This trick little black box is the brain behind Gavita’s E-Series lighting as its not just a digital timer, it allows growers to have complete, automated control over their grow room lighting.
Two variations of the Master Controller are available, the EL1 and EL2. They use an RJ14 cable (similar to a landline telephone) to effectively ‘daisy chain’ up to 40 lights (EL1) or 80 lights (EL2) and control them from one Master Controller, without the need for multiple contactors or timers.
It doesn’t just turn the lights on or off though, it allows them to mimic sunrise or sunset by gradually turning the lights on or off over a period of 30 minutes, a feature your plants will thank you for as it more naturally echoes what happens in nature. This gradual slow start also stops any high in-rush of current, which can also help prolong the overall life of the lamp and lighting system.
The Master Controller also acts as a safety device due to the Auto Dim and Emergency Shut Down functionalities. Using an external probe, it monitors the grow room temperature and adjusts the lights accordingly. Too warm and the lights will be dimmed, too cold and the light intensity will be increased, giving the grower peace of mind that optimum conditions are constantly maintained. Then there’s the Emergency Shut Down, which does exactly that. If for example there’s a fire and the temperature raises to an unacceptable or dangerous level, the Master Controller will shut down all lights and will alert you via email, SMS text message or an alarm. An excellent safety device, which could very well save not only your expensive grow room equipment, but also the plants and the actual building!
Although the two models are similar, the EL1 is a single channel unit that can control up to 40 lights, whereas the EL2, being 2 channel, can control up to 80 lights split over 2 rooms. The EL2 also has the ability to use 2 separate temperature probes, allowing the lights to be split over 2 rooms and with the addition of 2 auxiliary channels, external devices such as CO2 and heaters can also be controlled.