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Old 04-12-2007, 02:16 AM   #1
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Light timer

Hi. I have a question regarding an effective lighting method. I have a 48'' nova extreme light. For those that are not familiar with this light, it has four power cords. 1 for the fan, 1 for the lunar lights, 1 for the white lights and 1 for the actenics. I just bought a digital Coralife Aqualight(hopefully someone is familiar with this timer).

Here is my thinking on the way I would like to set up the lights. For arguments sake, I am just going to use times to illustrate my point, not necessarily actual.

10:00am - actinics on/fan on
1:00 pm - whites on
7:00 pm - whites off
10:00 pm - actinics off/fan off
lunar lights are constant on(LED's)

The problem I am having is that this timer does not seem to offer this diversity. It has 2 daytime outlets and 2 nighttime outlets, which cannot be on at the same time. When daytime outlets are on, nighttime outlets are off, and vice versa.

I personally like the idea of the lights overlapping each other as I detailed above, but with the apparent limitation of the timer it does not seem possible.

What is the ideal way of running white and actenics, should they be on together at some point or should they actually alternate? Whites only on for part of the day, and then actenics only on for part of the day?

I could buy another one of these timers to fix my problem but would like to get some input from others on what may be the best practice for running lights, or possibly getting this timer to do what I want. TIA.
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Old 04-12-2007, 02:55 AM   #2
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You can have the actinics come on an hour or so before and stay on for the same after, the white lghts go on/off. That gives a pleasant dawn/dusk effect. I would recommend running them all together for the majority of your photoperiod. That will provide the most light, and allow for max. performance. I can't offer info on the timer, I am not familiar w/ it. HTH
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Old 04-12-2007, 03:14 AM   #3
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Most timers like the one you got do not offer the range of timing you are looking for. I had a similar situation with a timer like that and I ended up buying 3 seperate timers and setting them to seperate times to accomplish the dawn to dusk effect. I would suggest getting 3 individual timers...that way if one fails you aren't without lighting at all...the expensive one I started out with crapped out on me and I was without lights until I replaced.
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Old 04-12-2007, 11:19 AM   #4
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Personally, I only run my lights for 8 hours and run that same set up with all the lights at the same time. You can get a Timer but make sure you get the larger timer to accomodate the larger plugs from your lights.
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Old 04-12-2007, 12:03 PM   #5
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Ziggy nailed it. I ended up with three separate timers also. I searched high and low and couldn't find a single timer unit that did what you're talking about. And as roka64 noted, make sure whatever timer you get can take the three-pronged plug from your lights. I almost ended up with timers that were only two-holers. It was only when I was carrying them to the checkout counter at HomeDepot that I noticed it!

I ended up with some funky overseas digital timers that HelloLights was clearing out. Think the brand was "excel" or something like that. I just checked HelloLights website, and I see they don't have them anymore. They were cheap (like $8.00 each or something!) but I can't say I'd recommend them. Seems like if you bump it just right, it clears its program memory, and you get to reset it all over again. Kind of a pain, but I got what I paid for.
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Old 04-12-2007, 12:18 PM   #6
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I bought my timers from Wal-Mart, for $12-15, if I remember correctly.
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Old 04-12-2007, 10:28 PM   #7
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I like having seperate timers..it allows me to contorl the lights better. I have 2 MH bulbs and then my VHO Super Actinics....they are small and much easier and cheaper to replace then a large timer system. Of course the next option is to go computer controller.....
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Old 04-13-2007, 01:32 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Ziggy953
...Of course the next option is to go computer controller.....
Hmmm... sounds like someone else (other than me) is drooling over (trying to justify?) the Lighthouse Controller at Premium Aquatics too, eh?
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