Outdoor lighting from dusk and timer with existing transformor

I have two 300W transformers in my garden with LED lights. The transformer I have is here: https://www.amazon.com/Watt-Multi-Stainless-Steel-Transformer/dp/B001T94BP6/ref=cm_sw_em_r_dp_d_4D1iybPX05VTK_tt)

This is a setup that starts at dusk and go on for 4 hours. This has become an issue now that it senses “dusk” at odd times during cloudy days. I have been looking at ST and decided to make this my first project with ST.

What outdoor switch do I buy so I can get the same functionality? In my searches, I keep getting the GE outdoor switch but afaik, it cannot activate on dusk. What do I buy to activate my outdoor lighting at dusk and have a duration function without having to discard my existing Transformer or change my lighting? Thank you.

ANY - it’s not the “switch” it’s what controls it. It’s not a switch, it’s a receptacle.

I use the GE outdoor receptacle for the same app as you want. One could also replace the existing outdoor receptacle with a smart one. As long as the circuit is GFCI protected.

It can be done with ST’s smart lighting app - one app for on at sunset and one for off at whatever time you want.


As @Paul_Haskins said, in the SmartThings system restrictions like time of day or day of the week or temperature are not put on the device itself so they don’t have to be built into the device.

Instead, these restrictions are put on the rule that you set up.

This allows you to have different rules for different situations, all handling the same device.

One of the most common would be to have one rule for when you are home and a different rule for when you are away from home, but each controlling the same device.

So when Paul said “that controls the device” I just wanted to make it clear ( since you are not familiar with smartthings yet) that he didn’t mean yet another physical device, he just meant the rule that you set up in SmartThings.

That’s why you can use any networked outlet or plug in module that’s smart things can control and put the “dusk” restriction on it. :sunglasses:

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One small technical note: from a protocol standpoint, anything which can be turned on and off is a “switch.” That includes a wall switch, a relay module inside the wall, a wall receptacle, or a plug-in pocket socket.

For this reason, many manufacturers name their outlet devices, whether they are wired in or plug-ins, “Switches.”

This is why the GE device is named an “outdoor smart switch” even though in the forums we would call it a “pocket socket.” If you can turn it on and off, it’s technically a switch. :sunglasses:

But in the forum we tend to draw a distinction because people are usually only looking for one particular form factor. :level_slider::bulb:

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OK, back to the original question…

If your transformer doesn’t plug-in, the GE outdoor “switch” probably is not a match to the project. It’s designed for things that plug into it, as you can see from the photo above.

There are other devices that could be wired in line that would then give you a radio that could be controlled, but it’s going to be a little more complex project.

Other people can discuss those details, but I believe it should be possible.

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According to here http://www.bestprolighting.com/transformers-c-5/300w-multi-tap-stainless-steel-transformer-12v-15v-p-20

It has a 6 foot cord so would plug in.

  • technically it’s a switched receptacle :slight_smile:

Thank you, Paul and JDRoberts, for your quick responses. :smile:

The existing transformer does plug in. I was thinking that I can connect the GE switch in between the electrical outlet and the transformer, both outside. I was expecting to set some rules to turn it on and off in my ST that would talk to the GE device. So far so good. What sense the dusk or who decides when it is dusk? My Transformer has a photocell. Am I going to set a rule which says turn-on at 5 PM and turn off at 10 PM and then leave the existing Transformer to decide when it is dusk?

It is the dusk part that I am confused since the GE device is just a “switch”.

The smartthings cloud determines sunset and sunrise.


Sunset and Sunrise
SmartApps often need to take some action at or around the local sunrise or sunset time. The SmartThings cloud provides access to this type of rich data, and even generates events for the location (if the geofence is set). We can also get access to sunrise and sunset times using a ZIP code.

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I am using this in the exact way you are looking to use it. I can’t tell from the photo,but you may have an issue with the transformer not coming back on after a power outage. Some of the new transformers with digital control panels have that issue. Luckily mine is older and has a manual switch.

To test, turn it on, unplug it, wait 10 min and plug it back in. Did it come on? if so Rock&Roll the GE plug will work for you. IF not, you will need to find another transformer.

I use core, and tell it to turn mine on if ANY of my outdoor lux goes below 50lx.

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Thank you all. I just ordered a GE Z-Wave Wireless Lighting Control Outdoor Module. Thanks for all the guidance.

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You know you also need a smartthings hub as well, right? Just checking to be sure we haven’t confused things. :sunglasses:

I already bought the hub yesterday :relaxed:

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