Controlling Outdoor lighting with Rachio

Okay, so here’s a crazy idea.

I’m installing some new outdoor lighting and I have some relatively dumb, old mechanical timers controlling my 12volt new LED lights. I was looking at a new electronic timer at Home Depot, but then it occurred to me that I’ve got extra stations in my Gen1 Rachio…and a Rachio would give me far more flexibility than a regular lighting timer.

The lighting timers are also 12v transformers, and I’ve got no illusions about actually powering the lights with my Rachio, but I think I could power a relay and then have the relay open or close the low-voltage circuit that would be powered by my old timer.

Has any one else done this? If so, exactly how did you do it?

Are you an electrical expert? If so, I need some help figuring out what relay to buy. (My understanding is that there are many flavors of Relays). Watering systems (like the Rachio) are 24v systems. The lights are 12v and the transformer powers up to 120 watts. Can you (either an electrical maven or someone in the Support Dept) point me in the right direction for a relay?

And now that I think of it, the solenoid in a sprinkler might do the trick in a more mechanical way. Any ideas about how to do that?

Maybe I’m a dreamer, but the idea of being able to control my lights from my cell phone is pretty attractive.

Any advice or ideas?

Thanks for helping.


@alcornb or @emil Pretty sure we have seen this request before and possible solutions?


My advice is to buy a zwave outlet and a Vera, or smart things or some other platform for automation. Trust me, you can do so many things with it.m like use a motion sensors or photocells or complicated schedules.

I know I’m relentless in this area, but your are trying to use a toaster as a George Forman grill, trust me

Look here: Landscape lighting