Timers & Controllers
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Timers, Contactors & Controllers
Timers, Contactors and controllers are required to get on top of your variables and the most out of your garden. Timers plugged into lights allow us to simulate sunrise and sunset at times that can be user set while timers on pumps can set your feed duration in dripper type hydroponic systems. Timers are always useful when scheduled events happen on a daily basis - Timers go some way to automating the mundane tasks such as watering around your garden.
Timers are adequate if you’re powering up to 600w of light but you’ll need to upgrade to a contactor if you’re running anything more as simple timers running too much wattage could fuse the timer in the ‘on’ position resulting in your light schedule altering or the timer can heat up and run the risk of an electrical fire. Timers are perfect for use with active hydro systems that use a water pump to move nutrient solution to plant roots, such as an Ebb and Flow but you’ll need a digital or nutrient feed timer if your feed duration is less than 15mins since the tappets on analougue timers represent 15 mins each.
Contactor Relays have a similar function to normal timers but can cope with much higher wattages because the power for the unit is taken from one plug and the timer runs off another plug. Contactor units are particularly useful when used in conjunction with more than 600w of HID lights, as these types of lights have a large peak of electricity when firing up which could cause issues with a normal timer which could result in a fire in the most serious cases. We offer a range of contactor relays that safely output electricity to a number of outlets for UK plugs. We stock contactor relays with 2 outputs all the way up to 8-way. If you require a contactor relay with more output plugs, get in touch with us as we can supply units up to 28 outputs but these have to be physically wired into the fuse board by a qualified electrician. Bear in mind that all lights on a contactor will be on the same schedule, coming on and off at the same time. If you need to simultaneously run lights on a different schedule, you’ll need an additional contactor.
Controllers are smarter than their contactor relay cousins; rather than just on and off, controllers generally have a number of increments in between. Premium manufacturers such as Dimlux and Gavita have controllers that can power many lights from one unit with unparalleled user customisation. These types of controller can monitor grow-room variables like heat and reduce the output of lights if the ambient temperature gets too hot, restoring optimum levels.
All of our Timers, Contact Relays and Controllers are manufactured by trusted horticultural brands and are safe to use in an indoor garden environment for the purposes described in their blurbs. Make sure you never use a light over 600w on a normal timer as it is unsafe from an electrical standpoint.
If you’re unsure of the correct timer or controller for your equipment, email us or call our specialist team on 0800 085 7995 who can advise you on the best solution for your space and equipment wattage.