Possibly building a new home, and want to incorporate outlets in the soffits at each corner for christmas lights.
I'm trying to figure out what is the smartest way to accomplish turning on the outlets. Since I likely would only use for Christmas lights - what would you do? Traditional switch, in-wall timer, or a photocell?
Leaning towards in-timer, since most have an on/off override (right?) and give most flexibility - but don't want to overcomplicate either.
Thanks for the input!
I don't like my Christmas lights on all night, so on the surface I would opt for a timer. The time would be wherever the indoor on off switch is.j Just be careful of the timer model . A lot of Christ,as lights are LEDs and a timer would need to be compatible with them. The other option, is a photocell like a portable model I use. It turns them on at disk and turns the, off a set amount of time later. I have it set for 5 hours.
Since you wish to "incorporate outlets", I presume that these would be 120 V outlets and, hence, the wiring would need to conform to the appropriate codes.
Also, extra-low voltage LED lighting is usually run from a transformer and not directly from the "mains". Such transformers are not usually rated for outdoor use. (Extra-low voltage is defined as "not exceeding 50VAC or 120V ripple-free DC")
At a previous resistance, I ran the necessary extra-low voltage wiring to the external points required and terminated them on appropriate sockets on a wall-plate inside the house.
You should be able to find suitable "Keystone" wall-plates and socket inserts.
If you cannot find suitable "Keystone" socket inserts, blank keystone inserts can be drilled and fitted with small sockets as required (e.g. DIN sockets)
(Some modification of the socket and an epoxy resin adhesive may be necessary.)
At the current residence, Christmas lighting is not (yet) run in this way but on an ad-hoc basis.
We have a permanent (extra-low voltage) garden lighting system - which IS wired in this way - with the transformer for it switched "on" by a (lack of) daylight sensor, which is itself controlled by a timer-switch.
This set up is turned on at about 5 pm and off at midnight. Thus, the garden lights come on at dusk and go off at midnight. All the transformers etc. for the Christmas lights are "plugged in" to the AC supplied by this set-up (and the garden light transformer is then unplugged.)
You will certainly be able to find a timer switch which will control the 120 V AC to any such equipment located inside your house or garage.