Temperature, humidity, and ventilation all play a part in creating the best environment for your plants. Environmental conditions can change quickly based on several different contributing factors, and it is impossible for most growers to be around their garden 24/7 to maintain an ideal environment. Controllers offer the option of automating aspects of the garden’s environmental settings so that ideal conditions are maintained without requiring the gardener to be present.
Growing indoors requires a delicate balance between providing adequate light for the plants with high powered lights in a confined space, while also keeping the temperature within that space at a level that encourages plant growth. Maintaining ideal temperature is usually accomplished with an inline fan that can exhaust the warm air, and sometimes a second inline fan is used as an intake, to bring fresh cool air into the grow space. For some situations, an inline fan is not enough to regulate the temperature, and an air conditioner will need to be used instead, or a heater if the gardener is dealing with a room that is too cold.
A temperature controller plugs directly into a standard wall outlet, the device used to regulate the temperature, whether that is a fan, AC unit, or heater, is then plugged into the controller and the gardener is able to set the designated range that the temperature should remain within on the controller. The device has a probe that is hung near the canopy of the plants and will sense when the temperature is out of range, and it will power on the AC unit or fan being used to regulate the temperature. Many of these controllers come equipped with a photocell. This is a component that enables the controller to recognize if it is day or night for the plants based off of the amount of light it receives, which enables the gardener to set specific temperature ranges for both day and night time.
You can find all of our temperature controllers here.
Relative humidity percentages are how we are able to quantify the amount of moisture in the air. Humidity plays an important role in indoor gardening, without it plants will not develop as quickly nor as well, but when there is too much humidity in a grow space this can quickly lead to mold, mildew, and disease. A humidity controller helps avoid this by keeping the amount of humidity present in the garden consistent and within the ideal range.
Similar to a temperature controller, this device is plugged straight into a standard wall outlet, the ideal range is set, and the equipment used to regulate the humidity is plugged straight into the controller. Usually the equipment is an inline fan used for exhausting the excess humidity, but these controllers will also work with dehumidifiers or humidifiers. Typically growers need to decrease the humidity in their garden, however these controllers usually have a switch, or some method of setting it to either “dehumidify” or “humidify” so that the device will know if it should switch on when the room is too humid or instead when it is too dry.
You can find all of the humidity controllers that we carry here.
The intake of fresh air and exhausting of old, stale air is usually managed with inline fans. This process of ventilation is essential for healthy plant growth, as without an ongoing exchange of air, the plants will use up all of the available CO2 present in their space until there is none left to be used, their development will then slow drastically and eventually they will die. A well functioning ventilation system will also help with maintaining temperature and humidity within the grow room.
Ventilation controllers are similar to both temperature and humidity controllers being that they plug directly into a wall outlet, and then the ventilation equipment is plugged into the controllers. A popular form of ventilation control are variable fan speed controllers such as the Speedster made by Control Wizard Products. This form of control allows the grower to alter the speed that their inline fan is operating at, by turning the dial to either low, medium, or high. For example if the grower notices a spike in their humidity or temperature, they can choose to increase the fan speed in order to exhaust the too hot or too humid air.
Another form of ventilation control comes equipped with a photocell similar to some temperature controllers. This enables the gardener to set different fan speed options for both day and night time. This is helpful when there is a significant drop in temperature during the plant’s night hours, the fan could be set for a reduced speed during it’s night period to help reduce the temperature decrease.
All of the ventilation controllers that we carry can be found here.
Introducing extra CO2 to a grow room can greatly increase the speed of the plant’s development as well as increasing potential yield at time of harvest. CO2 is certainly beneficial for indoor gardeners but it requires constant control as using too much in the garden is not good for the plant’s health and is a waste of a valuable resource.
CO2 controllers plug directly into a wall outlet, and come equipped with a probe that is meant to hang at or near the canopy level of your plants. The CO2 device, either a tank with a regulator or a CO2 generator, is then plugged into the controller and the controller is set to the specific range, which is usually between 1200-1400ppm (parts-per-million). The controller then allows the CO2 device to emit the beneficial gas into the garden and once the probe senses that the ideal level of CO2 in the air has been reached, it will turn off the tank or generator producing the CO2. The level of CO2 in the air will then decrease as the plants utilize it for the process of photosynthesis and as it falls out of the ideal range, the controller will allow the CO2 producing device to power back on. This cycle is repeated as often as necessary to maintain the ideal amount of CO2 in the grow room. These controllers come equipped with a photocell as well, as CO2 is only needed while the grow lights are on, the photocell allows the controller to prevent the tank or generator from emitting any CO2 during the dark hours.
All of the CO2 controllers that we offer can be found here.
With so many different pieces of equipment contributing to the environment of a grow room, purchasing an individual controller for each aspect of the garden may prove to be impractical and not very cost efficient. Rather than buying a multitude of controllers each capable of only handling one specific aspect of the garden’s environment, many growers will instead choose to purchase a main control hub, or multi-function controller, that is able to handle all of the various pieces of equipment needed for maintaining an environment that plants can thrive in.
These controllers are more sophisticated pieces of technology that offer a digital display, are programmable, and have min/max logging capabilities. This means that the minimum and maximum temperatures over a specific period (usually 12 hours) are saved and stored on the device so that the gardener can record these and note any dramatic changes or inconsistencies.
As time goes on, these controllers are becoming increasingly advanced. Growers used to dream of being able to control aspects of their garden while away from home, and that dream has quickly become a reality as devices such as the Motorleaf and Growlink controllers have become available. These “smart” controllers are the wave of the future and offer growers more access and control than ever before by being wifi-enabled. This allows the gardener to receive updates via email or on their desktop if there are any issues appearing in the grow, such as severe changes in temperature or humidity.
These controllers can also be paired with probes that can determine the pH and concentration of your nutrient solution, if it is out of range specific nutrient dosers will automatically apply pH adjusters as needed. As if that wasn’t impressive enough, these types of controllers can even be paired to a webcam, which can be left in the grow room so that the gardener can not only monitor the environmental conditions of their grow remotely, but they can even monitor their plants themselves.
You can find all of the multi-function controllers that we offer here.
The largest responsibility that falls on the shoulders of the indoor gardener is maintaining an environment that their plants can thrive in. Controllers assist growers with this responsibility by allowing them to automate the basic daily adjustments that need to be made in order to maintain that ideal environment. Many first time growers may see controllers as non-essential pieces of equipment but that could not be farther from the truth, as without a reliable controller, a grower would need to constantly monitor their garden to ensure that the temperature, humidity, and other environmental aspects remain in range.
Do you have questions about a specific controller, or about which controller will work best for your garden? For any of these questions, or any other issues regarding your garden, reach out to us here at Hydrobuilder! You can reach us at 888-815-9763 and any of our experienced professionals would be happy to help you find what is best for your situation.