Hello fellow enthusiasts. Lately, I have been working on building out my own open source/open hardware grow room automation kit as I was really frustrated at the high price tag on anything in the market that had decent features. Right now the system is setup to monitor temp and humidity. I am currently adding in fire/smoke sensors and alerts that will email me if the room lights on fire. I am also adding the ability to control lights(this should be quick and easy the backend is setup to support it I just need to hook another extension cord into a relay and run it into my room. It will also have the ability to email you if the light does not kick on when it should.

The point I was trying to get to here is I would like to know what you guys think are the most important feature of systems like this? What types of things is it most important to you that it can control? I am also working on building a client for the system that will show the current status of sensors/appliances, will have graphs with live data showing environmental stats of the grow room and all sort of other things. I'm working to make this as user-friendly and cheap as possible so that any home user who doesn't want to drop $2000 on a system that just monitors humidity and temp can afford to automated much of their tasks in the grow room. I would also like to give the system the ability to change out the water in my hydroponics system and handle ph balancing and nutrient dosages but that is a very long-term goal. Let me know what you guys think and thanks in advanced for any feedback!


A clean, sterile one use only room for growing anything. The greenhouse environment is more forgiving, the garden can make anyone look successful. Ventilation pumping in and out or a great thermodynamic cool and warm air system. The best soil...potting soil for any plant sequestered with sides and education or adding decomposed organic matter to make garden soil better each year. Drainage is as important as water and C02 to plants. Best place to start a design. Artificial lighting or the ability to grow in the greenhouse if you have the proper length season. Stability...to be able to monitor and control the atmosphere, temperature, humidity and keep it from any drastic changes. Did I say ventilation? Your plants should be physically moving if you have enough ventilation or movement of air. On top of that is air coming in and leaving the room. One thing that you should consider is pollen from neighbors growing out of doors. Soon that will become a larger problem. For instance, growing corn near a GMO field will mean that any seed of that corn will be GMO. Lots of pollen of species you won't know and sometimes fertilized female flowers will reduce the crop and its quality.

The best 'appliance' of all is just YOUR PARTICIPATION. Once you are able to be successful manually then it is time to add technology. I am serious. There is no way automation should be done without an expert in the background controlling those dials and meters. We all have to learn the hardway. It is costlier to jump too far beyond one's skills at the beginning than it is when you keep everything straightforward and simple. As well as enjoying far more success.

Two books you have to have; Shane Smith's Greenhouse Gardening and Jorge Cervantes Cannabis Encyclopedia! Using these two books should vastly increase success whether growing in soil or growing in water.

  • I appreciate the response but this isn't my first rodeo, you kinda went off on a rant there and treated me as if this is my first time growing anything and didn't provide and answer to the question... Sure, this is my first time trying to add technology and automation but it is far from my first grow and I spent a large portion of my life on a farm around family who has been farming for a living for decades. Thanks for your thoughts though? Dec 22 '16 at 2:45
  • Can you imagine trying to diagnose and give out information with LITTLE input? Rant. Hummmm. Oh I just love to Rant, ask anyone. Perhaps a more simplified question to help us focus on what your needs are? I am not asking for a resume. I go by the question itself to ASSUME another's level in this field so that I can spend my time and energy to try to help, grins.
    – stormy
    Dec 22 '16 at 23:01

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