I suggest you go to the forum and look in the ILGM buyer’s guide and see what affordable light’s are shown there. If you find a bad link, let me know and I iwll find another of the same or similar product.
A lot of growers are using LED lamps noe, but another option is a 400 watt Ipower system which comes with all you need a metal Halide and a High pressure sodium bulb and dims to 50% 75% and all the way. So; You get a 400w light system with a reflector, it is digital and you would have a 400 watt lamp that also can be used as a 300w, oe 200w for the beginning.
I use rockwool cubes to start my seeds and the soaking is done right in the cube. 95% germinaiton rate over 20 yeats. Many growers just get some ProMix or Sunshine mix and fill up a 16oz solo ucp and water by using a spray bottle to spritz just the soil around the seed.
I like to use ProMix to grow in and add a nutrient system like GH 3-part, or many use Jack’s and have wonderful grows. This way I know what the plant is getting and it makes it easier to diagnose issues. If you take your time and use quality products, you should be fine.
Sorry, I am not an autoflower guy, I prefer feminized, because it is just as easy to grow and you get a higher yield. It does take 2-4 weeks longer ot harvest, but worth it in my opinion.
Look into Gold Leaf feminized which is the ILGM branded seed created by Robert. It is easy to grow and potent. It contains high levels of thc and cbd.
If you want me to post you some links I will be glad to. Just say the word.
You could go this route and I think you would be happy and the nutrients are super easy to use and dissolve completely.
Everyone here will be glad to help.
Catch you later.