I'm planning to build out in a basement

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

“I’ve included some pics of a grow room I’m planning to build out in a basement. Would you mind taking a look and suggest any adjustments that would help me grow the Girl Scout Cookie Extreme seeds I purchased. This is my first time so any help you can provide will be greatly appreciated.”


Pics do not come up for me, can not see them when I click the link…


Off Site hosting of pics isn’t a good idea. Have the customer send you the pics.


Noted for next time. I will update post shortly with plan.

Ok these should give an idea of my plan. The space is 7’ 1" high.


Nice space, not nearly enough light for the space. Interior walls can be battens and rigid reflective Styrofoam to keep costs down. Some provision for removing waste heat from lights may be needed.


I agree with @Myfriendis410 it’s a cool design!

Assuming those are cooled hoods by ductwork, they will be covered and that doesn’t leave any ventilation for the rooms either. For that size flowering room and hid lighting I’d probably look at two really good 600’s and another 600 for flowering. Other lighting arrangements work, but I think that will give you best case with hid.

But you’ll definitely need some air exchange for all of the rooms. You can probably run veg and flower together, but the drying section will probably need the control to have its own ventilation.

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Thank you MyFriend…
I plan to paint the walls flat white and install fans. I had planned to use fiberglass insulation but do you think rigid is better? The 600W HID is rated for 4’x4’. What would you suggest for lighting?
Thanks again

Well the interior walls only need to be light tight. They aren’t load bearing so no need for heavy construction.

White surfaces are preferred over metalized but I never had a problem.

@dbrn32 should be the one to listen to on lighting. But IMO you will definitely need more for flower.

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600 will do a 4x4 but it’s a little light. I would look at 2 of them and rotate the hoods 90 degrees from pic to get the best coverage. Your flower room is looking more like 5x7’ even with 1000w you would be weak. You need the added footprint from multiple sources. Especially running cooled hoods, that won’t allow as much flexibility in moving them around. The only real alternative I see with hid would be going with something like a de gavita on a mover. But it’s not going to be any cheaper than two 600’s. Even with the 600’s you’ll probably want to make sure you’re running hortilux or equivalent type of bulbs.

I may have jumped the gun a little suggesting a 600 for veg. But I pictured with rigid ductwork. Which means you won’t be able to move the hood. Pair that with one side not having benefits of reflection and you’ll have a pretty good reduction in par. The 400 will do about a 3x4 pretty darn good for veg. But 5x4 is pushing it. Par too weak even for veg when it’s high enough to have a footprint anywhere near that. As an alternative, a couple of 2x4 t5 fixtures would play well here too.

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You could go 24 oc or even further after all youre just framing an enclosure right? Save yourself some Lumber.

Also in drying rookm I don’t see an exhaust. May consider it to control RH better. Basements are already moist as it is.

@dbrn32 led’s might do the job in the veg room. 4 @ 300 watt that you can bring on line as the plants grow. Transfer to HID with a pair of 600’s in flower.

Magnetic over digital?

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I would use magnetic over digital. But you need to at least be very careful of what digital ballasts you buy if going that route. We’re definitely on the same page when it comes to the pitfall of digital ballasts.

You know I’m an led guy through and through lol. A couple of led panels are absolutely just as good of an alternative. I didn’t really mention based off design, and trying not to be the guy that says led or nothing. Just because it’s my preference doesn’t mean it’s best for everyone in every situation. But a couple of vipars, meizhi, or really anything with that type of light spectrum would be just as good or better.

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I’m an led guy too so don’t have a good feel for the nuts and bolts of HID lighting.

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Thank you all!

I’d like to stick with one 600W for the flowering and a 400W for veg, less of a start up cost for a small garden. With that said…

Would it be best to section off the flowering room by placing Panda film to create a 4’x4’ room? or Am I ok leaving it open?

Chris is 6’ tall and standing outside to show how much of the foundation is exposed.


Well, cornering your grow to effective light levels with reflective material will help. Do you intend to add the necessary light later? If not, I would probably just design smaller. Even at 4x4 the average 600 is weak at edges. And I see a potential issue with your cooling, so you may benefit by a smaller room anyway, if you don’t intend to expand.

With that much ductwork you’re going to lose quite a bit of fan performance. And then you’ll be cooling one light with the heated air from another. I’ve seen it done before, but I’m not sure how well it works. Since you are grabbing your cooling air from outside the grow and dumping it outside the grow, what do you plan on using to supply fresh air to your rooms? And how or where do you plan to exhaust?

Personally, if it were me I would wall off a space dedicated to growing and then build up as “flex” space with easy to move partitions that I can adjust as my needs and my grow demands.

I would also consider led’s simply from the heat rejection standpoint. @cjc


Thank you @dbrn32 and @Myfriendis410.
At this time I’m planning to do 3 plants cloned from a mother for a perpetual cycle. I like the “flex” space idea and will look at how to do it.
Great point about cooling with heated air from other light. Back to the drawing board.
I plan to pull fresh air from another part of the basement and exhaust in different part of basement but now rethinking that.
Aren’t LEDs more challenging to grow with for my first grow?
Thanks again!

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If you could exhaust outside would probably help quite a bit. Depending on your climate, there may be some benefits to drawing outside air as well.

I don’t really have the time to break out a fancy drawing tool, but let me see if I can explain what I’m thinking… How about an exhaust header that has 2 separate draws from the main header, one going to each hood, and then exhausted to outside? From there you would essentially be exhausting your rooms and cooling the lights separately from a single fan.

You would want to install a damper between each hood and the main header for fine tuning. Otherwise, as long as the fan was sized for the job it should work. The only real downfall would be if you were using carbon filters, you would need more than one. I think the added benefits would be worth it personally. But you have to make it work for you, so maybe if nothing else I sparked at least an idea.

Personally I think led is much easier to grow with, but that could be an opinion based on my personal experiences. To get an led fixture that’s truly competitive with the 600 will cost some cash though. But you’d also be ditching the cooling circuit for something that will simply be responsible for air exchange.


@dbrn32 raises a good point, that the somewhat higher initial cost for led’s will possibly be offset by reduced cooling infrastructure cost as well as the electricity to run it. So a potential net savings over time. Plus a smaller led will run a lot of plants for a significant amount of your grow. A cloning nursery with an $80 Meizhi 300 watt led would be enough for all of your production needs, for example.

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