One of the most annoying parts about being a plant parent is figuring out how much light to give your plants. You can do all the research you want on what windows to put your plants in, how to provide them with indirect light, or how to effectively use grow lights for your plants; yet they could still get too little or too much light. The main reason this can happen is human error; forgetting to turn the lights on and off, not getting a ‘plant-sitter’ when you stay away from home for a longer period of time or just setting up your grow light incorrectly. This is where smart timers come into play.
What is a smart timer?
Smart timers are an important piece of equipment for your indoor garden that can be vastly undervalued. Timers have been used in everyday life for a long time. People use timers in sports, the kitchen, for laundry, and much more. Smart timers are a type of outlet plug you can plug into your wall outlet. From there, you can plug in whatever you want to these timers.
When you set the timers up to a certain time, the timer will block electricity flowing from the outlet into whatever you have plugged in. This allows for energy conservation as the lights will only be turned on for an exact amount of time, rather than a variable amount of time when you have to turn them on and off. Some timers are even controlled by voice command applications such as Alexa or Google assistant.
Why are timers important?
Timers for grow lights are the exact same concept as timers you set for your baking or for your laundry. They are designed to turn your lights on and off after certain periods of time. This can be useful for many reasons.
Firstly, the automation of your grow lights allows you to use that energy elsewhere in your daily plant care routine. Instead of worrying about what time you turned the light on and how long it has been on for, let a timer deal with that, and focus on the watering, pruning, or repotting that you have to do.
Along with this, timers are a good way to save on your energy bill. How many times have you woken up or returned home and forgot that you have left a light on? It might not seem like that big of an issue, but over the course of a year or two, those few minutes here and there will add up.
Timers are underrated when thinking of equipment for your plants. Plant pot, light, soil, pruning scissors, watering can and more are certainly important for your plants to survive and thrive, but timers can definitely make your life that much easier.
What are the best smart timers?
1. Analog Outlet Wall Timer
The Analog Outlet Wall Timer from Soltech Solutions is a great way to set your lights on a timer.
This timer from Soltech Solutions is a cheap, yet effective option for your indoor garden. You will be able to create light cycles of whatever length best suits your plants in seconds. Just turn the dials to the times you want your lights to turn on or off and you’re all set. This outlet will only work in the United States and Canada as it is 120Volts/60 Hz.
2. Digital Wall Timer
The Digital Wall timer from Soltech Solutions is an effective way to have your lights on automatic lighting.
The Digital Wall timer is suggested for use with the Highlight Track System, also provided by Soltech Solutions. This timer has self-adjusting technology, it can automatically adjust lighting times based on sunrise and sunset (this is important as you don’t have to change your timers for that pesky daylight savings time). The LCD screen allows for easy viewing of all information presented.
3. Teckin SP10 Smart Plug
The Teckin SP10 Smart Plug is compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Home for hands-free voice control.
This outlet plug has smart capabilities. Controlled by an app, you can turn off certain lights at certain times. Functions like this will only make your life easier as you can turn on your lights at the press of a button, from anywhere. If you happen to be out at dinner and forgot if you turned on the lights, you can always make sure by using your phone. This works with Alexa or Google assistant adding yet another perk to investing in smart technology.
4. myTouchSmart Programmable Indoor Plug-in Digital Timer
This timer from Walmart has 3 preset buttons to set timers on, it makes your life that much easier.
The myTouchSmart timer is another cheap option to consider when looking for a timer for your lights. This timer comes with one polarized outlet that you can plug your lights into. On the timer itself are the screen and the preset buttons, which allow for different timers to be set easily. The morning, evening and night modes allow you to set three different timers with one easy press of a button. The electric ratings for this timer are: 125V 50/60 Hz, 15A 1875W.
5. POWRUI Smart Power Strip
The POWRUI Smart power strip is a great tool to have when you have multiple light sources going on.
Say you have multiple different types of plants in your home. Monstera, hibiscus, or English ivy for example. Monsteras need about 5-8 hours of indirect light, hibiscus constantly need direct light and while English ivy prefers indirect light, they can survive in low light areas, so it will be important to not burn their leaves. Having this wide range of light requirements could be daunting, but by having this smart timer, you can have the lights go on and off at different times.
The best part about this plug is that it can connect to Alexa, so you are able to program timers and commands through your phone. Taking care of your plants has never been easier! The electric rating for this plug is 15A/1875W.
Timers for your plant lights may not have been high on the priority list when you first thought about starting a plant garden, but hopefully now you can understand their importance to your plants. From helping you save time and money on your energy bill to letting you rest easy on vacation, timers are very useful and you should make them a part of your indoor garden today!