4Seasons HELIOS Master Controller Walkthrough
The 4Seasons master controller offers commercial grade automation for the domestic market.
A controller specifically designed to control lighting in a grow space, from HID to LED for the 4Seasons lighting range, this is currently limited to the latest generation of Helios LEDs and commercial ballast.
This single grow room light controller is capable of managing several hundred lights and removes the need for expensive timers or contactors using a single controller interface. Offering built in thermal safeties with two separate lighting “groups” to manage different lighting cycles with Sunrise and Sunset dimmer control. A key component for those looking how to automate a grow room.
The key features
Two separate “groups” of lighting control, with photoperiod control.
This allows you to run both a Short day Flowering cycle and Long day Veg cycle on the one controller. Saving the use of multiple timers.
Enables the controller to ramp up and down the lighting intensity at the start and end of the light cycle for a set duration between 10min-60mins. This helps to relieve any stress caused by the abrupt switching on/off caused by lighting.
You can set any specific value of dimming control from 10%-100%. This value can also be applied across the light cycle if you wanted to reduce the intensity for long day cycles or don’t require the full power of your lighting.
The commercial focused features
The controller comes equipped with two separate temperature sensors (one for each lighting group). Allowing for two thermal safety points to be set for either group. This means if your grow space was to reach an undesirably high temperature, the lights will automatically start to taper back in brightness/intensity. This will help prevent temperatures further increasing, should the temperatures continue to rise, the second thermal safety point will turn the lights off when reached avoiding further stress to the plants.
Integrated Relays and power output.
The base of the controller has a set of relays that are triggered with the second thermal safety is reached. These can be wired into a wide variety of equipment or automation. From triggering equipment such as extraction fans or alarm buzzers. The powered output can be used to activate electrical contactors for high load equipment.
How to setup the 4Seasons Master Grow Light Controller
What’s in the box-
-RJ Connection Cable
-2 x Temperature Sensors
-Starting with powering the controller. Connect the included power pack to the unit and an appropriate power supply ( standard NZ 230v power socket ).
-Connect the included “RJ cable” to the controller to group A/B and to the “input” socket on the LED fixture.
- Set the dimmer on the LED fixture to “EXT” This means the LED will operate from EXTernal control sources.
-Touching the display will wake the screen up, it will show you the current settings and action the controller is currently working with. Touching the screen again will prompt and “unlock” slide across the screen, allowing access the parameters within the controller.
-Starting with the time and date. Pressing the “Config” is where you will set the current date and time. You can also swap between 12Hour/24Hour time display, adjust how long the screen will display before turning off (Sleep Timeout parameter). Plus access to a log of all parameter changes.
-Setting the light cycle is the next task for those who are looking to use this controller to time the lights on/off for different photoperiods. Access this via the “Light Cycle” icon in the menu. It will display both group A and group B settings. Group A or B is referring to the output on the controller at the bottom, meaning it will only be adjusting the lights connected to either A or B. Inputting your desired run time between the ON/OFF settings. The Status under each GROUP will show you if the lights are currently operating or not (enable/disable).
-From there, we can enable the Sunrise/Sunset feature. The Sunrise/Sunset icon can be found in the menu. You can customize the “setup” time for both Group A and Group B. The setup time is referring to how long you would like the sunrise/sunset to last (10min-60min). Don’t forget to press “Active” if you would like to enable this feature.
-Last but not least, you will want to set your LED or HID dimmer setting. If you are working with LED, you will want to use the “LED Dimming” icon in the menu, for HID “HID Dimming” icon.
For LED dimming, the “setup” value is your dimming/brightness percentage of the LED. This can be set anywhere from 10%-100% for both Group A/B. When selecting the “auto” button, this will mean the LED(s) will now run off the time schedule you have programmed in “light cycle”. The “on” button will run the LED 24hours and the “off” button will leave the connected lights completely off until another option is selected.
*note* The selected “setup” value will have influence on the Sunrise/Sunset feature. The Sunrise will only initiate at 50% values and higher. Anything below this value and it will simply start the light cycle at the “setup value”.
-OPTIONAL- Setting up the thermal safety.
Setting up the thermal safety is simple, plugging in the included temperature sensor to the TA or TB port on the base of the controller. From there you will want to place the sensor in a suitable location within the grow space. Ideally at canopy level, just not in direct light (direct light can cause the values to increase above actual room temperature). Once you have the sensors in a suitable location, you will want to jump back in to the controller menu and hit the “temperature” icon.
This menu will look similar to the others. We suggest ticking the little box that switches the temperature reading the Celsius in the upper right corner of Group B (applies to both groups).
The ”Auto-Dim Ta” refers to the temp at which the LEDs/HIDS will start dimming to lower the room temperature. While “Shut-Down Ta” is the temperature that will switch off the lights completely and trigger any equipment wired into the relays.
This covers all of the essential functions of the 4Seasons master controller, allowing you to get your lighting automated to your needs with an additional thermal safety.