Best indoor hydroponic grow system for home use

Best indoor hydroponic grow system for home use

Hydroponic grow systems are one of the modern technological innovations which are gaining more and more popularity with time. These systems are being widely used in homes and offices which to allow people to grow their own plants and fruits in their houses.

It’s the era of homesteading and a lot of people are turning towards growing their own domestic veggies. There are numerous advantages of these systems as they can be scaled to any size and type. With these systems, you don’t require technical knowledge about gardening and plantation. Simple installation and timely monitoring will be enough for you to grow domestic plants.

If you’re planning to buy your own hydroponic system, we have some amazing suggestions for you. Take a look at some of the best picks when it comes to efficiency, results, and cost. We will take a look at some of the best Hydroponic Systems available on Amazon.

A bit about hydroponic systems

Since Hydroponic Systems are still relatively new, a lot of people don’t know what the technology really is. These systems are designed to automatically control the flow of water and nutrients to and from the plants.

Simply put, a general Hydroponic system will have a reservoir that contains a nutrient solution and a pump which operates on a timed basis. These systems eliminate the need of soil for plant growth because there are other more efficient growth mediums available. There are more technical aspects involved which we will see later.

Some recommendations

Without any further delay, we present to you some of the best Hydroponic systems you can install in your home and office. There are different features and specs for different types of systems so you can make your own choices to watch your favorite plants grow right before your eyes.

1.  iRSE indoor garden kit, hydroponics LED growing system (Link)

iRSE indoor garden kit

If you’re looking for a compact Hydroponic system for a really cheap price, this system is just the right product for you. It is a great product for starters and those who wish to grow a couple of domestic plants in their room. It’s a completely autonomous system with two self-watering pots that will look too attractive for in your room.

This kit is ideal for small plants and herb growth. It features the latest Hydroponic technology to ensure tidiness. It also features a set LED lights which can work in two different modes i.e. Pink Plant growth light and white reading light. Therefore, your plants will be able to grow at a quick pace with full nourishment.

The technology is completely soil free and you can use a variety of mediums such as Lettuce Seeds, Fertilizers, and Vermiculite. Completely organic mediums also ensure that your home grown food is much healthier.

Why do we like it?

This indoor Hydroponic system has a couple of really great features. Firstly, you can simulate the sunlight by adjusting the LED color to pink. It will speed up the growth process. Also, these lights are adjustable and they cover the full spectrum. Secondly, the self-watering pots and the growth mediums allow you to grow a variety of herbs, small veggies, and tea etc.

Pros

  • Compact design and easy detachment allow you to install the system anywhere you like.
  • The LED panels consume just 8 Watts so it doesn’t cost a lot of power as well.
  • Stylish design and color also make it a decorative piece for your home and office.

Cons

  • There are only two pots available so the growth may be limited.

2. EcoPro tools HP2025L LED indoor hydroponics grower kit

EcoPro tools HP2025L LED indoor hydroponics grower kit

This Hydroponic System will look great in your kitchen or living room. It’s a tiny and compact kit that can help you to grow your favorite vegetables and herbs right before your eyes. It has an attractive design and it features the 8 pod technology for rapid growth.

The system also features a sunlight spectrum LED panel which provides suitable growing conditions for your plants. You can adjust the panel height for sensitive plants. There is also a water tank and grow pellets to support plant growth.

The package also contains nutrient package so you don’t have to buy separately. The assembly of the air pump and the LED panel is also quite simple. Hence, you can start with planting in no time. The control panel offers both manual and automatic control features. There are 8 pods so you can grow a variety of plants. With simple time setting features, you can set all the control without and hassle.

Why do we like it?

For a Hydroponic system of such cost, this unit is something really special. It has an air pump and a LED panel which run on low power. There is also an AC adapter available with the kit. Height adjustment features and timing settings give you more control over planting and you feel like you have a role to play. Therefore, it is quite an appealing kit for gardening lovers. Also, the calibrated sunlight simulation keeps the process as natural as possible.

Pros

  • It is compact and easily portable
  • The results are really quick
  • The air pump and LED panel consume very little power
  • Manual and automatic controls make it easier to control the growth process

Cons

  • The LED panel could have been a little bigger

3. AeroGarden ultra LED with gourmet herb seed pod kit (Link)

AeroGarden ultra (LED) with gourmet herb seed pod kit

If you have a limited space and you wish to grow herbs in your kitchen, the AeroGarden Ultra (LED) will be a great product for you. Apart from its bold and stylish looks, this unit is highly compact and light-weight. It is quite surprising to know that you can grow up to seven different plants in such a tiny space.

Whether it is salad greens flowers or small vegetables, you can grow literally anything you like. It’s a counter top mini garden that you can place anywhere. It has a water base technology and it’s completely soil free so there won’t be any mess on your kitchen counter.

Artificial lighting features a 30 Watt LED system which covers the entire range of spectrum for your plants. Hence your favorite food can grow rapidly without any additional effort from your side. There is an interactive LCD panel as well which indicates when to add nutrients and water. It’s a complete solution for your domestic planting needs.

Why do we like it?

Apart from the planting kit, you also get a package of seven gourmet seeds so that you can start planting straight away. There are also enough nutrients to suffice for a complete growth season so it adds a lot of value to your money. Since the LED can cover the entire spectrum range, you can easily control the speed of the growth process as per your requirements. It is extremely easy to set up and you don’t need to do much except for adding water and nutrients when the system prompts you to.

Pros

  • The operation and controls are quite easy to understand
  • Different Led modes such as Blue LED, Red LED and White Light modes work well for different types of fruits and flowers.
  • Growth process is up to 5 times faster as compared to soil growth

Cons

  • The construction material is plastic so it is prone to breakage
  • The control panel doesn’t have the feature to turn off the display.

4. AeroGarden sprout LED with gourmet herb seed pod kit (Link)

AeroGarden sprout LED with gourmet herb seed pod kit

For a year-round production of vegetables and flowers, this Hydroponic system can be a great option to have. It is available in three different colors with a complete set of accessories, nutrients, and seeds. It’s a cute looking system that will add to the looks in your kitchen or the living room.

AeroGarden products are generally efficient and this model is no exception. It contains 3 pods so you can grow different plants in one go. It’s a mini countertop garden and also features its own lighting system as well. The LED panel consumes only 10 Watts and you can tune to a specific spectrum to support an efficient growth of the plants. You can set the water level limits as well as for nutrients to speed up the growth process.

The control panel is another attraction in this system. It is automatically controlled the lights to provide suitable growing conditions. Also, the panel will indicate when you have to add nutrients and water. The entire setup process is quite simple and just takes a few minutes to help you get started.

Why do we like it?

There is so much to like about this hydroponic system. One of its selling points is the variety of colors. Depending on where you wish to place the system, there are three different colors available. Other than that, it has a compact design and easy operations. You can grow multiple plants at once and there is no real limitation as to what type of plants you wish to grow.

Pros

  • The control panel is very simple to understand and operate
  • It is easily portable thanks to its light-weight design
  • It consumes very little power

Cons

  • Leakage problems have been observed

5. AeroGarden harvest elite with gourmet herb seed pod kit (Link)

AeroGarden harvest elite with gourmet herb seed pod kit

You will absolutely love this amazingly stylish Hydroponic system from AeroGarden. Even before you look at the features, the system is attractive enough to allure you into buying. It’s a stainless steel product with a shiny red color which gives it a bold and stylish appearance. It’s certainly one for your kitchen counter.

The system is best for year round plantation because of its low power operation and ability to grow six different plants at once. Whether you want to grow herbs, flowers or salad greens, you can easily accommodate them all in this spacious unit.

There is a 20 Watt LED panel to provide optimum growing conditions. Tuning to different spectrums is quite simple through the control panel at the base. It’s a water-based system which eliminates the need for any soil and therefore, you can maintain a tidy environment all the time.

Why do we like it?

The looks of this system are one of the biggest attractions in this unit. Apart from that, it has some really cool features too. There is a six seed package also available with the kit to help you get started instantly. Other than that, there is a nutrient package that will be enough for a complete growing season. There is a control panel with the LCD where you can set all the controls for watering and lighting. Lighting can be automatically controlled as well as manually.

Pros

  • It’s a low power system and only consumes around 20 Watts
  • It’s water based so the plants grow much faster
  • The control parameters can help create a natural environment for plants.

Cons

  • The LED lighting may not be all that durable and might have to be changed after a while.

Hydroponic system accessories

Having seen some of the best Hydroponic Systems, we will now take a look at some of the most needed accessories for these systems. At times, you may only need to replace a particular panel or pump. We will take a look at some of these needed items you can accommodate with your current Hydroponic System.

Hydroponic nutrient TDS meter (Link)

Hydroponic nutrient TDS meter

This is a cool item which can ensure that you use the best quality of water and nutrients. It can test the water quality. Not only Hydroponic systems but its general purpose makes it a useful item for swimming pools as well as aquariums.

This unit will ensure that you are using hygienic items for your domestic plant growth so that you can avoid any health risks from your home grown plants.

Why do we like it?

Since it is a multipurpose gadget, it will save extra cost. Also, it can measure the content of all the dissolved content in water to analyze the purity.

Hydroplanet T5 4 lamp fluorescent HO  bulbs (Link)

Hydroplanet T5 4 lamp fluorescent HO  bulbs

If you already have plants and are looking for a lighting solution for rapid growth, this lighting unit can be a great product for you. It’s a compact Fluorescent lamp kit with simple plug and play operation. It operates on 110/220V AC and can be used for larger growing spaces. If you have a backyard with larger space for plants, this is a good option to go for.

Why do we like it?

Fluorescent lamps can go very hot but this unit is a bit different. It stays reasonably cool and ensures that your plants don’t feel excessive heat. Also, the unit can hold 4 lamps that cover quite a large area.

General hydroponics flora series performance pack (Link)

General hydroponics flora series performance pack

If you have run out of nutrients or if you wish to switch to a new nutrient pack, the general hydroponic series can be a good option. This nutrient pack contains a combo of nutrient to provide Nitrogen, Calcium, Trace Elements and Potassium. These nutrients can boost growth process for your domestic plants and give you quicker results.

Indoor hydroponic grow system buying guide

Having seen some of the best hydroponic grow systems for indoor use, we will now take a look at all you need to know about buying such a system. Since these units are not all that common as indoor plantation is still relatively new, people are still unaware of the basics when it comes to buying these systems. This section should help you understand the buying dynamics so that you know exactly what to look for when you order online or if you buy from a local market.

What advantages do hydroponic systems hold

There are numerous advantages of using these indoor systems. When it comes to growing small vegetables and herbs, Hydroponic systems can be amazing and here are the reasons why:

No Use of Soil: Most hydroponic systems work without soil. Hence there is lesser dirt and cleaning requirements. For the plants to grow, the root system is supported and hydrated through Peat Moss, Vermiculite, Clay Pellets, and Perlite etc. All these mediums are compact and efficient as compared to soil.

Quick results: One of the best advantages of these systems is that they work at high speed. Since everything is artificially controlled, you can pretty much set the pace for yourself. As compared to regular soil, these hydroponic systems can be five times quicker

Compact size: As compared to conventional planting, Hydroponic systems can cut down on a lot of space. You don’t need a dedicated area for growing plants because you can place the system anywhere you like. Therefore, space can never be an issue when it comes to an indoor plantation.

A few recommendations

We will now take a look at some of the recommendations that will help you buy the most suitable system for your domestic needs:

Know your space

As mentioned earlier, Hydroponic systems can be quite compact. However, there are larger systems also available for bulk production. It completely depends upon your requirement and the space that you can afford. Whether it is just one plant or dozens of them, there are systems available to accommodate them all.

Available resources

Almost all the Hydroponic systems require electricity and water to run. With the exception of passive Hydroponic Systems which work on the wick system, all hydroponic systems need a stable supply of water and electricity. If you live in a region where there is a shortage of power supply or water, you might have to make arrangements for a stable supply throughout.

Lighting options

An independent Hydroponic system will have its own lighting system as well. Therefore, you can easily find different types of Hydroponic Lighting systems that help in growing your indoor plants. One of the best advantages of these artificial lights is that you can control the intensity as well as the color of lights. Plants react differently to different types of colors. Here are a few types of lighting options available:

Fluorescent Lamps are one of the best options because they are both economical as well as efficient.  They don’t use much power but the light intensity is pretty good. These are suitable only for smaller plants because their penetration power is not great. Also, make sure to use reflectors to increase the intensity for the desired region.

Incandescent Lamps are also used as a lighting option but they are not recommended. The reason is that these bulbs consume too much power and they produce excessive heat as well. It can damage the growth, especially for smaller plants.

HID lamps are also used in Hydroponic systems but they produce too much heat. If you wish to use these bulbs, make sure that you have proper ventilation and distance from the plants.

LED lights are one of the best options because they can be configured any way you like. You can cover a wide spectrum range to cover for different plant requirements. Also, they consume very little energy so they will cut down on your electricity bills as well.

Budgeting

Budgeting will require you to monitor different aspects related to the indoor plantation. For instance, you will have to figure out the type of growing medium, nutrient solutions, the number of plants as well as the lighting. The price range can vary greatly and you can start from as low as just $100. It’s dependent on how advanced a technology you are using.

Types of hydroponic systems

There are several types of Hydroponic Systems available in the market. Here are some of the most commonly used units:

Wick growth system

This is the simplest form of hydroponic growth system and if you are just a starter, it can be a good place to start. All you need is a container for the nutrient solution and a growing medium. The wick can supply the nutrient solution to the medium and your plants will grow at a rapid pace. Since it is just for starters, wick systems are suitable for smaller plants because they fail to meet the speed of supply needed for larger plants. Coconut fiber, Perlite, Vermiculite can be used as growing medium.

Deep water culture systems

If you have a larger space for indoor plant growth, Deep Water Culture Systems can be great. With this system, you can afford a separate container or pot for each plant. The liquid used for nutrient supply has enough amount of oxygen as the plant roots get completely submerged in the liquid. The liquid is aerated so it requires an additional air pump for producing the air bubbles. It gives better spacing between plants but it is understandably more costly than other hydroponic systems.

Flood and drain systems

This system is also known as Ebb and Flow system. It works on a simple principle and it is suitable for Hydroponic systems of any size. It is basically an automated gardening system where the plants are hydrated with the nutrients through a timer. It differs from the Deep Water System in the sense that it doesn’t merge the roots completely in the nutrient solution. Through preset timings, you can control the flow of liquid to the plant and there is a drainage option as well. It takes the excess nutrient back the nutrient tank.

As compared to Deep Water Systems, the Ebb and Flow Systems provide lesser oxygen to the plants. However, these are much cheaper because of their simple operation and equipment.

Drip systems

Drip systems are ideal for low budget applications. The principle is almost similar to that of Ebb and Flow system except for that it doesn’t have any drainage options. All you require is a pump and a nutrient container and you can manually pump the liquid to as many plant pots as you like. One of the drawbacks of this system is that the tubes are usually quite narrow so they occasionally clog. Therefore, proper maintenance will be needed after every while.

Drip systems are a good place to start because they can be installed in smaller places as well. Also, there is no limit to what type and size of plants you want to grow so the options are pretty much endless.

Additional features and options

Apart from these basic systems, there are several other features you will find in hydroponic systems. These features may include:

  • pH sensors for the nutrients
  • Automatic pH dosages
  • Environment monitoring

Conclusion

The hydroponic systems can keeap you from worrying about proper watering and feeding timings. From small accessories to the entire systems, we have shared some of the best items to help you get started with your very own domestic garden. Whether it’s your kitchen counter or your living room, you can now easily turn any place into a food factory. These automated systems are the future of plantation and it won’t be surprising if the agriculture industries start investing in these systems.

Further reading

If you are interested in growing vegetables at home, you might also want to look at some of the more specialized options. An automatic sprouter can grow sprouting vegetables indoors. If you want to focus on herbs, you might want to check our review of home herb garden kits.

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