Smart Greenhouse Controls

smart greenhouse controls

Easy Greenhouse Automation

We installed smart greenhouse controls from GrowDirector into our hydroponic greenhouse to help optimize the growing environment for better crops and reduce the amount of time we needed to spend on redundant tasks. We also added a smart reservoir controller to our aeroponic system to monitor conditions in the root zone and have the ability to make automatic or remote adjustments as necessary. 

Here’s a quick list of tasks we wanted to automate for our greenhouse:


Our greenhouse uses roll up side walls and motorized shutters for effective passive ventilation; primarily used for cooling purposes and to replenish fresh air in the growing environment


We wanted smart greenhouse controls to give us flexible control of our supplemental crop lighting system(s). Supplementing light levels and extending day length help improve results, particularly when deployed at the start and towards the end of our growing season here in the Canadian Pacific Northwest.


Later in the season when the greenhouse has a lot of biomass, exchanges of fresh air to reduce humidity and to help keep the growing environment healthy are very important–typically, we do not operate gas-charged dehumidifers in the greenhouse


To grow late into the season or year-round supplemental heating is required, even when growing cold tolerant crops in our climate.  Having precise control over heating can make a very big difference in the heating bill which can be significant.

Reservoir Conditions

With a newly installed High Pressure Aeroponics system, we wanted to use greenhouse smart controls to monitor and adjust the condition of the nutrient solution remotely and have the ability to receive alerts if any conditions read abnormal.

To accomplish our list of needs we spoke with GrowDirector who offered us the solutions we were looking for in an affordable and modular greenhouse smart control package.  With the different modules they offer, we could tailor the devices to the scale of our needs–avoiding buying something more elaborate than we really needed while allowing us to expand as desired by adding more modules in the future. Additionally, these greenhouse smart controls incorporate a level of AI (artificial intelligence) to help optimize the system and it’s operations if we choose.

We received and installed the following smart control modules:


The ideal greenhouse automation data collection system, SensorDirector lets you connect up to 64,000 IoT sensors (when used in series) in order to collect and analyze limitless plant data and obtain valuable insights. Each module can handle up to 4 sensors.


DryContactDirector lets you automate and control up to 64,000 electrical devices (when used in series), including high-power or low-voltage appliances and equipment, remotely and precisely. Single module can handle 4 dry contacts


The perfect appliance controller, SocketDirector lets you automate and control up to 32,000 electrical devices (when used in series) for seamless operation without any need for manual input. Each smart grow controller can handle 2 sockets.


HydroDirector, the ideal solution for hydroponic automation, lets you control up to 48,000 dosing pumps (when used in series), as well as collect and analyze pH, EC & water temperature, DO and ORP data from connected sensors. Each module can handle 3 pumps and 3 hydroponic sensors.

As can be determined from reading the manufacturer’s descriptions (above), these modules are highly scalable and they are easy to spread around your growing operation or greenhouse because they communicate via WiFi, so there is no need to centralize or rewire your existing electrical connections and equipment. This is definitely a big plus with us.  

Installing the Greenhouse Smart Controls

This was very easy to do.  We were able to monitor the environment and activate our equipment via the desktop and mobile interface literally within minutes of taking them out of the box.  The modules themselves are very well constructed, lightweight and easy to install just about anywhere we need  in the greenhouse.

Everything is simple and plug and play–our smart phone and computer linked up easily following the instructions.  You don’t need to be a techie to get up and running quickly.  From there it was simply a matter of setting the sensors where we wanted them, plugging in our appliances and setting our parameters in the interface (computer or smart phone).

Using the GrowDirector Smart Greenhouse Controls

You can opt to let AI help you set the environment or do it yourself.  We liked being able to use the simple interface to create some very beneficial parameters for controlling the environment in the greenhouse.  Within minutes, we were able to accomplish the following examples for two stage cooling and ventilation.

When the temperature from sensor one rises to 24 deg C, the motorized shutter is activated, letting in a supply of fresh cooler air which is distributed by an air circulation fan. Once the temperature decreases to 20 deg C, the motorized shutter is deactivated.

If cooling is not sufficient via motorized shutter and the temperature continues to rise, once sensor two detects a temperature inside the greenhouse of 28 deg C, the roll up side vent motors are activated until the temperature decreases to 24 deg C, at which they will deactivate and the sides roll down again.

This is just a small example of what is possible using the friendly interface with the SocketDirector—the possibilities are near infinite.

Better Data, Better Crops

From our smart phone or computer we can monitor the environment, receive alerts or change any settings in real time inside the greenhouse from just about anywhere in the world.  Additionally, of great benefit, is the data that is displayed is collected over time giving growers the ability to spot and identify changes in the environment as they relate to crop health, yields, etc.  Graphs and charts make it easy to visualize what’s happening in the greenhouse at any given moment or as a snapshot looking back in time.

We will continue to operate and assess the greenhouse environment using the GrowDirector smart greenhouse controls so that we can offer a more in depth review at a future date.  As it stands, we are extremely pleased with the performance and have already noted improvements in crop health while enjoying having more time to spare for other tasks related to cultivating crops.

About Erik Biksa 247 Articles
Erik Biksa has been writing about and discussing hydroponics growing, related technologies and cropping methods since 1999 in a variety of professional publications and platforms globally Erik has travelled the world learning and teaching modern growing techniques and technologies and is appreciated by many growers for his informative yet hands on approaches. Presently, he is the Editor at Grozine Hydroponics Mag.