Honeywell EconoSWITCH RPLS741B

Review: Honeywell EconoSWITCH Programmable Timer 86

Honeywell EconoSWITCH ReviewFor years, I’ve used programmable switches at our Utah vacation house to turn exterior lights on at dusk and off at dawn. Having a well-lit exterior is a deterrent to potential thieves, and creates a nice visual setting when returning home at night. Previously, I used four Intermatic EJ500 switches, which I purchased at Lowe’s for around $25 each. Each switch powered a separate exterior circuit: porch lights, garage exterior lights, soffit lights, and a walkway light. It was kind of a pain to switch the clocks twice a year for daylight savings, and it was more of a pain when the small hearing-aid size batteries in the switches would go dead, rendering the timer functions useless. The EJ500’s LCD screen and tiny interface font were hard to read, especially without any back light, so I’d have stick my nose right up to the switch to see the ON/OFF status, do any programming, or reset the clock. Still, none of these annoyances were “showstoppers,” so I put up with them for many years.

Fast forward to 2012, when I decided to replace all exterior lighting at the Utah house with energy efficient LED bulbs. LED bulbs are considerably more expensive to purchase than traditional incandescents, but they use a fraction of the energy for the same light output (7W vs. 50W) and can last decades without burning out. However, after replacing my front porch can light bulbs with soft white LED bulbs, I noticed something strange: with the Intermatic switch turned ON, the light was fine. But when switched to OFF, the bulb blinked on and off rapidly. Some web searching revealed that this is a common problem with both CFL (compact fluorescent) and LED bulbs when working with some timer switches and dimmer switches. If I wanted to save money with my exterior bulbs, I’d have to spend money on some new timer switches.

So, after researching a number of LED- and CFL-compatible options from Intermatic, Honeywell, Leviton, and General Electric, I opted for the Honeywell EconoSWITCH RPLS740B. Well… I technically opted for the 741B, which is the light almond colored version that matches my existing cover plates, but otherwise the switches are identical. Retail price is around $50, but I bought them for $38 each on Amazon with free shipping, and I’ve recently seen them drop below $30 on-sale.

Honeywell EconoSWITCH RPLS740B

Honeywell EconoSWITCH RPLS740B


Installing the Honeywell switches was straightforward, and they came with an easy-to-read install guide. After killing the circuit breaker, I removed my old Intermatic EJ500 switches. The Intermatics only needed to be wired to the incoming hot wire (black) and out to the load (the lights); no neutral wire was needed to power the switch itself, because the timer and LCD display functions were powered by batteries. The Honeywells, however, don’t have any on-board batteries, so they need to connect to the neutral wire (white) in the box, which provides power to the switch and enables a number of features (discussed below). The Honeywells came with their own wire nuts and each took about 5 minutes to install. The switches are deeper than a standard wall switch (and also deeper than the old Intermatics I removed), so with the addition of an extra neutral connection, the only tricky part was fitting the switch and all the wires back into the wall box, especially in multi-gang boxes containing more than one timer switch. I eventually got everything to fit, replaced the switch covers, turned on the breakers, and tested things out.

Setup and Programming

The initial setup of the EconoSWITCH was just as I expected. Set the year. Set the month. Set the date. Set the hour. Set the minutes. Set the… longitude and latitude. Huh? That was a surprise, but a super geeky cool one. By entering the longitude and latitude of your address (easily located with a web search), the switch automatically calculates the correct sunrise and sunset times for your precise location for every day of the year. And then — that’s it! If you just want your lights to come on at dusk and turn off at dawn, you don’t need to set anything else. If you want to get more creative with the programming you can, including adding offsets to the astronomical sunrise and sunset times. For example, I set my lights to turn on 30 minutes after sunset, and turn off 20 minutes before sunrise. You can also set multiple on/off times throughout the day, and/or build separate programs for individual days of the week. But for most applications, the default settings in Automatic Mode are probably want you want, and you won’t have to touch if after the initial setup.

And speaking of not touching it, the EconoSWITCH also has an option that you configure during setup to tell the switch whether your location participates in Daylight Savings Time, and then it automatically updates the time as needed on the appropriate days. That makes four fewer clocks I have to change around the house!

Manual and Vacation Modes

The EconoSWITCH’s Manual Mode is exactly as it sounds: it turns it into a manual ON/OFF light switch… with the added coolness of having a clock handy. The large primary button can also temporarily override the current program setting until the next programmed ON/OFF event.

The Vacation Mode is designed to make the house looked occupied, but it’s smarter than just randomly turning the lights on and off throughout the day. Using the calculated sunset time for that specific day, the switch turns the lights on at sunset, keeps them on for a random amount of time between 60 and 90 minutes, turns the lights off for a random amount of time between 15 and 30 minutes, and keeps that random cycle going until it turns the lights off for the final time at a random point between 10:30 PM and midnight. It’s a great way to not waste electricity during daylight hours, and still get the security of a “lived-in” look while you’re away.


While the initial setup and operating modes of the Honeywell EconoSWITCH are solid, the interface is where this product really shines (pun intended). Visually, the switch looks far more “upscale” than other products I researched, with the exception of the Leviton Vizia (which I almost bought instead, but found the Honeywell a better value). The design is sleek, and it fits almost flush with the wall plate. There are only three buttons, and using them is intuitive. The LCD screen is large and easy to read, with a blue back-light that can be adjusted to bright, dim, or off. But my favorite touch is a tiny blue LED light in the lower right corner of the switch, which is illuminated only when the switch has the circuit turned ON. This makes it easy double-check that the switch is in ON mode without having to bend over and squint at the screen.

Honeywell EconoSWITCH RPLS741B

Honeywell EconoSWITCH timers installed by the front door

In the above photo, you can see that the current time is 6:43 PM, the switch is in the Program Mode (top left clock icon), the switch has calculated that it’s past sunset (moon icon), the day is Wednesday, the switch is ON (text and blue LED), and that program #1 is currently running. The switches look equally cool in the dark:

Honeywell EconoSWITCH in the dark

Keeping the outside lights on while the inside lights are off.

Batteries Not Included

One of my main gripes with my old Intermatic switches was that they required batteries to power the timer, meaning that if the batteries went dead on a day where I wasn’t at the house, it could be weeks (or maybe longer) until I’d discover it and replace the batteries, and the exterior lights wouldn’t come on until I did.

As mentioned above, the Honeywell EconoSWITCH powers its timer functions using electricity from your house, but in the event of a power outage, it uses an on-board 0.22-Farad super-capacitor to keep your programming settings intact. It acts like a battery backup for the switch while the power is out, but a super-capacitor won’t wear out like a battery. It’s a great feature in an already great device.

Final Thoughts

The Honeywell EconoSWITCH RPLS740B (white) and RPLS741B (light almond) are a big jump from the previous generation of automatic timer switches. It’s compatible with the latest LED and CFL lighting technologies, install is straightforward, setup is a breeze, the functionality is solid, and the interface is well thought-out. It’s a worthwhile upgrade for any do-it-yourself homeowner, and can quickly and cheaply increase the security and visual appeal of your home. Look for my old Intermatic EJ500s listed as “used” on eBay. 🙂

Geeky Specs

  • Operating modes: Automatic, Manual, Vacation
  • Programs: Up to 7 ON/OFF times per week. Programs can apply to just one day, or can be repeated daily (programs that repeat daily are still considered just one program)
  • Connection: Three-wire (neutral, line, and load)
  • Max load: 1,800 W
  • Fixtures supported: Incandescent, CFL, Halogen, LED, and motors (pool pumps, pond pumps, bathroom fans, ceiling fans, etc.)
  • Compare rpls540a honeywell timer to rpls730b, advantages vs disadvantage, I’m considering
    The 540a,

    • Hi, Susan. I haven’t tested the 540a, but I’m pretty sure that Honeywell’s website can explain the differences, and then you can decide which one you need.

  • Rick

    I have the RPLS730B timer and am having a difficult time installing it. The installation instructions are not very clear to a novice such as myself. I’m replacing a regular switch with the Honeywell timer switch so it should be a fairly easy install. The Honeywell switch comes with a black, blue, and white wire. The wiring at my existing switch consists of two (2) black and one ground. I’ve tried a number of different configurations to get the switch to work, but no luck.

    What do you suggest in terms of the wiring connections to make this work? I’m ready to return it back for a store credit and put my old switch back on just so I can have light. I’ve read online that others have the same problem and same wiring configuration as mine. Any suggestions? Thank you!

    • Hey, Rick. I think I can answer your problem, but first, a little background. 🙂

      All circuits have a “hot” side (black wire) and a “neutral” side (white wire). In order for a “load” (in this case, a light bulb) to receive power, the load needs to be connected to both the neutral and the hot, completing the circuit.

      I’ll bet that your existing wiring for this light is like this: 1) the neutral (white) wire from your breaker panel comes into your project box (the box in the wall that the switch fits in), and then is wire-nutted directly to the neutral wire from the load. 2) The hot (black) wire from the breaker connects to one side of your old switch, and the hot (black) wire from the load connects to the other side. The neutral is always connected to the load, so the switch controls whether the circuit is closed (power!) or open (no power!).

      Your issue is that the Honeywell switch is ITSELF a load! It needs power to run the timer, and its backlight, etc. And because it’s a load, it needs to be connected to the hot AND the neutral on the circuit to get power. So, 1) kill the power at the breaker, 2) in your wall box, undo the wire nut connecting to the neutral (white) wire from your load, then add the white wire from the Honeywell and reconnect the wire nut to all THREE white wires, 3) connect the black wire from the Honeywell to the black (hot) wire from your breaker panel (usually, but NOT ALWAYS on the bottom of the box) – this makes it so the Honeywell now has power all the time, because it’s connected to a neutral and a hot, 4) connect the blue wire on the Honeywell to the black wire that goes to the load.

      If you wire it like this and it still doesn’t work, then you’ve probably just got the blue and black wires swapped. Kill the power, swap them, and I bet it works.

      Lemme know if that helped!

      • Rick

        Hi Steve,

        Thank you for your detailed reply with wiring instructions for the programmable timer. I followed your instructions to the letter and have been unsuccessful in getting the timer too operate. It’s possible that I received a bum timer out of the package. So, here’s my plan:

        1. I am returning the timer and will ask for a replacement (just in case it’s bad, I want to try again).

        2. I am hiring an electrician to install it.

        I have some other work that needs to be done anyway so I’ll just add this to the list. Again, thank you for your help. I’ll watch him install the timer to see what I was doing wrong and use this as a learning experience. Of course, it’s possible that I did everything right and was working with a bad timer. I guess I’ll never know.

        • Yeah, that’s possible, and would be a bummer if you’d been doing it right but just working with a bad switch. If you have a multimeter (every homeowner should have one) and you’ve tested the hot and neutral coming FROM the breaker panel TO your project box, and you’re getting a reading of ~110V AC from those two wires, and then connecting them to the matching white and black wires on the switch, then yep – it must be a bad switch.

          Hopefully the new switch will solve the problem, and don’t feel bad about hiring an electrician. I did the exact same thing a while back – hired one to the do the job then watched him like a hawk to learn. Hope to hear an update back from you soon about how your new switch is working great. 🙂

          • Jennifer

            Hi Steve,
            I’m following your instructions above (to Rick) for installing the RPLS730B, which are very helpful, but just have one question. What should I do with the bare ground wire that used to connect to the old switch? Does the programmable switch not need to be grounded?

          • Hi, Jennifer. There is no ground wire on the Honeywell, so you can just leave that ground wire in the box alone. The programmable switch does not need to be grounded.

  • Jay

    Hi steve,
    Do you know if these timers can be hooked up in line with a dimmer?

    • “Downstream” from a dimmer, no. The switch needs full power to work properly. It MIGHT be possible to wire a dimmer “downstream” from the Honeywell, however. But a lower wattage bulb in your fixture might just accomplish the same thing.

      • Jay

        Thanks. Have existing sofits hooked to dimmer and was trying to figure out how/if it was possible to put dimmer “downstream” from the honeywell.

        Appreciate the info in your blog! I just picked up two of these timers -one easily installed and great so far.

  • Mong

    Hi Steve:

    I have installed the RPLS740B and it works well with CFL. Recently, I try to install the second RPLS740B with my LED porch light and it did not work. Once RPLS740B turns on, the light flickers and the timer makes tapping noises in the frequency of flickering. I check the Honeywell site and it only mentions CFL compatible.

    Aside from Intermatic EJ600, do you have any other recommendation for LED compatible timer?

    • Hi, Mong. That’s very strange. I’m using those switches with both LED and CFL bulbs with no issue. It shouldn’t make any difference, but is your LED bulb a dimmable one? The ones I use are.

  • Vince

    Thanks for the great article. I purchased this timer and wanted to see if you had any advice why it’s not working. The wall box I am wiring the switch to has two wires – black and white – and a ground wire. I have tried to wire this switch multiple ways, but have come up empty. Any idea what could be wrong? When I put the old manual switch on, the lights work fine.

    • Apart from the ground wire, you need three additional wires: Hot (from the panel), Neutral (from the panel) and Load (from the light fixture). You probably need to find the neutral wire. Or, is there any chance this is a three way switch?

      • Vince

        Thanks for the reply Steve. I’m not sure if this is a three way switch, I would have to look into this further. It may be silly for me to say, but I guess I don’t have enough wires to ,make this switch work. Bummer.

        • I’m certain you have “enough” wires. The problem may be whether or not you have access to the three wires you need: hot, neutral, load. EVERY switched electrical load in your house has these three wires, it’s just locating their junction that may be the tricky part!

  • Tiffany

    I found your post very helpful. Thank you for sharing your experience in detail!

    • Tiffany

      I was wondering what brand or kind of LED light bulbs you use outside and if you have tried these switches inside your house with LED light bulbs as well.

      • Hi, Tiffany. I use both Phillips and the Home Depot Ecosmart LEDs with these switches (including inside) and they work fine.

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  • Mike

    I can not get the outside lights to go on. Will it work if I have two separate switches going to one set of lights, one in the garage and one in the house?

    • No – that’s a “3-way” switch setup, and it will not work. You’ll need to hardware one of the switches in that setup, and then install the Honeywell in the other switch location,

      • Bilious Bill

        The Leviton Vizia that Steve “almost bought instead” has a fourth wire and is suitable for use as a 3-way switch BUT you have to replace both switches with Vizia units. The Vizia does not have the random feature, and Leviton’s documentation claims that back-up is provided by a rechargeable battery. However, I recently purchased several, and there is no apparent way and no instructions for replacing the battery when it finally dies (maybe in 10 years). The Vizia requires a normal-depth electrical box, but two of my replacements have to fit into shallow boxes unless I break into a masonry wall to replace the boxes. I will be trying the Honeywell unit and/or the Aube TI035 because their dimensions appear shallow enough to do the job. Currently one of the existing timers is an Aube TI072 which has worked extremely well but doesn’t have the astronomic or DST corrections.

        • Bilious Bill

          My mistake—my current Aube unit appears to be a TI032. The TI035 and TI072 appear appropriate for my needs. Aube is a Québec firm that is now a division of Honeywell, and their switches appear to be the same or very similar to Honeywell’s. Also I believe I read that the Honeywell switches are “Designed in Canada; made in China”, so my guess is that they are Aube designs.

    • Bilious Bill

      Further to my post regarding setting up the 3-way switch using TWO Vizia units, yesterday I purchased a Honeywell PLS750C1000 (in white, PLS751C1008 in ivory), which is for 3-way switch applications. It includes a short jumper that is used on the remaining toggle or rocker switch. My application doesn’t involve a 3-way application, so I haven’t read the details on how it works, but if you’re interested, Mike, the Honeywell instruction/user guide is at

  • Thank you for your great article about the Honeywell Programmable Timer. Exactly the information I was looking for.

    Any idea of how long the super-capacitor can hold a backup charge in the event of a power outage?

    Also, did you consider any other products with similar capabilities and specifications?

    Thanks again.

  • Chuck

    I use the Honeywell timer, but it has no battery backup, when the power is off the clock stops working and when the power is restored the clock has to be reset. Can you recommend a timer for the wall switch that has battery backup.



    • Hey, Chuck. Yes, the clock will stop working when the power is off, but I believe it keeps “ticking” even when the power is out, because I’ve never had to reset it when the power gets restored. Also, the on-board capacitors have always stored my program settings just fine. How long was your power out?

      The Intermatics I reference in the post have small hearing aid batteries, but they run down even when not relied upon. I’ve found the Honeywells way more reliable.

    • Bilious Bill

      McGoldrick asked a similar question above, and I responded “With regard to your first question, the Honeywell instruction sheet at states ‘Power outage: The screen is blank. Only the time must be set if the outage lasts more than 4 hours; all other settings and programs are permanently saved.'”
      We’ve just emerged from the worst ice storm in Toronto’s history. North of Toronto, my power was out for 28 hours, but there are those in the city who are still out after 7 days. Because the power was out for over 4 hours, I had to reset the time (including year, month, and day) on my Honeywell timers, but that’s all, and that task is extremely simple. The Intermatic STO1 and STO1A (see links in one of my previous posts) claim a back-up of 2+ years, but that is a rechargeable lithium battery. Even rechargeable batteries have to be replaced occasionally, unlike capacitors. In my area, I’ll have more rechargeable batteries die than I’ll have >4 hr outages, so my preference is the capacitor back-up

      • Bilious Bill

        The Tork product ( provides a 2 day back-up using a supercapacitor.

      • Great, Bill. Thanks for the detailed reply. I don’t think we’ve had power out for more than 4 hours since I installed the switches, which is why I haven’t had to even reset the clock. But great to know you’ve tested it in such an extreme case! Glad you (and your switches) are all good. 🙂

  • Josh R.

    Hi Steve. I’m hoping to use this Honeywell switch to replace a GE model that required no neutral. I only have TWO wires coming into the switch box for the switched circuit (no neutral and no ground). There are neutrals for OTHER CIRCUITS in the same switch box, but I’m assuming those can’t be shared between circuits. Is it impossible to install the Honeywell switch in this scenario? Thanks in advance for your help!

    • Hmm… I believe you CAN grab any neutral that’s in the box, but if you don’t have a neutral currently going to the load, what IS going there? Every switched light should have a hot and a neutral.

      • Bilious Bill

        My first comment applies both to Josh’s situation and to Rick’s back in April 2013. Your comments appear to address configurations where the wiring comes from the panel to the switch and thence to the light. An alternate configuration, which I believe both Rick and Josh are seeing, is the wiring going from the panel to the light where the neutral is connected. The live supply, however, is run through a different wire to the switch and then back to the light. That means no neutral wire in the electrical box for the switch, because it terminated at the light.
        Josh refers to neutrals for other circuits in the same box. I suggest that he throw the breaker and confirm whether all power in the box is cut off. In that case everything is on the same circuit, and his question is moot—connect the neutrals. If, however, the breaker kills some circuits but others are still live, he has a potentially hazardous situation for someone working on the circuits and I suspect is in violation of the electrical code. Note that I’m not an electrician and Canada previously had, and may still have, higher standards for electrical safety than the US, so anything I know about electrical codes here may not be relevant south of the border.

        • Ah – yep. Neutral direct to the load would be an alternate setup that would explain what he’s seeing in the box. Agree with everything you said here. Flip the breaker, but test everything in the box before touching any bare wires! Should be able to connect to any neutral in the box, and the other two wires to the light.

  • Bilious Bill

    Forgot to mention that, an option that does not require a neutral wire is the Tork product

    • But it does require a ground. The Tork looks like a great switch, but I wish the interface were as pretty as the Honeywell. I wonder how it’s powering itself without a neutral?

  • Bilious Bill

    I’ve wondered how they work without a neutral myself. If I ever find out, I’ll let you know.

    Requirement for a ground shouldn’t be a problem, because, at least in Canada, all of the household wire includes a ground wire, so that double live between the switch and the light has one, which should be connected to the electrical box.

    Personally I really like the 24 hr clock option in the Aube and Honeywell devices. In one of my former lives I was a legal and control survey technician, and when you are calculating astronomic shots and converting back to GMT, or simply living in the Arctic during the summer when the sun never sets, the 24 hr clock avoids confusion. I married a nurse, and we used the 24 hr format on our wedding invitations almost 40 years ago. (All guests arrived.) 🙂

  • Josh R.

    Thanks for your response, Steve. It looks like my question and your answer were deleted, but I wanted to answer your follow-up question. You asked “if you don’t have a neutral currently going to the load, what IS going there?” Well, the switch controls a circuit of five receptacles in series across the front of our house, and power is fed directly into one of the receptacles from our panel. To open/close the circuit, two wires run from that receptacle to the switch. I’ll try your suggestion and tap into one of the other neutrals (different circuit) in the same switch bank. Thank you again!

  • Josh R.

    Oops, just noticed Bill’s comments in response to my original question, and his assessment was correct regarding neutral direct to load. It’s a brand new circuit, so I’m certain that the other neutrals in the box are on different circuits. I agree that it would be potentially hazardous to connect to another neutral since someone working on it in the future might assume it’s the same circuit and might not test it. I just don’t see any other way. I previously had a GE model that didn’t require a neutral, but it was only capable of handling incandescents and the like. The receptacles on this circuit are intended to power LEDs (yard lights, holiday lights, etc) which is why I had to upgrade my switch, and all of the good ones require a neutral. Thanks again, Bill and Steve!

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  • Mike

    I doubt anyone still checks this but I have this switch connected to a load center.. it pretty much controls this

    400W MH flood
    2 100W MH flood lights
    2 Parking lights which which I think may be 400W

    Anyways I set the timer by the manual I have it set to come on by sunset by my zone and off at 11 PM.. only using 1 program.. so what happens is say the lights come on a 7:24 PM they will stay on for about 30 min then it just shuts off until you manually press the On/Off button or it comes on the next day.

    Now pressing the on/off button will override but what happens is the load will shut off yet again in 20-30 Min again..

    When it turns off it shows the P01 and off will be flashing..

    I think something must be going on with the timer I need to contact Honeywell about this.. I like the features but part of me wants to switch it out for a mechanical timer.

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  • Sheldon

    Hi. Great review! I am replacing a very old Intermatic SS7.The Honeywell RPLS740B sure looks like the one to get. Just a bit concerned about the comment on the physical dimensions – its already pretty tight in the box. Might you have the dimensions on the switch? Tried to search for them but all I found was package size!. Also, did you check out the Intermatic EJ600? Seems to be a similar beast and I wonder how it compares.

    • Hi, Sheldon. All mine are installed, and I didn’t measure them before installing. It IS tight… but if you push hard enough, they’ll always fit. 🙂

  • Sheldon

    I also have a question about the wiring.

    In the electrical box where the new timer would go, in my main hall, I currently have:
    – one 3-way switch for the indoor hall light and
    – one timer for 3 banks of outdoor lights ( frontdoor, walkway, garage)

    When popped off the cover, I see 5 leads coming into the box. I was trying to figure out which was which in terms of
    – the power source
    – the 3-way hall light
    – the 3 banks of outdoor lights ( front door, walkway, garage)

    I drew up a pic here:

    I may have it all wrong, but seems to me that :
    – “a” is the power source as it doesn’t go to any switches.
    – ‘b’ is for the 3-way hall light
    – ‘c’ and ‘e’ are for 2 of the 3 outdoor lights controlled by the timer..but where is the third?? I assume it must in some other junction box , tied to “c” or “e’.
    – ‘d’ does not go through the timer. so I figure it must be part of the hall/3-way wiring.

    So, for the new Honeywell, I plan to connect the black, blue and white per the sketch and hope for the best!

    Was unclear about your reference to “wire nuts”. Can you elaborate?

    • Looking at your image, I’d guess you have everything identified property. And yes, the red wire is the “traveler” wire that connects to the other 3-way switch. You’re on the right track. All you’ll need to do is kill the power at the panel, pull the old timer, connect the new timer to the same hot and load circuits the old switch used, and then just run a small wire from the new timer to the bundle of neutral wires (this allows the Honeywell to be powered since it has a hot and a neutral). A wire nut is a plastic cap that connects wires together. In your image, you’ve got a black, blue, and yellow wire nut shown!

    • Bilious Bill

      Sheldon, You can find the dimensions at this link: If you refer to my post of Dec. 2/13, I used the Honeywell timers rather than Leviton Vizia because the depth of the latter required a standard switchbox, whereas the Honeywell units with their 2 inch depth fit in my shallow boxes. That being said, as I recall the wire nuts would not fit behind the switch. I was able to install the Honeywell units because my two boxes were double and triple, and all other switches were standard toggle units, so the wire nuts fit in the spaces for the other switches. If you are installing two Honeywell’s and one toggle switch in a shallow triple box, you might have trouble fitting in the wire nuts.

  • Sheldon

    OK, just installed the Honeywell and everything went perfectly. I wont know for a few days if this actually works as intended. My intent was for 7 days per week, to go on at sunset and go off at sunrise. I ran through the menu items accordingly.

    HOWEVER. I have the same issue posted earlier by Mike, ie “When it turns off it shows the P01 and off will be flashing..” Is this normal, or abnormal. Whne I amnaull put it on the On is solid, but turning it off , it flashes.

    • Bilious Bill

      Sheldon re flashing “Off”. Just going by memory, which isn’t as reliable as it used to be :-), I think the flashing means that the unit is temporarily in an on or off state that was manually triggered. When the time arrives for a programmed change, then the switch returns to the programmed state and the flashing stops. It’ll do it again next time you switch on or off manually.

      In addition to the Honeywell units I installed in my house and my church, I put one of these solar timers (actually a Leviton Vizia unit, not a Honeywell) into a double electrical box alongside a duplex outlet and ran an extension cord type wire and plug out of it. I have a table lamp (with LED bulb to keep power usage lower) plugged into the duplex outlet.

      One difference with the Vizia unit is that the offset is in minutes, not multiples of ten. Also, I’m pretty sure that there is a difference in the way the two switches handle the random function. If that interests you, I’d refer you to the spec sheets for the two products. If you find them as obscure in their descriptions as I did, post again and I’ll pull them up and try to interpret.

  • Jessica

    Help! What do I do with the ‘ground’ wire? This Honeywell switch doesn’t come with the blue screw to screw in the copper ground wire.

    • Hi, Jessica. There should be a ground wire in the junction box. Just attach the green ground wire on the Honeywell switch to that copper ground wire in your box… and you’re all good!

      • Jessica

        Thank you Steve, however, there is no ‘green ground wire on the Honeywell switch’. I read your other reply… it seems that just ignore the copper ground wire that was there since Honeywell doesn’t have a place for it. Honeywell only comes with Black, Blue, and White wire.

        • Huh… you’re RIGHT! Been too long since I’ve actually installed one of these. 🙂 You are good to go!

  • Sheldon

    The flashing “OFF” finally stopped, so perhaps it just needed to complete a cycle.

    One other question on the sunrise/sunset. If I find its coming on too late, I assume I can use the ADJ feature so it comes on just before sunset… …..but what does that do to the sunrise time, will it go off an hour too soon (bad) or stay one an hour after ( which is ok). That is, does ADJ stretch the scale at both ends, or does it just slide the scale?

    • Hi, Sheldon. My location works great with sunrise and sunset based on the location, but if you want to tweak it, check in the instructions. I know you can set it for X minutes before (or after) sunrise, and a separate set of minutes before or after sunset. So no, tinkering on one end does not affect the timing on the other. If you want it to come on 30 mins before sunset, and 10 mins after sunrise, you can totally do that!

  • Sheldon

    Ah, okay. I was looking in the wrong area. Its not an ADJustment I am looking for (as those are fixed at -1,0,1), but rather an “offset”. I checked the instructions as you suggested. and its all there, Section 5.4.3 and one can tweak up to 70 minutes ( in 10 min increments), in either direction, for either sunrise, or sunset, or both. Very cool!

    This whole idea of solar programmable is very smart. Was even thinking of using this timer for some other rooms in the house to control indoor lighting. Perhaps if I look hard enough I will find plug-in wall timers that are solar programmable as well, but if not, I really love this timer!

    • Great! Glad you found it. I still love these timers and haven’t once regretted installing them. 🙂

  • Minok

    I’ve used 2 of these switches for over 2 years now, with great success – one for porch light and one to control power to a water feature pump.

    The one thing missing that would make these switches the perfect switch is a wifi controllable interface like the Belkin owned WiMo. First company to combine those technologies wins the switch world.

    Use case: I want my exterior lighting to come on just at dusk and stay on till 11pm typically BUT: if I’m outside late in the summer, I want to override that and keep them on longer from a phone-app – not have to go inside the house to operate the switch. And in the winter, if I go to bed early and then in the dark realize I left the outside lights on, want to turn them off from my phone-app, not having to go downstairs to manually operate the various switches.

    • Hi, Minok. You can actually do that already with the WeMo! They’re more expensive than the Honeywell, but you can program it to turn ON at Sunset and then OFF at 11PM, with mobile app manual control, too. 🙂

  • Randall

    I have not been able to find a 3-way (or multi-way) version of the Honeywell timer that will accommodate the low voltage LED. The 3-way timers that Honeywell offers all require a minimum voltage of 40 watts. Any suggestions ?

    • I’m in the same boat, Randall. Haven’t been able to find a 3-way timer that works. 🙁

      • Southwest Energy Integrators

        The PLS750C/751C are 3-way relay output models (No minimum load, will work with LED and CFL loads.)

    • Randall

      I unintentionally referred to “voltage” instead of “wattage”. Thanks for looking past my goof up.

  • Dragan

    Hi Steve,

    About a year ago there was a question from Mike regarding NOT being able to get the outside light to work with the unit that has a garage and a house switch. I have the same setup/problem and was wondering how difficult is to “hardwire one of the switches in that setup, and then install the Honeywell in the other switch location,”? What steps need to be taken or is it too difficult and I should try to get an electrician to do it (I am pretty decent at some DIY type work)?



    Question that Mike had and your reply from a year ago:

    Mike on October 22, 2013 at 5:43 pm
    I can not get the outside lights to go on. Will it work if I have two separate switches going to one set of lights, one in the garage and one in the house?

    Steve Jenkins on October 25, 2013 at 9:17 pm
    No – that’s a “3-way” switch setup, and it will not work. You’ll need to hardwire one of the switches in that setup, and then install the Honeywell in the other switch location,

    • Hi, Dragan. It’s not difficult at all, but there are two ways in which those two switches and one load are wired. If both the hot wire from the panel and the load wire from the lights comes into Box A, then you can just install the Honeywell in Box A and completely disconnect the switch in Box B. But if the hot wire from the panel comes into Box A, and the load wire from the lights comes into Box B, then you’ll have to make Box A a “pass through” box by using wire nuts to connect the hot, neutral, and ground coming from the panel to the the Romex that heads over to Box B (meaning you can complete remove the switch from Box A and just put a blank plate over it). Then install the Honeywell in Box B. Of course, use a volt meter to understand how the wiring works, and kill the power before tinkering. You might want to do a quick search on 3-way switches so you understand how they work. It can get confusing sometimes. 🙂

      • Dragan

        THANK YOU! Worked like a charm. My set up was the 2nd option and the I disconnected the garage switch. Really appreciate your time to help me out with this!

  • IvanR

    Will this switch allow me to turn it on at dusk and then program it to turn off at 11.00PM every day?

  • Mitzi Vanorsdale

    Will the lights still come on if the power goes off. The settings remain, but do I have to turn the light back on or will they come back on automatically? Thanks

    • If power is restored during a timer program where the lights should be on, the switch will turn them back on.

  • Hey, Paul. Hmm… that’s weird. Does that only happen when you manually turn on the switch, or also when it turns the lights on automatically based on the programming?

  • soma

    Trying to install this switch. first electrical project 🙂 i think i made the line, load and neutral connections. when i turn on the circuit and tested, i see that the outer surface of the switch is HOT. not sure what is going wrong. any help?

    • Warm is OK… hot is not. Is the switch functioning properly otherwise?

      • soma

        Yes, it is functioning well. NCVT shows red when I touch the face of the switch. I guess it is probably indicating that the current is flowing through the switch for the timer function. Guessing… 🙂 When I touch it, i don’t feel the current.

        • Hmm… then you wired it up properly, but I wonder if there might be something wrong with the switch itself. If you have the receipt, I’d try exchanging it and see if a new unit has the same problem.

  • Hi, Thomas. It doesn’t matter which neutral you use, as they all wire to the same place at the panel. I’m not sure what the blue wire is in your setup, but yes — it DOES matter which black wire you use. You need to use the HOT wire from the panel to power the switch.

  • Fred

    Great review. I use the switch in a similar fashion. Only feature I wish it had is a dimmer feature. The new LED exterior lights are brighter that I’d like to run throughout the night. I had to install a dimmer switch on top of the programmable switch to get the desired effect.

    • Meaning you installed a dimmer “downstream” of the switch? An ingenious approach!

  • Nathan Johnson

    Good Afternoon Steve. I stumbled upon your article only to find out its EXACTLY the set up I’m hoping to achieve. I already have one Honeywell installed, with another on the way. I’ve also installed (since removed) a motion detection switch. This triad is in my garage, so 1 timer for the outside lights, 1 timer for an exterior outlet – for Christmas lights, and the motion detection switch for garage interior lights.
    My problem is that I can’t get the wiring for all 3 devices crammed into the box! Did you modify/upgrade your electrical box? If so, can you recommend?


  • Anthony Vella

    honey well timer lights switch after power went off the timer not working any more