Choosing The Best Timer For Your Hydroponic Garden

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One of the many great aspects of hydroponics is the amount of environmental control you can have over your hydroponic garden. One necessary tool is the hydroponic timer, a must-have for any hydroponic garden, especially one that’s indoors.

Here’s what you need to know about hydroponic timers for your garden.

How Timers Are Used To Control Aspects of A Hydroponic Garden

Timers can play an important role in a hydroponic garden. Depending on how your garden is set up, a hydroponic timer could be used to control several different aspects of your hydroponic garden.

Most often timers are using to control the lighting of a hydroponic garden. Plant varieties vary on the amount of light needed and light duration often needs to be changed during the course of the plant’s growth cycle. Using a hydroponic timer allows you to set up a perfect lighting schedule, turning your lights on and off at specific times.

A hydroponic timer can also be used to control when and how often your ventilation turns on and off.

Another area where a timer may need to be used is to control the nutrient flow intervals of the hydroponic garden. Some hydroponic systems, like ebb and flow systems, can be set on timers to flood the grow bed on regular intervals. Using a hydroponic timer can allow you to regulate how often and also how much your hydroponic garden is watered.

Here Are My Top 5 Hydroponic Timers 

My Top Hydroponic Timer Pick

Geeni Surge 6-Outlet Smart WiFi Surge Protector

My top pick is a little unconventional because it’s not really a timer it all; it’s a power strip. Geeni Surge 6-Outlet Smart WiFi Surge Protector is WiFi enabled and can be controlled via an app.

The app allows you to not only control the power to each outlet but also set up schedules for individuals outlets. That features makes it possible to control several different aspects of your hydroponic garden with tool/ app. There are also several other Geeni products such as single plugs, lights, cameras and alarms that can be added to and controlled by the app as well. This Geeni surge protector can not only control the main aspects of your hydroponic garden, but with add ons can be used to visually keep an eye on and monitor your whole system. The fact that you are given more control over your garden without having to purchase expensive automation equipment makes this 6-outlet/timer my top pick.

Geeni Surge 6-Outlet Smart WiFi Surge Protector

Pros

Cons

 WiFi capability to control remotely Smartphone needed for scheduling
 Surge protection
 6 outlets can be used to control your whole garden
 You can control outlets individually

Other Great Options

Century 7 Day Heavy Duty Digital Programmable Timer – Dual Outlet

The Century timer is a digital 7-day timer with dual outlets. This hydroponic timer actually comes in 2 different variations depending on if your hydroponic system is indoors or outdoors, the outdoor model being a few dollars more.

The dual outlets can be set up to mirror the same schedules or different schedules. This allows you to control more than one part of your hydroponic system, for example, a water pump and lighting. This hydroponic timer is a 7-day timer with 8 program modes. This can be overkill for a hydroponic system but does allow for flexibility and uses outside the hydroponic garden.

 

Century 7 Day Heavy Duty Digital Programmable Timer 

Pros

Cons

Can set a different schedule for each day Can be tedious to program
Dual Outlets
Ability to set outlets on separate schedules
Offered in both indoor and outdoor models

APC 4-Outlet Wall Surge Protector with Timer-Controlled Outlets

In addition to acting as a timer for your hydroponic garden, this product is also a surge protector. This can be important when it comes to running electronics like expensive grow lighting.

The surge protector has 4 outlets which can be set up to simultaneously power on and off all the outlets at the same time. Since they all work in unison and has surge protection, this hydroponic timer is perfect for controlling the lighting of a small hydroponic garden.

APC 4-Outlet Wall Surge Protector with Timer

Pros

Cons

Surge protection All outlets run on one schedule
Reliable
Comes with $50,000 protection policy
Lifetime warranty

GE 24-Hour Heavy Duty Indoor Plug-in Mechanical Timer

Some may find that the many other features of the other timers on this list slow them down. If so this simple mechanical timer is for you.

Don’t let the simplicity or the price fool you, this timer works great at keeping your hydroponic system on schedule. Simply press in the pins for the time you would like you hydroponic part to be on and the timer will repeat the schedule daily. I’ve found these timers to be really reliable and have used several of them on my own hydroponic systems.

GE 24-Hour Indoor Mechanical Timer

Pros

Cons

Very reliable Only 1 outlet
Simple to use
Extremely affordable

Conclusions

Timers are an important tool to use in a hydroponic garden. They can automate several tasks to save time and provide consistency. Hydroponic timers are inexpensive so I suggest picking up a good one to make controlling your hydroponic garden all the more easier.

Do you have a favorite hydroponic timer? Let us know in the comments!

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One answer

  1. wayne abroue
    March 26, 2019 at 11:33 pm

    Great article, I have always used the plain mechanical, which I found more reliable than the digital rail timers. Now, I only rely on my Raspberry zero. All parameters( temps, humidity, soil moisture,light,EC,PH, etc, logged to Dbase and by using a fairly simple Python app, I can time limit, and switch all devices, from lighting, misters, irrigation, ventilation by switching relays according to pre set levels. Runs on Solar, so no spikes or downtime. With the added advantage of been able to login remotely to see and intervene all parameters. All this at a great cost and learning a great skill as a bonus.

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