[Need For Speed] Top Picks for Fan Controllers

[Need For Speed] Top Picks for Fan Controllers

Dan
Dan
20 Jul 2018

Still running fans at full speed, all the time?

Don't do that - you get dips and spikes in your grow room temperature, and you won't be able to extract more air if you need to. 

You're much better off choosing a more powerful fan and slowing it down. You've got a bigger margin for responding to temperature spikes. And, with the right controller, this set up is cheaper and quieter to run.

Here are our top picks.

EC vs. AC

Normally, you need an EC controller for EC fans, and an AC controller for AC fans.

EC fans & controllers are by far the best to use - they reduce running costs by up to 85% (we did the maths!)

1. G.A.S. Enviro Controller

EC and/or AC fans

£319.95


If you want to mix & match EC and AC fans the G.A.S. Enviro is the controller for you. It'll connect to EC fans, AC fans and at least 2 other bits of kit. That's your humidifiers, lights, pump and/or any timer. As long as you can connect your device via a timer and you don't overload your exit ports, job's a good'un!

Connects EC & AC Fans

2 intakes (1 for EC, 1 for AC)
2 outtakes (1 for EC, 1 for AC)

2 exit ports

These connect to:

  • Humidifiers
  • Dehumidifiers
  • Heaters
  • Light timer (up to 1,200W per exit cable)
  • Any timer (e.g. pump)

Inbuilt balancer

You can run intake and outtake fans at different speeds. This way, you extract more air than you draw in, and unfiltered air won't seep out of your tent!

Dump Override

At set times for a couple of minutes, fans run at their max speed to completely replace the air in your room. This is great for CO2 & humidity control in closed loop rooms.

2. G.A.S. EC1 Controller

EC fans

£71.95

For thermostatic control at decent price, you want the G.A.S EC1

Everything's set with 3 large dials, and installation's plug & play. You don't even need a spare plug to run it - the controller's powered by fans. 

It's not as swanky as the Enviro controller, but it's a big step up from the ECSP. For the price, you can't go wrong.

  • No power supply needed
  • Plug & Play
  • Active cable included (for connecting to fans)
  • Thermostatic control

3. G.A.S Speed Controller (ECSP)

EC fans

£23.95

The G.A.S ECSP controller lets you run intake fans and outtake fans at separate speeds. 

If your intake & outtake fan are the same size, you need to run your intake fan around 20% slower.

Otherwise, your tent can overfill, and air starts seeping out before it's been through your carbon filter. Odours start escaping. 

Both this controller and the G.A.S Enviro Controller let you run fans at different speeds to counter this.

  • No power supply needed
  • Plug & Play
  • Active cable included (for connecting to fans)

Just remember, you don't get thermostatic control with this one. For that, you'll need the EC1 or Enviro controller

4. Control Freak Dynamic Frequency Fan Controller

AC fans

£274.95


The Control Freak Dynamic Frequency Controller is so much cheaper to run than most AC controllers that it's more of an investment than purchase.

It's also much quieter to run & prolongs your fan life. Savings aside, this thing's just a damn good controller - really great to geek out over.

Smooth operation (no buzzing)

To slow AC fans:

Resistor controllers clip the fan's wavelength (causes buzzing, fans still use full power)

The Control Freak stretches the wavelength (no buzzing, and fans use way less enegy) 

Bandwidth


Your bandwidth defines how quickly fans change speed.

At your set minimum temp: fans run at minimum speed
At your set minimum temp + bandwith: fans run at full speed

With a tight bandwidth (2oC) fans speed can change very quickly.
At a looser bandwidth (5oC), fans change speed more slowly.

90 Speed Settings

You get 90 speeds from 10% - 100%! It’s easier to reach your target temperature and fans run smoothly! 

 

Energy Saving AC vs Control Freak Energy Saving AC vs Control Freak

Energy Saving

Most AC Controllers use almost full power, no matter how slowly you run fans. 

With a Control Freak, fans use less power at slower speeds (50% slower, you use 50% less power).

Even if you run fans at 90% speed, you still save 10% on running costs. 

5. Control Freak Single Fan Intelligent Controller

AC fans

£44.95

For basic thermostatic control of 1 fan, the Control Freak's Single Fan Controller is a slick little option. It ticks the main boxes, doesn't cost much to buy and is quiet to run, too. 

You get precise control with:

  • 1oC speed adjustments
  • 50 speed settings
  • Temperature sensor included

It's 5A, good enough to handle most sized AC fans. 

6. Variispeed Fan Controller

AC fans

£9.95

If you're not bothered about running costs and noise, the Variispeed Fan Controller's a nice, simple option.

There are no bells and whistles, and this fan controller doesn't respond to your grow room temperature. 

But it does what it says for a decent price, and we respect that. For a tenner, you can't knock it - just be warned, it will make fans hum. 

 

7. Gavita Master Controllers EL1F & EL2F

EC fans (can connect to AC fans)

from £389.95

The EL1F and EL2F are amazing controllers! The only reason they don't nab a top spot in this list is that they're not technically fan controllers. They're light controllers. 

Still - if you've got Gavita Lights, this is definitely the controller to use. 

Out of the box it'll connect to EC fans, giving full thermostatic control. With an EFM1 connector, you can link it to AC fans. 

With the EL2F model, you can create two grow rooms, and run them on different lighting cycles. There are two temperature probes - one for each room. If you have a separate floweing and vegging room, this controller's all your Christmases rolled into one. It's really something to get your knickers in a twist over. 

 


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Dan
Dan
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