Best LED Grow Tent Setup: Buying Guide
There are many reasons why you would want to have a grow tent. If you crave fresh vegetables all year round but do not exactly live in the tropics. Those grocery store prices can be murder on the pocketbook.
If you do not have any real size to your backyard, even for containers, or, there is just too much shade. Along those same lines, if you cannot be out in the sun yourself for very long, indoor growing is where you want to be.
Maybe you are extremely allergic to any kind of insect bite, or you have severe allergies, then you might want to consider a grow tent inside the house.
As you can see, there are many reasons to buy a grow tent, and there are probably many out there!
What is a Grow Tent?
It is a box. They are usually rectangular but don’t need to be. You get to control the environment, light, heat, water, etc. You can grow anything you want to, no matter what the temperature is outside, and it does not matter the time of year. There is also no need to worry about most pests, but there can still be a few that rear their ugly head.
Among all the other essential decisions to be made, including size, a strong frame is an absolute must for your grow tent. The frame bears the weight of the tent material, the lights, fans, and any other gadget you put inside, not to mention the plants themselves. Being that grow tents are also considered portable, aluminum is usually the best material to use. There are many kits on the market and DIY tips online for making your own.
Look for a grow tent with a heavy-duty canvas fabric outer shell and good thick stitching; this is what goes over the frame. This outer fabric needs to be strong and durable, while the inner fabric material needs to be reflective. Mylar is probably the best option for lining the walls, think those balloons, though there are many other materials out there. Having a reflective material increases the light efficiency by as much as 90%.
Heat and Air
The temperature inside the tent will need to be monitored. Depending on what you are growing, most plants prefer a temperature between the range of seventy and eighty degrees, some maybe a tad higher. Because of the possible buildup of heat, ventilation holes can be critical. There are many tubes, fans, and other devices available for this purpose. Tents are not completely free from insect pests. One of the best ways to combat pests is to make sure there is good air circulation. A light, gentle breeze will stop spider mites and fungus gnats. Plants also need to breathe so that they can grow properly.
LED lights are designed to emit light in a full spectrum of color, closer to what the sun provides. Using LED lights will help you with some of your heat issues, too. Of course, plants need light, and you want to give them as much as possible. There is a rule of thumb that you will need roughly 45-70 watts of light per square foot of tent space. As an example, the ideal wattage for a 3 by 3-foot tent would be anywhere from 400 to 600 Watts. This is where that reflective material on the inside of your growing tent comes into play. Artificial light doesn’t produce as much light as the sun does. It diminishes with distance so using the reflector bounces the light back onto the plants and provides even distribution.
Hopefully, you realized that accidents can happen, water gets spilled, pots get tipped over, you do not want to place your grow tent on carpeting or any other surface that can get damaged. Set up your timers to control when your lights come on/off, and possibly your fan/ventilation system. Double check to make sure all electrical devices are plugged in and secure. Any extension cords are off the floor and tucked away so they are not a tripping hazard, or they could get wet.
Once you are happy that the entire system is working and at the desired growing environment, just add plants, keep a very close eye on the entire system for at least the first few days, just to make sure that everything is operating properly, you may still need to tweak it slightly.
A grow tent can be set up in any room, depending on size, that you can run electricity to. It could be a garage, dining room, or a spare bedroom. Grow tents come in many different sizes. This is important to keep in mind because of the amount of space it will take up and can limit the number of plants you can grow. Do your homework, and a grow tent can provide years of enjoyment and fresh produce.