Automating the grow room with timers and controllers
Creating automation in the grow room should be your ultimate goal as a grower. With the technological advances in grow light timers and controllers, there is no reason you should feel chained to your indoor garden. Using these to control your grow lights cuts down on human error, and grants you a little more freedom.
What is the difference between a grow light timer and an HID grow light controller?
A standard grow light timer is great for 1 or 2 lights, and these are typically low wattage and amps. These can be mechanical or digital, and are easy to use. You can also use these to automate your pumps, fans, light movers, etc. Timers keep plants on a set light schedule, which cuts down on stress caused by light leaks or sporadic light periods.
An HID grow light controller is designed for use with four or more high wattage grow lights simultaneously. These are generally used in larger indoor gardens or commercial greenhouses, because they can withstand high power demands. Controllers allow growers to monitor temperatures, and dim lights if they reach harmful levels. Some controllers have an emergency shut off feature, with an alarm that will notify you when equipment has been deactivated.
What is a grow light flip box?
A grow light flip box allows you to run two different sets of lights with only one set of ballasts, by alternating their light cycles. For example, growers using a flip box would be able to operate 16 lights with only 8 ballasts. These are another must have for commercial applications, because they double production, save money on equipment, and maximize available power.
Selecting the best grow light timer and controller
When selecting a timer or controller for the grow lights in your garden, you need to consider the level of automation you wish to achieve, along with your budget.
Some of our grow light controllers and timers have photocell, a feature which allows growers to achieve full automation in the grow room. When the lights are off, a controller with photocell will turn off exhaust fans or CO2 generators, since these are not needed when plants are sleeping. During the lights on period, the photocell feature reactivates everything that needs to be turned on while the lights are on.
It is also important to consider the number of outlets in your grow room and the supply voltage necessary. Hobby growers may only need 1-2 outlets, and can probably operate off a standard 120 Volt supply. Commercial growers, however, can need up to 20 outlets, and generally a greater supply voltage, such as the popular 240 Volt.
Another consideration will be whether you want your timer or controller hardwired into your house or facility electrical system. Some of the units here at Hydrobuilder do not have a standard 120/240 volt plug, and growers will need to consult an electrician prior to use.
If you want to learn more about grow lights, visit our learning center! If you have any questions about grow light timers, controllers, flip boxes, or any of the parts and accessories we carry, give one of our experienced growers a call today at 888-815-9763.