Shine A Little Light...on my Grow

I would appreciate anyone reviewing this topic, looking at the attached photo of my tentative grow space, and advise me what lights I should use (preferably LED’s)

I am going to tear down the upper shelving and have a single shelf all around the room that I will place my 72 Gallon totes on. (Next Grow will add totes down the middle) I will insulate and drywall the room, put a cieling up and paint it all white.

I’m hoping using LED’s will keep electricity costs down). I’d like to start as inexpensively as reasonably possible and will upgrade with the proceeds from the first grow.

Also, will I need seprate lighting for the germination stage?

Thank you, Daniel


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Dan, you have a major area in development, it will be nice. Lighting this amount of area is going to cost no matter what lights you use so you may as well get the best bang for your buck.
You can go for NAME brands and spend the $$ but in my opinion, I do as well with China lights as I do with High end brands like California Lightworks, Gavita, Spider, Mars…etc. You DO pay for a name and the speed of the warranty behind them in case of failure.
Please provide the width of the shelves as that will help determine the best footprint for the coverage area
I contracted 640 WATS, 8 bars, foldable, 389 led per bar, including IR and UV, with 6’ leads for the drivers (inventronics) with control -10-100%. TTL of 3112 Samsung 301b (H not needed unless your humidity is going to be off the charts) led’s. The 6 foot leads will allow you to mount the drivers ABOVE an insulated barrier so their heat is not transferred to the grow area and therefore negates COOLING which can be MORE than the lights! I paid a little over $600, like $620. I had 2 and 1 had issues but they resolved them…it just took time, especially with shipping to / from China and Covid. I did add Alibaba guarantee for a few extra $$ (inclusive in the $620).
I use low power (10-15%) for seeding at 24-30" and increase to 60% until flower. At flower I go up to 90-100% power and keep a 18-24" height over plants
It took total about a month to procure but you can improve that by paying for faster shipping.

Alternatively I came across this on Amazon…

$633.00 plus 5% coupon…Does not state what the led’s are and if it isn’t samsung 301 series, I would not touch. BUT - it does have AMAZON behind it, quick ship…maybe good in a pinch

my lights


Thank you “again” for the wealth of knowledge you always provide in your reply’s as well as making them fun…you would not believe how difficult it was for me to figure out getting my photos in there, I kept getting the message “too long try using a cloud service”, I paid for a cloud service and THAT didn’t work. I went back to your advise to another newbie and I copied them onto a blank page in my Microsoft Word program, reduced them in size and then copied and pasted them in this message text box and it worked.

In answer to your question, “How WIDE are the shelves”, they are (or will be) 2 feet wide. so…23’L x 2’W on the sides and 10’ x 2’ on the one end.

It’s a virgin space, I can modify it ANY way I want to set up the (now) 16 Totes that will each contain 6 plants. I can put them on the shelves I will modify (making them a few inches wider for 2’ wide, or I can lay them out on the concrete and remove the shelves altogether and or have them all on one side, whatever I want. I don’t HAVE to put up drywall on the side walls, I can just paint them white and drywall the ceiling. I will have a dehumidifier “and” a humidifier (if necessary) to control the average relative hunidity here of 65-70% (OUTSIDE), still this will be one of my foremost issues to be prepared for (as I suspect) if I do not control my climate CLOSELY I could be at risk of mold.

While I am a patriot and I’m not too thrilled with China at the moment, I am also a business man and if I want to START as cheaply as possible, purchasing my lights there isn’t a problem, even paying for shipping. Time is not the issue too much because with this space and controling my climate it’ll be my little Cannabis paradise.

Looking at your lights and the background of the photos it looks like your growing in a tent. I was thinking (a dangerous thing indeed) if I used the shelves around the perimeter of the room 2’ wide would “need” a two or four bar light above the plants or could I use LED light strips and use fewer above each plant (than eight like yours) yet all along each side and end width of the shelving in the room. Also I was thinking, if I wanted to I can build walls that can be out from the outer edge of the shelving 2 to 2-1/2’ feet giving me an actual inner space (like a tent) of 4 to 4-1/2’ wide by any height I choose (or you advise), or like I say I can eliminate the shelves altogether and start from the ground up and NEXT grow I can put shelves above the tote grow area on the floor to have totes on the floor all around the perimeter and totes all around the perimeter above them to double my grow capacity the space I will have in the middle can be used for a work table for processing.

I actually have three of these rooms. One will be my shop (we just bought this home and are paying it off today (sold a house in Ojai Calif) and so I’m not without funds, it’s just they are my gals funds and she has provided funds to set up this entire property (five acres) as self sufficent as I can (as quickly as I can) and that means my priorities are Chickens (just bught 16 hens) HUGE garden (these for basic food) outfitting a shop and outfiiitng the grow. The shop will have Drill Press, Lathe, Mill/CNC Machine,Table Saw, Miter Saw and various hand and power tools and the grow room needs paint, drywalled ceiling, lighting, evaporator, heater, NUTRIENTS, etc. etc. I also need nutrient advise. So figure it like this Mike, if I HAD to I could probably spend about $2,000 on lights for this grow more if I absolutely HAD to. but I’m trying to keep it low so I can get tools and machines. I tryluy feel out country is on the verge of either economic collapse of potential civil unrest of an unprecidented nature and I need to be able to make alot of things from sctratch.

Ok, there tyou go there I’ll check in with you later in the day.

Thank you again for al your help.


If you have that much control consider this: (REMEMBER - THIS IS MY OPINION ONLY)
Totes - If you are using totes in a hydro system, you want them as CLOSE to the floor as possible so you leave lateral room for growth. I set up 4 rooms like this and figured out what I would do differently NEXT time but next time never came…
We want to use gravity as much as possible to do the hard work. You can reduce the need of pumps by having shelf’s that go from high to low. Grow shorter (Indica dominant, autoflower) in the higher buckets, Sativa Dominant Photo period in the low and Indica Photo period in the middle

This way one decent pump moves the water from reservoir to brow bucket and gravity does the rest. As water level increases to a spill spicket, it overflows to the next, on and on to the water runoff container.
The lights hang from a shelf or suspended ceiling and the drivers are mounted above them as to keep the heat OUT…Exhaust the ceiling with exhaust fan

Lights…Do not waste $$ on lights that will not do the job. Get the right ones that will take you from start to finish…Remember, you can build this in stages…add another light, bucket and simple hoses to increase your grow environment

Make sure you have electric at the top of the room, I recommend separating by shelf or suspended / floating ceiling the exhaust fan, drivers for the lights (if you get ones with detachable drivers)

Cement floor as you WILL SPILL…a method to squeegee out any spilt water

a corner for the reservoir…I used a fresh water reservoir and a MIX TANK (nutrients and PH adjustment and pumped from there to my buckets. The feed tanks need to maintain a temperature around 67°f

Dehumidifiers THROW HEAT…and a lot of it so make sure you have an area where it can either be vented or I built a closet with the intake vent built into the door, an exhaust vent in the rear and hose spot for continuous tank emptying. You want this automated using float valves

Lights…yeap, back to lights…For the size of your buckets, a minimum of a Spider farmer 2000 cost $300…And it is not enough but can suffice at a minimum. If we step up to a 4000 series, we start looking at $580…That is why I went to the 8 bar built in China…for $40 more, I tripled the output…

If you want, I will set you up with a manufacturer, just let me know. My 8 bar covers a grow area of 4x4…fully…maybe even 5x5. If your containers are 4’ long by 4’ wide…you maximize your potential crop size

PS - you want 3’ to 6’ for plant growth, plus the depth of the container, plus 24 inches height from the top of the plant to the lights…as a guide

Hi Dan! I am a beginner as well. IMO, take special consideration of your space when purchasing building materials( drywall grade, paint grade, and compound used) for ventilation purposes. Wear and tear along with longevity of space is an aspect. Happy growing and best of luck!

Im looking forward to watching this grow room come together! Best of luck Dan!

@Mrb53004 already mentioned it but the first thing I thought was lower the shelving as much as is possible with the set up you are going to use. Height dosent seem to be an issue when doing the math but it ends up being one in the end.

@Mrb53004 has already covered the important stuff, but let me reiterate the importance of running your power supplies outside the grow area. They produce a ton of heat.

With a room of this volume you will need a good climate control, it will take a bit to change any one parameter in this size volume. Having said that, start thinking vapor control now, as in you want to be able to control the amount of water vapor in the air, so no leaks where the outside atmosphere can interfere with the grow space.

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To clarify you are telling me I need one of these $600.00 lights above each tote correct? And It “looks” to me that I can daisy chain them together and that means I will only be using 800 watts total correct.

For this first grow I am going to use the totes as I have them set up for DWC independently, from the profits I will build a better system based on your diagram, I put together a little design myself for five totes, but the next grow I will have twenty totes four rows of five, each with a seperate reservoir and catch basin, unless you suggest otherwise.

I’m confused on your design though. You have a catch basin at the bottom, is this circulated bck up to the reservoir with a pump as My design shows or is it emptied in some way, when and how?. is there a video you can link me to that will show a simular system so I can see it explained?

Thanks Mike.


do not place the reservoir anywhere but on the floor. Pump goes “IN the reservoir” to pump water to the tote/s. At the catch basin, you can recirculate the water for a few days but you must keep a watchful on on TPM and PH…Add a spill valve on the catch basin to discard OLD water. Add a second Reservoir to just hold fresh water, like a 55gal drum.
Not sure 8’ is enough height…recommend 10’ or better. If you can float a ceiling, have it vented and place your Light Drivers there, you will keep the heat from them out of the grow room. That is why I said floating ceiling…just a panel you can lift to access the lamps drivers. Yes they daisy chain connect. Not, not 800w ttl, up to 640w per light…5 of these and you are up near 3k WATS…
Per tote, I would not go less than a Spider4000 in SIZE…On the outer edge of the ppd, that is only in the 200 range for 5’…around 500 for 4 feet…They run around 450w. When you compare them, it is almost a break even on cost but 1212 leds vs 3389 and 450w vs 640w…hard to warrant that cost for SO MUCH LESS.
you want 6 feet of space between the light and the TOP of the tote…that is just for plant growth…you should maximize around 5 feet of it…an 8’ ceiling is a MAJOR HAMPER…no commercial or large grower goest this route…If that is your restriction, you are better off tent growing…buy 4 big tents (like 7 high, 5 long minimum 4 wide), 1 light per tent and an exhaust fan and your have a grow environment. You CAN place the driver on TOP of the tent…you segregate your grows so you can grow them in stages / batches based on strain, genus, time to maturity…etc. It will also allow you to protect each smaller environment from the other to prevent: contamination, disease, pest spread, POLLINATION!!!(a biggie - only takes 1 small males sac to ruin an entire grow).
Does not have to be a tent but you could build separate areas about 6’ wide and 7’ high at around 4 feet deep…
you could still daisychain lights, use a manifold watering system setup, connect 2 rooms / tents to 1 air exhaust controller (place between rooms / tents and use a y / splitter to each area)…etc

Water vapor - it is easier to control humidity in a smaller area than a larger one. I had to use 2 commercial dehumidifiers to control 8 lights grow room and had to setup the emptying of the dehumidifiers to be automated, they required emptying twice a day…using totes you will be able to reduce major transpiring so it should be less but ventilation is PARAMOUNT!

Dan, as an old grower, don’t get caught up or head trip and growing and selling…not as easy as it seems and it gets INVOLVED. The more you grow, the more attention it requires. I went from 1 man operation to 5 people and had to hire trimmers at harvest time. It burnt me out. Now I grow for the wife, a friend or 2 and the hobby…back to loving it

It really is involved…a job…like pets, you can’t leave them unattended. They must be tended to EVERY DAY…by you or someone you trust. Only takes 1 bad day to ruin a crop…1 bad reservoir that is tainted (mold, slime, algae, ph off, etc) to take you down. It is why we break them down to smaller pieces, easier to manage.


You are really on point @Mrb53004 . I am barely into my second grow and already wish I had compartmentalized my grow room. Also found that the time on my first grow averaged around 4 min a plant a day. Dosent seem like much at first but really adds up as you get your numbers up.
Also with your @Newbiegrower set up accessing the back sides of your plants is going to be really difficult. Not end of the world disaster but really difficult.


Most definitely…you need 4 sides access or at least 2, the long sides…for access to work your plants. Even if you have an automated water / feed system, they need training, trimming, careful inspection (mold, bugs, males, elemental concerns, etc)
My best was a 360° access with 8 feet height and a recessed ceiling with ventilation and easy access…I ran the access down the center of the room…it was just enough to get in all the air exchange tubes, sunken lights (this was before we had drivers separate from the plants…I could access all parts from a 4 foot wide access down the middle of the room. Even an open ceiling will work as long as there is a barrier above the lights…
You want to make it as easy as possible, not hard. It should not be WORK but if so, then treat it as a business and do it right from the start…don’t reinvent the wheel


So, is all the mold under control? The gnats too? I am getting ready for the next batch…will be changing a few things (adding) and separating into individual products. Got my web domain yesterday and will start building it out asap

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Just sprayed my last batch of mix 2 days ago. Will get you all the documentation early next week. Seems to be eather a resistance build up with the mold or the effectiveness of the formula is degrading. Stored at 75 deg on a shelf away from the lights. It was strange this time it worked on sone plants others it had no effect. Out of the same sprayer and mix. Absolutely no gnats returned. Put new stickeys out 3 days ago no new gnats.

I reminded you the mixture is only good for 2 weeks before it degrades (after mixing with water - should be distilled)…Glad to hear about NO GNATS!!! and if the mold keeps coming back, is it on surface / plant / both?
If surface…same places? Have you sprayed the air exhaust / intake tubes? Cleaned you equipment…
If on leaves, what strain are you growing and is it prevalent to strain A or B or both / all? Also, what are Rh and temp levels
PS.Do not forget to spray fan blades too…

Every time i mixed it I used it within 2 days. RH was at 40 to 45 percent the whole time. The mold is worse by far in the mimosa almost non existent in the GDP and Blue Dream. All three strains were started from clones that parent stock had visable mold at one time. Have never found mold on surfaces of equipment just on plant leaves.

Dan, I have a 12x4 space and run 4 Mars Hydro TS 3000. In your space I would get one for every 4x4 space you have.

can you post some pics? Is it powdery mildew? or a different mold…

MOLD - foliar feed with ammonia, Super diluted. Put about a shot glass full in a standard mist bottle. I learned many years ago for killing powdery mildew on sun leaves. (You will never go back to milk or baking soda for PM problems. I noticed all my plants looked 3 shades greener the same day. It foliar feeds them nitrogen ( NH4+ reduces to NO3-) and they absorb it incredibly great that way. Especially clones trying to sprout more roots. Try it on only 1 if you don’t believe me. Here is the rules though:
Never mist them with ammonia in the sun outside or under high discharge light indoors. Mornings or evenings where there is no direct sun. They will burn ( just like neem oil or horticultural soap or spinosad). I do mist clones 2-3 times a day when needed under CLONER lights only. If you have strong lights on your clones, dim them, raise them more, or just do it before or after on cycle.
Make sure the leaves have dried before you mist them again the same day. I usually do 3 mists per day while needed.
Minimize or kill fans for a couple hours. Ammonia reduces to nitrate in solution much slower than it evaporates off as a gas. It would rather become a gas then reduce to nitrate while on the leaves in solution. It will evaporate away too fast under strong air flow and not be effective.
Only use on vegetative plants. Once they stack calyxes in bloom you don’t want to get ammonia on the buds. They don’t want nitrogen blast while blooming. It can slow flowering times by then.

That said, ammonia misting works faster for nitrogen deficient big plants than root feedings. (I guess I should say in my opinion…) Yellow leaves anybody? Not anymore. Adding nitrogen to the roots is still necessary for big veg plants or the plants will yellow again quickly

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