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How to Use Light Timers in Hydroponics

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Light timers can be important in hydroponics. You have light cycles that plants have to be exposed to, and you don't want to be manually turning lights on and off by yourself. That would be entirely too labor-intensive. So manufacturers have created easy tools that you can use to set light cycles up, and let automatic timers do their work. These are typically low-cost, simple electronic appliances that you hook into an outlet. Then you put the plug for the hydroponic lights into the front of the unit.

Here are some steps for effectively using the hydroponic timer.

Figure out light cycles

Before you buy a timer, you want to have a plan of roughly how you're going to set light cycles. Do you want a ‘12 and 12’ cycle of 12 hours light and 12 hours dark? Or do you want to have 18 hours of light with the remaining six hours of darkness? At some time, will you move to a 24-hour full light scenario? It's helpful to have these answers in place, and make sure that the timers support the range of hours that you're planning for.

Look for Grounded Timers

Ideally, you're going to want a grounded timer that has a round prong below the two connecting prongs that come with these appliances. Grounding helps to prevent certain types of electrical shocks. Make sure that you always keep your electrical components away from water to minimize the risk of electric shock.

Different readouts

Timer models are different. Some are just a dial -- others have handy LED digital readouts. Decide whether you need an analog or a digital readout for a hydroponic timer.

Install the timer

Plug your timer into the wall and plug the grow light plug into the timer. Set the timer for a few minutes and observe it to make sure that it works. You'll be able to give your plants specific light/dark cycles that will help them to thrive. It's important to make sure that in the dark cycle, you have effectively sealed out light so that your plants have true darkness.

For more on the nuts and bolts of hydro growing, check out Dealzer as we illustrate how the smartest drivers keep their plants in great condition no matter what they’re growing.

 
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