How to Keep Electricity Costs Down While Growing Weed

Updated Oct 04, 2020

Keep long-term electricity costs down by…

Choose efficient grow lights

There are a few ways to look at efficiency. An LED might use less power, but you won’t get good yields with models that are not that great for cannabis. One of the best-proven LED grow lights I’ve tried so far are Quantum Boards, though I’ll be testing COBs like RapidLED soon because people are getting great results with them. A powerful grow light like the 315 LEC/CMH will use 315 watt but can harvest up to a pound of weed at a time.

Here are some examples:

CFLs Average Electricity Cost: $27/month

  • 1-2 oz Per Harvest
  • Initial Setup Cost: $471.00

100W LED Average Electricity Cost: $10-20/month

  • 1-5 oz Per Harvest
  • Initial Setup Cost: $613.00

A mini-tent bursting with weed!

Starter LEDs Average Electricity Cost: $23/month

  • 2-4 oz Per Harvest
  • Initial Setup Cost: $589.00

Quantum Board LEDs Average Electricity Cost: $23/month

  • 5-10 oz Per Harvest
  • Initial Setup Cost: $1,135.00

250W MH/HPS Average Electricity Cost: $33/month

  • 4-9 oz Per Harvest
  • Initial Setup Cost: $605.00

315W LEC Average Electricity Cost: $43/month

400W MH/HPS Average Electricity Cost: $46/month

  • Same electricity cost and yields for similar wattage LED grow light
  • 7-14 oz Per Harvest
  • Initial Setup Cost: $744.00

600W MH/HPS Average Electricity Cost: $61/month

  • Same electricity cost and yields for similar wattage LED grow light
  • 10-21 oz Per Harvest
  • Initial Setup Cost: $780.00

Just a few of the setups we've built for you!

Vent heat efficiently

If you’re growing in an open room, you can vent heat out a window, but it can be more difficult to vent heat out of a closet. If you’re worried about heat, I recommend getting a grow tent for your first grow and set it up with an efficient exhaust fan. That way you won’t need as many fans or an AC, which can use a lot of electricity over time.

A basic diagram showing how an exhaust system works - cold air comes in through the bottom, and hot air is pushed out the top

Learn all about air circulation and how to set up a grow tent.

Pay attention to electricity used by fans

Be aware of electricity used by fans (some use a ton, while others use barely any). The fans that use less electricity and run quietly often cost more.

Your typical clip-on fans or tabletop fans can use a surprising amount of electricity. If you haven’t invested in a good exhaust system, it’s common to add a bunch of fans in the grow space to help deal with heat.

Airflow in the grow space is crucial, but are you using the wrong fan?

You can use small fans in the grow space to help break up any "hot spots" under the light

IMPORTANT: Fans don’t cool the air. Fans move heat around. Unless you’re venting heat out of the grow space, having a bunch of fans will move the air around but won’t actually bring down the temperature. It’s common for growers to keep adding more fans to try to control heat, as opposed to finding a way to vent heat out. This can end up adding a ton to your electricity use for no reason.

Clip-On Fans

Clip-on fans are some of the worst offenders because they seem like they wouldn’t use much electricity at all.

This $13 tiny clip-on fan uses 27W of electricity

Doesn’t seem like much, does it? But if you get 4 clip-on fans, that’s using over 100W of electricity whenever the fans are running. That is more electricity than an HLG 100 grow light (which can produce up to 5 ounces of premium dried bud at a time), or most exhaust fans. Yet it’s common to discount small fans when considering electricity usage.

Tabletop Fans

Tabletop fans are not very efficient either.

This $26 tabletop fan moves more air, but uses twice as much electricity at 55 watts

Two tabletop fans use as much electricity as 4 clip-on fans. You probably are getting more bang for your buck as far as breeze produced, but still not very efficient.

Exhaust Fans (use one if possible!)

Like I pointed out earlier about setting up a good exhaust system, you’ll save a ton of money on fans by getting one powerful exhaust fan as opposed to using a bunch of small fans. Let’s say you’re trying to cool your grow tent with an exhaust fan…

This 6″ ducting fan uses 37W of electricity and costs about $20 but does a terrible job of actually moving air to vent out heat

Note: In my experience, “ducting fans” are meant to move air from a bathroom and are not powerful enough to vent heat. They barely move air at all compared to your typical “exhaust fan”.

This generic 6″ exhaust fan is more powerful, but far louder and uses 67W of electricity and costs $60

The 6″ Cloudline Exhaust fan is similarly powerful, runs much quieter, and only uses 40W, but it costs $150

When it comes to fans, you have to consider what’s more important to you: how well it works, how much it costs, and how much electricity it uses in the long-run. I have a Cloudline fan and love it because it’s so quiet and efficient, but it was definitely an investment!

You can get away with a ducting fan at first, especially if you’re on a really tight budget, but you’ll probably want to upgrade in the long run. At least that’s what I did after a few grows of struggling with heat.

Invest in a Good Fan Setup to Avoid Wasting Money on Electricity!

  • Get a grow tent with matching grow light (examples of suitable grow setups)
  • Get an efficient exhaust fan
  • You probably won’t need any other fans in the grow space
  • Save money on electricity! (plus no need to buy extra fans)

Note: Other benefits of a good exhaust system is your grow space will be less humid and you gain the ability to filter smells with a carbon filter.

 


 

Grow lights and fans typically use the most electricity in any grow setup. Make good choices and you’ll be able to keep your electricity costs as low as possible while still achieving the yields you’re looking for.

 

 

Return to Top of Page