02/28/2022 | Hydroponics | 9 MINUTE READ

Finding the Best Hydroponic Timers for your Hydroponic System

When you want to grow any type of plant, there are numerous growing methods at your disposal, which include everything from vertical gardening to hydroponics. The hydroponics growing method has become increasingly popular over the past decade because of its ability to grow plants without the use of soil. Instead of soil, hydroponics uses a nutrient-rich solution to provide plants with everything they require to survive and thrive.

Keep in mind that there are numerous types of hydroponic systems that you can use to grow plants. These systems include a wick system, an ebb and flow system, a drip system, and an aeroponic system. Regardless of the type of system you opt to use, you will need to pair the plants with a substrate, which is a material that’s used in place of soil. The various substrates that plant roots can be positioned in extend to perlite, rockwool, and peat moss.

The steps involved with creating a hydroponic system largely depend on the type of system that you’re using. For instance, a wick system is ideal for growing smaller plants and herbs. You’ll also discover that the wick hydroponic system can be set up without needing to use electricity, which isn’t the case with all types of hydroponic systems.

Managing a hydroponic system is also relatively straightforward. Make sure that the plants you use all have a similar composition to one another. Unless you have multiple hydroponic beds, you will be tasked with circulating a nutrient-rich solution through the system to provide your plants with all of the nutrients they require. Each plant has its own nutrient requirements, which you should take into account if you want your plants to survive.

A goal of yours when maintaining a hydroponic system should be to do so efficiently and effectively. If you waste too much of your nutrient-rich water or find that your plants aren’t getting the types of nutrients they need, costs can quickly balloon. One item that can help you improve your hydroponic system is a timer, which will allow you to automate the process of nutrients being circulated to the plants. This article examines the numerous hydroponic timers on the market to determine which one is right for you.

Hydroponic plant

Benefits of a Hydroponic System

One of the reasons that hydroponic systems have become increasingly popular in recent times is because of the many benefits that they provide. The primary benefit of this growing method involves the high yields that it produces. You have the ability to control how much and what types of nutrients your plants receive, which increases the likelihood that a high percentage of these plants will survive.

The same isn’t true with traditional growing methods. When you grow plants outdoors in soil, you’ll need to contend with pests as well as a lengthier growing cycle. These issues make it more likely that a high percentage of plants won’t survive for long. The top benefits that are derived from using a hydroponic system include:

  • Much faster growing cycle than traditional farming
  • No pests to contend with
  • Larger yields in most situations
  • Aesthetically pleasing
  • Nutrient dosing is easy
  • Issues can be identified early on
  • Automation is simple
  • Doesn’t require much space

While this form of farming is highly advantageous for most growers, there are also some issues that you should be aware of. The main problems that you might encounter with hydroponic growing include:

  • Upfront costs are usually higher
  • You will need to use nutrients
  • Without automation, growing can take longer
  • Beginners might find this growing method challenging
  • Setup can be complicated

Why Use a Hydroponic Timer?

Timers can be highly beneficial when you’re using a hydroponic system to grow any type of plant. Depending on what type of hydroponic garden you’re using, you can use a timer to control numerous aspects of the growing process. The right timer gives you the opportunity to automate such functions as nutrient flow and ventilation. More automation means that you will be able to reduce the amount of time you spend managing your hydroponic system, which isn’t possible with a traditional garden. Overall, hydroponic timers allow you to improve a system’s efficiency.

Plant growing in hydroponic setting

Applications & Uses of Hydroponic Timers

There are numerous applications associated with hydroponic timers, which include everything from lighting control to ventilation control. The applications you use a timer for depend on the type of hydroponic system that’s installed in your home or facility. In many cases, timers are used to effectively control how a hydroponic garden is lit.

Since different plants require different amounts of light, the duration of your lights may need to be changed at different intervals throughout the growing process. By using a hydroponic timer, it’s possible for you to create the ideal lighting schedule that keeps the lights on and turns them off at the right times.

You can also use a hydroponic timer to control the ventilation system that’s paired with your hydroponic garden. Once the timer has been installed correctly, it can signal when the time is right for your ventilation system to turn off and on.

As touched upon earlier, you could also look into using a hydroponic timer to manage the flow intervals of the nutrients that you’re using in your garden. While ebb and flow hydroponic systems are already set up to accommodate different flow intervals, other hydroponic systems don’t have this function. When using a hydroponic timer, you can regulate how often your garden is watered.

Within the agricultural industry, hydroponic gardens are on the rise. Because of the benefits derived from this growing method, commercial and residential plant growers alike are having hydroponic systems installed. Commercial growers tend to use large slide bench systems or ebb and flow systems to grow a high number of plants at a time. Home hydroponic systems tend to come in the form of water culture hydroponic systems.

Clock alarm sounding

Our Favorite Hydroponic Timers

While there are dozens of great hydroponic timers that you can pair with your garden, the following is a detailed overview of our favorite timers that are currently on the market.

Geeni Smart WiFi Surge Protector (4.2 ⭐️)

Technically, the Geeni surge protector is a power strip as opposed to a timer. However, you can control this WiFi-enabled device with a mobile app. This app gives you the ability to control how much power is delivered to each outlet. You’re also provided with the option of setting schedules for each outlet, which allows the surge protector to function as a timer.

The primary benefits of this timer include:

  • Surge protection capabilities
  • WiFi functionality that allows for remote control
  • Ability to control individual outlets
  • Six outlets available for entire hydroponic garden

The main issues attributed to this timer include:

  • You need a smartphone to schedule timer intervals
  • Does not have full timer functionality

Review & buy the Geeni Surge Protector now

GE Heavy-duty Mechanical Timer (4.6 ⭐️)

This is a basic mechanical timer that provides you with the ability to set a daily schedule for your hydroponic garden. Despite the simplicity of this device, it has the highest user rating of all of the products in this guide. Once you set the timer to a specified schedule, it will repeat this schedule on a daily basis.

The primary benefits of this timer include:

  • Consistent and reliable
  • Easy to use
  • Very affordable

The main issues attributed to this timer include:

  • Only a single outlet
  • Doesn’t have as many features as other outlets

Review & buy the GE Mechanical Timer now

APC Surge Protector (4.1 ⭐️)

The APC surge protector offers dual functionality that allows the device to function as a surge protector and a timer, the former of which can be useful if you have numerous grow lights in your garden. This device is outfitted with four outlets that can be placed on the same schedule. Because the outlets are only able to work on one schedule, this device is ideal for a small hydroponic garden.

The primary benefits of this timer include:

  • Surge protection
  • Very reliable
  • Includes lifetime warranty
  • Has a $50,000 protection policy

The main issues attributed to this timer include:

  • Only one schedule is allowed for all outlets
  • Doesn’t work well with larger hydroponic gardens

Review & buy the APC Surge Protector now

Century Digital Programmable Timer (4.5 ⭐️)

This is a feature-rich digital timer that’s equipped with two outlets. Keep in mind that outdoor and indoor variations of this product are available to accommodate outdoor and indoor hydroponic gardens. You can set the outlets to have the same schedule or completely different schedules. This seven-day timer comes with eight distinct modes.

The primary benefits of this timer include:

  • Different schedules can be set for different days
  • Two outlets
  • Each outlet can have a different schedule
  • Available in outdoor and indoor models

The main issues attributed to this timer include:

  • Programming the device can be difficult
  • Not all modes are necessary for hydroponics

Review & buy the Century Digital Programmable Timer now

Nearpow Timer (4.5 ⭐️)

This is a digital timer with a single outlet that’s designed to save energy whenever possible. The timer is outfitted with an LCD screen that’s easy to read when you want to set a schedule for your hydroponic garden. Along with daily timing, it’s possible to set interval periods.

The primary benefits of this timer include:

  • Large LCD screen
  • Weekly schedules are allowed
  • Different warning tones for schedule changes

The main issues attributed to this timer include:

  • Can be difficult to program
  • Doesn’t have WiFi

Review & buy the Nearpow Timer now

Finding the Right Hydroponic Timer for Your Hydroponic System

If you’re searching for the best timer for your hydroponic system, there are many fantastic and reliable options for you to choose from. Hydroponic growing is a great way to obtain higher yields and grow your plants indoors.

While hydroponic systems aren’t for everyone, they can help you save time and money. You can reduce the amount of time you spend managing the system with the right timer. It’s also possible to keep water quality high by regularly testing your water with pH sensors and conductivity sensors.

Posted by Sensorex on February 28, 2022

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