• Skill Level: Beginner - Expert Help
    Time Required: 1 - 4 Hours

    If you take a moment to think about it, you'll realize that the invention of electricity has dramatically transformed our world from a rather dark and difficult place to a bright and exciting one, filled with comfort and convenience.

    From heating to cooling, washing to drying, lighting to communicating, we are surrounded by an electronic infrastructure that makes our lives easier - but consumes a lot of energy. When we're at home, we can be smart about conserving. But what about when we leave the room or even leave the home? That's where automatic controls come in. Browse through the products below to see the latest range of choices.

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Use Light Switch Dimmers

Sometimes you have a light in a room that you use for all kinds of situations. For example, if you have one in the dining room, you might want it low for a relaxing dinner but bright for a family board game. Light switch dimmers solve the problem. But read the descriptions carefully before purchasing, because some are designed for CFLs and some for LED lights. Whichever you choose, we recommend that you have it installed by a professional because of the potential dangers of electrical shock.

Set Up Light Switch Sensors

Some energy-saving controls are smarter than others. For example, light sensors automatically turn lights on at dusk and off at dawn. Motion sensors are even more sensitive. They use infrared sensors to detect temperature changes, so they can turn lights on when someone enters a room and turn them off when they leave. Although the light sensor just screws into a light socket, we recommend that you have the motion sensor installed by a professional because of the potential dangers of electrical shock.

Install Light Switch Timers

There's a wide range of light switch timers, and each one offers its own particular advantages. A solar switch can calculate sunrise and sunset for your outdoor lighting needs. An electronic off-timer can be used for lighting or exhaust fans. And a programmable timer can give you all the bells and whistles - with up to 48 on/off settings and a memory back-up in case of power failure. Whichever one you choose, we recommend that you have it installed by a professional because of the potential dangers of electrical shock.

Install Ventilation Controls

Exhaust fans are used to remove the steam and moisture after a shower or bath. But leaving them on too long can waste valuable electricity. Ventilation controls work like lighting controls, making sure that the fans turn off even if you're not there. Whichever one you choose, we recommend that you have it installed by a professional because of the potential dangers of electrical shock.

Use Plug-In Timers

The best part about plug-in timers is that they're simple and effective. You can plug them in to everything from lamps and appliances to security lights, spas, and pool filters. Generally, all you have to do is plug the timer into an electrical outlet, adjust the settings, and you're done. As always, be careful around electrical outlets and always follow the manufacturer's instructions for the use of electrical devices.

Install Water Heater Timers

Water heater timers are a good energy-saving idea, especially when you know that there will be blocks of time when you don't need hot water. Do you need the water heater on while you're at work or traveling? Do you need it on when you're sleeping? If you can do without 24-hour water heating, this automatic control can save you some money. Whichever one you choose, we recommend that you have it installed by a professional because of the potential dangers of electrical shock.

Plug-In Power Strips

If you want to be protected from both energy thieves and power surges, a simple power strip can do the job. You can choose from an automatic timer that makes sure that your computer and electronics get turned off at night. Or you could choose a smart strip that turns off your printer and other peripherals when your computer is not in use. As always, be careful around electrical devices and always follow the manufacturer's instructions for the use of electrical devices.