How to Build a Grow Room on a Budget
Ready to set up a grow room? It doesn’t have to cost the earth. Here’s how you do it on a budget.
Find a Kit
The easiest & cheapest thing to do is to get a grow tent kit.
- Easier - skip the sizing up (lights, tent & extraction are included)
- Spend less- it's cheaper buying a kit than it would be to buy everything on its own
- No mistakes - we've hand picked everything in these kits to give you great results
If a kit's not for you, you can do it yourself.
Do it Yourself
For most people, there are three main steps involved:
- Choosing your lighting
- Picking a tent
- Controlling your climate
1. Choose your Grow Tent
The size of your tent needs to suit your grow lights. As a rule, here’s how much space you need for each grow light:
|250W light||0.75m x 0.75m||200cm|
|400W light||1m x 1m||200cm|
|600W light||1.2m x 1.2m||200cm|
|750W light||1.2m x 1.2m||200cm - 215cm|
|1000W light||1.5m x 1.5m||215cm - 240cm|
If using fluorescent propagation lights, you only need a small propagation tent, because the light intensity is so low.
When sizing up your tent, make there’s enough space for ducting at the top and sides of your tent.
|Money Saving Hint:|
Pick a tent that’s going to last. It may be more to buy, but if it lasts longer, it costs less overall.
2. Choosing your Grow Lights
There are lots of lights to choose from. For their main grow, most people use an HID light, with or without supplemental lights.
Most of the time you'll be using a CFL light for propagation, then switching to an HID lights for your main grow.
CFL (compact fluorescent lamps)
HID (High Intensity Discharge) lights
Mostly emit wavelengths used for growth, from the ‘PAR range’ (400nm – 700nm). These lights are made up of a ballast, lamp and reflector.
- HPS (High Pressure Sodium) - mostly red light for flowering
- Metal Halide (Metal Halide) - mostly blue light for veg
- Dual spectrum - emit blue and red light, for veg & flowering
Budget HID: BAY6 Lighting System (choice of reflectors)
Supplemental grow lights
These lights are used alongside your main HID lights to improve yield taste, aroma, appearance & quality.
- 315W CDM (Ceramic Discharge Metal Halide)
- 270W LEP (Light Emitting Plasma)
With the right reflector, in the right area, you can use 315W CDM as a standalone light.
Budget Supplemental: Maxibright CDM Lighting System
Best Supplemental: Gavita LEP Plasma Grow Light
LED grow lights
LED grow lights are are cool and cheap to run. Lots of growers switch to them in summer.
The thing is, they're hit and miss. Cheap ones don't emit a good enough spectrum or penetrate far enough into the canopy layer. But the good ones are very good.
The ones we sell (GN Telos) emit at least 2.1μmol per W - that'll give some of our best HPS lights a run for their money.
Best LED: Telos LED
Choosing a ballast (if running HID lights) is a lot easier. You've basically got two choices - magnetic or digital.
Magnetic ballasts: Are cheaper to buy and get the job done.
Digital ballasts: Cost less overall (cheaper to run, last longer, prolong lamp life)
Your light coverage is determined by your reflector (if using HID) lights. So the shape of your reflector needs to match the shape of the growing area.
The easiest way to get it right is to split your grow tent into sections, then position a reflector in the centre of each section.
|Money Saving Hint:|
Consider running your grow lights at night . You'll spend less on electricity because night time tariffs are lower.
It’s also cooler at night, so fans or air con systems don’t have to work as hard during summer.
3. Set Up your Climate Control System
There are two ways to do it. You can exchange air or create a closed loop room.
This is where you extract stale, hot, humid, CO2 depleted air and replace it with cooler, less humid, CO2 rich air. You also need to remove any odours before extracting air.
To work out how many cubic metres of air your fan needs to extract an hour:
Multiply your tent's L x W x H.
The answer is how much space is covered by your grow lights.
In a XL BAY6 Tent:
1.2m x 1.2m x 2m = 2.88m3
Multiply this by 60
That'll tell you how much air to extract every hour.
2.88m3 x 60 = 172.8m3
If you’re only extracting a small amount of air, you can get away with drawing air in through vents. Otherwise, pick an intake that draws in 20% less air.
|Money Saving Hint:|
To cut costs, swap your RVK fan for an EC fan To read more, hop over to EC vs. AC fans.
To Create a Closed Loop System:
For complete climate control, you’ll one a closed loop set up. Hardly any air enters, hardly any air leaves. Instead of exchanging air, you constantly treat the air with a climate control system.
Hardly any air enters, hardly any air leaves. Instead of exchanging air, you constantly treat the air with a climate control system.
Don’t forget that you will need to add CO2 and dehumidify the air in a closed loop set up.