by Nebula Haze
Starter LED Grow Setup – “Get Your Feet Wet”
- Average Yields: 3.5-7 ounces
- Recommended 1-4 plants
- Grow space is 2’x2’x6’ or larger
- Learn how to grow cannabis with LEDs so you get the best yields!
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
- 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
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.
- 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
- Grow Tent Recommended Sizes
- Exhaust Fan
- Although this fan will help to keep the temps down in your tent, it’s just as important for cleaning the weed smell out of the air.
- Learn more about choosing and setting up an exhaust fan.
- Recommended: Vivosun 4″ Fan – 203 CFM
- Cost: ~$55
- Carbon Scrubber
- Growing medium: Coco coir or soil (hydroponics for more advanced growers)
- Containers: Smart pots or Air Pots between 2 and 7 gallons
- Recommended: One bag of this coco potting mix which is enough to fill 5 x 3-gallon smart pots
- Cost: ~$70
- 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
Other Supplementary Items
- Get your seeds – $5-12/seed (on average, can be more or less depending on the breeder)
- 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!
- 6″ Ducting and Ducting Clamps – to connect your fan and carbon filter together – $15
- Extra pair of 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 – $10
- 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
- Learn about other cool growing tools
Estimated Cost: $589 plus the cost of seeds
Example of Viparspectra LED Grow Lights in Action
Pic by grower ‘Tess’