For almost a decade, I've been growing cannabis using different types of lights: incandescent lamps, CFL, MHL, sodium, fluorescent tubes. For each type, a different spectrum. For each spectrum, a different result. Time has past and technologies have evolved. Now LED is becoming the standard: better spectrum, cooler and cheaper bulbs, longer lifespan, easier to handle. Clearly, I wanted to play with it.
Cheap LED Flowering Stage Tent
My vegetative space is working smoothly for almost two months now and the plants are thriving in there. It is time for me to prepare the next phase: the flowering stage. For that, I've purchased a grow tent on the internet, no IKEA furniture would fit my needs and budget.
a new home
Space And Environment
The tent is 60x60x140cm^3 in dimensions. You don't need much height when you grow with LEDs. I'm using cheap modified storage boxes: the lid was cut to fit the plant's pot and ducktape was added to prevent light entering the container. There is space for two of those 18 liters boxes.
let's camp in the basement
Each container has an airstone placed inside. This is the most basic DWC system you could imagine and it works very well! The containers are half-filled (around 10L) with nutrients solution, leaving an air gap for the roots to develop in.
the pit of life
A small 5W USB fan evacuates the hot and moisty air from the tent, a vent on the side lets dry and cool air entering the space.
tiny but strong
How much light do you need for your grow space? Well, that's a question many of us have. To answer it, I needed data. Fluence Bioengineering is one of the leader in industrial LED lighting, their products are used and praised by the cannabis community. So, I've taken a look at their products.
SPYDRx is their popular heavy duty lamp. It's made for a 1,2x1,2m² (1,44m²) canopy and uses 345W of power (for a growroom without CO2 supplement). This means that they use 345 / 1,44 = 238,58 W per m².
Now we have our standard: 240W of LED power per square meter. My space is 0,6x0,6m² (0,36m²), so I need 240 x 0,36 = 86,4 W of LED for my tent. Very well, now it's time to find the bulbs we need.
Let's go back to IKEA and let's see what they've got there. The RYET E27 1600 lumen 16W 2700°K LED bulb seems fine, five of them would need 80W of power. That sounds perfect to me! My fixture is able to receive nine bulbs and I'm using only five spaces, this means that I'm able to modulate my spectrum and intensity by switching or adding more bulbs.
One of the light was injured during the removal of the plastic bulb. This disabled a quarter of the LEDs, the power of that light being 12W now. But that's ok, it might reduces a little bit the quantity of flowers, but not their qualities.
"Mayday! Mayday! Icarus has touched the Sun!"
To The Moon!
Patience we're going to need, because old enough clones we don't have yet... I know this sounds like Yoda, but he never said that :D
I will post more articles about my operations in the future. A third part of this article will be published in a few months, to update you on the capabilities of my set-up and the problems I've encountered.
Dharko, from underground.