FAQ 3 - Technical Information About the UrbiPod

How does the UrbiPod actually work?


Clever but simple. No apps, no gimmicks. There are 3 key components - the LED lighting, the irrigation process and the automated nutrient application. The LED lights replicate sunshine and photosynthesis - the growing process. The lights are commercial grade LED - what the experts use. They foster plant growth 3-5 times faster than natural sunlight. The plants are irrigated via capillary action. Our clever design enables water to be drawn upwards from the resevoir to the soil and plant roots - no pumps, no electrics. Just clever use of physics. The nutrient fosters healthy growth and is applied in the correct proportion by being in liquid form. You just need to keep the UrbiPod™ plugged in and ensure there is water in the base reservoir.


Why does the lighting halo move up and down?


It's a simple but important law of physics that the intensity of light radiating from an energy source (i.e. a light) is inversely proportional to the square of the distance from the source; so an object of the same size twice as far away, receives only one-quarter the energy in the same time period. Got that? Hence we designed the UrbiPod so that the light halo moves up and down so you can set the halo to the optimal position for both mature plants and seedlings. Ideally, the halo should be about 2-3cm from the top of the plant.


Why does the lighting switch on and off?


Our commercial grade lights have been specifically designed to turn on and off automatically. Why? We have designed a 16 hours on and 8 hours off cycle because plants, like humans, need sleep in the dark for healthy sustainable growth. We suggest you set the lights by plugging into a power source at 6 am local time and you will have a cycle as follows: 6 am - 10 pm - on 10 pm - 6 am - off 6 am - 10 pm - on 10 pm - 6 am - off Our LED lights are designed to provide the optional wavelength for growth and a warm white light that is visually less intrusive in the kitchen and home. And, our lights will last about 50,000 hours - that's a little under 6 years.


Can I change the times the lights come on and off?


The lights are pre set for a 16 hours on 8 hours off cycle. So you can change the timings by switching the power off at the powerpoint and then turning it back on again. The 16 & 8 hour cycle will re-commence from the time the unit is switched back on.


How much electricity does the UrbiPod use?


LED lights are very energy efficient. Under normal UrbiPod usage conditons, our state of the art lights will use about as much electricity as it takes to operate your kettle for a year.


What type of lights are used in the UrbiPod?


We use state of the art, commercial grade LED grow lights. The combined light wavelength is designed for optimal growth and it emits a natural white light that is unobtrusive and subtle. Good for background lighting.


Can I take the growing Pods out of the UrbiPod unit?


Yes you can. Its one of the unique features of the UrbiPod. Each Pod has its own water reservoir and if full of water the plant can survive comfortably for 2-3 days. Use common sense as to where you place it. For example, leaving the Pod in a very hot position in summer is not advised.


Can I take the Pods or the UrbiPod outside?


Yes you can - within reason. Whilst the UrbiPod is designed as an indoor appliance it can operate outside for a few days - depending on the weather. We wouldn't recommend putting it outside in very hot or very cold conditions. The plants will not like such extremes - if burnt by the sun or frozen you best replace the plants.


How long will the water last before I need to refill it?


A full water tower and reservoir will last 2-4 weeks depending on the maturity of the plants & ambient temperature - i.e longer in winter than summer for example.


How long will the LED lights last? Where can I get replacements?


Our LED lights are commercial grade lights - the same ones as the expert growers use. They will last about 50,000 hours - thats almost 6 years. You can buy replacements from us at Urbotanica.


How do I clean the UrbiPod?


Using a wet cloth and water is the best method. Do not place in the dishwasher - your UrbiPod will not like it at all.


How do I assemble the UrbiPod?


The UrbiPod comes largely pre-assembled. Check out our instructional assembly video on the Technical Stuff tab on the website. And your UrbiPod comes with a handy step by step assembly guide.


What happens if I unplug the UrbiPod unit?


This will turn off the lights. If it is unplugged for an extended period plant growth will be slower. Note that when you turn the lights back on the 16/8 hour lighting cycle recommences from that time.


What do I do when I am going on vacation for a few weeks?


Make sure the UrbiPod is plugged in to the power source and make sure the water tower is full of water and add a measure of nutrient. Best not to leave it in direct sunlight in summer unattended for 3-4 weeks. If you follow the above advice, your plants will continue to grow and remain healthy.