both On and Off) that you prefer. It’s essential not to plug in the trippers side by side. They must be pushed down against the surface of the dial.
The next step in programming this unit is to set the time of day. Get the dial turned clockwise one revolution and keep going until its arrow indicates the current time. To make things more intuitive, the white area denotes AM while the dark one is for PM. You can also use the On/Off wheel placed at the top of the device.
One advantage that you can take into account about a mechanical timer like this one is the fact that it doesn’t rely on electricity to operate. It comes with a 3-wire grounded plug as well as a receptacle. The timer is best used for indoors and it can be plugged directly into the wall.
The outlet timer works like a charm and for its relatively low cost, it’s definitely a solid choice. It’s intuitive, fairly simple in its functionality but is highly reliable for indoor programming and to increase your overall productivity at home.
- Heavy-duty grounded outlets
- 3 on/3 off settings per day
- 24-Hour programming
- Removable trippers
- Grounded receptacle
3. Woods 2001WD Outdoor 24hr Outlet Timer
Those fancying to purchase a capable outdoor outlet timer shouldn’t glance over the Woods 2001WD, a photoelectric timer that can potentially save you a lot of money in the long run. It provides simple settings to adjust and it can be used outside in a variety of places thanks to its weatherproof construction.
Due to the fact that this model makes use of a photocell sensor design, it’s capable of sensing the light level outside and to automatically operate accordingly. It can switch off or on the lights and save you money as you can prevent wasteful consumption.
There are 7 settings to adjust for a more customizable experience. You can set it for dusk-dawn, two, four, six, or eight hours after dusk, always on or off. It will turn off using the programmed schedule and you can rest assured. As you only need to twist the dial to control the settings, it can be said that this provides a very user-friendly operation. The settings repeat daily so there’s no need to adjust it all the time if you plan for a fixed schedule.
Any outdoor timer needs to be able to resist the weather. This model comes with a durable construction and has a 6-inch cord. It can be used without any issues for the holiday decorations or patio lights. It’s U.L. listed and highly versatile thanks to its 8.3 Amp energy rating. The timer is fully compatible with both CFL and LED light bulbs.
All things considered, the Woods 2001WD outdoor outlet timer is created for maximizing convenience and optimal energy savings. For this price, it can be an ideal solution for many people looking to purchase an effective timer. It offers one of the easiest ways to control your outdoor lights.
- Photocell Light Sensor
- User-friendly design
- Rated at 8.3 Amp for great compatibility
- UL Listed
4. Century FD60-U1 Mechanical Timer
Another well-designed model from Century, this time a mechanical timer, the FD60-U1 is loaded with features to automate your home. It’s a convenient device which can help you save a good amount of energy and time. As it’s UL listed, there’s also no need to worry about safety.
Using this model is a fairly straightforward process. Just set the correct current time and then set the right times for turning off or on however you’d like. The current time needs to be aligned with the black arrow so this is done by twisting the dial clockwise.
There’s a total of 48 on/off programs that are fitting for varied needs. It’s simple to set a more complicated time as you can use segment tabs with 15-minute intervals. The timer’s settings are designed to automatically repeat each day. This means that every 24 hours your fans, lights, and all the other controlled appliances will smartly turn on or off and help you reduce energy costs.
On the side of the mechanical timer, you are greeted by a red button which is the switch of the device. You can toggle it to the On position and so the unit will make the connected appliance set to On without taking into account the way you’ve done the programming. This is the “always On” position but you also have an “always timer” position. This one simply follows the settings provided by the programming.
It’s not difficult to see how such a convenient timer can be useful. Before you get home from work you can have the air conditioning already turned on for example. Or you can use it for battery charging and avoid the problem of overcharging it which is known for causing a shorter battery lifespan.
If you want an affordable and easy to manage outlet timer you’ve found it. The FD60-U1 mechanical model from Century delivers on all of its promises and even if this timer is only able to control a single appliance, it’s extremely reliable and well-made. Even if Century is not as well known on the market for outlet timers compared to other brands, it’s proving to be a serious force in the industry.
- 1 grounded outlet
- UL Listed
- Simple to use
- Compatible with LED bulbs
- 24 hours settings
Best Plug In Timer
5. Woods 8-Hour Plug-In Timer
An incredibly easy-to-use plug-in timer, the Woods 8-Hour countdown model is a versatile unit designed to be used with indoor appliances. It’s fully compatible with various types of lights making it more convenient than ever to program your indoor lamps and bulbs.
After a programmed time, this energy-saving timer shuts down the power and it allows you to conserve electrical energy and save money down the line. This is a real timesaver also because you no longer have to manually switch off the appliance.
Versatility is key for this model. It’s suitable for a large range of electrical devices including slow cookers, PCs, coffee makers, fans, and many others. Not having to constantly keep track of time can be liberating. There are a total of five settings for this timer. With a single touch, it can be programmed for 1, 2, 4 or 8-hours and constantly ON. It has no problems handling 1/3Hp loads.
This plugin timer is fully compatible with many types of lights as it seems many people are interested to use outlet timers primarily for managing them. It can work with CFL and LED lights, as well as incandescent bulbs. All your indoor lights can benefit from some more reliable control.
There’s a single controlled outlet featured with this timer and the installing process for this is incredibly simple. Just plug it in the power socket and it’s good to go. Perhaps some more advanced functions would have been welcomed but for those looking to get their hands on something basic, this is a solid product.
Despite being so affordable, this is a powerful device to use in your home as it has nice potential for cutting down the costs of your energy consumption. It does its job quite well and it’s so intuitive to use that you don’t even need to waste your time reading the included instructions. Great value for the money.
- Five settings
- 1-timer controlled outlet
- Works with LED, CFL, and incandescent lighting
- Versatile indoor timer
- Easy to use
6. NEARPOW Timer Outlet CECOMINOD036912
Nearpow’s digital outlet timer comes with an advanced level of functionality and is easier to manage than other models thanks to its large LCD screen. It also offers some decent safety features like the child lock function and warning tones. As it has a fairly versatile applicability, this could have great potential in any home.
This device provides its owner with some solid flexibility options when it comes to scheduling. You can set a group or a maximum of three groups that work together in a daily cycle. It boasts a very short time interval of just one second and is amazingly simple to use once you get over the initial set-up phase.
There are many interesting functions that you won’t find in other models like the child lock ability and the power-off protection feature. The timer is designed for plugging it into a grounded receptacle and it comes with a single grounded one that’s rated at 1800W. A warning tone can be selected which is a neat feature.
The applicability of this outlet timer if fairly vast. It can be used for many appliances and various electrical devices like decorations, lamps, fans, irons, and so on. It’s a bit more complicated to program than some other outlet timers on the market but it’s also more generous in terms of advanced functionality so it kind of balances out.
If you’re using a sprinkler irrigation system, you can try the intermittent cycle mode or if you need to control Christmas lights, it’s also convenient to delve deeper into the interval circulation setting of the timer.
As it’s designed to save you a lot of time and money, the Nearpow outlet timer is a decent option if you want more advanced and precise functionality. It’s equipped with a battery pack so you won’t lose your settings if the power is out. The rating of 15 amps should also be sufficient for handling more demanding appliances. All in all, this is a great timer for the price, once you figure out how to use it effectively.
- Large LCD screen
- Versatile applicability
- Interval circulation
- Simple to operate
- Child lock function
7. Urban Farmer Digital Dual Outlet Timer
The digital outlet timer from Urban Farmer is geared towards users who want to make better use of their hydroponics system kits as they can ensure optimal control of growing light fixtures. Setting it up is a breeze and if you also factor in the slim and compact design, this definitely looks like a reliable solution.
Taking charge of the environment if you’re hoping to obtain greener grows is not a simple task but this outlet timer should help you to handle a solid range of light fixtures for growing. It has a LED digital display for convenient selection of your preferred options.
This is a 7-day programmable timer allowing you to specifically choose the days when you want the grow lights to turn on or off. It basically enhances your total productivity during the week as you can schedule the timer according to the optimal amount of light without wasteful energy consumption.
Up to 8 options can be set. You’ve got daily, weekends or weekdays only, every other day, or particular combinations of days. During the day you can set the exact hour and minute when the timer activates or shuts down the lights. Now that’s some amazing convenience, especially considering how effortless the whole programming operation is.
Design-wise, this unit is not very bulky and it comes with a grounded three-prong plug. It’s created for indoors use and it features two side outlets to provide you more control. Two grow light fixtures can be plugged in and managed simultaneously.
As it’s critical to maintain the settings during power outages, Urban Farmer added a battery backup. This outlet timer can be safely used for many different types of environments including greenhouses, grow tents, or pretty much any garden growing indoors.
With a superior versatility level for its programming and excellent performance for the cost, the Urban Farmer dual outlet timer is worth every cent. Some people might find the instructions a bit confusing but the product is so intuitive to use that after a few tries, you can start a more productive schedule for your indoor plants in no time.
- 7 Day Programmable Timer
- Easy to set up
- Multiple programming functions
- Slim and compact design
- Battery backup included