Just like humans, plants need favorable conditions to grow. The natural conditions are not always in harmony with our needs. Specifically, when dealing with plants as sensitive as cannabis, you need to meet specific and precise conditions for better growth. For such scenarios, many brands offer high-tech grow room controllers.
A grow room controller ensures that you get the maximum harvest out of your efforts. However, there are so many controllers to choose from. How would you know which one is the right one? Today, we will look at the top eight models of grow room controllers. So, you can decide faster and get the right help in looking after your plants.
What is a Grow Room Controller?
A grow room controller helps growers in monitoring the aspects crucial to plant health such as grow lights, heat, moisture, CO2, etc. You can control all these conditions according to the plant’s specific needs without personally monitoring it. This device helps you in giving your plant the optimal growing conditions regardless of the weather outside.
What to Consider When Buying a Grow Room Controller?
It is not like you are buying a grow room controller every day. So, you must be very considerate while choosing the best one for you.
Here are a few things you need to focus on when buying a controller.
Easy to Use
Always make sure that it has a user-friendly design. A grow room controller must allow you to set the conditions without exerting too much effort. You should not feel lost while navigating through the options.
A grow room controller should be made of durable materials. One that would break too soon is not what we are looking for. Do not forget to look for an enclosure. It must be present to protect the internal components from external factors.
Make sure to get one with a clear display. It should display the current grow room temperature and humidity control. You should be easily able to set the new temperature and humidity without putting much effort.
First, the controller must have an alarm system. Second, the sound of the alarm must be loud enough to immediately notify you if the temperature in your grow room drops or exceeds your selected threshold.
Always check the warranty for the product you are buying. A grow room controller should have a warranty of at least one to three years. A quality product always has a longer warranty against defect.
People think that investing in a grow room controller is not worthy. It is probably because they are not clear on grow room automation and how it works. Buying the right one will not only increase your chances of success in gardening but will also make sure that your plant remains alive and healthy.
Temperature control is crucial to plants. If it is too high, the air inside will move faster and hold more water molecules. This will affect the humidity level as well. The plants will get stickier and not in the right condition. Whereas, if the temperature goes below the limit, the air inside will hold fewer water molecules. This will lower the humidity levels.
A grow room controller provides you with the required temperature regardless of the weather outside. For every plant, there is a different right temperature based on various factors, including location, kind, etc.
However, for cannabis, when the lights are on, the ideal temperature exists between 68 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit. Older cannabis plants can handle temperature as high as 82 degrees Fahrenheit.
Whereas when the lights of the grow room are off, the ideal temperature zone drops to 62 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit. Remember that these temperatures should not be affected by the time of the day.
Too much humidity can affect the plant badly. The worst thing that can happen is rotting. The plant will die eventually. Development of white mold on the leaves can consequently affect the yield quality overall. Humidity above the desired level can prevent the plant from taking in CO2, resulting in blocking the photosynthesis process.
Similarly, too little humidity will affect the plant’s growth. It will stop getting essential nutrients that are crucial to survival.
A grow room controller provides the best controls for humidity. In the case of cannabis, the humidity level changes according to the growth stage of the plant.
- The ideal humidity for clones or saplings is between 70 to 75 percent.
- During the vegetative stage, keep it between 50 to 70 percent.
- When the flowering stage arrives, set it to 40 to 50 percent.
- For the final stage of harvesting, it should fall between 45 to 50 percent.
In short, If the temperature and/or humidity goes up or down the desired levels, it will badly affect the plant. Pests and bugs can also be an additional problem.
#8 Best Grow Room Controllers
Here is the list of top eight grow room controllers:
1. Hydrofarm APCEM2 Autopilot
Hydrofarm is a US-based company and one of the oldest wholesalers of indoor and outdoor gardening tools. They take pride in their finest hydroponic equipment and high-intensity grow-lights, which are famous worldwide. Specifically, there grow room controllers speak for themselves. One of their best ones is a Hydrofarm APCEM2 Autopilot Desktop CO2 Monitor and Data Logger.
If you are looking for an accurate, affordable and user-friendly CO2 monitor with innovative features, this is the one. It has a clear display system which features the recorded CO2, humidity, and temperature levels. The readings are adjustable over 24 hours or seven days.
There is a reason why this one is on the top of our list. The features of Hydrofarm APCEM2 Autopilot Desktop CO2 Monitor are quite amazing. Along with a crystal-clear display of CO2, temperature and humidity levels, it also gives trend charts which show variable Minute/Hour/Day/Week for their analysis. This makes it easier for you to track the slightest changes in the conditions.
Hydrofarm APCEM2 Autopilot bears a two-channel low drift non-dispersive infrared gas sensor. It has an audible alarm system which will notify you of high/low CO2 levels in time. It also has an alarm function for extreme environmental conditions.
To make it easier for you to see the readings even from a distance, it has three different colored LEDs.
- Yellow for high
- Green for target
- Red for low
There is a built-in directory which contains general CO2 requirements of common plant types. It has two empty slots for custom inputs, allowing you to customize CO2 limits according to your needs. It also reminds you for refilling CO2. The smart controller calculates the CO2 need based on the use in the past five days.
Hydrofarm APCEM2 Autopilot requires a simple and green power supply to charge. Its power supply is compatible with a standard smartphone charger. Any standard USB port that supplies power can run it.
- Highly accurate and precise
- Highly affordable
- Easy readings
- Compatible with a standard smartphone charger
- Compact and Lightweight
- Memory charts down to per minute analysis
- No warranty specified
- Missing in-built memory
- No data-to-PC export function
2. Titan Controls Spartan Series Grow Room Controller
Based in the Pacific Northwest, Titan controls is one of the leading manufactures in hydroponic equipment. They deal greatly in environmental controllers, lighting controllers, humidity controllers, precision timers, climate controllers, and CO2 monitors. They have introduced many great series of gardening equipment, including the famous Spartan Series. The grow room controller from this series is one of the best ones on the market.
A 10 x 6 x 10 inches unit of Spartan Series Grow Room Controller from Titan Controls is the one to get for precise monitoring of your grow room. This controller allows you to control the environment in your grow room with an easy-to-understand analog interface.
You can program it easily with a set of knobs, each of them separately dedicated to controlling CO2, temperature, and humidity. The controller’s display is digital and easy-to-read, attached to the sensor in the grow room that measures all the conditions with a 15 feet cord.
An enclosure keeps it safe from external conditions such as rust, dust, and moisture. Still, it weighs only 4.9 pounds, makes it easy-to-mount equipment. It requires a power supply with 120 Volts to run.
It is perfect for gardeners who like things simple. No fancy add-ons. How often can you set the desired levels by simply turning knobs? You can set everything manually and keep things under control.
- Easy-to-program analog interface with a dedicated knob for each condition
- Digital, easy-to-read display
- Compatible with every 120 Volts power supply
- Lightweight and compact
- Comes with a one-year warranty
- No memory
3. Autopilot with Remote Master Greenhouse Controller
With a multipurpose control of humidity, temperature and CO2, Autopilot with Remote Master Green Controller works like a dream in grow rooms or greenhouses. Autopilot with Remote Master Green Controller is a dream come true for professional gardeners.
First of all, it is not like every other grow room controller, as it covers a wide range of features. GMC is equipped with a remote combination probe with a highly precise dual beam CO2 sensor. The best part is that you can place the remote sensor even up-to 15 feet away from the controller without worrying. Autopilot has designed it to resist EFI/EMI from electronic ballasts.
For quick plug-and-play operation, each device comes with a pre-programmed factory recommended settings. Even though it is the latest smart product designed for professionals, newbies can also use it without any issue. Autopilot controllers provide you with all the necessary grow room guidance for optimal usage.
GMC features LED error indicators and separate setpoints for day and night temperature. It also contains a variable fuzzy logic mode for regulators and CO2 tank control along with the standard mode. For CO2 generator control, always use the standard mode.
GMC also boasts of a built-in data logger that records high and low readings for CO2, temperature, and humidity levels. You can interlock or split the modes of temperature and humidity.
The maximum operating amperage for this equipment is 14.5 at 120 volts. It is ETL listed and has everything you need in a grow room controller.
- Plug-and-play operation
- Four external device connections
- Highly accurate sensors
- EFI/EMI proof sensor
- Built-in data logger for past CO2, temperature and humidity levels
- Remote monitoring facility available
- In-built battery keeps data in case of power failures
- Alarm system for external environment conditions
- Comes with three years warranty
- No instruction manual provided
- Needs to buy the remote monitoring software separately
- Not compatible with MAC and smartphones.
4. Link iPonic 624 Two Zone Grow Room Controller
Let’s just all take a moment, and praise Link4 for manufacturing state-of-the-art grow room controller. It has everything a serious grower can desire for. From fancy touchscreen display to eight external device connections, this device has many attractive features.
However, the highlight of this model is its ability to control two different zones independently.
The Link4’s iPonic 624 allows you to control two grow rooms with one controller. Not only this, but you can control them from anywhere through your internet-connected smartphone or tablet. This means you don’t have to check on your grow room and regulate the temperatures manually.
The iPonic 624 will bring you peace of mind. Get this and your grow-room manual checking days are over.
Link4 iPonic 624’s features are hard to resist. There are so many things to love in this controller. With an ability to independently control two different zones, the 624 has two separate sensors for each. It comes with a built-in communication module. You can set it up in your smartphones or tablets. The alarm notification system is simple. You get a text message if something is wrong.
The best thing about iPonic 624 is its flexibility. While most of the controllers will not offer you this, the 624 allows you to run all functions together. With multiple functions, it can also eliminate multiple controllers.
When it comes to general features, you name it, and the 624 has it. Be it fuzzy logic CO2, recycle or light timer, humidity, temperature, vent fans, high temp shutoff, irrigation, central air-conditioning and heating, the 624 does it all. However, before buying a fan for your grow box, make sure the fan speed is according to your plants’ requirements.
The 624 allows you to add your own custom devices. With eight external device connections, it is probably not a surprise. But the fact that you can delete and add devices on the go is amazing.
- Best for indoor gardening
- Remote Cloud Access
- Secure and encrypted data logging on the cloud
- Controls two separate zones independently
- Controls from any internet-connected device
- Fully compatible with all smartphones and tech devices
- Text notifications for spikes in CO2, temp. and humidity levels
- High temperature shut off
- Include Warranty
- Highly sensitive sensors (DISM)
- Highly expensive
5. AutoPilot APE4200 Eclipse F90 Master Environmental Controller
Another controller from the Autopilot has made into our list, and for all the right reasons. The Autopilot ECLIPSE F90 Master Environmental Controller allows growers to monitor and regulate the humidity, temperature, and CO2 levels with one centralized unit.
Starting with the display which is simple and clear, the controller comes with three separate digital screens for each setpoint. You can keep an eye on important information like current temperature, current CO2 levels, and relative humidity. The LED displays are also easy to read and alert you of any mishaps in time.
Along with a unique, modern, and durable enclosure, this controller features four external power outlets. All these outlets are fully programmed and used for CO2 ppm levels, cooling, heating, and humidifying/dehumidifying.
The product uses heavy-duty protective covers to protect all four outlets. This keeps the internal system safe from external conditions such as moisture, dust, rust, etc. It also features a built-in data logger to record the past levels.
The Eclipse F90 is equipped with an intelligent and sensitive remote combination probe, consisting of a highly accurate and precise humidity/temp and low drift dual beam CO2 sensor. You can place it away up to 15 feet from the controller. The controller can also resist EFI/EMI from electronic failures. You can also mount it on a wall or grow tents.
- Four separate external power outlets
- In-built data logger
- In-built battery keeps setting in case of power failure
- Comes with a two-year warranty
- EFI/EMI proof sensor
- High-temp shutdown for use with CO2 generators
- Remote monitoring facility is not available
6. Day and Night Grow Room Controller
In some greenhouses or grow rooms, you may have to use elevated CO2 levels are used for rapid plant growth. In such places, the Day and Night Grow Room Controller works like a charm.
The algorithm is simple. It lets you set the lowest and highest limit. If the CO2 level drops, it immediately switches on the CO2 generator via built-in 100-240 VAC 5A piggyback power cord. When the CO2 level enters the desired range, it turns the generator off.
Just like any good controller, it comes with an easy-to-understand digital LED display. It indicates the current temperature and CO2 readings. This controller uses the CO2 sensing technology called NDIR.
You can manually set all the functions with three pushbuttons. This equipment is perfect for regular growers with its easy-to-use, non-complex nature, and high quality, which makes it ideal for daily use.
It features four LEDs:
- upper limit CO2
- lower limit CO2
- photosensor verification
For cannabis, the lower set point is 800 ppm, and the highest is 1500 ppm. Hence, it has a measurement range of 0 to 10,000. All you have to do is placing the sensor inside your grow room and connecting it to your controller. You can leave the rest to it.
- Highly sensitive sensors
- Higher measurement range
- Non-UV emitting lights
- Comes with One-year Warranty
- Limits to calibration
7. Titan Controls Digital CO2 Controller
We have established that Titan Controls is one of the leading hydroponic equipment manufacturers in the US. One of the reasons why we have another great controller on our list from the same company.
The Atlas 8 is the newest model of the Atlas series. A digital CO2 monitor and controller which works according to your desires. As soon as the CO2 reaches the desired limit, the CO2 device turns off.
To ensure the ‘daytime only’ dosage of CO2 through a CO2 regulator or generator, it consists of a photocell. This photocell is located in the 15 inches remote sensor along with a CO2 sniffer. Along with the conventional injection abilities, it also has the fuzzy logic CO2 function.
This algorithm performs continuous calculations to the output. It then regulates the CO2 generator to make sure that you do not underpass or surpass your fixed set point. The minimum and maximum limits are visible on the screen.
To ensure the internal component safety, this device comes with a durable plastic enclosure. It requires 15 Amps at 120 Volts to run.
- Plug and play operation
- Built-in photocell for day-time experience
- Highly precise
- Comes with a three-year warranty
8. Inkbird WiFi ITC-308 Digital Temperature Controller
Everything that you can control via Wi-Fi is handy and easy-to-use. The Inkbird Wi-Fi ITC-308 is one of such devices. It is one of the modern temperature controllers with an easy-to-use, plug, and play design.
The Inkbird Wi-Fi ITC-308 is a temperature measuring device with high accuracy. The display of this controller is easy-to-understand and clear. You can read the display temperatures in both Fahrenheit and Centigrade scale.
It can bear a maximum output load of 1100 W or 110 V. The Inkbird Wi-Fi ITC-308 also comes with an automatic temperature calibration feature. To control the refrigeration function, it also bears a compressor delay protection.
The alarm system notifies for high and low-temperature levels. With dual relay output, it can make a connection with refrigeration and heating device at the same time. Similarly, the dual-display window shows the current and set temperature concurrently.
You can also set the heating/cooling differential function separately. This will protect the temperature controller from the sudden change.
The Inkbird Wi-Fi ITC-308 is compatible with both iOS and Android devices. It supports 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi router. You can download a free app InkbirdSmart from Apple and Google Play stores that allows you to monitor the temperature at any time remotely.
- Remote monitoring via Wi-Fi
- Plug and Play
- Temperature calibration
- Compatible with iOS and Android systems
- Comes with a two-year warranty
- No memory
Conclusion & Recommendations
For successful Cannabis growth, you need to consider all the growth factors. This includes temperature, humidity, lighting, CO2, etc. To be a successful indoor grower, you must own a conditions’ stabilizing equipment. Hence, a grow room controller is a must-have device for serious growers.
A cannabis cultivator cannot afford a broken CO2 generator. Therefore, always opt for a device with a longer warranty against defect. This will consequently give you a safety blanket to fall back on.
The most crucial features include durability, an easy-to-read display, and an intelligible design. However, other advanced features completely depend on your budget. If you want higher functions and automation system, you can go as far as you want.
If you are a professional grower, we will not recommend saving on your CO2 controller. Investing in a Link4 iPonic 624 will not go to waste. The harvests will be incredible.
But if you are not looking for highly sophisticated functionalities, you can choose Autopilot with Remote Master Greenhouse Controller for a better experience.
If you are new to this field or a hobbyist, opt for an inexpensive device that simply does the job. We will recommend the Hydrofarm APCEM2 Autopilot. It is affordable and has every major feature. Once you grow out of the beginner phase, you can move on to the next best option. In short, take the steps one by one.
To be precise, using any of the above-mentioned products will lead you to better yields. Take your time and choose the one that suits you the best.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some of the most common questions about grow room controllers:
What is the best grow room controller?
Plants live off CO2. Their growth is also greatly affected by temperature and humidity levels. A standard grow room controller monitors temperature, humidity and regulate the CO2 levels accurately. If it fails to do so, it is not doing its job.
What are the ideal temperature and humidity levels for my grow room?
The ideal temperature and humidity levels differ for different kinds of plants. However, if you are growing Cannabis, the ideal temperature ranges from 68 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit with turned-on lights. Whereas, when the lights of the grow room are off, the ideal temperature ranges from 62 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit.
Please note that all these temperatures stay unaffected of the day and night cycle.
What are the benefits of grow room automation?
Grow room controllers provide a high amount of concentrated CO2 via CO2 generators. This helps plants in growing rapidly. Hence, a healthier and richer yield is produced.
Several grow room controllers provide temperature and humidity monitoring function. By maintaining the right temperature and humidity levels in the grow room, the grower can achieve high levels of indoor gardening.
While using a grow room controller, you also don’t have to worry about mishaps as they can alert you in case of any spike in internal conditions.