CLA Connect Open Forum

Please advise me with lighting

  • 1.  Please advise me with lighting

    Posted 02-13-2018 11:13
    I'm very new in this business and need all kind help and every input will help me. I'm trying to keep my store open till midnight and the auto lock system will be installed within next few days. So the doors will automatically open and close. My problem and puzzle is lighting and open sign that will remain on. Can someone tell me if there is a way to control  lighting and open sign ? Please advice me what to do.

  • 2.  RE: Please advise me with lighting

    Posted 02-13-2018 13:31
    Easy to do with a timer. You will need a heavy duty one, not a plug in the wall type.

    Brad Seder
    Store Owner/ Employee
    Santa Rosa CA

  • 3.  RE: Please advise me with lighting

    Posted 02-13-2018 14:55
    I don't use it (for laundry lights, as we are mostly attended - we do use it for the outside lights, it was there when we bought the building from the previous owner). But my laundromat does have a timer system that automatically turn on and off the lights that look to be commercial grade. This timer system seems to be analogue system where you "program" it by having a 12-hr disk that you can turn the dial to indicate current time then have two metal tabs to indicate what time to turn off and turn off. I try not to touch it too much as I don't fully understand it. But I guess that means there are solutions. That system is based around ~2005 technology. If you want that approach, I can take a picture and send it to you so help identify that system to find someone who can install that system. Just sent me a PM.

    That said, I have noticed advertisements that does "smart lighting" for homes. Such systems should work for lighting in a home should also work for a business. And if there's a consumer product, then there are commercial grade systems that work with type of technology too. And then there's the techie solution of programming an Arduino.

    Antoine Vo
    Store Owner/ Employee
    Les Laundry Inc
    Everett MA

  • 4.  RE: Please advise me with lighting

    Posted 02-13-2018 22:00
    Get an intermatic T101 timer

    Timothy Foster
    Multi-Store Owner/ Employee

  • 5.  RE: Please advise me with lighting

    Posted 02-13-2018 22:13
    The Standard of the industry is the tried, true, and reliable Intermatic timer.
    This is what it sounds like Antoine is describing.

    Intermatic T101 24 Hour Dial Timer
    A Basic Timer used in lighting, as well as heater control, sign control, and just about anything else where you just need to have something turned on and off.
    There are set screw pegs that are installed to flip the switch on and off.
    You can add just about as many pegs as you like to get whatever program you want.

    The Timer also comes in a DPST (double pole/switches- off/on) version.
    I have used this version to control a 220v line or two 120v lines at the same time.
    I see a listing for a DPDT as well, but have never found a need for it.

    Some laundromats I work on have a long row of these timers to control;
    *doors opening in the morning,
    *various banks of light coming on (am) and turning off (pm)
    *turning on or off the ceiling fans.
    *turning off the electricity to the water heater at night, so you don't need to waste energy heating water when you will never need it
    *turning on and off open, or other signage, both window and street.
    *even turning off the changer after a certain time at night to stop late washing

    If you use it to turn Off you lights at night, I would suggest adding a Photo sensor outside, into the circuit. This way the lights can turn on or off whenever it is dark or light enough.
    Just make sure the sensor is on the Output side of the timer, or it will shut off the motor running the timer, and never turn on when it's supposed to.

    It's available at Home Depot, Lowes, Amazon, and most everyplace else that carries electrical supplies.

    Service Technician since 1986
    and sometimes Laundromat Owner
    Santa Barbara, CA

  • 6.  RE: Please advise me with lighting

    Posted 02-14-2018 11:14
    Mira & others,

    I am not sure how great the auto-lock & auto-open works but those of us who physically lock up at night & physically open in the morning just flip a switch & have more control over the exact best moment to flip the light switches on or off.  I am not saying that your choice is not a good fit for your specific operation though!

    At our place because of our large thermopane glass windows we did do a technie tranducer device thingy in conjunction with the lighting in our clear polycarbonate dog wash building.  It does save significant lighting cost in the area close to those windows when the outdoor daylight is strong enough.  We did our dog wash that included environmental controls on the PLC besides just the HMIs etc so it was almost no extra effort.  It was kind of silly when we got a bid from a local contractor on our new LED lighting & the contractor tried to tell me that the cost for that kind of control would be sooo expensive that I was crazy to even consider it.  Long story short he did not get the job because he insisted on his way or the hiway.  It turned out to be an in house low voltage project that you guessed it ... we still have some minor loose ends to finish ... mostly in our back rooms though.  We knew we were getting spread a bit thin but the old axiom ... to do it right ... do it yourself actually held true IMHO in this situation.

    Michael Walsh
    Store Owner/ Employee
    King Koin Laundry, Car n Dog Wash
    Bismarck ND

  • 7.  RE: Please advise me with lighting

    Posted 02-14-2018 12:06
    ​You can purchase an timer switch that replaces the light switch. They sell them at Home Depot & Lowes, they wire the same as the flip switch and fit into the same slot as your existing light switch. You can set it to come on and off as you like and it has a push button if you need to turn on while lights are programed to off. They cost about $40; I installed these for my outside lights but can be used for any lights.

    Store Owner/ Employee


  • 8.  RE: Please advise me with lighting

    Posted 02-14-2018 15:42
    I know the old mechanical timers are tried and true but limited in there functions.
    All you can do is set the pegs for on/off and that is what it does every day.
    Lose power and you have to reset the timer to the correct time.
    Daylight savings time you have to reset time.

    I like the Digital timers because you can set a schedule if your hours vary like weekdays and weekends.
    You can also set them for daylight savings time.
    If you lose power you do not lose the schedule.
    Basically set it and forget it.

    K J
    Store Owner/ Employee

  • 9.  RE: Please advise me with lighting

    Posted 02-15-2018 08:59
    I agree, the digital is the way to go. The dial timers work well but if you are using them in conjugation with other timed devises the digital can be timed to the minute and have built in battery back-up.

    Chris Mirisciotta
    Store Owner/ Employee
    Canon Coin Laundry
    Canonsburg PA