If you want to keep the surge protector that is completly okay. If you want the conveniance of automatic lighting than by all means get one of those timers from the hardware store and put it on the end of the surge protector, program it for what time you want your lights to turn on and off and then just plug you lights into the timer. All the rest of the electrical devices that need to stay on just plug directly into the surge protector. IE air pumps, filters, water pumps, skimers, you name it. All the stuff that needs to stay on does with the conveniance of auto lights.