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To work out your grow area and lighting, as a very rough guide plants with good genetics and in a good growing environment will yield about 0.5grams per watt and most indoor strains finish in about 8 weeks of flowering time. So for example if you had a 400watt HPS this may give you around 7 ounces every 2 months, or just under an ounce a week. It may be a lot more, it may be a lot less, there are a lot of variables, but in the absence of any other specific info this is a good way to work out what size grow room and light might suit your needs.


The minimum amount of light required for flowering is 40W per square foot. The more light you have the more you will yield, however the more difficult it becomes to keep heat under control.


A double wardrobe that is say 600mm deep x 900mm wide and 1800high is good for a 400W setup. It would give about 66watts per square foot which is a good light intensity and is not too small to keep heat under control. About 450mm deep is about the narrowest you can go and still fit a standard light hood in there.


In terms of height you need to allow room for your pots, plant height, space between your plants and your light, and your light hood. If growing with fluoros they can be almost touching your plants, but HPS or MH lights need to be correctly spaced from your plants or they will get burned. For a 400W light the gap will be about 400mm. So with an 1800 high cabinet, allowing 300mm for pots, 200mm for light hood, 400mm for spacing to plant you’re left with 900mm of plant space, which is enough. Cabinet sizes can be a fair bit smaller if you SCROG or SOG.


The inside of your cupboard should be a reflective surface to get the most amount of light onto your plant. Flat white paint is the cheapest, easiest, and very effective. Some use mylar sheeting which you can buy from a hydro shop. Highly reflective surfaces like gloss paint, aluminium foil or mirrors are not as good as they do not diffuse the light and can create hot spots on your plants.


If using a HID light its best to have the ballast outside your growspace to minimise heat. Hang your light with hooks and chains from the ceiling of your grow room. Make sure the hooks bolt through or screw into something pretty solid. You'll need a timer for your light. In veg. you have your lights on for a minimum 18 hours, and off 6 each day. It is not critical to keep vegging plants light proof in the dark period and in fact some run their lights 24/0. To flower you need to run your lights 12 on, 12 off.


Your growroom needs to be lightproof for flowering. Rubber stick on weather strips and silicon or duct tape are good for plugging light leaks. If you got your grow cupboard in a dark room that no one will go into during the dark cycle in flowering its not critical to get it lightproof.


Then you need ventilation and air circulation. For a small cupboard an exhaust fan from the top and passive inlets from the bottom may be enough. The holes for the inlets should be about the same size as your exhaust fan as a rule of thumb. The ideal temp range is 24-27 degrees so you should try to adjust your ventilation to achieve that. Get bigger fans or add more fans, either exhaust or inlet fans as necessary. If you're in a cupboard try to duct your exhaust to outside the room your cupboard is in. Another good way to help heat control is to have a flex duct and fan extracting directly from your light hood. Some hoods come with precut holes to connect ducting. Flex duct with a bend or two in it connecting to inlet/exhaust holes is a good way to trap light.


An oscillating fan in your growroom blowing on your plants is a good idea as it improves air circulation and makes your plants grow stronger.


It is not uncommon to have two cupboards, one for flowering and another for mothers/clones/veg. Or one large cupboard partitioned off. This way you can have vegged clones ready to put into your flowering cupboard as soon as your previous crop is finished. Remember you need to keep your veg area totally light proof from your flowering area so it doesn't affect the dark cycle.


You can get yourself setup for around $500, maybe more, maybe less depending on how involved your setup is and if you can pickup some of the stuff 2nd hand.


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