Beginner LED Cannabis Grow Setup & Tutorial

Updated Jan 28, 2021

by Nebula Haze

Starter LEDs - cannabis setup example that uses a small LED grow light

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Starter LED Grow Setup – “Get Your Feet Wet”


About This Setup

LEDs are the newest addition to the cannabis grow light lineup (though they’ve been around for years), and they look to be the direction that lighting is headed in general. Aside from the allure of their newer technology, they are great at growing cannabis and the units themselves can last a very long time. In fact, the one we recommend can last 100,000 hours; that’s over 14 years if you harvested every 15 weeks!

Pros: Newer technology that’s actually still being improved, long-lasting panels (no replacing expensive bulbs), not stuck with one spectrum, really freakin’ cool

Cons: Expensive, easier to burn plants when not used correctly


Cost Estimates

  • Setup Cost w/ Fan & Carbon Filter: $589.00
  • Estimated Electricity Cost: $23-49/month (based on $0.12/kWH to $0.25/kWh – see breakdown)
  • Total Cost for Entire First 4-Month Grow (Setup + Electricity): $789 ($197-394/ounce)
  • Total Cost for Second Grow (Nutrients + Electricity): $230 ($58-115/ounce)

Summary of what’s needed for this LED grow light setup

Example of an LED grow light setup in a grow tent with complete shopping list

You probably won’t need an exhaust fan for cooling in this setup, but if you don’t have an exhaust fan you can’t use a carbon filter, which means you won’t have a great way to prevent smells from leaking outside your grow space.



Complete Grow Supply List

This cannabis grow room setup list includes all the supplies you need to get to harvest.

Grow Light

  • Starter-level LED (<250 watts)
    • Many LEDs will do the job, but Viparspectra is one of the companies that has been making quality LEDs since we first started growing. Their panels are reliable and don’t cost an arm and a leg. They also improve and update them on a regular basis as we learn more about the custom spectrum that works best for growing cannabis.
    • Recommended: VIPARSPECTRA 450 (200 actual watts)
    • Cost: ~$120

The Viparspectra 450 LED Grow Light

Grow Space

Plant Pots


  • You need a “vegetative” or all-purpose plant nutrient for the first part of your plant’s life
  • You need a “bloom” or low-nitrogen nutrient for the budding phase
  • Many nutrient systems have a nutrient schedule so you give your plants the right ratios for each stage of life
  • Always start at half strength with a new base nutrient system because the recommended strength is typically too high for cannabis
  • Get examples of great cannabis nutrients
  • Recommended Base Nutrients: General Hydroponics Flora trio (use at half strength) + CaliMagic (use at full strength)
  • (Optional) Bloom Supplement: General Hydroponics Floralicious Bloom
  • (Optional) Root Supplement: Botanicare Hydroguard
  • Cost: $50-100

General Hydroponics Flora trio - includes all your base nutrients! General Hydroponics CaliMagic Cal-Mag supplement
General Hydroponics Flora Trio and CaliMagic

Other Supplementary Items

Estimated Cost: $589 plus the cost of seeds

See Additional Grow Setups


Example of Viparspectra LED Grow Lights in Action

Example of cannabis plants grown from seed to harvest under LED grow lights! by Joe "Nunyabiz" Nunya
pic by Joe “Nunyabiz” Nunya, an avid LED grower who uses ViparSpectra LED

Example of several marijuana plants that are growing under two 300W ViparSpectra lights

Why are these buds purple?

Example of a purple cannabis plant that was grown under a 300W ViparSpectra LED grow light

A Viparspectra PAR450 making some flowering cannabis plants look pretty in pink and purple

Pic by grower ‘Tess’

A marijuana cola grown under a ViparSpectra 300W LED grow lightCola produced by ViparSpectra LEDs

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