Small Space Smart Combo Aquaponic, Hydroponic, Aeroponic Indoor Garden
April 1, 2017 by Robin Plaskoff Horton
Perfect for urban dwellers without much space or free time who would like to extend their growing season, Lyfbox automatically enables production of fresh organic greens indoors all year-long. Using the Lyfbox App, users create their own efficient ecosystem to grow over 40 plants while consuming 98% less water than traditional agriculture.
Closed-Loop Self-Contained Ecosystem
The Lyfbox Ecosystem forms a self-sustained closed loop permaculture cycle using a fully intelligent IoT–the Internet of Things–to manage the system. Using data collected remotely from connected devices, IoT components embedded with electronics, software, and sensors, enable the collection and exchange of data to monitor, manage, and control these devices through network connectivity.
Manage Your Food Remotely From Palm of Your Hand
As the Lyfbox mobile app delivers information directly to you, you control your food remotely from the palm of your hand.
How Lyfbox Works For You
The system uses IoT to recreate the same observable patterns found in nature. Cultivating plants inside an enclosed controlled environment maximizes growth and also protects your greens from curious and hungry pets.
Lyfbox’s vertical design optimizes space and maximizes the number of plants you can grow. Its gutter system automatically irrigates plants while strategically placed high-efficiency LED lights provide the precise amount of necessary illumination.
• From your smart phone you can check the status of your plants to see which plants are ready for harvest–and the app even recommends recipes.
• You can track the amount of money you’ve saved growing your own food and it also shows you the positive environmental impact you’ve created.
• In addition to growing food, you can grow your Lyfbox community: the app enables you to buy and sell food on its cooperative marketplace platform.
Easy One-Time Set-Up
Like many, I gravitate toward products that are easy to use and offer a high probability of success. Lyfbox only requires a one time setup to begin running its continuous ecosystem. Here’s how:
1. Your Lyfbox is delivered to you.
2. The Lyfbox App walks you through the small amount of required assembly.
3. Once set up, you place your Lyfbox Seed Presets where you would like your plants to grow, then add water to begin cycling. Wait about 10 days. Your Lyfbox App will notify you when your ecosystem is fully cycling correctly, on average about 10 days.
4. Add fish to the aquaponic part of your closed ecosystem. (Fish are not included.)
5. Pick, cook, and serve or sell to your community.
The Marriage of Aquaculture and Hydroponics: Aquaponics
A blend of “aquaculture” and hydroponics, aquaponics is a system in which waste produced by fish supplies the plant’s necessary nutrients and also purifies the water, cleaning and oxygenating it as it recirculates to create a symbiotic relationship between the fish and plants. As in all hydroponic systems, plants receive nutrient-rich water through their roots. Excess purified and oxygenated water returns to the fish tank to be recycled back into the system. Repeat.
As the water is constantly recycled, replenished, and reused in this closed loop cycle, the process uses 98% less water than traditional gardening and requires no chemicals or pesticides. The resulting ecosystem is self-cleaning and, with its included automated fish feeder, ensures that the fish are always fed the right amount at the right time.
Using Aeroponics for Taller Plants
Unlike the hydroponic gutter system, taller vegetating plants such as tomato or pepper plants which need more space to grow upward utilize the system’s upper aeroponics chamber. Their roots hang freely in the air where they are misted with nutrient rich water. As the roots continue to grow, they eventually reach the water level where they provide the fish with food and contribute to the closed loop self-sustaining system.
Drop-In Seed Presets
The Lyfbox hydroponic ecosystem uses no soil resulting in a clean garden that’s easy to maintain. With your system you receive the Lyfbox Seed Presets–clean compounded coconut fiber growing medium that you simply place into one of the designated vessels throughout garden and leave it to grow. The Lyfbox Mobile app tracks plant growth and informs care-free gardeners when plants are ready for harvest. After harvesting, you remove the plant preset, compost it, and replace it with the next plant.
Energy-Efficient Design Includes Cost-Saving Mode
Strategically placed high-efficiency LED’s throughout the ecosystem provide plants with the light they need while at the same time minimizing energy consumption. The material lining the interior walls reflects and refracts light to reach more foliage, reducing the number of required lights.
From the mobile app users can turn on the Cost Saving Mode to further reduce energy costs. The software will automatically adjust the electronics schedule to run during the non peak hours when electricity is less costly.
With Lyfbox’s smart closed-loop ecosystem, consumers become producers who grow their own food remotely, lower their carbon footprint by reducing energy consumption, monitor their savings, and elect to keep, sell, trade or give away what they grow. That’s a lot of action from within a 3 ft x 5 ft space.
Lyfbox is currently running an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign which has raised 13% of its projected $30,000 goal and is scheduled to begin shipping by December 2017.