Little Black Cabinet Stealth First Time Grow


I’m happy to share my first grow, that I’ve set up in a DIY stealthed cabinet in the garage.

I bought a 6 feet 6 metal cabinet from the hardware store, lined with reflective auto body insulation, hung my LED and ventilation. I’ve rigged up a stealth exhaust in the boxes above the cabinet, which is a big 8 inch muffler filled with foam. All in all it’s pretty quiet and light proof, much quieter than a fridge. I might actually put a small bar freezer next to it and we can blame any noise on the appliance instead.

Now I had a tiny bit of a disaster hatching my seeds. Out of 6 seeds (00 Northern Lights Fem Auto) I have a disastrous single seedling going successfully. I lost 3 to poor germination conditions straight into poor quality soil, one was accidentally thrown out when soaking in a glass of water. I only started two seeds off properly in paper towel, both sprouted taproots but I think I planted one when the root was too small, as it never emerged out of the ground.

All my hopes lying with the remaining successful seedling.

Photos are from Sat 5 May, 5 days after planting seeds. Watered lightly with a spray bottle each day. Lights running on 18/6 on a timer.


I would lower your light to where it’s 15-18 in from top of your little baby she will over stretch on you and be long and linkie will keep her from falling over


Cool set up. With that door closed I’m guessing no one would ever know. A padlock and you’re all set. A bar fridge is a good idea. I have a small dorm one in my prep/dry room for trim and seeds. I just keep a boveda pack in my seed bag. Jarred up weed does well in a fridge as well. And like u pointed out. Blame it for the noise.


Thanks for the advice, have lifted seedlings and lowered light to suggested height.

Yes with the door closed and locked it feels very hidden.

Monday 7 May, one week after planting seeds.


Truely awesomeness @slsjohn I looked up some stealth grows, and found one similar to this one. I would do this if I had to as well. I look forward to your progress, and now that you have the light lowered, you’ll be good. Make sure there are holes in your cups for good drainage. Nobody wants suffocated roots then death. I’ll be following along.


Tue 8 May, 8 days from seed

I’m going away for four days this weekend, and was worrying about watering while I’m gone. I’ve brought forward the repotting to a larger pot so I can feed it enough moisture while I’m away.

On the left I’m trying to pop another strain; White Widow fem photo period. I’m going to try and do a quick small grow of this at the same time as the older Northern Lights auto. One day soak, been in paper towel 6 hours. Will check for tap root and plant into prepared Coco seedling starter cube tomorrow.

Transplanted Northern Lights is looking somehow healthier immediately after moving. Praying for no root shock.

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Tue 8 May, 8 days from seed. Think I worked out how to take a photo that isn’t blurple from the LEDs.


Update before we’re away for four days. Thursday 10 May, 10 days from seed.

I’m pretty satisfied that the water situation should be fine, there’s plenty of moisture in the bigger pots with the Coco until we get back.

Yesterday the White widow started showing its tap root in the paper towel, so it’s been put into a Coco cube that’s also been dropped into a big pot full of Coco with a reasonable amount of moisture in it. Obviously not ideal to be going away while it’s still buried, but hopefully I’ll be happy to see it emerged and with a couple of leaves showing when we get back.

Please everyone reassure me that everything will be fine when I return. :sweat_smile:


I think you should be ok. You watered everything thoroughly, and seedlings don’t require much. Just enough water. If anything, you won’t be around or over love them. (Some people do) The slow drying action will only encourage root growth. @slsjohn

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Haha! Overlove! Definitely at risk of that!

I’ve managed to be pretty restrained on the water hopefully, after years of successfully fighting fungas gnats for my houseplants, have learned to let things dry out between watering.

Out of likes, @slsjohn but you’d be surprised how many people have overloved their plants, and they died. :skull:

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Cool cabinet! I’ll be watching.

Update! Back from our trip and it’s looking pretty good in the cabinet I think. :sweat_smile:

Monday 14 May, 14 days from seed for the Northern Lights Auto, and 5 days for the White Widow Photo, who has now poked up to say hello! :heart_eyes:

Questions! I have lots of them, and I am very eager for advice and opinions, so please don’t hold back if you think I’m making mistakes or would do something differently yourself. I’m very keen to learn!

First: should I lower or raise my light? It’s a Viparspectra 450W and it’s currently 15 inches from the top of the pots. The Northern Lights on the right hand side is currently 3 inches tall, so the light is 12 inches from the “canopy”. I lowered them about 6 inches last week after advised. Does my Northern Lights look stretched?

Second: Should I transplant into larger pots at some point? I have a couple of larger fabric pots that will fit reasonably snuggly in my cabinet. I haven’t got the dimensions in front of me, but I’d estimate they are 3 times the capacity of my current plastic pots. I had planned to transplant into them, but I’m wondering if that is a bad idea for the Northern Lights auto.

Third: What should I do with the White Widow? The White Widow photo was not the smartest decision for me to plant. I only did it because I had such a failed germ rate and lost the other Northern Lights seeds, and I had my heart set on two plants in the cabinet. I have a hard deadline (three week trip away) for harvesting the Northern Lights Auto that’s right up against its estimated harvest date from the seedbank: which was 80-90 days. I think my final deadline date for harvest is about day 85. So that’s already not ideal for the Northern Lights. The White Widow photo is feminized but I have no other info on it; twas a freebie. I presume it will struggle, but my thinking is that I will flip my lights to 12:12 at some point and force it to flower even though it will likely be quite small. Should I keep it as an experiment? Or is it likely to just break my heart?

@slsjohn if you keep the light schedule at 18/6 the autoflower wont care.
That way you can allow the WW to get a little larger for a better yield.
The norther lights does look stretched a bit, if you do want to lower the lights I would recommend just an inch or two at a time. I would mound the dirt around the stem, just below the leaves. When lowering the light keep track of signs of stress, canoed shaped leaves, or slight wilt from too much heat. It seems you know what happy plants look like so you’ll know.
The autoflower could be transplanted, but since it has such a short life it doesn’t really need a huge container. 2-3 gallon at the most. If you intend to transplant it, sooner the better as not to disturb the roots.
Any more questions. Don’t hesitate to ask. If anyone one of us doesn’t know, we can tag someone who does. Hope this helps. They’re looking great!


Just my 02 but I noticed in your first pictures your cat is sitting there staring up at the lights. Super bad on there eyes as well as ours. I keep my dog out of my room when feeding for that reason. She wanted to lay next to me which put her looking straight up into the lights. Just looking out for your friend there :grin: You have a pretty nice set up going there, Sucks that you lost most of your seeds right off the bat.


Thanks for the tips! Definitely think I’ll try lowering an inch a day for a few days and mound up the Coco. Did you mean mound it up another couple of inches, so there’s barely any stem visible? I presume I shouldn’t pack it on too tight?

Will work out the size of the current pots, and make a call on whether or not to transplant. Definitely leaning towards not doing it. I wonder if my desire to transplant is mostly just because I want to use the new gear I’ve bought… Probably! :sunglasses:

Yep! Not particularly responsible on my behalf; I think that’s only happened once and for a brief second. Will make sure the kitties are well away during any Blurple time.

Can I ask more about LED safety? I’m obviously avoiding looking up directly into them when they are on, but is it safe for me to get a couple of minutes exposure of indirect reflections a day?

The lights will always be quite low compared to my height, so I can’t imagine I’d be looking directly into them at any point. Or should I be trying to only work when the lights are off?

If so, is it going to upset the White Widow photo to have the lights off for a minute in the middle of their cycle?

Minor update on the same day, have lowered lights an inch and mounded up some extra Coco lightly around the Northern Lights auto. Couple of light water sprays on the Coco to moisten up. The new mound has probably increased the height against the stem a bit over an inch over the last photo from a few hours ago. Should I go higher?

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If that was my plant. I would be ok with it there now. If you needed. You could always add a little more coco later. My stems have always fattened up pretty quick. If you start another plant later. You may want to start it under a CFL light. That will help you start her off good with very little stretch since you keep the light about 2 inches away. Also, since you have to keep the leds so far away. You get a lot more stretch when starting these. I use UV rated glasses when in my tent. More because I am in there little longer and the light reflects off every thing in there. One thing I did notice with my lights. I have to keep them about 24" away till the plants are about 5 or 6 weeks old to prevent bleaching of the leaves. I also found the heavier I feed, the farther I have to keep them away. or it tends to start curling my leaves. I have 3 of the 450 lights and a 300 in my tent. They don’t seem to be producing to bad for my first real grow. Iam happy with them. After some time. You will find what works for you there. Once you have it figured out. It gets a little more fun from then on. This is just what I have found from doing my plants.


She looks good @slsjohn you can about couple inches under the leaves and it’ll be fine. It helps if you have an additional fan circulation inside the cabinet. Blow at them indirectly just enough to make them wiggle. It’ll strengthen their stems as well.
Led safety, as long as you use common sense when the light on, you’ll be fine. I typically tend to the garden with the light on only. As not to disrupt the dark cycle.