A time switch also known as a timer contactor or simply a timer is a device that controls an electric switch. The time switch is an electronic device that controls the 'on' and 'off' time of electrical equipment. The electronic timer switch can be built into an existing power circuit connected to the mains power, including a relay or a contactor. Alternatively, they can be plugged into a wall socket with the appliance then plugged into the timer, or built-in to the piece of equipment itself. There are different ranges and types of times depending on your requirements and they are an ideal way of cutting energy costs by only consuming electricity when required. They can be used in industry as well as in your home.
Plug-in time switches are available as a digital timer, meaning they often feature a memory that allows the time to be set for a specific time during a 24-hour period, or for multiple times to be set. Mechanical timers, on the other hand, represent a specific period such as 15-minute intervals.
Timers for both internal and external lights known as a lighting timer are ideal when used for home safety or business safety purposes as a deterrent to potential opportunists or burglars. You can programme your timer to switch the lights 'on' and 'off' at a certain hour of the day, giving you complete control and making it look as if you are at home or in the building. Many household items are run by time switches, for example, central heating and hot water pre-set to switch 'on' and 'off' at a certain hour each day, or a slow cooker pre-set to cook for a certain number of hours to ensure your dinner is ready for you when you arrive home after a day at work or a day out.
DIN rail time switches are controlled by a timer and are ideal in helping to save energy. They only switch on the power when it is needed, such as in irrigation systems, switching lights on in unoccupied buildings and water pumps. They are used a lot in factory settings where automatic machinery needs to be turned on/ off accordingly at specific times, as well as for barrier control and shift-change sirens in manufacturing plants.