Skip this part if you don't want the long version
I'm excited to be part of this community, I purchased my first Arduino a few weeks ago. I built some blinking light circuits, clicked some buttons, and then put it all down for a bit while I decided on a winter project I could integrate my Arduino into. I stumbled upon hydroponics as a result of our basil consumption. We cook a lot of Italian food, and basil is one of our favorite flavors. We have been trying to tend (keep alive) the live basil plants from Fred Meyer, but they are hydroponic (and thus nearly to transplant to soil) and already pretty shocked when you get them. They also cost about $4 a plant, and if you are making a meal that requires 1 cup of chopped basil (not uncommon for us) you have used most of the plant. We could probably chew our way (haha) through a plant and a half a week, no problem.
My girlfriend and I live a pretty busy lifestyle. We both are full-time students, and we both have nearly full-time jobs. We try to eat as healthily as possible, buying less processed, more natural foods when possible. Regular maintenance of plants isn't something we have perfected. So an automated hydroponic garden seemed the natural choice for cost, and ease of maintenance.
I know many have gone before me, and some of them even have passable (if only partial) documentation of how they accomplished different parts of the project.
Right now I am looking for a recommendation of a solid state relay to switch my lights (2 compact fluorescents, 27 watts @ 110v apiece) and pump (I do not know how much the pump draws, but it is tiny. Less than the light, I'm sure).
I wanted get the puck-type (with screw-down terminals on all four corners) because I feel like they will be easiest to integrate. I'm using an Arduino Uno, and would like to be able to switch the relays directly from a +5 VDC digital pin on the Arduino.
This stage of the project will be complete when I can switch my lights on and off automatically on a schedule.
Eventually, I would like to be able to monitor pH, water temp, electrical conductivity of the nutrient solution, etc. Beyond that, I want to be able to add more nutrients and cycle fresh water into the reservoir.
I have to start small as this is my first project with my Arduino and writing my own software (I know, it barely counts).
So, with all that out of the way, can someone recommend a reliable (and reasonably priced) SSR? If I left out any details, let me know.