[Need For Speed] Top Picks for Fan Controllers
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.
1. G.A.S. Enviro Controller
EC and/or AC fans
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:
- Light timer (up to 1,200W per exit cable)
- Any timer (e.g. pump)
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!
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
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.
- No power supply needed
- Plug & Play
- Active cable included (for connecting to fans)
- Thermostatic control
4. Control Freak Dynamic Frequency Fan Controller
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)
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!
5. Control Freak Single Fan Intelligent Controller
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
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)
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.