Picking the right-sized grow tent requires an understanding of both your strengths and your limitations. If you’re a beginner, start with a small tent, with a grow light that doesn’t generate too much heat, such as CFL (Compact Fluorescents) or LED (Light Emitting Diodes). Intermediate and expert growers can step up to larger tents with multiple HID (High-Intensity Discharge) lighting systems and plenty of ventilation.
Benefits Of Tents
Compared to building your own growroom or purchasing an automated growbox, a tent is a cheaper alternative and some retailers offer package deals with lighting, ventilation, charcoal air filtration and hydroponic systems included.
Ease of Use Of The Grow Tent
One person can set up and take down a grow tent quickly, which is easier and safer than dismantling a solid structure if necessary. They come with pre-cut holes that fit fans and hangers for the lights and are typically lightproof, waterproof and floodproof.
Ease Of Environmental Control Inside Grow Tent
It’s more manageable to control temperature, humidity and pests in an enclosed tent than dealing with the ambient atmosphere of a large room, attic or basement.
Space and Budget Of The Tent
The first consideration is how much space you have to fit the actual tent. Measure you’re available space and keep in mind that some parts of the tent will be on the outside, so factor in more room than you need for just the footprint of the tent.
The smallest tents run about two feet by two feet and are four-feet-tall. The largest are as big as 10 feet by 20 feet. In between, you’ll find any size to fit your needs, but you must consider how you will light your space.
Consider your budget as well. Calculate the costs, including the tent, lighting, intake and exhaust fans, activated charcoal air filtration, plus whatever growing system you choose to employ.
Begin by assessing your electrical capacity. A 15-amp breaker won’t support the two 1000-watt HID lighting systems necessary to grow in a 5 ft. X 10 ft. tent. I’ve found that a 400-watt lighting system works perfectly in a 3 ft. X 3 ft. tent, as long as the lights are air-cooled and exhaust fans are adequate for the space. A four by four-foot space can accommodate a 600-watt system, and a 1000-watt HID bulb will light a 5 by 5 ft. footprint.
Remember! HID lighting such as MH (Metal Halide) and HPS (High-Pressure Sodium) also create heat that must be exhausted to keep growroom temps within the proper range. If you still think high heat will be a factor, consider using fluorescent or LED lighting instead. Placing your tent in a room that has good air conditioning helps quite a bit as well.
Phresh Filters provide a calculator to help determine the CFM (cubic feet per minute) rating of the exhaust fan you’ll need to use to replace the air in your tent every three minutes.
If you’re only planning to grow a couple of plants, a small grow tent is a good idea. Keep in mind that plants will grow taller and taller depending on how long you keep them in their vegetative stage, so be sure you have enough room for the plants when they’re mature. If you’re growing more than 10 or so plants, you’ll need to scale up in tent, lighting and fan size.
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