Need advice on a micro grow

DeepfriedNugs

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I'm looking to do a small very stealthy soil micro grow. Single plant only with room to top,scrog or lst. I'm looking for either an affordable CFL complete setup or a small cabinet or tent that can easily be made into a grow space. Max budget for a complete set up is $400.

Dimensions I'm looking for are about roughly 2 to 3 foot wide, 1 to 2 ft deep, and about 2 to 3 ft tall. Ideal would be 3'x1.5'x3'.

I'll post a couple links to some interesting things I've found.

Does anyone have ideas for a cfl ballast that holds 4+ bulbs that can plug directly into a socket?

Any ideas, info etc for choosing a set up is very much appreciated.

Very small tent.

www.greners.com/i/grow-tents/size/1-x-1/growlab-portable-grow-rooms-gl40.html

PC grow box. Complete set setup. If this was 3' tall it'd be perfect. Really like this one.

www.pcgrowbox.com/flower-box-lst-hydro.html

Complete T5 tent set up. Looks pretty good but I don't know much about how T5s are for growing compared to CFLs. Any insight?

www.htgsupply.com/Product-Mother-Keeper-Complete-Grow-Tent-System
 
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Please, please, please do not buy CFLs to grow with. There are many many reasons not to.

First of all, they put out fewer lumens per watt than any other type of lighting we use to grow. What that means is that your electricity bill will be higher every single month for as long as you grow--about twice as much as if you use HID lighting. Secondly, they do not have the penetration of other types of bulbs. And because they put out less lumens, when you get as many as you would need, they run a lot hotter. The reason that most CFL growers do not believe that they put out more heat is because virtually all of them are grossly underlit. Say you go with a 2 x 3 tent (get the biggest tent you have space for), you would need 30,000 lumens (minimum) for flowering--it would take 11 42W CFLs (462 watts) to get minimum recommended lighting for that space. You can go larger wattage bulbs, but the results are the same. You would need about 4 125W (500W) bulbs and still be a little short at 28,000 lumens. However, most larger wattage bulbs use mogul bases, not standard ones. Contrast this with a 250W HPS that puts out 28,000 lumens--the same as 4 125W CFLs which use 500W (twice as much electricity for lower quality light). Or since you are talking about over 400W if you use CFLs, the 400W HPS will put out 50,000 to 55,000 lumens.
 

DeepfriedNugs

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Please, please, please do not buy CFLs to grow with. There are many many reasons not to.

First of all, they put out fewer lumens per watt than any other type of lighting we use to grow. What that means is that your electricity bill will be higher every single month for as long as you grow--about twice as much as if you use HID lighting. Secondly, they do not have the penetration of other types of bulbs. And because they put out less lumens, when you get as many as you would need, they run a lot hotter. The reason that most CFL growers do not believe that they put out more heat is because virtually all of them are grossly underlit. Say you go with a 2 x 3 tent (get the biggest tent you have space for), you would need 30,000 lumens (minimum) for flowering--it would take 11 42W CFLs (462 watts) to get minimum recommended lighting for that space. You can go larger wattage bulbs, but the results are the same. You would need about 4 125W (500W) bulbs and still be a little short at 28,000 lumens. However, most larger wattage bulbs use mogul bases, not standard ones. Contrast this with a 250W HPS that puts out 28,000 lumens--the same as 4 125W CFLs which use 500W (twice as much electricity for lower quality light). Or since you are talking about over 400W if you use CFLs, the 400W HPS will put out 50,000 to 55,000 lumens.
I don't want a light source that generates too much heat that has to be dispersed.

LED maybe? T5?
 

bwanabud

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Replicating Mother Natures attributes indoors, is far harder than most understand. To supply the needed amount of light(in the right spectrum), to controlling temperatures, and of course air changes per hour for fresh air to allow plant survival & growth. If you cut corners, you pay...one way or another.

T5 HO's are designed & used for vegging plants, they produce a lot of heat. I run 6 & 8 bulb 4' units, but the bloom bulbs won't produce quality dense buds...just airy fluffy buds.

As in most hobbies, you get what you pay for.
 

learning2fly

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I don't want a light source that generates too much heat that has to be dispersed.

LED maybe? T5?

whats up DfN's?

I agree with THG and wanted to add my experience...

I have grown with cfl's and have had wonderful results including potency, taste, smell and yes, even yield. I love growing with them but havent in years until now. I currently have plants vegging under 576 watts of cfl's, ...thats 24 spiral cfl's arranged in close proimity to one another and kept always, always between 1~3 from the plants tops. In my opinion, cfl's produce nice short stocky stout plants in veg,... and can be a bit of a challenge getting through flowering stretch as the taller your plants get, the further away the light source gets from the bottom or lower branches/flowers. I like to top once and also will use LST and pull tall tops over or down with simple string tied to the rim of the growing container.

The main reason I love growing with cfl's, is that although they do create heat, and a lot of it in my case with almost 600 watts, ...that heat is in my opinion a 'safe' heat. My canopy never gets over 78 degrees and that's even with the lights spaced at 1 inch from the top canopy.

In my years of forum surfing on our favorite subject, it seems many folks are drawn to the cfl's for the same reasons as me, low temperature heat output that allows me to sleep safely even when out of town and my babies are on automated watering.

I also own 2 600 watt mh's and 2 600 wat hps...all digital ballasts and sealed reflectors/hoods. They are for the time being collecting dust on the shelves while i am again having fun with these cfl's and loving the wonderful growth i see using them.

I have 5 seedlings that are 12 days from seed today - will try to share a picture.


i say give them a try and make your own opinion!

cheers :)

ps, these are 6 inch containers - they hold 2.75 liters of medium.
tallest plant is 2.75 inches tall and 8.0 inches wide.
 

DeepfriedNugs

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Replicating Mother Natures attributes indoors, is far harder than most understand. To supply the needed amount of light(in the right spectrum), to controlling temperatures, and of course air changes per hour for fresh air to allow plant survival & growth. If you cut corners, you pay...one way or another.

T5 HO's are designed & used for vegging plants, they produce a lot of heat. I run 6 & 8 bulb 4' units, but the bloom bulbs won't produce quality dense buds...just airy fluffy buds.

As in most hobbies, you get what you pay for.
So by that logic LEDs should work great, cause they are effin expensive! ;)
 

DeepfriedNugs

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whats up DfN's?

I agree with THG and wanted to add my eperience...

I have grown with cfl's and have had wonderful results including potency, taste, smell and yes, even yield. I love growing with them but havent in years until now. I currently have plants vegging under 576 watts of cfl's, ...thats 24 spiral cfl's arranged in close proimity to one another and kept always, always between 1~3 from the plants tops. In my opinion, cfl's produce nice short stocky stout plants in veg,... and can be a bit of a challenge getting through flowering stretch as the taller your plants get, the further away the light source gets from the bottom or lower branches/flowers. I like to top once and also will use LST and pull tall tops over or down with simple string tied to the rim of the growing container.

The main reason I love growing with cfl's, is that although they do create heat, and a lot of it in my case with almost 600 watts, ...that heat is in my opinion a 'safe' heat. My canopy never gets over 78 degrees and that's even with the lights spaced at 1 inch from the top canopy.

In my years of forum surfing on our favorite subject, it seems many folks are drawn to the cfl's for the same reasons as me, low temperature heat output that allows me to sleep safely even when out of town and my babies are on automated watering.

I also own 2 600 watt mh's and 2 600 wat hps...all digital ballasts and sealed reflectors/hoods. They are for the time being collecting dust on the shelves while i am again having fun with these cfl's and loving the wonderful growth i see using them.

I have 5 seedlings that are 12 days from seed today - will try to share a picture.


i say give them a try and make your own opinion!

cheers :)

ps, these are 6 inch containers - they hold 2.75 liters of medium.
tallest plant is 2.75 inches tall and 8.0 inches wide.
I've been reading and looking at pics and have seen some very nice grows with CFLs.

I'd rather not grow if the only option was HIDs or HPS. I absolutely have zero interest in a high heat set up what so ever.

I'm leaning towards LED but CFL is very interesting considering the nice small grows I've seen using just 4 bulbs.

Keep in mind, Stealth is an absolute must. And I'm only looking to harvest a couple ounces at a time.
 

bwanabud

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I've been reading and looking at pics and have seen some very nice grows with CFLs.

I'd rather not grow if the only option was HIDs or HPS. I absolutely have zero interest in a high heat set up what so ever.

I'm leaning towards LED but CFL is very interesting considering the nice small grows I've seen using just 4 bulbs.

Keep in mind, Stealth is an absolute must. And I'm only looking to harvest a couple ounces at a time.
Just run Auto's and be done in 9 weeks, start to finish.

PJ Hammer, MR1, and Hammy are all running CFL/LED systems,,,,I'd check out their threads for info.
 

DeepfriedNugs

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Just run Auto's and be done in 9 weeks, start to finish.

PJ Hammer, MR1, and Hammy are all running CFL/LED systems,,,,I'd check out their threads for info.
I'm not convinced on Autos yet. There has to be trade offs vs photo period....?
 

bwanabud

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I'm not convinced on Autos yet. There has to be trade offs vs photo period....?
This entire hobby is about trade-off's, not a single segment doesn't adversely alter "something". From nutes, outdoor to indoor, soil/media/hydro, strains, phenos, Sativa/Indica/blends, lighting, fan systems, water types, feeding schedules.....blah blah blah.

Making informed decisions based on accurate information, that fit your personal & financial abilities,,,is a smart grower. There are 1000 ways to do this, everybody is a little different at some stages. Good and cheap are rare, lot's of light & no heat doesn't happen, good water without testing is luck, quality & yield are a matter of perception.

If your mind is set on your path, then helping is a waste of time. You have to be willing to learn, and willing to share. You'll get lots of great advice here, you'll get some bad too...find what works for you.

Welcome to the club :watchplant:
 

chazmaine420

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topledgrowlights.com sells a 300 watt light for $170. Its not top of the line but for the money there good. definitly better than CFL or T5.
 

DeepfriedNugs

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topledgrowlights.com sells a 300 watt light for $170. Its not top of the line but for the money there good. definitly better than CFL or T5.
I'm willing to drop $300 on a light I'd I build my own box. Maybe 2 of those would do the trick? I wonder if they are full spectrum...

I think I'm going to go LED anyway.
 

zem

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I'm looking to do a small very stealthy soil micro grow. Single plant only with room to top,scrog or lst. I'm looking for either an affordable CFL complete setup or a small cabinet or tent that can easily be made into a grow space. Max budget for a complete set up is $400.

Dimensions I'm looking for are about roughly 2 to 3 foot wide, 1 to 2 ft deep, and about 2 to 3 ft tall. Ideal would be 3'x1.5'x3'.

I'll post a couple links to some interesting things I've found.

Does anyone have ideas for a cfl ballast that holds 4+ bulbs that can plug directly into a socket?

Any ideas, info etc for choosing a set up is very much appreciated.

Very small tent.

www.greners.com/i/grow-tents/size/1-x-1/growlab-portable-grow-rooms-gl40.html

PC grow box. Complete set setup. If this was 3' tall it'd be perfect. Really like this one.

www.pcgrowbox.com/flower-box-lst-hydro.html

Complete T5 tent set up. Looks pretty good but I don't know much about how T5s are for growing compared to CFLs. Any insight?

www.htgsupply.com/Product-Mother-Keeper-Complete-Grow-Tent-System
you can use a big cardboard box like the ones used for washing machines if you want it cheap, in that field you can save money and yet don't sacrifice quality. you could just paint it flat white paint cut holes easily and line it with a waterproof membrane in the bottom if needed.
For your dimensions, I suggest that you make a 2.5x2 space and light it up with a 250W HPS which will give off way less heat and way more light, way less wiring and complications and fire/electrocution hazards, and eventually way more bud. if you read what details THG gave you about the heat and lumen output you will quickly conclude that HPS 250w is the way to go, even better in cost of investment, and running cost of electric. to flower that space with cfl's you are creating an oven that you don't want. A 250w kit is in the $170 range, you will pay them in bulbs and wiring using cfls. I never had HPS bulb burn, I always change them to keep high lumen output because they got old, CFL bulbs burn down sooner and get dirty quickly, and worse, they break, and contain mercury, you must evacuate the room if they break. I only use a few in a cloning or seeding chamber to warm it up.
you can get a fan for exhaust for 30$ or less , you don't need a big one. a simple light timer is also 25-30$ pots soil ferts and what else, I think you will be under 400$ total. You might want some further improvements in the future, but it can happen IMO, if you use your budget wisely.
BTW rest assured that you are lucky, to be in the best place to get good info, listen to the reputable people who are giving it to you :vap-Bong_smoker:
 

learning2fly

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This entire hobby is about trade-off's, not a single segment doesn't adversely alter "something". From nutes, outdoor to indoor, soil/media/hydro, strains, phenos, Sativa/Indica/blends, lighting, fan systems, water types, feeding schedules.....blah blah blah.

Making informed decisions based on accurate information, that fit your personal & financial abilities,,,is a smart grower. There are 1000 ways to do this, everybody is a little different at some stages. Good and cheap are rare, lot's of light & no heat doesn't happen, good water without testing is luck, quality & yield are a matter of perception.

If your mind is set on your path, then helping is a waste of time. You have to be willing to learn, and willing to share. You'll get lots of great advice here, you'll get some bad too...find what works for you.

Welcome to the club :watchplant:

just great advice all around....had to quote it!
 

learning2fly

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CFL bulbs burn down sooner and get dirty quickly, and worse, they break, and contain mercury, you must evacuate the room if they break.

I have to agree, that while I have built several cfl lamp assemblies, playing with all of those mercury filled bulbs does concern me in regard to the risk of them breaking and having MERCURY spewed right into the garden!

knock on wood as I havent broke one yet and my grows usually have between 24 and 32 of them!


You bring up a very valid concern here with the use of cfl's...

I was mentioning the fact they are in my opinion "safer" because they dont generate the intense heat that hid's do, but now you have me focused on a larger safety issue,....the mercury!


cheers :)
 
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You are operating under the assumption that HPS is hotter than CFL but that is not correct. There is no getting around that fact...and they are going to cost about twice as much to run every single month. Yes you can do a grow with CFLs, but HPS is going to give you way more bud way cheaper. You are going to spend twice as much on electricity to run CFLs over HPS and probably get 1/2 as much bud. And it is a mistake to believe that a bunch of CFLs are cooler or safer than a HPS. How hot is it going to be when you get 11-12 42W cfls in a 2 x 3 space?

Remember that anyone can make anything look like they want to make it look on You Tube. I can point out downright fraud on there.

It all gets down to the lumens. Lumen for lumen, cfls will run hotter, will cost about twice as much in electricity, will produce less bud, the bud will be less dense and airier, and the potency may also go down. Four bulbs is only going to work if they are large wattage bulbs like a 125W. And 4 125W clfs are NOT going to be cooler, regardless of what you believe. Add up how many CFLs you are going to need--do not scrimp on lumens! You want a minimum of 3000 lumens per sq ft for vegging and 5000 for flowering.
 

DeepfriedNugs

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You are operating under the assumption that HPS is hotter than CFL but that is not correct. There is no getting around that fact...and they are going to cost about twice as much to run every single month. Yes you can do a grow with CFLs, but HPS is going to give you way more bud way cheaper. You are going to spend twice as much on electricity to run CFLs over HPS and probably get 1/2 as much bud. And it is a mistake to believe that a bunch of CFLs are cooler or safer than a HPS. How hot is it going to be when you get 11-12 42W cfls in a 2 x 3 space?

Remember that anyone can make anything look like they want to make it look on You Tube. I can point out downright fraud on there.

It all gets down to the lumens. Lumen for lumen, cfls will run hotter, will cost about twice as much in electricity, will produce less bud, the bud will be less dense and airier, and the potency may also go down. Four bulbs is only going to work if they are large wattage bulbs like a 125W. And 4 125W clfs are NOT going to be cooler, regardless of what you believe. Add up how many CFLs you are going to need--do not scrimp on lumens! You want a minimum of 3000 lumens per sq ft for vegging and 5000 for flowering.
I'm looking in metal halide and hps. Just need a light that will fit into a small space.
 
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