For or Against Used Equipment

Don’t worry I’m not going to post any links or anything.
As a first time grower, and a very broke one… I have been looking into secondhand equipment. I’m wondering if anyone has any input/experience going this route?
I’m looking to get a 4 x 4 tent, 600w MH/HPS (ballast,hood,etc), and some ventilation equipment. The cheapest I can find these things brand new is about $400 to $500. That doesn’t even include the nutrients, the seeds, and the increased electricity costs. I plan on making two 5 gallon DWC setups (one plant each) “DIY” style (which I can do for relatively cheap).
I don’t make much money, so the prospect of buying someone’s outgrown equipment (like when somebody is upgrading) is very appealing! It’s also very worrisome… Not really knowing who you’re buying from, how it was used, how it was taken care of, etc.
Just looking for some people to weigh in with their opinions on this… Let me know what you think!

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IMHO, if you live in a legal state, I would check the ads for someone that is upgrading

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Also if you are on a budget, choose something less expensive than hydro. @xDeeTeRx

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Why would u say that hydro is more expensive? From what members of this forum have told me and what Ive read/watched, hydro could be the cheaper option…

You can get galaxy hydros led 300w for 90 each brand new and you can get a tent brand new for under 100 so you can have 2 brand new lights w a 2 year Warrenty and a no name tent for under 100 brand new also just my 2 cents. Alot of people on here use the galaxy hydro 300 and are pleased with it. Does that tent come with intake and exhaust fans

Also running 3 led lights all my vent equip only added 50-60 a month to elect bill check and see when it’s cheapest to run electric which is usually over night

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So in your opinion LED lights are better than HID? I saw someone that was flowering same plants at same time, one was HID and one was LED and the LED side was severly lacking in growth and density of the growth. Thats the main reason i was gonna go HID over LED.

I’m not a hydro guy so I could be off base. That said; in addition to the lights and tent you will need the additional infrastructure to start DWC, then an investment in the nutes, then the chems to maintain it, plus quality instruments to know what it’s doing.

Soil, you need some pots, dirt, fertilizer. A ph meter and ph up and down.

You can do like I did to save money and build your own grow box out of rigid Styrofoam. Cost me under $100 for a killer 4 X 6 X 6 foot space with double doors and wheels and even a color TV lol (not). Correct use of led’s will get you just as good results as anyone else. I’ll stack my bud up against anyone’s grown under MH/HPS. Not that I’m taking away from those methods. It’s simply that led’s work, but do your homework before buying.

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Hi,

It really depends on how much one spends on LED technology.

If you compare inexpensive LED light fixtures to a comparable hps light, most likely the hps grow result will be the winner.

Upper tier led grow lights vs comparable hps/mh lighting many times the led grow will come out ahead.

More expensive led lights offer a much broader light spectrum than inexpensive ones and have a more notable usable light spectrum than hps/mh.

If up front costs are an issue I would go the hps route for the time being.

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It’s real important to look at the true wattage of the LED lights you are looking at buying. I bought true 300 watt lights on Amazon for $118 apiece. I also made my own 200 watt temporary fixture for $20 out of driverless C to give me around 800 watts for a 5x6 area. The great thing is that I can easily keep the temps at 77 to 80 at the plants top just by moving a large amount of air through the room. That is apparently one of the main things to growing really nice plants. I’m a first time grower and mine came out pretty good. You should seriously consider soil for top quality smoke. Hydro is good, but soil grown just seems to have a better taste and much less worry about equipment failure ruining a lot of hard work. @dbrn32 knows quite a bit about lights and probably can help you with light questions.
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@Alton66
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@skgrower
Im only thinking about a 4x4 tent for now - you spent about 250 on your lights and for me thats a lot of money (esp just for the lights!).
I do worry about power outtages or equipment problems ruining my grow - def does scare me - esp with winter right around the corner, we do lose power occasionally during the bigger storms! I dont have a generator so that could be a big problem!

@dbrn32
I hear you know your lights! Maybe you can help me! Im trying to go as cheap as possible but I still want a normal speed grow with dense nugs and all that. Im worried LEDs would be too expensive for me to get a quality grow from, and ive been thinking about going the HID route bc of cost and since it will be in my basement through the winter - the heat doesnt worry me too much (unless it still should?:hushed:)

Ive been going back and forth between hydro and soil/soiless - Every person I talk to changes my mind - going back and forth on what I should do. :grimacing:

I just want a quality grow at the most affordable price for a beginner with an extremely limited budget! Help me figure out what to do!

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I am also very poor. I had to borrow the money from a friend to do this. I discovered that if you want to do it right, it’s going to cost money. My 10 plant setup costs around $1,000. It will yield around 2lbs. Not bad on the cost per gram to grow. I am building my own lights, so the next grow will be even better. I’m building true 600 watt LED lights with driverless cob LEDs for about $135 dollars each. If you’re able, you might want to look at building your own too.
@dbrn32

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In my opinion, you won’t beat the performance per dollar on 600 watt mh/hps combo in that size grow. Not if you’re looking at initial investment anyway.

Now looking beyond initial investment, you can probably match 600 watt hid par levels with 3-400 watts of good efficient cobs. But the initial cost is going to be much higher.

If you’re really pinching pennies, here is going to be the real deal… you’ll be looking at like a 30-50% energy reduction in lighting cost alone. Plus, no bulb changes. I believe the break even point is usually around 18-24 months. After that, the more expensive led will essentially be putting money into your pocket every month. Another thing to keep in mind, is that full spectrum light is typically much easier to grow under. Not that you wouldn’t eventually figure things out, but I believe your yield potential would be a little higher with the leds, especially in your first couple of grows.

If you think you could build an led fixture, there’s potential to save a decent amount of cash. It doesn’t take much, but you will have to fab some sort of frame, and make some electrical connections. Several of us can help, but there’s only so much guidance you can get from an Internet forum too. You’d be looking at around $1 per watt going that route using name brand relatively proven components. So maybe just a little more expensive than an air cooled 600 watt hid setup. Some of the guys using driverless or ebay cobs would have to quote that pricing, as I’m not very familiar.

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@dbrn32
Ive found a few 600w HID setups with everything included for around $150 (ipower and vivosun i believe). Im pretty tech savy and im sure I could build my own LED light with some help but at around $1 per watt - wouldnt I be spending about $600 to match the par of my $150 HID setup?

Are the energy savings worth it? Im not running a perpetual grow (as of yet) so the lights will just be on 18/6 and eventually 12/12.

Not exactly. Does the $150 setup include cooled hood and fan? And due to higher efficacy of the leds (at least of the models I would recommend) you would only need about 3-400 watts to match light levels. Therefore $300-400.

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We’ll figure at 400 watt led. 200 watts difference by 18 hours, is going to be 3.6 kwh per day. At .10 kwh, that's .36 per day, or $131 a year. Add a bulb change, and like I said will pay for itself in 1.5 to 2 years.

Edit… you don’t have to grow perpetual to grow year round. You would start a new grow once the current is harvested, correct?

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@dbrn32
Yes I believe I would be growing year round, but with the flower at a 12/12 id be saving less money during those months right?
How long do those LED lights last for?

Very true. Depending on how long you veg and what strains you run. Let’s say the whole run was at 12/12, it’s 33% reduction. So figure it would only save you $90-100 plus bulb change. In reality half the grow would be 18/6, so probably $115 ish.

If you go with cree, citizen, bridgelux, or any of the bigger names, you’re looking at 50,000+ hours with about 20% loss of output over that life. If built properly anyway. So Like 5-8 years depending on how much of 18/6 vs 12/12

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@dbrn32
The $150 price does include a 6" air cooled hood but not the fan :frowning:

Ok. So you’re looking at $200 ish. If I get some time later, I’ll price out some components for a cob build that would be similar in light output

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