I have 4 lights outside that are all wired to 1 light switch inside.

What is the best/cost effective way to put all these lights on a timer?

  • 2
    Replace the switch with a timer, such as homedepot.com/p/…. The only catch is that you will probably need a neutral wire in the switch box.
    – DoxyLover
    Commented Nov 5, 2014 at 4:40
  • @doxylover: how difficult is it to install a neutral wire? Commented Nov 6, 2014 at 4:09
  • It depends on how your house is wired. If the wires are in conduits, you may be able to pull a neutral wire from your breaker box to your switch box. If not, you may have to replace the wires running from the breaker to the switch. It's impossible to say without seeing your house.
    – DoxyLover
    Commented Nov 6, 2014 at 5:47

1 Answer 1


They are now making in-wall single pole timers that do not need a neutral wire, for older homes that don't have a neutral run to the switch boxes. Should be easy to install (as long as your switch box is not too crowded).

  • 1
    Of course, since it gets around the need for a neutral by trickling current through the load, you must use incandescent lights.
    – DoxyLover
    Commented Nov 5, 2014 at 20:16
  • @doxylover: what happens if you have LEDs? Commented Nov 6, 2014 at 4:07
  • @jimmy-fix-it: the reviews are a bit scary but this does answer the question. Commented Nov 6, 2014 at 4:08
  • @GregMcNulty - either the timer won't function or the LEDs may flash while turned off. There is also a small chance that it could damage the timer electronics. However, there is a chance it would work if you used 3 LEDs and 1 incandescent.
    – DoxyLover
    Commented Nov 6, 2014 at 5:43

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