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how to set up an indoor grow room

How to Build a Grow Room

If you’ve ever thought about growing cannabis indoors, you may have been faced with a tricky question; should I buy a grow tent or set up a grow room? If you’ve decided to go with the latter, we’re going to go over the basic things you’re going to need to turn a normal room into an indoor grow set up without needing to spend a ridiculous amount of money. Read on to find out exactly how to build a grow room for your cannabis plants.

It generally costs more to turn a full room into a grow room rather than simply buying a grow tent; you need to prepare the entire room so that it can efficiently hold and keep cannabis plants alive. Although it may cost a bit more, it’s definitely a much comfier way to grow cannabis. You can get larger yields, grow larger plants and have enough space to get everything done in the one room, which can be difficult in grow tents.

In order to set your grow room up properly, we’ve decided to cover it in this post; we’re going to go over the absolute basic materials needed to set up an indoor grow room. Get everything set up without needing to spend too much money.

Disinfecting and Hygiene

One of the first steps of any grow step is making sure that everything is properly clean. This is done when growing using both grow tents and growing in a room – you need to clean the room and disinfect it before you can start growing your cannabis. We recommend using a product called Purolyt to clean your grow room.

If you clean your room thoroughly before you start growing, you’ll be able to keep insect and fungi infestations at bay for much longer, which is incredibly important – if your indoor grow room becomes infected it can be quite hard to get rid of it for your next grow.

How to Build a Grow Room | Deciding your set-up

When growing in a wide open area such as a grow room, you’ll need to know how many grow lights you’re planning on using. In this case, we’re going to use two 600w HPS grow lights in a 2 x 2 x 2.2m room. If you want to follow this method, you can also use three 315w LEC lights for similar results.

The amount of lights and their wattage has a direct impact on the strength of your extraction fan and inline fan.

Grow Room Reflective Sheeting

You need to block any and all light from getting into your grow room. You’ll also need to get proper reflective sheeting in order to cover the walls, floor and ceiling of your grow room. You can cover the walls to about a meter and a half if you want to save on materials. We recommend using a stapler to attach it to the walls and ceiling, as double-sided tape can easily come unstuck once the room heats up.

How to Build a Grow Room | Setting up your ventilation system

Once you’ve covered the room with reflective sheeting, you’ll need to prepare your air intake and extraction system. First, make sure nothing can be seen from outside your apartment through the window.

Many people think that the best way to set this up is by placing the extraction duct at the top of the window and the inline duct at the bottom. This is a major mistake – most likely you’ll end up taking in the exact same air that you’re trying to ventilate out of the room. One of the most simple ways to do this is to use the window to extract air and then make a grid on the door to the room. This is called passive intake and doesn’t require any sort of inline fan.

You may have other options though, depending on the size and set-up of your grow room. Most rooms used for growing only have one window, although if your room has a different set up, feel free to make your own extraction system, this is just the simplest set up.

Ventilation System

Once you know where you’re going to be setting up your ventilation system and how you’re going to be supplying fresh air, you’ll need to install the extractor fan and inline fan, if you’re using one.

Extractors can be noisy and cause vibrations that can travel through the wall and floor, which can be heard from other rooms and floors. You’ll need to use a soundproofed box in order to avoid this. It’ll have to be attached to the ceiling, and you can use a frame designed for this purpose or a chain system using rubber rings which stop vibrations from travelling up through the ceiling.

When it comes to the inline fan, if you’re going to use one instead of just using a passive intake vent, it’ll need to be on the other side of the room in comparison to the extraction fan. You’ll need to place it down low. If possible try and use some sort of cushioned base to avoid the vibrations travelling through the floor.

Carbon Filter

Once you’ve set up your ventilation system and everything is in its place, you’ll need to add a carbon filter. You can do this when preparing the grow room or wait until your plants are flowering. It’s much easier to set it up at the start, although you’ll be using it more than you need to. If you wait until the flowering period the filter will last much longer.

In order to attach it to the ceiling you’ll need to use rope and eyebolts. You’ll also need flexible aluminum ducting in order to connect the filter to your extraction fan. If you want the best possible ventilation, try and center the filter as much as possible.

How to Build a Grow Room | Connecting your Aluminum Ducting

Like we said before, you’ll need to connect the filter and extraction fan in order for them to work correctly. Use clamps to attach the ducting to your filter, and do the same with the other end to the extractor fan. Try and keep the ducting as straight as possible to keep the airflow strong. Lastly, you need to connect your extractor to wherever you’re planning on extracting hot air.

If you have an inline fan it’s not that hard to attach the ducting, the difference is the size of the intake fan, which is usually smaller than the extractor. You can also do this using clamps to make it easier.

Lighting Kit

Once you have your extraction system, intake and filtering system installed and you’ve covered the walls in reflective sheeting, it’s time to start installing your lighting kit.

The best way to do this is to keep your ballast outside of the grow room due to the amount of heat that they generate. However, this may be an added benefit when it comes to growing during colder months, although during the springtime and hotter months it’s not a good idea. If you can’t keep it outside of your grow room, you’ll need to place it on a wooden shelf up high and as far away as possible from your plants.

In order to hang your lights correctly, you’ll need to measure out how much space each light is going to cover and find the exact center of the bulb in order to make the right hole in the ceiling for your plants.

Fans

Although you have a ventilation system, you’ll still need a way to move air around your room. We recommend using standing fans or clip-on fans on the wall if you have the space, although the choice is yours. You’ll need to place them strategically in order to help distribute any new air you’re taking in so that you don’t end up with stagnant air pockets. Cannabis plants need constant fresh air to survive.

Timing System

Growing indoors requires quite a lot of electric devices that need to be turned on and off at specific times; you’ll need to use a timer system in order to keep them working properly. The best way to do this is to get a full controller system that allows you to program everything on the one system.

You should try and place it somewhere that you can get to easily while also keeping all of the cables in order. We recommend installing a fire extinguisher above the controller in case of emergencies.

Thermo-hygrometer

Once you’ve set up everything else in your grow room that you need to successfully grow cannabis, you’ll need to check that everything is working correctly so that you can germinate your cannabis seeds. Before doing this, you should place a thermos-hygrometer between your lighting systems in order to check the parameters that you’ll be growing at.

You might have just the right temperature for growing cannabis, although humidity levels will probably be much too low for cannabis plants to grow properly during their first few weeks. This is due to the fact that you’re growing in a large room; it can be complicated to maintain the temperature and humidity at the right levels when compared to growing in a grow tent.

Humidifier

When working in such a large space you’ll need to add humidity to the air somehow, and the best ways to do this is by using a humidifier, or maybe even a few. During your plants’ first few weeks, relative humidity needs to be a bit higher than usual – if it’s not, your plants may not grow to be the best that they can be.

For the best results, you should place the humidifier in the middle of the room alongside a fan, which helps to distribute humidity evenly. If you can, try and move it to the other side of your plants after a few hours in order to avoid the plants closest to it getting a bit too much humidity, which can end up causing fungi.

How to Build a grow Room | Conclusion

When it comes to growing cannabis indoors, setting up an entire grow room can be a bit more complicated and costly than a simple grow tent.

The most important things to keep in mind are that nothing should be seen from outside the room and your extraction system and filter should be working properly; if not, you may get in trouble.

This particular post is designed for those that are going to be growing using two 600w lights and only details the basic materials needed. If you have a better set up or use more advanced methods, that’s great! This is simply a basic guide for an affordable indoor grow set-up for those that have never grown in a room before.

If you want to grow cannabis indoors but don't know how to build a grow room, don't worry! We've designed a guide to show you what you need & how to use it

How to Build the Best Basic Indoor Grow Setup

What to consider when choosing your basic indoor grow setup? Read our tips here and harvest the best buds possible.

Choosing to switch from outdoor growing to a basic indoor grow setup is quite the milestone for a cannabis user. Indeed, growing outdoors – a popular choice for many – can be fairly easy if the weather is not too demanding: throw germinated seeds in some soil, water, harvest, dry, consume, repeat. This is why growers can feel overwhelmed by the difficulties that seemingly go hand in hand with indoor growing.

1. Pick a location for your indoor cannabis grow

If you want your installation to remain basic, you will need to find a space that is not too restricted. For those who don’t have much of a choice, there are options such as Screen of Green, Sea of Green and other micro grows, but those require somewhat advanced, possibly pricey hardware, in addition to potentially being time-consuming. And that’s not what we’re about here! So what should your priorities be?

Estimate the maximum amount of space your plants will need

Assess to which extent your plants are going to grow, at least approximately. This will depend on which cannabis strain you have chosen, as well as on the care you plan on giving them. Whichever spot you have in mind needs to accommodate your plants in their final form, that is, fully grown, in height and in width.

For instance, if your bathtub is large enough and you’re more of a shower person, setting up cannabis plants in one end of a bathtub is actually quite a popular choice. So read product descriptions attentively, take note of average height of your chosen cannabis strains, and whip out your measuring tape.

A basic grow tent

Decide whether your grow space will need protection from light

Regardless of whether you opt for the aforementioned bathtub, or for another corner of your home, your grow space needs to be safe from any unwanted light, especially when the flowering period comes. This means there needs to be no light whatsoever during the “dark phase” of your light cycle, including street lights coming in from windows, rays peering from under doors, etc. Closets or very small rooms with doors are very much appreciated by indoor growers.

If it turns out you don’t have much choice in the matter, you need to consider purchasing a grow tent. Several sizes exist to accommodate most basic indoor grow setups.

How many plants are you growing?

Ask yourself what is the maximum number of plants your grow room/closet/corner can contain. If you are considering buying, for instance, a pack of 10 seeds of our beautiful, bountiful Big Bud Regular, you may want to ensure that your grow space can in fact contain 10 plants. Yes, some of these seeds may not germinate, and it is unlikely all 10 seeds will produce female plants.

But what if 7 of them do, and your bathtub really is a shower cabin that can barely contain you? The cannabis community is all about sharing, and surely, someone can babysit any extra female plant you find yourself with. But if you want to keep a few seeds for next year, invest in Big Bud Feminized instead. And in general, opt for feminized seeds or automatic seeds in order to control the number of fully grown plants you will end up fostering.

Related post

How (And Why) to Build a Hemp House

2. Choose your type of indoor lighting

Indoor growing relies on providing plants with light from artificial sources. There are several types of grow lamps available to choose from. Here is what you need to keep in mind before you make your choice.

What is your honest budget?

The most cost-efficient solution for indoor grow lighting is CFL (Compact Fluorescent Lamp). Compared to MH (Metal-Halide) lamps, CFL lamps consume less energy, and you will also need to change bulbs less often. However, if you plan on having numerous rounds of crops per year, the difference may not necessarily be significant, especially since the use of MH lamps is much more beneficial to vegetating plants.

HPS (High Pressure Sodium) lighting, often chosen for flowering plants, provides a higher level of heat. This may or may not be an advantage depending on what your installation looks like; if your grow space is limited in terms of height, you may want to reconsider in order to ensure your plants will not suffer if too close to your lighting equipment.

If you would prefer to invest in something more expensive in order to secure functioning hardware that will not need replacing or upgrading for several seasons, LED (Light-Emitting Diode) lamps are a good way to achieve long-term savings. But beware! In this case, cheap is not necessarily a wise option. Read plenty of customer reviews before making your choice

Do you have performance requirements?

Budget is one thing, but also ensure you will not be disappointed by your purchase. CFL is the basic option; consider it the “rice and beans” of grow lighting. Beyond this, you will need to seriously consider what type of quality you expect from the final product: LED is known as somewhat of a revolution in grow lighting, so assuming the product you choose is at least in the mid-range category, your seedlings would be guaranteed a proper light cycle that is actively beneficial to plants’ growth and health.

But don’t take our word for it! Click here for detailed technical information about the different types of lighting.

Consider investing in a reflector

A reflector is a piece of equipment that bounces light emitted by your grow lamps towards your plants, as opposed to the (empty) sides of your grow space. It promotes brighter, more powerful lighting without any increase in consumption of electricity, or number of lamps/bulbs. Since we are aiming for a *basic* indoor grow setup, you may skip this step if the number of plants grown is low and/or proportional to the total coverage of your basic lighting equipment.

Many a grower uses CFL or MH lamps during the vegetation period, and HPS lamps during the flowering period. This is a sound choice if your budget allows it. If it doesn’t, cater your hardware purchase for the flowering period, and use it during your plants’ entire lifecycle.

Certain types of setups certainly improve the quality of your harvest, but any kind of lamp will make your plants grow and produce buds.

So don’t be scared to start from the bottom: it will give you a point of reference for your future, more advanced indoor grow setups. It will also teach you the basics of tweaking said setup, and of troubleshooting. Regarding reflectors, this does not necessarily have to be a conscious choice: look for “veg lighting kit” and/or “flowering lighting kit” for complete packages.

Your first basic indoor grow setup will teach you how to nurture your plants to harvest the best possible buds. Read more here.