Magic of Christmas Lights Switch

Everyone loves brightly shining Christmas lights. And I bet you don’t want to miss your shiny lights even for a minute. So you must have thought through how to make sure they switch on and off every day automatically, right?

I am working on my website,, to provide affordable live video chat with home contractors. Even before the launch, I came across questions about the best way to program the on/off of Christmas lights. I have gone through the setup myself, so thought would do a post to help others. I’ll break down the electric switches used to connect Christmas lights based on the location: 1) For outside Christmas lights and 2) for indoor lights.

Switches used outside can use daylight to determine whether it’s dark enough to turn the lights on automatically. You can either choose to switch them off automatically at dawn or use a preset number of hours to stay on. For example, if you want the lights on from dusk to midnight, set them on to dusk, which is usually around 5pm, and off to be 7 hours later in order for them to switch off automatically around midnight. Below is the switch I got for $10 from Target.

For indoor lights, it gets little complicated. I remember when I got mine last year, it took me some time to understand its functioning. The switch first needs to know the current time, so that you can program it to on/off at a predetermined time. Present time is set by pointing the arrow (shown by red arrow) to the current time. Switch is programmed to turn on by pushing pins against the hours you want. Pull up the pins against the hours when you want it to shut off. See below picture for details. You should be able to get it for around $10.

P.S. I’m founder of a startup leveraging latest technologies to make home improvement affordable. In that spirit, we’re launching “Live video chat with contractors” early next year. Checkout

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