I’m looking for a simple, inexpensive (relatively) setup that can get my indoor game going


#1

A customer has a question and I hope we can get some opinions on it, thanks

the main goal for me right now is to setup a 1-2 plant indoor grow so when the summer is over I can keep the production up. I’m new and not rich, so I’m looking for a simple, inexpensive (relatively) setup that can get my indoor game going.


#2

Give us a budget, as I have a light that cost under $40 for parts, a 4x20w cfl setup that cost under $20 but will be “modified”, two fans/heaters that were under $10 each, cost of pots doesn’t count as they are reused, compost was under $10 for 40l which is enough for more than one grow of 1-2 plants, nutes are just a generic bio “flowering plants” liquid to add to water. No tent, just a handy room where the water heater and heating boiler sit so it’s well ventilated.

So there you are, under $100 and 2 plants, just a bit of DIY needed and, well, pics don’t lie. This is a White Haze Auto under my less-than-$40 light, 1 gallon pot, around 12 weeks.


#3

Thanks for the reply, it’s very encouraging to know it won’t cost me a fortune. I was hoping to keep it under a few hundred dollars so this solution is great to see.

My next questions are where can I buy the heaters and fans, plus how is your light system put together? Do the fans, heaters and lights work on timers and/or thermostats? Do you grow directly in the compost as opposed to a potting soil?

Thanks for helping out a noob :slight_smile:


#4

Fan heaters I use are just the cheap ones you buy in a lot of stores, they run 24/7 with built-in thermostat control for heating (one is always fan only, second gets used for heating as well in winter), lights on standard plug in timer,.straight into a bio potting compost. No sense in telling you what it is because you’ll have different brands in the US.

Led panel is soon to be improved with 9.8m of the white led you see above, the cheap 12v SMD 5730 120 led per metre strip from AliExpress for, this time, €14 and then a 360w power supply for another €13. That gets chopped into 35cm lengths and stuck down onto a plate made out of an old computer side panel and connected up in series, each output from the driver feeding half the strip. That gets hung on sisal string as the weight is not very much as the driver is a yard if so away sitting on the washing machine. So $30 or so, some “it’ll come in useful one day” stuff lying around, some solder and some old cables and you have a 1 sq.ft. panel that can hang 6 inches or.so from the plant and, as you can see can get some nice buds.

You go up in price, you can build a decent light for $100 or so using bridgelux strips, see the light and ventilation forum for more info.


#5

If you have Amazon where you’re at, go check out the lightning deals. Just yesterday they had two different 300w brands that would’ve done the trick. Just keep checking there as they seem to repeat same lights every other week or so


#6

For ease and simplicity, that’s a solution but, in all honesty, a strip build would blow these things out of the water.

And let’s be honest here, if something is regularly having “special sales” then that tells you they are either overpriced or poor quality, or both, as they are trying too hard to get sales, something ain’t right.


#7

Thanks very much Feet, that’s very impressive. I’m not as technically savvy or skilled as you so I’d be probably be buying a light that comes assembled. Thanks for your help, I have a starting point now and I can start putting things together.


#8

I’ll keep an eye out, thanks!


#9

Welcome to the forum!

I might suggest that you spend some time on the forum looking at grow journals and the thread on DIY lighting before spending any money.

You will need a tent. Do NOT get one that is less than 6’ tall!

Soil: there are many good soils out there but you want to stay away from engineered products with added fertilizers or “moisture control” written on the bag. Look for natural ingredients with no added fertilizer.

Buy a good PH meter. NOT a cheapy 3 in 1 found at the nursery. Amazon sells an array of different ones from cheap to expensive. The Apera PH20 is very popular.

Lights available through Amazon and the Bay of E: almost every one is lying to you. You need 35 to 50 watts per square foot for a decent harvest and you need to use the wattage it draws; not what it says!

You will become an expert on clip on fans: they are your friend.

If you wish to tag anyone, use the @sign in front of their handle like this @dbrn32.


#10

Can you use a soldering iron? That’s the biggest skill necessary to build what I have.

And the ability to tie knots.


#11

I can certainly help you with a diy light. Can even do one solderless if that’s an issue. But you definitely want to do your research before investing in lights.


#12

@myfriendis410 thanks, that’s a big help. I’m now on the ph meter and will probably go with the apera ph20. I’ll spend more time browsing the forums and soak up what I can.

@anon35207245 @dbrn32 I can solder (not that I’m a pro) but my main concern is that I understood very little of the item list (my ignorance, not your fault) and I don’t want to harass you asking foolish questions to figure it out.


#13

There is never a foolish question it’s only become foolish when you dont ask. these people are great here will never say anything bad even when you think it’s a little foolish every1 want u to succeed at your grow trust me I have ask a few myself lol ask away and happy growing


#14

OK.

Led strip, 2 5m rolls of warm white

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/120leds-m-1M-5M-led-strip-SMD-5730-Flexible-led-tape-light-SMD-5630-Epistar-Non/32809157456.html

Power supply, 1 of

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/220V-to-12V-30A-360W-Switching-power-supply-Driver-For-LED-Light-Strip-Display-Factory-Supplier/32703817616.html

Cable, a metal plate of some sort and string don’t need explanations


#15

I say start out with plug-n-play, then once you understand the grow process, lighting, etc, then move up to creating your own gear.

For growing 2-4 plants, you can buy a 2.5’x5’x7’ tent, a light, a clip fan, an exhaust fan, carbon filter, ph meter, a thermometer/hygrometer, pots, and nutes from a place like Amazon for under $400. Then your grow medium & seeds need to be figured in. Considering the tent, light, fans, pots, & meters are all reusable for many grows (yes, the lights & fans can burn out), it’s really not terribly expensive.

Those quarter board lights, though, are pretty nifty. After 3 years using my blurple galaxyhydros, I’ll be switching one tent to qb lights for my next grow. However, I’ll be paying the extra money to have it assembled for me. I am not at all against diy projects, I just prefer not to have to do it for my grow; I do enough diy fixing my house, you know what I mean? :grinning:


#16

Depends on your abilities, don’t it.

If you can DIY then the info out there is beyond “advice”, it’s more like full tutorials. You really cannot fail if you follow the instructions.

Otherwise, yeah, you could go “pre-made” but given that you WILL be replacing them then you’re better spending the extra on a QB or spending not too much more, or sometimes even less, doing a “proper”, not supercheap flexible, strip build as it should outlast these pre-made cheap blurple things.

It’s one thing doing what I’m doing, completely on the cheap until I master the art of growing, and spending what could be quite a bit of money on grow lights which are likely to need replaced in under 2 years as there’s nothing more discouraging than having the value of a couple of months of food tied up in a grow setup that isn’t producing, which is why I think so many full tent setups are for sale on second hand sites here, and once I have that side done then I can look at spending more money.

That’s the way I look at it, I’m on disability so hardly have a huge amount of funds available so it’s better to get the basics right first and then splash out the cash


#17

Thanks @anon35207245, this is the sort of hand holding I need lol. I’ll order those today and give it a shot.

String, no problem.

Is the cable the wire to connect the lights or is it some sort of electrical cable? Or is it to hang the light?

I can source a metal plate, what dimensions should I be after?

Is there a tent you’d recommend? Timer?

For the fan and heaters, I just use basic little space heaters? Nothing proprietary to growing?

Thanks!


#18

Cables are electrical cables, I use 1 mm²/17 or 18 AWG, you don’t need anything bigger. Just buy a small roll of flexible 2 core, cut it up as necessary for all electrical connections on the 12v side. For power to the power supply, I’m sure you will have an old cable for a PC or something, or just use a 3 core flex and stick a plug on the end. Length used is up to your needs.

String is for hanging, look for 1/8th inch SISAL string as that is more flame retardant than the nylon crap.

Metal plate doesn’t have to be thick, 1mm is enough, 9.8m of strip needs a minimum of 35cm/14" x 28cm/11.25" because the flexible strips can be cut every 5cm/2" so it works out best at 28 pieces 35cm in length which are 1cm wide. That gives you a plate just over 1 sq.ft with all these leds on it. That’s the minimum, you can go wider if you want by leaving space between the strips so they cover a bigger area. The choice is yours, since you are not tied to specific lengths like with the “solid” strips.

Timer is just a standard mechanical plug in timer, they only cost a few bucks.

Tent? No idea, don’t use one when I have a nice little utility room where conditions can be controlled.

Fans. You can use clip on fans, desktop fans, fan/heaters, whatever. As long as 1 can blow nothing but cold air then that’s the important thing, which is why my “high” one blows cold 24/7 and the “low” one can either blow for circulation or be used for heating in winter.

Heaters. The world is your oyster there IF you need them. You can use fan heaters, not blowing directly on plant, convection heaters (be aware they will reduce humidity so can cause issues if the air gets too dry), oil filled radiators, whatever. Just figure out what fits your needs best.

You will also need pH/TDS pens, there’s a section on them here so you can see what is recommended as everyone has their own choice and opinion on what to get.

The potting compost I use is Agrofina Bio Nature, a fairly low NPK mix which I add Perlite to, and hydro balls on the bottom of the pot to help drainage. You’ll find something as “soft” as the stuff I use, and the plants love it when you just drop the seed straight into it because of the composition of the compost without lumps of wood and everything in it. The feeding I use is not cannabis specific either, and some here will tell you to look for feed for tomatoes.

Basically, the only thing I use that is specifically for cannabis is the seed. You’ve seen the pics, and before this latest adventure I had an Acapulco Gold under the panel which cleared 3’ in height before I drowned it (a HUGE part of the learning curve). All the parts of my grow setup seem to be working quite well, except for the two-legged idiot who makes mistakes, which means that, for me, it’s perfect for learning the art of growing before splashing out a “decent” amount of money on something that will do much, much better than what I have now.

Oh, obviously a temp/humidity meter is essential, you need to know what is happening in your room/tent so you can adjust as necessary. Too warm? Stick a big cola bottle of water in the freezer for a while then put that in front of a fan. Too cold? Obvious. Too humid? Get some of these cheap dehumidifier packs for cars or for where you have humidity problems such as where washing machines and driers are.


#19

Keep it simple is my philosphy. Work smarter, not harder.

Happy growing!


#20

Yup, been there, learned to chill and just “keep an eye” on things instead of fussing.

All part of the learning curve.