by Nebula Haze
Quantum Board (HLG 300L Rspec or ES300) LED Grow Setup
- Average Yields: 5-10+ ounces
- Plants: Recommended 2-6 plants
- Optimal grow space is 2’x4′ or 3′x3′
- Actual Power Consumption: About 300W at full power, and both can be dimmed down for younger plants or if the temperature is getting too high
- How Far to Keep from Plants: 24-30″ for the vegetative stage. Start at 30″ and let plants grow up to the light, then keep 24″ away. 18-20″ away in the flowering stage. Watch top leaves for signs of bleaching/early yellowing, which may be a sign to move the light further away.
- Learn how to grow cannabis with LEDs so you get the best yields!
HLG 300L (R-spec) LED grow light – works great from seed to harvest
The following cannabis plants were grown under an HLG 300 LED grow light, which looks a bit different from the current model pictured above. The HLG 300 was replaced with the HLG 300L in 2020. It has the exact same technology, but comes with a spiffy new look that includes red or blue borders depending on the color spectrum.
These plants were grown with the R-spec version of the HLG 300 – I couldn’t recommend this light more. I’ve used several HLG lights with great results, but this is my favorite so far. It was a joy to use. Full grow journal coming soon!
This is the ES300 LED grow light. Notice it’s a rectangle instead of a square. That’s because it was designed for a 2’x4′ grow space, though it will also work in a 3’x3′.
These cannabis plants were grown under two ES300 LED grow lights (expect about half this with one ES300, like the 3 plants in the front)
About This Setup
LEDs are the newest addition to the cannabis grow light lineup (though at this point they’ve been around for years). LEDs seem to be the direction that grow lighting is headed in general. Aside from the allure of their newer technology, they are great at growing cannabis and they last a very long time compared to some other grow lights. In fact, the ones we recommend can last 100,000 hours; that’s over 14 years if you harvested every 3 months!
Pros: Quantum boards with their unique new spectrums are getting better yields than a lot of the traditional panel LEDs, they’re long-lasting (no replacing expensive bulbs), and they’re just really freakin’ cool
Cons: Expensive, easy to burn plants when kept too close to plants (keep at least 18″ away from the tops of your plants)
HLG first coined the term “Quantum Board” for an LED grow light with the diodes spread out over a large area (on a board). They also have changed the light spectrum from the old-fashioned “blurple” color to something that’s more full spectrum, with higher amounts of red/yellow to promote flowering. These newly improved “board-style” LED grow lights were released and became popular almost overnight. Growers are reporting yields that often beat other types of LED grow lights. We feel it’s too early to call a winner just yet, but it’s undeniable these are some of the best LED grow lights available today (with a price tag to match)!
Setup Cost Estimates
- Quantum Board LED Grow Light: $450-695
- Cost for Everything Besides Grow Light: $535
- Total with Quantum Board Light: $985-1230
- Estimated Electricity Cost: $23-48/month (based on $0.12/kWh to $0.25/kWh – see breakdown)
- Total Cost for Entire First 4-Month Grow (Setup + $0.25/kWh Electricity): $1,327 ($132-266/ounce)
- Total Cost for Second Grow (Nutrients + $0.25/kWh Electricity): $242 ($25-49/ounce)
Summary of what’s needed for this Quantum Board LED grow light setup
You may not 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.
Quantum Board LED Grow Light (285 watts)
- Option 1: HLG 300 Quantum Board (R-spec version recommended for best performance in the flowering stage, also works well for vegetative plants)
- 270 watts
- Average Yields: 5-10+ ounces
- Cost: ~$400
- Option 1: Electric Sky ES300 (designed to be used from seed to harvest)
- 300 watts
- Average Yields: 6-10+ ounces
- Cost: ~$695
- 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.
- 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)
- Cost: ~$110 ($65-140)
- Carbon Scrubber
- An exhaust fan without a carbon scrubber does nothing to eliminate smell, so make sure all air from your tent exits through the fan and scrubber. Learn more about controlling 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)
- Cost: ~$80
- Growing medium: Coco coir or soil (hydroponics for more advanced growers)
- Containers: Smart pots or Air Pots between 2 and 7 gallons (here’s the brand I use)
- 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
- 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
- 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!
- 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
- Learn about other cool growing tools
Estimated Cost: $885-1180 (depending on which light you get) + seeds