So you want to set up a marijuana grow room, but you’re tight on budget. You’ve scoured the web, and it feels like the only option left is to cough out hundreds, if not thousands of dollars for a decent grow room.
The good news is you can own your grow room and enjoy the benefits of marijuana without breaking the bank. For many, the equipment cost is the major setback. Did you know that you can set up a basic grow room for as low as $100? I’ll show you how.
That said, this article discusses everything you need to know about setting up a low-budget grow room.
Requirements Of A Low-Budget Grow Room.
Growing marijuana from the comfort of your home isn’t cheap; however, the cost can be leveraged once you have your requirements planned out and kept in place.
The exciting part of growing marijuana plants indoors is that you have complete monitoring control over the entire process, from start to finish. You’re able to closely monitor all the necessary growth parameters like humidity, lighting, ventilation, nutrient, temperature, and a few more.
It’d be easier to plan out the quantity and frequency of whatever your marijuana needs for adequate growth. You’re entirely free from external predators like animals and intruders like your spying neighbor.
To cut it short, while growing marijuana indoors can chunk off a little more money than when grown outdoors, indoor grow rooms have proven to be more effective. First off, what are the essential parameters for proper marijuana plant growth?
Being lightproof is a crucial feature of a grow room. That’s because of the equal importance in the hours of light and hours of darkness. The marijuana plant’s growth is grouped into two phases; the vegetative phase and the flowering phase.
The vegetative phase of the marijuana plant thrives under 6 hours of darkness and 18 hours of light. On the other hand, the flowering stage survives under 12 hours of light and 12 hours of darkness.
Please note; the plant must not be exposed to light during the dark phase, or else it might retrogress to the vegetative phase (which is a setback for growth)
Keeping the grow room airtight is pretty important. You don’t want to have the strong marijuana smell leaving the room. The powerful smell could attract the next neighbor (which you don’t want). Carbon filters trap and neutralize the strong smell (more on that later)
Air extractors remain one of the most worthwhile investments of a grow room. Grow lamps create heat that needs to be removed regularly. Air extractors include a filter that traps heat and any strong smell to facilitate better control of your plant’s climatic environment.
Marijuana plants capture carbon dioxide in the grow room and convert them into sugar and oxygen. A typical grow room contains about 350ppm of CO2 (Carbon Dioxide), which the marijuana plant can rapidly use up. Carbon Dioxide deficiency can impede the growth of your marijuana plant. So it’s important to create a channel for incoming fresh air (an example is via a hole) for the plant to enjoy abundant CO2.
Your grow room will be hot as a result of the lights on. However, at night, the room might need heat to maintain a warm environment, more importantly, when the extractor is up and running.
Since you have a mechanism that transports external air into your grow room, you also need a mechanism that ensures its even distribution across the room. A fan blends the external air and the lamp air to create a consistent distribution of temperature and CO2.
It’s normal for some of the water poured into the pot to leak on the floor. The floor water increases the grow room’s humidity which can be risky to your plant. Therefore, your grow room flooring must be waterproofed.
Light-reflective walls maximize energy and improve your plant’s yield. White walls are better reflectors, while black walls are better light absorbers.
Grow tents simplify the grow room creation process. They’re designed for growers who want to grow marijuana indoors without undergoing the manual tent creation process. The benefit of grow tents is that all growth parameters are pre-designed to suit your requirements.
In other words, grow tents are already waterproofed, lightproof, airtight, and can be enclosed to preserve the internal environment. They feature holes for incoming and outgoing fresh air, along with a reflective interior. Grow tents have areas where you can hang your lamp or air extractors.
I really recommend a complete grow tent kit for beginners who want to grow indoors. Set up is a breeze and the cost is budget-friendly. Furthermore, it saves time and research dedicated to manually set up a grow room.
A grow tent plus a 600 watts lamp can cost anywhere between $60-$100, and you’re assured of all necessary requirements for high yield. You can place the tent in your choice of the room because they’re highly secretive and the smell is nearly imperceivable.
Affordable grow gears
Let’s assume you’ve got your grow room ready for set up, next is to prepare all necessary interior equipment or gears. Keep in mind that it is the equipment that makes or breaks your marijuana growth success.
These gears determine how well you’re able to control the climatic condition of your grow room.
Note – you don’t necessarily need everything on the list. But keep in mind, the more the better. let’s get started.
The more light quality, the better your plant will develop. HPS lamps are the most effective option, especially when using the 600-watt lamp/13 square feet for the flowering stage. A 400-watt lamp/13 square feet is fine for the vegetative phase. Since we’re trying to manage our budget, fluorescent lights are also a workable alternative. LEDs can be on the expensive side but they last for many years.
Reflectors are pretty important because plants should not only emit light on the marijuana plants but in every direction. The reflector controls the light to redirect anything that hits the walls to the marijuana plants. You can save money by getting a complete reflector set with ballast, reflectors, and bulbs.
The ballast controls the amount of energy the lamp uses. We have the dimmable ballast that works with a 400-600 watt bulb. Some ballasts are pre-designed with light systems, which could save you some money.
The time switch manages the light cycle of your marijuana plant regardless of its growing stage. The time switch automatically turns the light On and OFF to control the light. You don’t have to do it manually.
As the name implies, an air extractor removes heat from lamps. Extractors housed in an insulator box are the real deal. They prevent the typical marijuana smell. A daily 17600 cubic ft of extraction daily is a good idea.
The carbon filter is a critical feature of a grow room. They help neutralize the marijuana smell. Simply connect your carbon filter to the air extractor and remove the marijuana smell from the outgoing air.
Quick tip – always replace your filter after every 6 harvests. Furthermore, humidity above 80% might lower your filter’s lifespan.
The air intake is another critical part of a grow room as they coordinate how your plant is supplied with fresh air. Fresh air is important to your marijuana plant because of the ongoing carbon dioxide contained in them. Ensure that the fan attached to the exterior hole is half the extractor’s capacity. For instance, a 24600 cubic foot fan is OK on a 52,800 cubic foot extractor.
Controller with thermostat
A controller controls the settings of the air extractor. A lamp turned on will give more air extracted than when it’s turned off. The controller with the thermostat helps the extractor to run smoothly.
A fan contributes effectively to the proper functioning of the grow tent. Rotate the fan while aiming between the lamp and the marijuana plant.
Pro-tip: Ensure that your grow room environment is a proper mix of the cold and hot climate. Doing this also prevents the build-up of mold.
A thermometer is another crucial piece of equipment for any grow room. Obviously, you need to track your grow room temperature regularly.
A thermometer can be as cheap or as expensive as you want. It totally comes down to your budget. Either an analog or digital thermometer is fine. A digital thermometer with memory features tracks the long-term temperature trend of your grow room.
Wired thermometers are also fine as they track the internal temperature from the outside without disrupting the interior climate.
A hygrometer tracks the humidity level of your grow room. Both analog and digital hygrometers are fine ( they make no much difference). A digital hygrometer with a memory feature tracks the long-term temperature trend of your grow room.
Combimeter is another great piece of equipment that measures temperature and humidity.
Water tanks provide the space to prepare nutrient solutions. A 5-gallon /60 watts lamp is ideal for your grow room. Always maintain a regular proper temperature.
EC meters measure the mineral and nutrient levels of the water. No matter how well you mix them up, always measure the nutrient before feeding the marijuana plant.
It’s compulsory to reduce the water PH level when you add new nutrients. That’s where a PH meter can help track the exact PH level. You can get a PH meter for as low as $20. There’s also a little expensive EC meter that tracks the temperature and EC of the water.
Pump or watering can
A Watering Can water plants effectively, so does a pump. Your grow room size will determine which of the two you should use. Growers practicing hydroponics operation should go for the pump connected to the time switch. Growers with the soil operation can use a pump only if they have at least 3- 600 watts lamps. Use a watering can if you have only one or two lamps.
Affordable Grow Lights
The lighting setup constitutes one of the most important aspects of setting up a grow room.
They are multiple factors to consider, such as:
- The type of lighting
- Number of lights
- Hanging processes, and more.
In fact, the grow room interacts with the lighting process, so it’s crucial to keep that in mind.
Types of lighting
Marijuana grow room features one of the following three types of lighting:
- Compact Fluorescent light
- High-pressure sodium
- Light-emitting diode
Although the above support a proper grow room setup, it’s still important to understand the benefits and downsides of each type.
Fluorescent lights emit minimal heat and are energy efficient.
They are exceptionally perfect for the vegetative phase of the plant growth process.
However, it’s not the best lighting type for the flowering stage as it only covers some parts of the UV spectrum.
Also, it has lesser strength compared to other grow light types. Every 100 watts of the fluorescent light helps the plant yield up to one ounce of weed. Manageable for a cheap lighting type.
Unlike fluorescent light, LED grow lights do not emit much heat, and blending the dominating spectrum colors (blue and red) can help emit the ideal phase of marijuana growth. LED energy efficiency lasts longer and is easy to customize.
On the flip side, they are not the most powerful. Plus, they’re a little expensive. Every 100 watts of the LED light helps the plant yield up to two ounces of weed. LED lights are not the most affordable option, but they tend to last longer.
HPS is unique. They produce the complete UV spectrum, which supports the flowering and vegetative growth phase of the marijuana plant.
The powerful light emitted by the HPS light boosts the cannabis plant’s growth.
The downside is that they don’t last long, and they chop off high electricity during operation ( not budget-friendly). HPS also emits too much heat, which means you’ll be needing multiple fans. Every 100 watts of the HPS light helps the plant yield up to three ounces of weed.
Overall, this is the best weed light for the money. Remember, you’re not getting these high-end features at a cheap price, but you’re getting monster yields.
Top 3 affordable grow lights
Apart from being adored by many growers, these grow lights are also the cheapest bulb type in the market. Although they have low strength and yield, they work perfectly, especially for first-time growers setting up a grow room.
Here are the top 3 light bulbs for growers on a budget.
1. Envingro 4-Tube fixture
This fluorescent bulb is highly recommended for growers looking to make clones or kick start their plant’s vegetative phase.
It comes with 4 T5 fluorescent bulbs. You can choose from one of the two available options -the 2-foot set or the 4-foot set. You can customize the number of tubes to buy, depending on how you want to plan your setup.
- The bulb features over 18000 lumens and holds back on heat generation.
- Easy to customize according to desired grow room setup.
- Doesn’t have the same strength as the HPS light bulb.
- It does not support the flowering phase.
2.Hydrofarm fluorowing compact 8
The lightweight nature (at 3 pounds) of this fluorescent bulb makes them super easy to hang. The entire kit contains the bulb and reflector for light maximization. Also, the 125-watt bulb features a full daylight spectrum.
- Extremely lightweight
- Emit minimal light (no need for multiple fans)
- Impressive energy efficiency
- No full-spectrum, not the best for the flowering stage
- Some customers complain of an ineffective reflector
3. Apollo Horticulture 125-Watt
This is an extremely budget-friendly bulb for plants in the vegetative phase. It is available both in the 6400k or 2700k frequency at the same price. The system doesn’t come with a full kit but fits perfectly into any socket.
- Emits little heat
- Highly energy efficient
- A cheap option for someone on a budget
- The system has no hood. You have to purchase them separately.
- It has no full spectrum
- Not as powerful as the HPS light.
Tap water will save some money
Your regular tap water is fine. Expert growers use waters within the 5.5-6.5 PH level and 1.8-2.2 EC.
For the growth stage, use nitrogen and for the flowering stage, NPK is fine.
Green plants, including marijuana, use water, light energy, and CO2 to provide energy for plant growth or photosynthesis. The CO2 tank and regulator are fine. Alternatively, you can set up a ventilation system to stabilize the grow room air.
The temperature shouldn’t go less than 64 or greater than 86. Around 77 sounds perfectly fair.
Summary – How to set up a low budget grow room
Setting up a grow room shouldn’t tear your pocket. We hope this article will help you make an informed decision when setting up your grow room on a budget. The most important thing is to have your requirements planned out and kept in place. Good luck.