What do I need for my first indoor grow?

In an indoor grow, it is about simulating and even improving the environmental conditions that are created in nature and facilitate the cultivation of marijuana. To do this, it is necessary to replace sunlight with artificial light, create an air current through extractors and fans, etc. The only factors in common are the environment (if you use soil), fertilizers, and marijuana seeds.

What materials do I need to start my indoor cultivation?

As we explained in another article, before starting your indoor self-cultivation, you must decide if you do it inside a grow tent or if you use the entire room. We recommend the first option because it makes the process easier, especially if you are just starting out.

Step 1: choose your grow tent

If you have never grown indoors and still have doubts about whether to do it in a grow tent, then we will detail the advantages of this method:

Advantages of using grow tents indoors

  • The grow tent creates an ideal environment for your plants and separated from the rest of the house or room. This will allow you to have periods of light and darkness easily.
  • In a grow tent it is easier to create a microclimate than in a room, since it is easier to ventilate and renew the air.
  • Growing in an indoor closet will allow you to install your crop without the need for home works or holes in the walls.
  • There are cabinets for all needs, from small cabinets to be used with energy saving lamps or LED panels, to large cabinets for large growers. The cabinets allow you to play with different options, for example, you can use different lighting.

Other features

  • The production of each closet will be limited by the lighting you use, the conditions that the plants receive and their genetics.
  • Not by putting more plants in a closet will you harvest more cannabis, since it is about filling the closet while respecting a minimum space so that each plant can receive enough light to fatten its buds.
    For example:
    60 cm x 60 cm cabinet: 4 6-liter pots
    80 x 80 cabinet: 6 7-liter pots
    1 mx 1 m cabinet: 9 7-liter pots
    1.20 mx 1.20 m cabinet: 12 7-liter pots
    1.50 mx 1.50 m cabinet: 15 7-liter pots

Different types of cabinets

As we have just explained above, there are cabinets for each type of need, so let’s see which one is best suited to your project:

If you want to make mothers and clones …

To have and preserve mother plants, all you need is to maintain a 18/6 light cycle. Beginning growers usually do not have more than 3 or 4 mother plants destined to provide clones to go through growing cycles. In that case you will not need much space, so  we recommend using small cabinets such as the Dark Propagator line made up of the V4 60 x 40 x 60 cm, V4 90x60x98 cm and V4 120 x 60 x 190 cm models.

Making your own cannabis mother plants will ensure you grow the same genetics whenever you want.

 

If you want to grow, but you don’t have much space …

For urban growers with a small home, we recommend small growing and flowering cabinets such as the Dark Street line by Secret Jardin, consisting of cabinets of:

  • 60 x 60 x 158 cm
  • 90 x 90 x 178 cm
  • 120 x 60 x 178 cm
  • 120 x 120 x 198 cm

If your budget is tight

If you are looking for standard measures and affordable prices, we present the Pure Tent wardrobe line, which sells wardrobes with the following measures:

  • 60 x 60 x 160 cm
  • 80 x 80 x 180 cm
  • 100 x 100 x 200 cm
  • 120 x 120 x 200 cm
  • 240 x 120 x 200 cm
  • 240 x 240 x 200 cm

If you need large cabinets at an affordable price

In that case, the Hydro Shoot line is your best asset: easy-to-assemble cabinets with high value for money. Within this line we can find cabinets of:

  • 150 x 150 x 200 cm
  • 240 x 120 x 200 cm
  • 240 x 240 x 200 cm
  • 300 x 150 x 200 cm
  • 300 x 300 x 200 cm
  • 595 x 300 x 200 cm

If you are looking for quality above all …

The highest quality is represented by the Dark Room cabinets from Secret Jardin covered in high quality mylar, with a reflection index of 95% and a robust structure made up of 25mm diameter steel rods. Available in the following sizes:

  • 150 x 150 x 217 cm
  • 237 x 120 x 200 cm
  • 237 x 237 x 200 cm
  • 297 x 297 x217 cm
  • 297 x 150 x 217 cm
Indoor grow cabinets allow you to isolate the crop much better, create an ideal climate for your plants without spoiling your room.

Step 2: lighting in your indoor grow

The lighting of an indoor grow, contrary to what some people think, is not limited only to the lamps that we place, but to how we reflect this light. Therefore, it is very important to choose a good reflective plastic system.

The light in an indoor grow replaces the sun outside . However, electric lighting has a number of limitations that we must compensate for. For example, the distance and power of the sun makes it reach the crown and the base of the plant in a similar way.

On the other hand, in an indoor grow this decreases drastically. To compensate for this loss we need to line the walls with reflective plastics. The lateral reflection of a good cabinet makes the lamps perform more and the lighting is better used, this, at the end of the crop, results in a higher quality and quantity of the harvest.

If you are going to use the whole room for growing …

Grow tents already come with their interior walls lined with reflective material, but if you are not going to grow in this way, you can choose from the following reflective plastics to line the walls of your grow room:

  • White Black 85 and 125 microns thick and 2m wide: the most economical option, offering 80% reflection.
  • 1.25m wide Lightite Diamond offers the highest reflection.
  • Anti-detection Mylar reflects more than 85% of the light, as well as being resistant to bending, ideal for large crops.

Types of bulbs for growing marijuana indoors

Once the reflective material has been chosen, we have to deal with the lamps. There are several types of bulbs for indoor growing:

Energy saving lightbulbs

The characteristics of this type of bulbs are:

  • Low electricity consumption.
  • They produce little heat, which allows them to be brought closer to the plants.
  • If we compare them with the rest of the lamps that are used in the crops, the production that you will achieve with them is lower.
  • They have different light spectra. You will find specific for growth, flowering or mixed.
  • These types of lamps are usually used for growth, maintenance of mother plants and rooting of cuttings. They can also be used in flowering, although the production is higher with the other types of lamps. They are widely used by growers to save on electricity during the first weeks of growth.

Low Consumption Bulbs: CFL and compact fluorescent tubes

CFL (Compact Fluorescent Light) lamps are made up of a folded or rolled fluorescent tube with built-in cap and ballast. In La Huerta Grow Shop you have available:

  • Superplant Low Consumption Flowering Lamp: this 125W low consumption lamp perfect for very small spaces. Its spectrum is suitable for the flowering period of your marijuana plants.
  • Pure Light CFL Greenpower Lamp: a mixed lamp that serves both for growth and flowering.
  • Pure Light CFL Grow Lamp: this lamp from the manufacturer Pure Factory with its 6400K spectrum is perfect for the growth phase of plants, rooting cuttings, and / or mother maintenance. Available in 125W: (25W x 5 elements); 200W: (40W x 5 elements); 250W: (50W x 5 elements).
  • Pure Light CFL Bloom lamp: perfect for small cabinets or for growing in summer. Available in 150W, 200W and 250W.

Among the energy saving lights we also find fluorescent tubes

  • Compact tubes are not as fragile as CFLs and come with a built-in reflector. In addition, they can be used to support other luminaires or as the main light in small cabinets.
  • The 4x55W low consumption lighting is suitable for 1 m² of cultivation.
  • The 2x55W low consumption light is ideal for maintaining mother plants, and for propagating cuttings and seedlings.

Available in three light colors:

  • 6500K for growth.
  • 9500K for high yields during growth.
  • 2100K for flowering

At La Huerta Grow Shop you have 2 and 4 fluorescent low consumption lighting kits available.

indoor cannabis cultivation
Depending on the lighting you are going to use in your indoor grow, the ventilation and extraction conditions may change. For example, sodium lamps generate much more heat than LED panels.

MH Metal Halide Bulbs

They are high pressure discharge bulbs. They have a perfect light spectrum to keep mothers and grow marijuana plants indoors. This type of lamp needs a ballast to function and uses an E40 socket.

In La Huerta Grow Shop you can find the Philips Master HPI-T Plus 250W lamp that covers 0.5 square meters; and the Pure Factory MH Grow Metal Halide lamp, with a color temperature of 6400K available in 250, 400 and 600w.

Sodium bulbs

HPS (High Pressure Sodium) bulbs are the lamps most used by most indoor marijuana growers. However, they are losing ground to LED and LEC equipment. In the case of LED equipment, these have gained ground due to their low electricity consumption and low heat generation. And in the case of LEC teams on the performance side.

LED lamps: saving energy and reducing heat in your crop

Led is an acronym that stands for Light Emitting Diode. Since its inception, LED lighting for marijuana cultivation has been improving to become an excellent option for cannabis growers.  Although in the beginning they were not very effective, today in growing with LED lamps great results are obtained.

Advantages of LED lamps

  • Compared to HPS lighting, LEDs achieve higher lumens and better light penetration than HPS lamps.
  • They improve the distribution of light.
  • They are suitable for all cultivation, growth and flowering.
  • They increase the quality of the harvested marijuana, since the heat produced by the HPS lamps destroys a large part of the terpenes. Terpenes are responsible for the taste and aroma of marijuana plants.
  • They have a longer service life than HPS lamps.
  • They generate less electricity consumption. Energy consumption is reduced by 60-70% and air conditioning costs are also reduced
  • They cause higher growth of lower branches, more nodes and higher final production.
  • It does not need a ballast or reflector.

Cons of LED lamps

  • In contrast, LEDs are more expensive than HPS equipment.

In La Huerta Grow Shop you can find the renowned Lumatek LED equipment such as the 465W and 600W Zeus LED Panel in its standard and pro version, or the Attis line aimed at cabinets of 1m 2 or less. You will also find panels of the Pure LED brand with the highest value for money such as 480W and 645W. And for large growers the Led VYPR 2p for use in rooms.

cannabis led
LED panels have come a long way in recent years. We can see very good results with the latest models such as Blooming LED or the highly acclaimed Lumatek Attis and Lumatek Zeus.

 

LEC bulbs

Bulbs LEC or CMH (Ceramic Metal Halide), high intensity light bulbs are ceramic discharge.

Characteristics of LEC bulbs

  • They offer more lumens per watt.
  • They produce a more natural spectrum, however, you will need to wear eye protection if you are entering the closet with the light on. We recommend Newlite Vision Protection HPS Full Equipment.
  • It gives off more heat than LED equipment and less than HPS.
  • An LEC lamp offers an output of 1.5-1.7g per watt. There are 310 and 630W LEC bulbs.
  • They need a ballast compatible with LEC technology.
  • 315W LEC bulbs use PGz18 socket, although you can use your old reflector with the E-40 to CMH / LEC Adapter Socket.
  • 630W LEC bulbs use Doubble Ended sockets.

At La Huerta Grow Shop you have 315W 3100K and 4200K LEC bulbs available . Both are suitable for growth and flowering. The 3100K color temperature is perfect for growing from cuttings or indica plants. The 4200K bulb is ideal for growing from seed or for more sativa plants, it enhances growth. In our catalog you will also find 630W LEC bulbs.

Comparison of lights for flowering

When it is time to bring our cannabis plants into their flowering period, not only is it enough to change the Light cycle to 12/12, it is also necessary to take into account the type of light spectrum they receive. Next, we make a comparison between the different options:

  • Fluorescent: they are the cheapest and give off little heat, on the other hand, production is low.
  • HPS: maximum production of 1g per watt. They give off heat, they are the ones that use the most electricity and need good air conditioning.
  • LED: offers a high production, is the one that spends the least and has the longest useful life. In addition, it is the cheapest when it comes to air conditioning the growing space because it gives off the least heat. On the other hand, LEDs have a higher price than LEC and HPS equipment. However, in the long term they can be a good investment since they reduce the electricity bill.
  • LEC or CMH lamps: achieve the highest illumination per watt and offer the highest output. They need good air conditioning.

Ballasts – an essential piece in some lighting equipment

Ballasts are responsible for keeping the electric current stable and limiting the electric intensity of a lamp. Without a ballast, the HPS and MH lamps do not light. LEC / CMH lamps use a special electronic ballast compatible with LEC technology.

Inside the ballasts, there are also different types: 

Magnetic or analog ballasts

  • They are cheaper, although they use more electricity than an electronic ballast.
  • They do not have the option of adjusting the intensity of the light. For example, during the first weeks when the plant is small you should move the lamp further away from the plants. Therefore, they also use more electricity.
  • They get hotter and louder than digital ballasts.
  • They generate alternating current, loss of 20-30% of illumination.

In La Huerta Grow Shop you will find magnetic ballasts such as the Sodium / Halog Ballast. 400W ETI and the Pure Light V2 ballast, which has a fuse that prevents overvoltages and increases the useful time of the lamp. Available in 400 and 600W

ballast lec
In indoor crops that use sodium lamps, metal halides or LEC, ballasts are necessary elements for their operation.

 

Electronic Ballasts

  • They allow the intensity of the lighting to be adjusted, the watts are better used during the first weeks of cultivation.
  • They generate direct current, the bulbs last longer.
  • They generate less heat and are quieter than magnetic ballasts.
  • Lighter and safer.

Plug & Play, in our store you will find the best electronic ballasts on the market:

  • The Lazerlite 600W Ballast allows you to select 4 powers; 250w, 400w, 600w and super lumen, which increases the power by 10%.
  • Bolt Electronic Ballast, equipped with a potentiometer, this digital ballast can be used in 4 different positions: 50%, 65%, 600w, and Super Lumen.
  • Lumatek Ballast is a high quality electronic ballast with potentiometer. Available in 250w. more lumens increase and adjustable to 175 and 150w; in 400w more lumens increase and adjustable to 300 and 250w; in 600w more lumens increase and adjustable to 450 and 400w; and in 1000w more lumens increase and adjustable to 600w.

LEC ballasts

LEC bulbs use special ballasts. Some 310W LEC kits already have the ballast assembled to the reflector, for example the Lumatek Aurora 315W CMH kit, and the LEC CMH 315W kit with 3100K bulb. In 630W you have available the 630W DE CMH / LEC ballast and lamp kit, and the Lumatek 630W Eco DE Reflector Kit that also includes the reflector.

Reflector

If you have decided on a low consumption, fluorescent, MH, HPS or LEC / CMH bulb you will need a reflector. A reflector is just as important as a high-quality light bulb. A medium or high quality bulb in a low quality reflector wastes your bulb investment. Our advice is not to skimp when choosing a reflector.

Reflectors for energy saving light bulbs

In La Huerta Grow Shop you will find:

Reflectors for sodium and metal halide bulbs

  • Among the reflectors for HPS and MH we find the classic and inexpensive Stucco granulated screen reflector. It is the most basic model of reflectors and has standard performance. If you can invest a little more in your reflectors, you will make the most of the lighting, increasing the quantity and the final quality of your indoor grow.
  • One step further we find the Adjust-a-Wings Enforcer Medium reflector with a micro-coated pattern and 85% reflection. In this category we also find the Reflector Azerwing Medium with a reflection of 86% and good heat dissipation. And the reflector with the highest quality / price ratio is the Garden Highpro Pearl Pro-XL reflector.
buy sodium lamp
Sodium lamps emit a characteristic orange light, which simulates the light spectrum of the Sun.

On a professional level, if you are looking for the greatest reflection to make the most of the lighting in your plants, you can choose between:

  • The Azerwing Medium Vega Reflector, which has a 95% reflection of light. In addition, it allows you to adjust the inclination and height of the bulb according to your needs.
  • The Large Azerwing Reflector has the same reflection. This reflector allows you to place 2 400w bulbs, 2 600w bulbs, or 1 1000w bulb.
  • The highest reflection (97%), you will get only with the Reflector Adjust A Wings Medium Professional. Now it has included the Spreader (heatsink), with which the manufacturer ensures that 30% more final harvest is achieved.

LEC reflectors

The E-40 to CMH / LEC 315W Adapter Cap will allow you to use a 315W LEC bulb in a stucco grain screen reflector or a Garden Highpro Pearl Pro-XL reflector. The Double Ended Lamp Adapter Cap allows mounting a 630W LEC bulb in Adjust-A-Wings® Medium reflectors, such as the Adjust-a-Wings Enforcer Medium models with 86% reflection; and the highest quality in this range is the Professional Adjusta Wings Medium Reflector, with 97% reflection.

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