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caregiver123

New grow room set up questions

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Hi! I’ll be setting up my new grow room soon and I have a few questions. Here’s some background info:

The grow space in the room is about 10x10’, but it could be closed in further. 2 walls (1 corner) are cinder blocks painted white. The other 2 walls will be made by dropping Mylar sheeting from ceiling to floor (to max area of 10x10’). The actual room the grow space is contained within is about 15x12’. 

Planning to use an ebb and flow system with 12-24 plants (starting from clones).  An exhaust fan can be easily installed above the lights if necessary. 

I very torn between which lights to use.  I was planning on using 2 viparspectra 1200w leds (upgrading to 3 later), but after reading (lots and lots of reading, some with unknown legitimacy) it is recommended to use a few lights with varying wattage, ie 1 300w, 1 900w and 1 1200w - this is better for some reason?  Then I read this led is crap and cob leds are the only way to go and on and on. Then I think I should just get some hps bulbs and forget leds, but I wanna save on energy cost.  But then I read that led output wattages don’t matter - it is the actual wattage the light pulls that matters (ie the viparspectra 1200w only pulls 524w) and according to the 50w/sqft rule the pull amount is what matters - which throws the led efficiency out the window. Anyway — hence my confusion.  

Right now, I only wanna spend about $800 on lights.  I thought I had it figured out, but it seems I’m clueless.

Please help!!  Thank you!

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Pretty much agree with everyone on the LED vs traditional lighting.   No question LED has come a long way over the last 6 years and I have heard some very positive things lately.  My issue is one of initial cost and reliability.    They are typically 3-4x's as expensive initially and then there is the question of support.  All of the manufactures I have looked at have been in business for only a couple of years.   If you have a problem with the circuit boards or the propriety led sets will they be there 3-4 years from now to support you?  

Go with the HPS set up.   Given the size of your grow space don't go above 600w.  With a variable output digital ballast you can go from a 400w MH for veg to a 600 w HPS for bloom.   

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Thanks for all the replies!

I think you have all convinced me to go with an MH/HPS setup.  However, as I have been researching, it seems like 1 - 400w MH and 1 - 600w HPS is not nearly enough light for an 8x8’ space.  Maximum wattage saturation for that space at 50w/sqft is 3200w.  I’m not saying I wanna put 3000w in there, but 400w veg and then 600w flower is less than 20% of the light that could be used in that space.  3-4 of these lights seems more appropriate for this space.  Am I missing something here??

It also appears that light is the most important parameter related to yield - even more important than plant count. In other words, whether you have 3 or 6 or 12 or 24 plants, etc the yield will be similar if the same amount of light is used in all situations.  Am I getting this right??  If so, this is quite a revelation to me since it seems to makes sense that more plants would mean more yield, but that doesn’t seems to be the case. 

Thanks again for all replies!!

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One 400 watt mh per 3x3 area is all you need for veg and one 600 watt HPS per 4x4 area is all you need in flower. You place the plants around the edge of the lights and turn them 1/4 turn everyday. Four plants per light. Most plants double in size when they go into flower. It's called "stretch" and it takes 3-4 weeks to complete in flowering mode. The next 4 weeks they just put on bud.

Edited by AmishRnot4ganja

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Ok. So 12 plants would require 3 lights (4 plants per light).  How will I know when to switch from MH to HPS? I suppose that is a little off topic.  I guess I’ll need to read up on that. 

Any specific brand of lights that are highly recommended?  Apollo? iPower? Hydroplanet?

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You switch to flower when you think that plants are big enough in veg. Plan for them to double in size and put them into flower when you think that after they stretch they won't grow into the lights. This takes some experience because all strains stretch to different degrees. I have a Tangerine Dream that doubles in height while a Humboldt Blue Dream I have grows out more than up. I could veg that thing for eight weeks and it wouldn't get over 4 feet tall, but it will get 3 feet in diameter. In flower it won't get over 5 feet tall but it will be 4 feet in diameter. The Tangerine Dream gets 5 feet tall with only a 5 week veg period. It depends on the strain.

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The limiting factor for your setup is the capacity of your electrical circuits. Your grow space seems very large, so heat buildup shouldn't be a problem (compared to a closet or tent).

My gut instinct would be to go with 3 x 600 Watt HPS for both vegetative and flower. I know that people recommend MH for veg, but the HPS will take care of veg just as well in my opinion. That means less changing out bulbs, adjusting the setting on the ballast, etc. You just need to adjust your timer appropriately.

There are many online calculators for figuring out electrical consumption of all of your equipment (pumps, HVAC, fans).  Determine the size of your circuit breakers, and determine the maximum wattage that it can handle (with a 20% margin of safety). See if you can put each light on a separate circuit.

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On ‎11‎/‎7‎/‎2017 at 12:11 PM, caregiver123 said:

Ok. So 12 plants would require 3 lights (4 plants per light).  How will I know when to switch from MH to HPS? I suppose that is a little off topic.  I guess I’ll need to read up on that. 

Any specific brand of lights that are highly recommended?  Apollo? iPower? Hydroplanet?

This is what I would recommend;

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Virtual-Sun-600W-HPS-MH-Grow-Light-Hood-Reflector-Magnetic-Ballast-Kit-600-Watt/201595436173?epid=2255551191&hash=item2ef0063c8d:g:M5IAAOSwxndXTwZp

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Thank you for all the advice and input. I am thinking about using these lights for my set up: 

1 of these: https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00Z8BTLWE/ref=ox_sc_act_image_4?smid=A2WKQ23WU3PLDV&psc=1

2 of these: https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00FICG2MK/ref=ox_sc_act_image_3?smid=A2WKQ23WU3PLDV&psc=1

Will these lights really need an inline fan in my space or can I get by with a couple of these: https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B06XGW5HRW/ref=ox_sc_act_image_2?smid=A383G1P012K88F&psc=1

My basement is running a temperature of 60-65F in these colder months.

Thanks all!!

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Just 3 of the 600s.   The DE 1000 needs a min. of 3'-4' from the top of your plants at the point when they have finished stretching.   Also there are technical issues as to whether you can enclose and cool a DE bulb.   You will notice that the industry leader, Gravita, does not offer an enclosed fixture for this reason.  They run so hot that Gravita rec'cs changing the reflector material on a yearly basis due to it oxidizing from the heat.  

You will definitely need to cool the enclosed fixtures with ducting and an inline fan.  And you will need the oscillating fan as well.   I would go with a wall mounted unit.  A few $ more, but you will find that floor space is at a premium and a free standing unit will constantly be in your way.

A secondary issue will be the two outside walls.   Given that your basement averages 60-65 I would guess that the walls are cool.   The added humidity from the grow will condense on the cool walls and will be a potential source of mold.   People often cover outside walls with a layer of insulation and a moisture resistant wall material.  As a minimum you should coat these walls with a white mold resistant paint.  It will increase light reflection and make the walls easier to keep clean.

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Got it.

The ceiling is about 8’ high.

So will 1 fan like this suffice for cooling the 3 600w lights, etc?:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B01NA07G79/ref=ox_sc_act_image_1?smid=A2PQGFJXAT8J9K&psc=1

I would just need to hook up ducting tubes to each light and then funnel it out the window. Also planning to get 2 oscillating wall mounted fans. 

As far as the basement walls go, yes they are rather cool. They have already been painted white, but it was just basic paint. I could glue up about 4 of these panels to insulate the walls:

https://www.homedepot.com/p/R-Tech-2-in-x-4-ft-x-8-ft-R-7-7-Rigid-Foam-Insulation-310891/202532856

Mylar sheeting could then be draped over them.  I’m not sure how paintable the foam boards would be.  There are no studs to hang drywall/Sheetrock, etc and I’d rather not get into that if at all possible.

 

Edited by caregiver123

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For the winter you should be able to keep the space cool by just cooling the lights with the setup you linked to.  Come summertime you will probably need ac.   As a rule of thumb lights need 3000 btu of cooling per 1000w.   The foam board should do the trick.  Probably do not need 2" thick.   I have used 1" on an exposed concrete wall and it was just fine.   Tape the seams and just paint it.  No need for adding sheeting over it.  

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Groovy. Even cheaper. 

The last thing I need to figure out is how to funnel the air out my bad little basement window.  The window actually functions, but it tilts inward from the top. The whole window slides out easily.  Need to replace it with something like this:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B01M17V4CO/ref=gp_aw_ybh_a_1?ie=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=Q2TWRSNWXZ2PNC625V8X

However, the window is 33”L x 16”H, so I’ll need to attach another piece of sheet metal or something to it to fill the entire window area. I haven’t found a “hood” this large to fulfill my purpose. Maybe I can use glass blocks somehow. 

Edited by caregiver123

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Glass Block windows have dryer vent fittings.   If you are in or close to any reasonably large city there are plenty of handy man type contractors that will remove your old window and put in glass block for about the same price as if you went to Home Depot and bought the materials for a diy job.

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The exposed side of the insulation is foil covered and shiny. I don’t think there is a reason to paint it. It’s up and looking good. 

After more research I have decided to use DWC buckets by powergrow. Thanks for all the input guys!!

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