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A few questions regarding equipment, first time grow

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Hopefully you guys and gals can help me out. I've just aquired a cupboard (2m high , 1metre wide , 600mm deep) I need a bit of help decking it out, I realise there are other sections for some of my questions but I would rather have only one thread so as not to confuse my self.


Okay, first up, how many plants could fit in this cupboard? I am hoping at least 3 (the seeds genetics are sativa dominant) but I have seen a thread mention a 3foot by 3foot and 7foot high cupboard could grow 9 2-2.5foot high plants, which seems like too many?


I keep seeing both HPS and LED lights being suggested. For 3 plants I was thinking of using a 250watt HPS, 400watt seems a bit more risky as I don't want a fire to start. Would LEDs be a good alternative? As from I've read the produce little heat.

What do you guys reccomend in regards to the dimensions of my cupboard?


If I go with LEDs will I need an exhaust fan and carbon filter? Also which shops carry the lights, reflectors, exhaust fan and carbon filter? I don't want to buy on the internet, cash at a shop preferred. Or could I just use a 250watt HPS from seed to harvest?


I have two old fluros from old fish tanks(with reflector case thing), should I use them or maybe CFL lights to start the seeds?


I'll be starting a grow diary so you guys can help me a long the way too. I just want all the equipment before I start.


Sorry if these questions have been asked before, I just have limited time and would love fast replies so I can get this show on the road.

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Hey cbdwizard.

Welcome aboard and welcome to growing!


Have a good look around the site for loads of info. Check out some diaries etc is a good place to learn.

A 250w hps would be fine in your space(400w would be better, checkout the cannavercity calculator ;)) but not for all the grow. You'll need a MH lamp or cfl for the vegging stage. The fluoro tubes you mentioned will be ok for seedlings.

You'll Defo need an exhaust fan of some description to expel the heat from the lamp\s, even with LED's! It'll get pretty warm in there!

Strain wise, with my experience, and also growing in a small space, 1 well grown sativa will fill it :D try to go for indica Dom strains and veg them longer and you could squeeze 3 in there.

Do start a diary, with pics, lots of pics, everyone like pics here lol and you should get plenty of advise and encouragement :)


Good luck matey, may ye sea's be calm for ye impending voyage :)

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Thanks for the welcome and advice.


I'm going to go with a 400watt HPS for the flower.


For the veg I think I will do what you suggest and use the metal hallide.


Is it as simple as using a 400watt Metal Hallide for vegetative (and seed?) And then changing the globe to the 400watt HPS in the same fixture?


Or does the Metal Hallide need a seperate fixture and ballast altogether? (sorry, I'm a bit confused)


Or should I look into CFL for the veg stage? It seems more convinient swapping a MH bulb with the HPS bulb though, and less stuffing around.

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Hi CBD, if you buy a digital ballast you will be able to run MH & HPS ,Globes from the same ballast so insted of having 2 ballasts one for MH ,an the other for HPS, you just have a digital ballast to run both globes, its cheaper that way ,it may cost you a few dollars more for a digital ballast but it is worth it in the long run.


Do some reading up on some grows here on the forums an you will find all the info you will need,If you can't find what info you need then do a post an the crew here will help you out with plenty of free advice.



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Thanks guys, I am just going to go with a 400watt HPS so I can save some money.


I am going to install an extractor fan too, does the duct attach to the fan and then a carbon filter then finally the light box/reflecor? Or does the carbon filter go outside?


I was looking at some CFL's, I was thinking for the seed/veg I might use CFL as it seems like the HPS will stretch the plant. Would 2 x 55watt (6400k) fluoros with a reflector be sufficient? Or should I go with one that has 4 x 55watt (same one but has an extra two globes) I would rather use that for the veg, not sure if it's enough?

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hey mate u have the option of compact fluros (CFL) too they dont give u whooper buds but u have little chance of causing a fire as they produce little heat


about 11-12 years ago i grew this plant under a 130w and 2x 24w CFL's i had to harvest early and it was bag seed too not a bad plant


with the CFL's its all down to reflectors most of the reflectors on the market now are cheap V shades if u run the CFL's use a adjusta shade by ablite if they are still around







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Plenty of good advice given already, all I can add is that if you go the right sort of digital ballast, most of them come with the option of switching to different output settings.  I would recommend a 400w digi ballast that can switch down to 250w, as 250 is fine for starting them off, but in that space being able to crank it up to 400w once they are established would be beneficial.


MH is better for veg, but as veg is generally not that long indoors in small spaces it doesn't really matter.  Even in larger spaces I've always just used HPS with perfectly acceptable results in veg, so probably best to keep it simple to begin with.  CFL's are also fine for early veg, and can be used right through, but as 68 said they don't give the same sort of yields.

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Thanks for all the information everyone, I'll let you know what I end up going with.


I need some more advice on ventilation, still a bit confused. My understanding is you hang a carbon filter (does it intake air from the outside beneath the fabric that is wrapped around it?) Then you run duct from that filter to one side of the light, then on the other you run more duct to the exhaust fan, which is either mounted inside, or the duct continues outside if the fan is mounted outside.


Sorry if these are basic questions, I am doing research but have limited time.


That is my understanding thus far, it also seems that you don't have to run duct through the light unit, but I guess that depends only if the reflector box has the connection for ducting. If that's the case and I am correct in what I have mentioned, would running a fan on the light be sufficient to cool it down?

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you are nice work getting a cupboard, You can't back out now :)


Have you seen the lighting calculator? http://cannaversity.com/calculators/lighting.php


Lumatek does a digi balast that switches between 250 and 400.

 plenty of people veg with a cfl first and just a week or two under the HPS before flipping

While carbon filters are usually run inside the grow area, with a small space you can run it outside.


In regards to using a cool tube or ducted reflector, there is a trade off between heat and losing light due to the glass. in that space, if running a 400, a cooltube might be needed, but I think a 250 would be fine through winter in your cupboard.


There are a few different configurations for the ducting. If using a cooltube, you can duct straight from one side of the cupboard to the other, IMO this is would be the most efficient way of removing heat from the area. Although, not everyone has a spare inline fan, or wants to save power, or doesn't want to add another power point to the near fully loaded power board. So in that case, people run the effluent air through the tube, as you mentioned  (No reason why you couldn't still have the filter outside though).


The fabric on the filter is a filter itself. it is there to collect dust and any bugs or bits of dirt etc. so as to protect the carbon filter.


Good luck with it, I love a cupbpoard grow!! Looking forward to the diary :thumbsup:


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