Gardening Magazine

How to Build a Spider Mite Free Closed Grow Environment (CGE) Part 3 – Grow Room Equipment

By Stoopidj @spidermitehq

Using the correct equipment in your closed grow environment is probably the most important factor in determining whether or not you are going to be successful in your attempts to grow indoors.  If for instance you decide to use an air conditioner that is undersized for your needs, you will spend a huge amount on electricity as well as cause a undue wear and tear on your closed grow room equipment.

Required Closed Grow Environment Equipment

Closed Grow Environments need Lighting in order to function.

Closed Grow Environments need Lighting in order to function.

1. HID Lights for closed grow environment

The MOST important piece of equipment required for a closed grow environment is a High Intensity Discharge Lighting System (HID System).  These types of lights will release a huge amount of light per square foot compared to how much energy used and heat produced.

Typically, in the United States, the most common grow light used is the 1000w HPS.  In Europe, the most commonly used light is the 600w HPS.  While, the 600w light is slightly more efficient, the 1000w light can be purchased for far less in the United States and the Americas.

A 1000w HPS light is suitable for use on areas of about 4 1/2 feet x 4 1/2 feet.  Whereas, the 600w HPS is good for about 3 1/2 feet x 3 1/2 feet.  These systems do produce quite a bit of heat so it is suggested that you get the hoods with glass and vent the heat outside your Closed Grow Environment.

2. Closed Grow Environments need Air Conditioners

Next to the HID light, the Air conditioner is the next most important factor in your Closed Grow Room.  The air conditioner will be used to compensate for the high heat released from the HID system as well as act as a dehumidifier.

When designing your Sealed Grow Room you should normally figure about 4000 BTU’s (British Thermal Units) per 1000w HPS.  You should also always oversize your air conditioner slightly to compensate for inefficiencies in your system.

You have many choices when picking out Air conditioner units.  They range from window units to mini split units to Full size units  and Water Cooled units.  It is almost always suggested for most people to buy an inverter style, mini split air conditioner due to their low cost, high efficiency, and ease of instillation.

3.  Every Sealed Grow Room needs Oscillating Fans!

Closed Grow Environments need Wall Mounted Oscillating Fans

Closed Grow Environments need Wall Mounted Oscillating Fans

Plants love moving air.  This will help them build up strong cells in their      branches allowing them to hold up plenty of fruit, vegetables, or herbs. The moving air will also keep the plants in contact with fresh CO2 as well as prevent mold in your Closed Grow Environment.

These inexpensive fans are good for many things in you grow room, so many, you may begin to think of them as the Swiss Army Knife of your grow equipment.

While stand type fans are nice, they tend to get in the way and have a tendency to fall on your plants.  This is why Wall Mounted Oscillating Fans are the Solution!  They will push a huge amount of air  around your room, stay out of the way and they can even be hung from the ceiling more like a ceiling fan!

4.  Exhaust Fans are essential in Perfect Grow Rooms.

Most Closed Grow Environments would do best with at least 2 exhaust fans.

One of these exhaust fans would be hooked up directly to your lights and would pull fresh air, through ducting , through your lights back to the outside. Typically this fan is no smaller than a 6″  inline fan.

The Second exhaust fan would typically be smaller and would only come one a couple times a day in order to exhaust extra moisture and stagnant air out of your grow area.  This fan can also be wired to come on in the even the grow area gets over a certain temperature usually 95-100 degrees.  Typically,  this fan should be no smaller than a 4″ inline fan.

This approach allows you to keep you lights cool, cheaply. As well as preventing any problems such as mold, stagnant air, or emergency overheating.

5.  Increase moisture in your CGE with Humidifiers.

Many plants, especially the ones you would be growing indoors are tropical or semi tropical.  This means that they like Humid Environments.

The problem is that Air Conditioners dry out the air extremely well.  That is OK, because The Best Humidifiers are extremely inexpensive as well as very cost effective to operate.  You should place your humidifier high in the room and in front of an oscillating fan.  This will help to keep the humidity uniform in your Closed Grow Environment.

6.  Closed Grow Environments thrive with CO2 Generators

Closed Grow Environments need CO2 Generators

Closed Grow Environments need CO2 Generators

When it comes to Closed Grow Environments, supplemental
CO2 is an absolute requirement.  In fact, it isn’t actually supplemental at all because without adding the Carbon Dioxide to your Sealed Grow Room your plants will suffocate.

There are 2 major ways to provide your grow room with Carbon Dioxide.

First, there are CO2 Tanks.  These work with regulators that have electronic solenoids.  You plug the regulator into you CO2 Monitor or a Timer and off you go.  The pro’s of this method include, no flame, no moisture released and very safe.  The cons are the tanks are expensive to fill, and they usually only work on small rooms.

Second, and by far the Better Choice, is the Carbon Dioxide Generator.  The CO2 generator will produce a huge amount of Carbon Dioxide for your Closed Grow Environment.  It will also produce supplemental humidity for your room.  And because it can use natural gas you Carbon Dioxide Generator can be plumbed to your natural gas lines in your home.  This will take advantage of the falling price of Natural Gas in the United States.

7.  Finally, Control your Sealed Grow Room with a Controller.

The Best Closed Grow Environment Controller

The Best Closed Grow Environment Controller

A controller is a piece of equipment that while not “essential”, as close as you can get.  After using timers and thermostats, you will love using a all in one controller.

A controller can control everything in your Closed Grow Environment.   Depending on your price range you can get controllers that only operate 1-3 functions, all the way up to controllers that have no limits to the number of functions or devices that they are capable of  running.

A great low cost, user friendly controller is the Sentinel CHHC-4.  This controller can control your humidity, lights, A/C, and exhaust fans and Carbon Dioxide Generator.

If you are looking for an over-the-top, can handle more than you can, type of controller.  Then the Harvest Master Pro  is for you.

This controller will control EVERYTHING for you.  From lights, humidifiers, A/C, dehumidifiers, exhaust fans, Carbon Dioxide, burglar alarms, take pictures for you, monitor environmental factors including soil temp and moisture level.

Oh ya, Did I mention It will TEXT you every detail you could want about you room.  In fact their is so much information about this controller There will be a separate post later describing all of its functions.

In our next post on How to build a Spider Mite Free Closed Grow Environment we will describe how to wire the individual circuits for the equipment we just talked about.

How to Build a Spider Mite Free Closed Grow Environment Part- 2

How to Build a Spider Mite Free Closed Grow Environment Part- 1

 


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