Light Timers & Contactors
Control your lighting cycle, heating and feed times with our timers and contactors. You can buy them separately or together as a timer contactor.
All timers and contactors sold by us are tried, tested and can be trusted.
If you don’t know which one to choose, have a read of the frequently asked questions and their answers listed below.
Why do I need a Hydroponic Timer?
To automate on and off times. You can use them to control lights, irrigation times and more.
Why Do I Need a Contactor for my Timer?
You should always use a timer with a contactor to protect it from the high electricity load emitting from high wattage electronics.
Without one, your timer will likely fail, leading to your grow lights being left permanently on. If you notice the problem early enough, your cycle will be slightly disrupted – if the problem goes unnoticed for long enough, crop damage will be irreversible.
How Does my Contactor Protect my Timer?
Your timer is plugged into your wall as normal.
Your contactor has two plugs – one for your timer, another to go into the wall.
Rather than plugging your ballast, pump or heater into your timer, you plug it into your contactor.
When it’s time for your lights, pump or system to come on, your timer activates your contactor’s other power cable – the one that’s plugged into the wall socket.
Power then travels through your contactor, to your ballast, bypassing your timer altogether.
What Should I Check Before Buying a Timer and Contactor?
If you are using a combined timer contactor to power only one light, all you need is a single socket.
If using a separate timer and contactor, both will need to be plugged into the wall. This means you will need two available sockets.
Do I Need a Separate Timer and Contactor for Every Grow Light?
Absolutely not. You just need to buy a timer contractor that has multiple sockets – a ballast can be plugged into each one.
Something like an Exolux Lighting Timer Contactor is great. With one of these you can power up to 8 lights from 2 sockets while reducing the amount of cabling on your grow room floor.
Bear in mind, that any lights connected will come on at the same time. Any lights that need to run on a different cycle will need to be connected to a different timer contactor.
What’s the Difference Between a Manual and Digital Timer?
Manual timers are basic and easy to use.
You can control on and off times in 15 minute increments. For grow light timers, this is fine, as light on and off times are measured by the hour.
If you want to control on and off times down to the minute, you will need a digital timer that has the functionality to do so.
How do I set my Grow Light Timer?
To set your manual timer, turn your dial until your arrow points at the correct time.
Each time is represented by a number (the first two digits of the time on a 24 hour clock). For example, the number ‘19’ is 7pm.
Each toggle running around the outside of the dial represents 15 minutes. Set you ‘on’ periods by pushing the relevant ones in.
Digital timers are different – normally programmed using buttons and an LCD display.
What’s the Best Timer for Automating Feed Times?
It depends on your feed times. If you’re feeding times last less than 15 minutes, you’ll need a digital timer. Otherwise, a manual timer is fine.
It’s worth remembering that some growing systems (like the IWS Flood & Drain system) already have an inbuilt timer so you may not need to buy one.
Are there alternative timers for lights?
You can use a controller to automate your light on and off times.
If you’ve got Gavita lights, you can use a Gavita Master Controller to automate light on and off times.
These lights can also mimic the pattern of natural daylight when in sunrise and sunset mode, where they slowly dim or boost over 30 minutes.
Likewise, if you have Dimlux lights, you can use a Dimlux Maxi Controller to do the same.