astronomical timers

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by starry night, Aug 16, 2011.

  1. starry night

    starry night LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,227

    These timers were mentioned in another thread but I didn't want to hijack that thread by asking this question:

    Do these astro-timers preclude the need for a photocell?

    For instance, can they be set to turn on lights at sunset based on your geographical location or time zone and set to turn off lights at a designated clock time?
  2. bcg

    bcg LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Tx
    Messages: 1,865

    Yes, that's exactly what they do.
  3. starry night

    starry night LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,227

    Thanks. Still learnin'. I came upon a Nightscape transformer (10 years old?) with an anolog timer that doesn't work. It is hard-wired so I would have to make some revision.


  4. Lite4

    Lite4 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,182

    I like the astro timers, but couldn't recomend a reliable one to you. I have used the control scape and the intermatic astros. Both with very high short term failure rates (6-12 months). The intermatic is slightly more reliable based on my experience, however I have gone back to good old photocells for all of my basic dusk to dawn operations when the trans is mounted outside. Can anyone recomend a good astro that I could get at least 2-3 years out of?
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  5. INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting

    INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,102

    Sure thing: Use the Aube Ti035 or the Aube Ti070 if you cannot find the Ti035 in your market.

    I have also heard some good things about a new Leviton Astronomic timer but have not tried as it is not yet available here in Canada.
  6. Lite4

    Lite4 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,182

    Thanks James, I do remember you mentioning that one before but I probably did not write it down. Thanks for the tip.
  7. David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,645

    Tork has one at my local Ewing distributor that I have been trying for the past few months. works pretty well so far, fairly easy to program. I have a dozen or so intermatics out there over the past year and no failures yet. I still prefer the photo-cell/ digital timer set up, but when the trans is inside or mounted behind bushes, we go astrological.
  8. starry night

    starry night LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,227

    I would like to try one of those astrological timers. I'm a Libra so mine would probably always have 12 hours of light and 12 hours of darkness. :)


  9. LLC RI

    LLC RI LawnSite Member
    Messages: 149

    In the old days, when I used to consult for Sturdy Lantern/Nightstars Landscape Lighting, we used to put out a standard T-101 type timer with a built in photocell. I think it was , or is available in a weatherproof enclosure and we used to put a convenience outlet at the bottom to accept the transformer. This is still a viable and lower cost alternative, the exception would be using a digital timer with a battery back up so that power interruptions wouldn't cause any problem.

    On systems where I have that type of set up, I set the clock to go on at 4 pm and off whenever they want. The photocell then governs the lighting operation based on darkness.

    I have used some of those newer plug in/pluggable digital astro timers from Intermatic, and although they are a pain to program, they at least offer a simple manual override. The thing with the astro timers is that you might have to fine tune and adjust the preprogrammed sunset times for your area, to provide more accurate operation.

  10. INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting

    INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,102

    The nice thing about the Aube Astronomic Timers (I want to check out those astrologic timers too :) ) is that you enter the lat & long into them, they do not rely upon zones which are less accurate.

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