An Introduction: Finding the Best Grow Light Kits and Other Equipment

While growing tomatoes in your garden is as easy as buying seeds from your local gardening store, buying some soil, and going to your garden to plant them, it’s not as easy with growing marijuana. This is because you almost always have to grow weed indoors, deal with male and female plants, and so much more. But don’t worry, I’ll teach you how to grow weed easy, indoors.

I started this journey when I used to spend thousands of dollars every year and giving it away to my dealer without giving it any thought. Then I came to the conclusion that I can just grow my own and save thousands of dollars per year, and have fun doing it! It was a no-brainer.

I had to start somewhere so I asked myself “what’s the best way to grow weed?”

What you’ll need to grow weed at home:

HOW TO BUY GROW LIGHT KITS – A GUIDE

When you grow weed outdoors, you have Earth’s most powerful lamp shining on your beautiful plants: The Sun. Growing indoors is a different animal and you will need to buy the best lights for growing marijuana because if you decide to grow it with your night table’s lamp, you’re not going to get far.

Here is a guide on selecting the best grow light kits and then I will follow up with selecting the best lights for growing cannabis by wattage.

The best grow light kits:

#1 Apollo Horticulture

Apollo Horticulture Review
The Good
  • Highest user reviews
  • Reliable product
  • Great price
  • Low Noise
The Bad
  • Purple color may not be appealing to all
9/10
Great

 

The Apollo grow kit brand has been in the business for such a long time that it’s really a no-brainer in terms of choosing from all the other cheap grow light kits.

You can read the amazing user reviews it has on Amazon if you don’t believe me.

First off, it’s a very quiet unit that runs silently which is perfect if you do not want to alert anyone nearby of your grow, or if you’re sleeping right beside it (aroma much?). Even if you choose the strongest 1000-watt model, trust me, this thing doesn’t scream, it barely hums. To add to the discreteness, its shipped to you in plain Jane brown box so the neighbors won’t know a thing.

Next, it comes with both an HPS and MH bulb. What does this mean? HPS stands for High Pressure Sodium, while MH stands for Metal Halide. Both are used at different stages when you grow weed plants, so with this kit, you’re prepared for all of the stages from the get-go. Remember it this way, HPS is best for the flowering period, while the MH bulb is capable for any stage so it’s good to use after the HPS bulb has done its magic in the flowering period.

The best part is the digital ballast which Apollo recently updated to use the latest technology. The dimmable features allow for you to control wattage at any stage of the growth, thus leading to the perfect grow.

And lastly, you get all of the hanging equipment, the well-built hood, and a 24-hour timer. All of these things finalize in to probably the best grow light kits on the market.

#2 Vivosun

Vivosun Review
The Good
  • Cheapest price
  • Stylish look
The Bad
  • Doesn't have as much in stock
  • Relatively newer company without as many user reviews
8/10
Great

 

Woah! Did I just choose Vivosun over iPower? I sure did. Not many people are familiar with the Vivosun brand because it is relatively new compared to the other brands but it does shine. And where it shines especially is in its price point as it is almost always priced lower than the Apollo brand.

Check Amazon to get the latest prices on the Vivosun models.

“But if it’s cheaper than Apollo, how come it’s not #1 on the list?”

You may or may not agree with my opinion, and if you don’t, you can buy it and save a couple extra dollars so either way, you win. It’s not #1 on my list because it’s a newer brand that hasn’t been long enough to prove itself, judging by the Amazon user reviews. It also didn’t have the 600W model when I checked, and for those that may be looking for that model, it may not be helpful to not keep a big enough stock.

But if you just want a cheap grow light kit, the cheapest in fact, and you can find the model you want in stock, then you come out on top here. Believe me, the Vivosun is a very close 2nd.

I convinced my old college roommate to get the 1000-watt model just so I could compare it to my Apollo Horticulture model and his grow was just as majestic as mine. It was a forest of beautiful Sour Diesel.

Just like the Apollo, it comes with an MH bulb but there’s a surprise if you think it comes with an HPS bulb. Instead, it comes with a SUPER HPS bulb! Sorry to hype you up but it’s just an overdrive mode that is useless because it’s not beneficial for the plants or the bulbs. Just stick to the regular modes and avoid the marketing tactic.

That being said, everything else in the package is almost identical to the Apollo which is good news. You won’t regret buying a Vivosun and you’ll save money in the process.

#3 iPower

iPower Review
The Good
  • Highest selling kit
The Bad
  • More negative Amazon reviews
7/10
Good

If you’re an iPower fan, I’m sorry to disappoint. This is only my opinion and if you like their products then that’s perfectly fine. I have very little bad things to say about iPower, it’s just that there are three main manufacturers and someone has to be #1, #2 and #3.

If you look on Amazon, it has the most users reviews out of all the other manufacturers.

While there seems to be a bit of unhappy customers, this could just be as a result of it having more reviews to begin with. It is important to note that 81% of customers were still happy with their purchase.

Up close, it may appear as if the Apollo is cheaper, but the iPower comes with free shipping and it usually is cheaper by a small amount if that is a selling point for you. Prices may always change a bit so it’s safe to say that they are nearly the same price-wise.

For full discretionary purposes, I would like to say that I have never owned an iPower grow kit, and I don’t know anyone personally that has. My reason for putting it in 3rd was because of its user reviews. This is just an opinion of mine and I welcome any criticism or if you would like to correct me in any way. Please contact me if so, I’m happy to learn something new or take any constructive criticism.

Just like with the other companies, the iPower grow light kit comes with:

  • Digital ballast
  • Highly reflective cooled hood
  • Rope hangers
  • 24-hour timer controller
  • MH and HPS bulbs

HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST LIGHTS FOR GROWING WEED

From the three manufacturers that I have listed above, you need to decide on the wattage and which one is right for you. You have these 3 options to choose from:

  • 400W MH/HPS

  • 600W MH/HPS

  • 1000W MH/HPS

Coverage Area:

400W: 3′ x 3′ (0.9m x 0.9m) up to 3.5′ x 3.5′ (1m x 1m)

600W: 3.5′ x 3.5′ (1m x 1m) up to 4′ x 4′ (1.2m x 1.2m)

1000W: 4′ x 4′ (1.2m x 1.2m) up to 5′ x 5′ (1.5m x 1.5m)

Height:

400W: Keep plant tops about 12 inches (30 cm) away

600W: Keep plant tops about 16 inches (40 cm) away

1000W: Keep plant tops about 21 inches (53 cm) away

Average Yields:

400W: Between 7 to 14 ounces

This number depends on your level of experience and ability to optimize for greater yields. With experience, you will be able to take care of the plants to ensure their health and knowing the lighting periods inside and out. It is very important to also note that this is dependent on the strain as well.

600W: Between 10 to 21 ounces

This number is dependent on experience and the strain being grown.

1000W: Between 17 to 35 ounces

This number is dependent on experience and the strain being grown.

Conclusions:

400W:

The 400W is very popular among the crowd that is looking to learn how to grow weed at home but aren’t sure if this is something they want to do long-term, or it’s just for small, personal purposes.

Because of its low wattage, the lights will definitely be less hot than the other options but it’s still recommended to have an exhaust to control temperatures. It’s not absolutely necessary for this wattage, but it’s worth looking in to. If you decide to upgrade later on, you’ll already have an exhaust that’s ready to use.

600W:

This is by far the most popular option and rightfully so. Out of all models, this one is the most efficient in the amount of light that it is able to produce, thus leading to higher yields versus how much is spent in electrical costs.

At this stage though, you will need an exhaust system or another way to control the temperature.

1000W:

This one is the big daddy, the all-powerful. It does come with its consequences, though. If you want the big yields, you’re going to need to have an excellent way of managing the heat, and that means an exhaust system. No other way around it.

YOU’RE GOING TO NEED SEEDS

I think this is quite obvious, you’re going to need seeds. Last time I checked, the only way to grow cannabis is from seeds. And I know, I know, you might say that clones don’t require seeds but you had to have seeds to get the plants to make the clones in the first place. Enough about semantics though.

Depending where you live and what the legalities are in your state or country, you may or may not be able to acquire them.

If marijuana is legal in your state or country, you should have no problem finding them. There are also websites online that sell them to people in legal places so you can try those.

If your state or country has a medical marijuana program in place, chances are that you will need to obtain a medical license and then going to a dispensary or using an online medical service.

Lastly, if it’s illegal in your place of residence, well you’re out of luck. Of course, it’s still possible to get them but you put yourself at risk legally and it’s something that I cannot recommend! However, nobody has really gone to jail for ordering seeds online so maybe the lucky streak will continue for you.

IT IS IMPORTANT TO NOTE THAT YOU SHOULD ONLY BUY FEMALE SEEDS!

FINDING THE RIGHT SOIL & NUTRIENTS

This stuff is easy to get. While you can definitely venture off into hydroponics, if it is your first time, start with the basics and starting planting in soil. While you can get better yields in quicker times than soil, you may be getting ahead of yourself as a beginner and screw it up, leading to money lost. Start slow and you’ll get a nice earthy aroma and you won’t waste your money.

That being said, the soil from the dollar store will not do. That stuff is garbage. You’re going to want to get something better and I’m going to make a few recommendations. I promise to keep it short and sweet.

If you are interested in making your own soil, it’s an option I would recommend, but for now, this will be for the lazy people:

Cheaper Organic Option:

If you are on a budget, I understand that you may not have enough money for organic soil, but believe me, that stuff from Home Depot or Lowes is not going to be good for your plants. I mean, they’ll still grow, but the soil compositions will likely yield to a worse tasting flower and possible problems.

With FoxFarm, you’re getting quality, organic ingredients and a soil composition that your plants will love. You can look in your local hydroponics store for it, or a similar alternative, or you can order it online through Amazon if it is more convenient for you.

More Value, Better Organic Option:

The price of the FoxFarm may be cheaper but the HP Pro Mix is a 3.8 cubic foot bag, versus FoxFarm’s 1.5 cubic foot bag, so in reality, the Pro Mix is the cheaper option and has more value.

The great thing about Pro Mix is its quality ingredients: peat moss, perlite and mychorrhizae, but the extra benefit is the little bit of lime they add to properly buffer the pH levels. Just brilliant.

The best thing, however, that I found with this soil is how it deals with insects. Seriously, it’s like insects don’t like living in it but my plants absolutely love it. This is my number 1 choice!

Read the Amazon user reviews to see why it has so many 5/5 reviews and a 91% approval rating.

Nutrients:

While you do not need any nutrients during the initial stages of growing, you will really benefit from having some nutrients during the budding/flowering period as cannabis tends to be use up a lot of your soil’s nutrients. If you want the best grow, I really recommend you pick up the General Hydroponics Flora Series nutrients. The instructions are very easy to use and it’s the highest rated nutrients for a good reason: IT WORKS!

OPTIONAL: WOULD A GROW TENT WORK FOR YOU?

You had the idea that you want to grow weed at home, but now you’re realizing “where am I going to grow this stuff?” Do you wonder where you’re going to grow? Or how can you avoid growing this out in the open?

If you answered yes to any of those questions, then you may benefit from a grow tent. Once again, this is completely optional but it sure beats trying to grow weed in a closet. I’ve tried it.

If you’re lucky enough to be living in the United States, you can get the best grow tents from Gorilla Grow Tent. Seriously, these are the best grow tents on the market and there are so many size options to choose from that you’ll definitely find the perfect one for you.

If you’re in Canada, I’m sorry amigos but the Gorilla Grow Tent prices are just a rip-off. That being said, there are still plenty of options from other, less popular brands that have great reviews as well.

THE NEXT STEP AND THE CURRENT CONCLUSION

In the interest of not going on forever, I will pause the current guide and tutorial right here. Click below to move on to the next step once you have purchased all of the necessary equipment and are ready to rock and roll.

[next step]

 

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