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christmas lights timer issues

Discussion in 'Christmas Trees & Seasonal' started by vmsmithict, Jun 26, 2014.

  1. vmsmithict

    vmsmithict LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    So I gave been installing lights on residential homes for the past 6 years. We start hanging Oct 1st so we can get everyone up in time for Thanksgiving. In our area everyone wants to be lit up Thanksgiving night or the next day. So every year we struggle to get back to all of our customers over a two to three day period to get everyone lit up. We have tried about everything we can think of to get this done in a better way, but it never fails, we end up taking time off from hanging to get this done. This cost money in time and lost days of hanging. Does anyone know of a better solution or maybe a timer that will automatically start on a certain day and then keep working until Jan 1st, then shut itself off for the season?? I am new to this forum so I want to thank you in advance for your answers.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  2. GreenI.A.

    GreenI.A. LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,130

    I'm looking for the website for the timers we use, i'm away from the office for the weekend. But the timer we use is digital, during install we set it and test it. It has a power off switch, which we set to "off". Then when the client is ready to turn the system on, they simply go out to each timer and hit the switch to on.

    These are nice timers they have a rechargeable battery in them so even if power is lost or if they get unplugged they continue to store the program and keep the current time accurately. Our clients are similar, they usually want the lights first on on Thanksgiving or Black friday. Most can turn them on themselves. There are a few we have to turn on for them because the timers are up in the eves for roof lights. For these customers, we go out first thing thanksgiving morning and hit the switch.
  3. turf hokie

    turf hokie LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,753

    not sure how many clients you have but we are all in the same boat as far as timing the turn on.

    We use digital timers.

    We set everything at install and the client just plugs the cord into the timer and all set.

    No, not all of them are willing to do this "for what they pay us" they feel they should not even have to plug in the cord once a year.

    We run around plugging in lights but the crews don't do this unless they are in the neighborhood. We send our service crew, manager and myself out. We have never had a problem with someone not being lit when they wanted to be. But we have a very dense service area.
  4. OP

    vmsmithict LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    Found a guy that developed a timer that solved my issues. Now I can hang lights anytime, set the timer one time and don't have to show up again until take down. The timer us programmed to come on thanksgiving night and shutoff on Jan 2nd. Even if power goes out, or gfi pops, it still keeps time correctly. I cant wait to try it. I knew someone had to have something out there. He told me I could also change the program dates also for those that want different dates or times. Thanks for everyone's help with this.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  5. duckbutt

    duckbutt LawnSite Member
    Messages: 17

    Care to share?
  6. TimNNJ

    TimNNJ LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 321

    What do most of you guys use...mechanical, digital or photocell?...I still haven't pulled the trigger on timers as of today...I have used digital up until now with the same old mistakes of pm/am and wrong settings set.
  7. gusbuster

    gusbuster LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,006

    Have you ever talked to any of the Christmas forum sites? Forum rules say I can't tell you the name, but if you do a net search, just include the first word "planet" and the second word "Christmas" and it should pull up the forum site. Just include those 3 key words together. Somebody on that site will have some kind of home remedy to professional remedy. I do a 512 channel Christmas light show to music and lights and at the beginning, the people on there really helped me out. Plus I'm a Christmas freak too.

    I'm lucky enough to have gone to Pigeon Forge TN where they have a store that is everything Christmas. Awesome store.
  8. hotrod1965

    hotrod1965 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 587

    Although lots of great info on PC, it is a very different crowd than commercial installers. Very "show" focused where installers are not. But, if we are looking for some unique ideas to show your clients (setting your self apart from other installers) than reading through PC is a very good idea.
  9. GreenI.A.

    GreenI.A. LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,130

    I prefer digital. I have used photo cells on smaller jobs. But I don't like them on any installs that require more than one timer. I haven't yet found two photo cells that will turn on or off within 10-15 minutes of each other.
  10. PlantscapeSolutions

    PlantscapeSolutions LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,080

    Dara has these digital timers right now for $17. I wondered if anyone had used this specific one before. I had good luck with the one Home Depot used to sell where you had to install & remove the double A battery.

    The ones they have sold since with an internal battery have had a higher failure rate.


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