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Anyone that has tried to run multiple high intensity discharge (HID) lights in a room has run into the problem of not having enough power.  There are many options available to remedy this situation.  You can easily just run extension cords from other rooms.  However that leaves cords strung about the hallways causing a hazard, and in order to do it safely can become pricey.   In my situation, I only have 2 15A breakers between all receptacles and lights for the whole house.  That isn't enough to power my grow, let alone all my personal electronics.  

 

I chose to steal power from my over.  If you're in a garage then using the dryer plug is perfect.  If you are like me we have two options.  Option #1  Fork out the cash to buy a prebuilt unit.  For what they do they are relativity cheap.  However, for what really goes in them they are pretty pricey.  Unfortunately, I did not have the money at the time so it is option #2 for now, the DIY route.  I am a DIY'er at heart, but in all honesty, this is probably the only item I would rather buy prebuilt.  

 

On top of the fact you can get all your power from one place with a controller you only have to worry about 1 timer.  No matter how hard you try on those rotary timers it seems impossible to get multiple lights set to the same time.  Then when you change you light cycle you get to start over and do it all again.  The digital timers do not have this problem, but depending on the number of lights total cost for those can add up fast.  

I just finished my controller.  Originally I was planning to have it control 6 outlets, with future plans to upgrade it to 8 or 10 outlets.  However, it was cheaper to just start out with 8 from the get go.  When it was all said and done it ended up costing just over $45.00.  I did not include the oven plug ($14.00) or cost of the cable (I  had an extension I hacked up).  I didn't account these into the final cost because a majority of the manufactured controllers do not come with them.  Before I finally decided on a DIY I search for hours trying to find at least a 6 light controller that was affordable.  The only 6 light controllers I found came with 240-volt plugs, and that would mean replacing all my ballast cords.  On top of the almost $200 price tag it just wasn't even something to consider.  After that I decided that the price difference was so small that it just made sense to go with an eight light controller.  I turned to R&M's Cap Controllers MLC-8dX, and the Titan Controls Helios 12.  Both coming in at a little under $250 I just couldn't afford it.  

 

When searching on Ebay I found I found a small company that specializes in building custom lighting controllers.  The website is Dxhydro.com.  I started planning on buying a DX-6 series model with a standard trigger cord coming out At a price tag of $119.00 it is very reasonable,  Well below the cost of any other 4 light controllers.  As always the difference to go to 8 lights was minimal only being a $25.00 difference.   So it was a no brainer I was going to go with the Basic 8 Light Controller.  I really liked this company because it reminds me of a company a friend of mine bought from years ago for a little over 100 bucks.  I was lucky enough to borrow it for a while and ruined me for not having one.  I sent a couple emails back and forth with a rep and like the website says they will customize it to however you want it.  They said the could easily set it up so I could hook up a switch module from my Growtronix system to switch half the lights off depending on temperature. This was the plan.  

As always money and time got the best of me.  I didn't have the money and I had no more time to waste so the end result was having to build my own.  Here is what I ended up with.  I have since bought a new box and have all sorts of ideas rattling around in my head for the next version.  2 4 light banks so if it gets to hot in my garden I can turn off half the lights.

 

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