Adding a timer to your hardware can make lighting more accurate to simulate natural lighting. As well it makes turning on and off of lights and pumps easier for the grower as they do not have to do it themselves everyday.
Depending on how many power outlets and how powerful of hardware you are using often an inexpensive light timer will do the trick. This should not be taken frivolously though. When running multiple units, and very high powered expensive equipment, a simple timer malfunction could result in inaccuracy, loss of an entire harvest, or possibly even a fire.
With timers you get what you pay for. Make sure to read packaging carefully and ask retail staff any questions if you are unsure.
Also make sure that your timer can handle lights. Some are made specifically for low wattage, amps and power sources and can not handle the output of many lights.
For high powered systems we would suggest one of the two following timers
For minimal requirements and low wattage hardware one of these less expensive units will do.
The timers below they are not made to be used with High Intensity Discharge Lighting. Using an inappropriate timer may cause a fire.
If you are ever unsure though, don’t be afraid to spend the extra money and make sure you are getting the best quality timer available for your hydroponics system.