by Nebula Haze
250W HPS Grow Setup (For Hobbyist Growers)
- Average Yields: 4-9 ounces
- Recommended 1-4 plants
- Grow space is 2’x4’x5’ or larger
- View a grow journal using this setup
- Another grow journal in this setup
About This Setup
The 250W HPS is one of the best (if not most popular) setups a grower can use for small-scale indoor growing. It delivers impressive yields, high potency, lower starting cost, and it’s easy to use since the light can get so close to plants. The 250W also escapes much of the heat issues that larger models of HPS have, though they still have that tell-tale color that can alert people to your grow if it escapes the tent.
Pros: Cheap, easy to use, great yields, awesome potency
Cons: Harder to find, old-fashioned, harsh yellow light is easily distinguishable as a grow light
My last harvest with a 250W HPS grow light (dry yield was 8.97 oz) – View a video of the plants just before harvest
- Total Setup Cost: $775.00
- Estimated Electricity Cost: $21-43/month (based on $0.12/kWH to $0.25/kWh – see breakdown)
- Total Cost for Entire First 4-Month Grow (Setup + Electricity): $947 ($105-236/ounce)
- Total Cost for Second Grow (Nutrients + Electricity): $225 ($25-57/ounce)
Note: Because the 250W light runs significantly cooler and tends to grow smaller plants compared to the bigger HPS grow lights, the 250W setup uses a cheaper exhaust fan and carbon scrubber compared to the other HPS setups, which brings down the overall cost a bit.
Complete Grow Supply List
This cannabis grow room setup list includes all the supplies you need to grow from seed to harvest.
250W MH/HPS Grow Light (ballast, bulbs, and reflector sold separately)
- Ballast – Yescom 250W MH/HPS Digital Ballast
- Bulbs – 250W MH bulb & 250W Super HPS bulb. This “Super HPS” bulb puts out significantly more light than the generic HPS bulbs so don’t skimp. If you must choose just one bulb, get just the HPS. An MH bulb helps plants stay shorter and get bushier if used in the vegetative stage, but an HPS bulb can be used from seed to harvest in a pinch.
- Reflector – iPower Gull Wing Reflector. I’ve tried several different reflectors with this setup and I’ve found the wing reflector (despite being the cheapest option) actually gets more light to more parts of the tent with a 250W HPS than the more expensive air-cooled hood reflecter or cool-tube reflector. Just be aware that a wing reflector is flimsy and bendable. If that would bother you, go with the sturdy air-cooled hood reflector.
A 250W HPS is a great grow light for beginners. Plants grow quickly and produce excellent bud quality, density, and yields.
* Alternative all-in-one 150W HPS – This light is significantly smaller (it uses 100W less), but if you want a cheap “all-in-one” grow light kit with the ballast and reflector built together…
- 150W HPS Complete System with Bulb – Alternative “All-In-One” Kit: Sun System 150W. Harvest up to 5 oz with an $85 all-in-one light.
- 2-5 oz harvest
- Cost: ~$85
Grow Tent (recommended sizes)
- 2’x4’x5′ tent – an example is Cool Grows 48”x24”x60”
- 2’x4’x6′ tent (you’ll appreciate the extra height) – I use the TopoLite 48″x24″x72″ Grow Tent
- 3’x3’x6′ tent (this is a good tent if you want a square space) – an example is VIVOSUN 36″x36″x72″
6″ Exhaust Fan
An exhaust fan vents hot air and can be combined with a carbon filter to stop all smells from leaving the grow space. The 6″ size is plenty for a 250W.
- Example 1: Cheap but loud VIVOSUN 6 Inch 390 CFM exhaust fan. If you plan to use a carbon filter to stop smells, it’s typically cheaper to get a kit that contains both the fan and filter than to buy them separately. Avoid “booster” fans that cost under $35. Although they seem like a good deal, they’re not powerful enough to properly vent heat or use a carbon scrubber. I’ve tried.
- Example 2: Quiet but expensive AC Infinity CLOUDLINE S6 or CLOUDLINE T6 (T6 version is the same fan but has a digital interface)
- Learn more about setting up an exhaust fan
Cost: ~$110 ($65-140)
Carbon Filter / Scrubber (optional)
Used with an exhaust fan to remove weed smell from the air. When set up properly, a carbon filter removes 100% of odors.
- Recommended: 6-inch Carbon Filter, 6″ x 16″ version (for the cheapest option, get a kit that contains both fan and carbon filter instead of buying them separately)
- Learn more about controlling odors
I prefer fabric pots or air pots because cannabis plants grow faster. However, standard hard-sided plant pots also work well and can be watered less often.
- Recommended: Fabric pots between 2-7 gallons (here’s the brand I use)
- Alternative: Regular plant pots between 2-5 gallons
Cost: Less than $30
Plants grow faster in fabric pots compared to hard-sided pots
Grow Medium (Soil, Coco, Hydro)
- Recommended Soil: One 1.5 cu ft bag of Fox Farm Ocean Forest will fill 4 x 3-gallon fabric pots
- Recommended Coco: One 50L bag of Mother Earth coco potting mix will fill 5 x 3-gallon fabric pots
Many nutrient systems have a nutrient schedule so you give your plants the right ratios for each stage of life. Basically you use a “vegetative” or all-purpose plant nutrient for the first part of your plant’s life and a “bloom” or low-nitrogen nutrients when buds are forming.
Tip: Always start at half strength with a new base nutrient system since the recommended amount can be too high for cannabis plants.
- Recommended Base Nutrients (works in any grow medium): General Hydroponics Flora trio (use at half strength) + CaliMagic (use at full strength)
- (Optional) Bloom Supplement: General Hydroponics Floralicious Bloom
See a list of recommended seed sources here.
Other Nice-to-Have Stuff
- 24-Hour Timer (to put your grow lights on a timer so the plants get a day and night period on a schedule). Why do cannabis plants need to be on a day/night schedule? What about autoflowering light schedules? – $10
- Water containers (I personally use a 3-gallon or 5-gallon water jug to mix up nutrients, but anything can work) – Much cheaper at Wal-Mart ($5-15) than online!
- Extra 1/8″ Rope Ratchets (sooooo handy) – These can be used to hang your grow light or carbon filter from inside the tent, and still be able to easily move it up and down without needing any strength. Your grow light usually comes with a set of rope ratchets, but it’s a great idea to get an extra set to hang the carbon filter – $15
- Thermometer/Humidity Monitor with a probe so you can keep track of the temperature inside the tent – $15
- PH Test Kit – Prevent potential nutrient deficiencies by testing the water pH: https://www.growweedeasy.com/ph – $15
- Measuring spoons for measuring out your nutrients (many people already have these) – $10
Estimated Cost: $775 plus the cost of seeds
Got a 6+ oz Harvest! Read the tutorial on how to grow exactly like this! (in this setup)
A hydroponic plant grown in this setup (6+ oz harvest!) – Read the grow journal!
These plants were grown under a 250W HPS. Here’s the grow journal (the 250W HPS beat LEDs in a side-by-side experiment, check it out!)
More plants I grew under a 250W HPS in this setup