First Time Grower - Light Recommendation

Biff418

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I am planning my first grow and need some advise on lights.

I recently purchased a home. The basement has a room that is 7'x10' (door opens inward 7x7 usable) and 8' high. The basement has 14 dual bulb florescent light fixtures with 48" bulbs in each.

To keep my initial costs down I was hoping to re-purpose some of these fixtures and install good florecent grow bulbs.

I am more interested in quality than quantity. Should I reuse the florescent lights or just get HIS lights?

Any comments would be greatly appreciated.

Sincerely,

Biff418
 
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Welcome to MP. What kind of budget do you have and how big of a space are you looking to set up? You need a min of 3000 lumens per square foot in Veg and 5000 a square foot in Flower. The smaller your space the less light you will need and the less heat you will have to vent from that space. Personally I would get 2 tents, one for Veg and One for Flower. Set them up in the room and go from there. I find it easier to deal with tents.
As for reusing the lights.... Depending on what type they are you might be able to use them for a while in veg. Most use HO T5's because they put out more lumens per bulb than any other floro set up. I Veg in a 2x4 tent and only use one 4 foot 4 bulb HO T5 fixture. I wouldn't use anything else at this point. I have tried CFL, HPS, MH and LED. The LED worked great but was more expensive to buy than the HO T5's.
HPS is probably the most popular for Flowering. It has great penetration powers and puts out a lot of lumens but also produces a lot of heat. Either way ventilation will be another thing you need.
 
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Welcome to MP.

Unfortunately, this is not really a hobby that you can do cheaply. So, I usually try and get an idea of what your budget is for this project so that we can help you make mistakes.

First, you are going to have to set up a proper space that you can control the environment. It would cost over a thousand to set up a 7 x 10 foot space. And ALL the floor space must be taken into account when figuring lighting needs unless you have some kind of moveable partitions to put around the plants to reflect the light back to them. Tents would probably be your best bet in a room that size.

There are certain criteria that MUST be met and adequate lighting is foremost on that list. The bottom line is that T8 and T12 fluorescent tube lighting is really not good enough to grow good cannabis. T5 lighting, however, works great for vegging, but these fixtures run substantially more than the larger tubes as they put out a lot more light per watt. And because of that, they loose intensity less over distance than the other types of tubes. You may not think that there should be that much difference between fluorescent tubes, but there is.

Hamster has given you the minimum lumen required (more is better though). You also need light in the correct spectrum, too. Vegging light should be more in the 6400K range and flowering more in the 2500-3000K range. Read up on lighting so you know the lighting requirements for cannabis. It is a high energy plant and requires not only a whole lot of light, but the correct type and spectrum. Many people run 1200W in a 4 x 4 space.

Next, I recommend using good genetics. This means not using bagseed from a bag of great bud, but buying some known genetics from a reputable dealer. There are several reasons for this, but the most compelling is the huge risk of hermies with bagseed.

Next you are going to need a good ventilation set-up. Plants require a continual supply of fresh air all the time the lights are on for proper photosynthesis. This is accomplished with a good centrifuge type exhaust fan sized to your room. You also need an oscillating fan in your space to move the air around.

I recommend reading, reading, reading. This plant can be quite complicated to grow--there IS a reason that it is expensive to buy--it is expensive and difficult to grow. It is about a 4 month process and a hundred things can come along to trip you up during that time. The more you know and are able to utilize that knowledge, the better your grow will be.

So, what is your budget and let's see what we can help you with.
 

Biff418

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Thank you Hamster and Hemp Goddess for the information. It's bery helpfull.

I have been thinking about growing for many years and decided nows the time to start. I have been reading what I can about growing but did not realize there was so much out there.

I decided this being my firsty grow I want to try and keep things simple and grow from there. I am leaning towards:

- Tent (4'x4' or 2'x4')
- Good Lighting. I would like to use florescent fixtures and will research the HO T5's.
- Good Genetics. I have access to quality seeds from a reputable dealer but have not decided on which to get.

Ventalation
I will have no problem providing clean air at almost any temperature and humitity to the area. My real issue is exhaust. I have raed many articles/blogs, etc. between venting outside or through a charcoal filter and back into the house.

I live in Wisconsin and winter tempuratures range from -30F to +25F. If I vent outside do I need to consider climate factors?

I would like to get this right the first time. Any information you can provide will be greatly appriciated.

Biff418
 

Joe420Camel

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One plant, in full bloom, can stink-up many many square feet of house or alert a NOSEY (hehe) neighbor without proper filtration.

level of Stealth is another question you need to think about

Here is my ventilation setup for a small STEALTH!! grow-cabinet I have in the basement of my house.
It vents directly into the room air.

:48:

View attachment PICT1052.JPG
 
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I cannot stress enough how important good lighting is. Your lighting is the most important aspect your your grow and trying to scrimp on light is a HUGE mistake. If you really want to do this right, you are going to want to go to HPS for flowering. I would not use T5s all the way through. If you are unable to buy both a T5 for vegging and an HPS for flowering, I would get a digital ballast that would run both MH and HPS and use the MH for vegging. The bottom line is that, while you can grow with T5s all the way through, it is going to cost you more in electricity and you will end up with less bud than if you went with an HID, sometimes a lot less. Also the initial cost of enough T5 tubes for a 4 x 4 will run more money than an HID set-up. Just so you know, you would need an absolute minimum of 80,000 lumens to flower in a 4 x 4 space and most people run more. That is 16 tubes emitting 5000 lumen or 2 8 bulb fixtures. Vegging and flowering use different spectrums of lights, which is also a consideration. You will need to swap out at least some of the blue tubes for red tubes to flower. And will probably put out more heat, as you will need a lot more watts with T5s than HPS. An air coolable hood or cool tube makes the HIDs easier to cool (and I would never buy a hood that wasn't air coolable).

How much money do you have to spend on this? That is an important question and can really help us get you going. You are also going to need a fan and filter. Depending on whether you go with a 2 x 4 or a 4 x 4, this will run $100-160. Seeds, pots, medium, nutrients, surge protectors, timers, fan speed controller, and miscellaneous will also start to add up. Cannabis IS finicky and demanding. There is a huge amount to learn. You can only keep it simple to a small degree. I have been growing for decades and I still learn new stuff all the time.
Who is the reputable breeder that you are getting seeds from? If it is someone you have heard of locally, be very cautious. Breeding good stable gear takes generations and careful selection of parents. I am very picky about who I buy seeds from. This is a 4 month process and you generally don't know until the end of the 4 months whether you have gotten gold or garbage.

I am thinking that you do not really understand how the ventilation/exhaust works. It is actually the exhaust pulling air out of your space that will allow new fresh air to enter the tent. Virtually all of us run passive intakes with good sized exhaust fans. The incoming air is going to be the temp and the RH of the air in the surrounding space unless you pull it from somewhere else (I pull my intake air from the crawl space). Where you exhaust is not an issue (unless neighbors can see it or it smells), it is your intake air that needs to be cool and the right RH.

Some of the things are pretty basic when setting up a space and not much room for discussion. You need a minimum of 3000 lumens (blue spectrum) per sq ft for flowering and 5000 for flowering (red spectrum). You need an exhaust fan with enough power to pull through a carbon filter and exchange the air in the space at least once every 2-3 minutes. I personally like to exchange the air more often. You will most likely need a carbon filter during flowering. You will need to research soil mixtures. You are not going to want to just go to your big box store and just randomly pick out a soil. Most soil need additives, like perlite. And you do not want anything with moisture crystals or fertilizer pellets in it. Try to stay away from Miracle Grow. You are also going to need nutrients formulated for cannabis. Decide whether you want to go organic or use chemical nutrients. You cannot really mix the 2. Then read up on whatever method you decide on.

Again, try to run proposed purchases by the people here and they will tell you whether what you are proposing will work and sometimes people have a source for the same thing cheaper somewhere else. Those of us that have grown for a long time have a bunch of equipment that we do not use anymore--either it was an ill thought out purchase or technology changed, which also happens. And this hobby is expensive enough without making stupid purchases....which all of us have probably done at one time or another.
 
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