Lighting recommendations 3x4 (first time grower)

I’m looking for lighting recommendations for a 3x4 grow tent.

I read the 5 tips on buying a grow light in the guides and believe that I’ll need at least 600w. I have been looking on Amazon for a light but there’s so many options out there that it can be daunting trying to find the “right one”. I am going to be growing 4 non-auto plants and could really use some suggestions!

I have a 200$ budget right now and have been looking into the Mars Hydro TS 1000w.

What other lights out there would be great for a grow and stay under 200$? You can’t beat personal experience :wink:

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There is no such thing as a 1,000 watt LED unless you get into high powered industrial high bay lights (not suitable for growing cannabis.) I would steer clear of it. Look for a product made with Samsung LM301 series diodes, as they are the most efficient and effective. Mars is misrepresenting their product, and no one likes dishonest sellers.

You will struggle to find a light for <$200 that will light a 3x4. The Mars Hydro TS1000 is actually only a 150 watt light. An HLG 135 provides better light for cannabis. The HLG is just under $200, but you can really only grow 1 plant with it. An HLG 260 (or even a 320) would be a better choice for a 3x4.

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@MidwestGuy How do you know the actual wattage your light is giving out then?

Should I be looking for something that says 600w or is that not going to be true as well?

Lighting is one of the things that I find difficult to wrap my head around as a beginner. Any help is much appreciated!

On amazon if you scroll down the page you will find specifications listed.
Here is the TS1000
You see input power is 150w
image

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Wattage should be measured as power draw from the wall. Any light that claims to be 600 watts that costs less than $500 is from a seller that is flat out lying to you. These “burple” manufacturers make claims that defy the laws of physics, and they manipulate their reviews on Amazon and elsewhere.

You should have 40 to 50 true watts per square foot of canopy. Look for power draw in the seller’s listings. It is often only 10 to 20% of that stated unless you go with a reputable manufacturer like HLG. Even some of the latest Spider Farmer models have come a long way.

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Here’s the deal…There is no 200 dollar light anywhere that will work for a 3x4 tent.
You need around 40 watts per square foot of good led lighting and you have 12 square ft of space, so approximately 480 or 500 watts actual power, not the inflated wattage they say.
Good lights usually are around a dollar a watt so your budget should be 500 dollars.
Bad light will make you sad for years until you replace them.
Good lights only hurt that day you purchase them.
Ask how many of us have old lights in storage somewhere…Almost all of us bought poor light to start with.

Edit…
Just fyi, I have a 3x4 tent with a ts1000 in it. Its not a terrible light. It works fine.
But I also have two other lights as well. You could start with that light and eventually buy two more. Like midwest guy said you will only want to grow a single plant under it.

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I might be tempted to go for one of these with the plan to add a second one later…

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@MidwestGuy @Spiney_norman Thank you both so very much for breaking it down!

I have looked a little more into lights based on what both of you have said and was curious what you two thought of this one?

There isn’t enough info in the listing. I would rather have an HLG 260 at that price. You know you are getting a good light for the price then.

It says Samsung diodes but suspiciously does not say LM301B diodes. I suspect they are not as good.

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@Spiney_norman @MidwestGuy

There is nothing in the “materials” listing to convince me that it is a quality light. I expect that $350 would be better spent elsewhere if they’re not going to include proper data like actual power draw and which model of Samsung diodes are used.

Here is our experts comments on a different thread…

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Is only one HLG 260 light going to be enough for 4 plants in a 3x4 tent?

No, it won’t. You have 12 square feet and therefore need a bigger light. You could probably do 2 small plants with it. 4 plants in a 3x4 is going to get pretty crowded and raises other risks.

HLG,300l r spec says it will flower 3x3 only $360 with dude code I have 4of them great light well worth it

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Midwest guy is right.
I have 2 plants in my 3x4 and its full.

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@MidwestGuy @Spiney_norman this might be a dumb question, but would you still need the same amount of wattage if there are less plants? I’m going to assume so…

So from what I understand, I’m going to have to get two lights (no matter what (ie number of plants)) @ at least $250ea. Avg input wattage is going to be the actual wattage minus 10-20%.

If that’s true, then what I don’t understand is how people are growing successfully from grow lights bought on Amazon at the false wattage for a fraction of the cost of what you’ve suggested.

Burples and other cheap lights will grow weed, but you will get fluffy buds that aren’t dense. Search here on this site on “burple” and read some of the problems that others have had.

The input wattage is the actual wattage. The 10 to 20% reference is what you get versus the cited ratings on the burple lights because the diodes are so inefficient.

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