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Time Switches: easy automatic way to switch on and off appliances and save electricity

By on April 22, 2016

We all know that switching off appliances from the mains is one of the best way to save electricity. Still, at times we encounter situations where doing the same is either a hassle or is difficult. Running an AC all night will consume a lot of electricity and will also make the room quite cool, but getting up in the middle of the night to switch off is a hassle. A switched on TV/DTH-DVR system will consume quite a lot of electricity, but still switching it off means that your favorite programs will not get recorded if you forget to switch it “on” on time. Your apartment complex needs lighting only between 6 pm and 6 am in a day, but the security guard always forgets to switch it off and the lights are sometimes left on even 24 hours a day. There can be many such cases where the switching on and off of appliances depends on timing, but the process is manual. This is where “Time Switches” can come in quite handy.

What are “Time Switches”?

“Time Switches” are programmable automatic switches that can turn any appliance on and off automatically based on the real time of the day. They have a digital timer that can be set up for a daily or weekly schedule to switch appliances on and off automatically. There are different types of Time Switches available in market, some that can be fixed permanently on a switchboard, and some that are like external plug that can be plugged in between the appliance and switchboard. They cost anywhere between Rs 1000 to Rs 3000 based on the features.

Benefits of using “Time Switch” along with Air Conditioners

We all know that air conditioners consume a lot of electricity and many people who use it at night, switch it off after a few hours of use. But to do this they have to get up in the middle of the night to switch it off. Additionally switching it off for a long time heats up the room again. A “Time Switch” can be programmed in such a way that the AC switches on for 20 minutes and switches off for 40 mins in an hour and the process can continue for 8 hours (or total duration of sleep). This can reduce electricity consumption of AC significantly. Also 20 minutes of cooling can keep the room comfortable for rest 40 mins till the next cycle starts.

Benefits of using “Time Switch” with lights

“Time Switches” can be specifically helpful for residential societies or big setups/offices where people tend to leave lights switched on even when they are not required. Time switches can be programmed to keep lights on and off during specific time of the day so that electricity is not wasted when it is not required. It is observed that when people who use electricity are not responsible for paying for it, they tend to ignore switching off lights and other appliances. In such situations, a “Time Switch” can be quite helpful.

Benefits with all other appliances

In our post about Standby Power (link: Switch off the Plug Point) we mentioned that several appliances consume electricity if they are not switched off from the mains (switched off only from remote). This results in a lot of electricity wastage. A “Time Switch” can make sure that the appliances are switched off during that time of the day when those appliances are surely not required. This can result in significant electricity savings.


When you know that certain appliances will not be used during specific time of the day, putting them on time switches can result in significant electricity saving. These programmable devices make sure that the appliances do not get electricity when it is not required.

About the Author:
Abhishek Jain is an Alumnus of IIT Bombay with almost 10 years of experience in corporate before starting Bijli Bachao in 2012. His passion for solving problems moved him towards Energy Sector and he is keen to learn about customer behavior towards Energy and find ways to influence the same towards Sustainability. .