If you want to grow plants indoors (indoor gardening), the first thing you must have is a grow space. A growing space is one of the most important indoor grow supplies you must have when growing indoors. There are many choices of indoor growing spaces that you can use like attic, loft, closet, basement or grow tent. You can also build a new room in your home that you dedicate for indoor growing, if that’s possible. After choosing the growing space, you must create a growing environment that is suitable for plants in that space. Don’t have a clue? You don’t have to worry about it, because in this article, “Indoor Grow Room Setup”, we will guide you how to setup an indoor grow room properly along with all growing supplies and equipment.
In our opinion, this may not be the best indoor grow room setup as well as the design. Because in this guide, we want to show you how to build a small grow room, in our view, without reducing its effectiveness. The total cost of this indoor grow room setup is also a lot cheaper than the advanced one. But, this setup is more expensive when compared to a 4×4 grow tent setup or smaller.
In this ultimate grow room setup guide, you’ll find a complete list of grow room setup, which includes the grow supplies and equipment we use. We hope this guide can help you, especially beginners to set up an indoor grow room at home.
Table of Contents
- 1 Type of Indoor Grow Room
- 2 Important Things Before Building Grow Room
- 3 Grow Room Setup — A Step by Step Guide
- 3.1 Step 1: Find and Prepare the Grow Room
- 3.2 Step 2: Prepare the Walls
- 3.3 Step 3: Grow Room Ventilation Setup
- 3.4 Step 4: Grow Room Lighting Setup
- 3.5 Step 5: Grow Room Flooring
- 3.6 Step 6: Grow Room Environmental Control
- 3.7 Step 7: Installing Growing System
- 4 Overview
Type of Indoor Grow Room
Before going to the step by step guide of grow room setup, first, you must know the type or design of the grow room that you’ll build. As far as we know, there are two types of this kind of room: Vented and Sealed grow room. The biggest difference between the two rooms is in the ventilation setup.
Vented Grow Room Setup
This indoor grow room setup and design has a ventilation setup that consists of intake and exhaust fans. The intake fans will bring in the fresh air from outside the room, while the exhaust fans will vent out the old and hot air from inside the room. With a vent setup like this, there can be enough air circulation in the grow room. And the indoor plants will get CO2 from the fresh air that has been taken by the intake fans.
Most indoor growers will equip their fans, both the intake and exhaust fan with a kind of filter. Installation of HEPA filter on the intake fan can prevent pathogens, insects and dust in the air from entering the grow room. While the installation of carbon filter on the exhaust fan can filter the odor produced by plants (odor control).
One more thing, in order to help in balancing the temperature and humidity inside the grow room, you’ll need oscillating fans. By using oscillating fans, there will be air movement inside the room that is useful for plants, just as they grow outside.
Sealed Grow Room Setup
This indoor grow room setup and design has a ventilation setup that consists of an air conditioner (AC), a CO2 burner, a CO2 controller and dehumidifier. Air conditioners will control the air as well as the temperature in the grow room. Besides that, it will remove moisture and heat when the grow lights are on. The CO2 burner will provide CO2 for the plants and with the controller, you can set the proper CO2 levels (PPM). And dehumidifiers will help in controlling humidity inside the room.
In this sealed grow room, you’ll still need oscillating fans to help in balancing the temperature and humidity. In addition, it will also create a breeze that is beneficial to your indoor plants. With a vent setup like this, you can run a perfect indoor environment for 24/7. You can control the temperature, humidity and odor in your grow room more easily.
Important Things Before Building Grow Room
This can be a bit tricky for you, especially if you are building a grow room for the first time, your first grow room setup. The main thing is you must understand the purpose of the room that you’ll build.
You also need to understand the basic environmental factors when growing plants indoors, such as temperature, humidity and CO2 levels. From that understanding, you’ll know where to start when setting up a grow room. Below are some of the most important things you should consider before building your own grow room.
Size of Grow Room
The easiest way to determine the size of grow room is to determine the number of plants you’re going to grow. If you want to grow several plants in various stages at the same time, you have to make a separate grow room. For example, ‘Veg room’ for plants in the vegetative stage and ‘Flower room’ for plants in the flowering stage.
You can also add some sort of rack, shelf or cabinet in the Vegetative room for your seedlings or clones to save some space. The picture below is an example where the plants are on the shelf, under T5 grow lights.
Indoor Grow Room Lighting
Many beginner growers are confused in determining indoor lighting they’ll use, whether it’s for a grow room or tent. When it comes to indoor grow lights, here’s what we can recommend to you:
- Fluorescent grow lights are good for seedlings or clones.
- HID or HPS grow lights are best when used in large grow rooms, like 7×7 ft or more and the plants are in the flowering stage.
- LED grow lights are great for all stages of plant growth and under any circumstances.
*) You can follow the links above for more information on each type of indoor grow light.
The size of grow room also affects the selection of indoor lighting. If you’ve a small grow room, 4×4 or 5×5 ft for instance, make sure that the room doesn’t get too hot due to the use of indoor grow lights. And one more thing, do some research on indoor grow lights that you’ll use to know how close the distance of the lights to the plants.
Growing System or Medium
You have to decide what growing media or grow system that you’ll use before building a grow room. This is because for a growing system like hydroponics, some indoor growers sometimes require a different grow room setup.
Availability of Services
You should consider all aspects of the services to support your grow room, such as electricity and water sources.
Here’s a tip — After you plan it all, the next step is to make your grow room design. Make the design as detailed as possible, which includes grow room size, ventilation setup, indoor lighting setup and the location of the plants.
Grow Room Setup — A Step by Step Guide
Here’s the ultimate guide to indoor grow room setup for beginners. At this section, you’ll learn how to build an indoor grow room. Pay attention to each step of this guide before building your own room.
Step 1: Find and Prepare the Grow Room
The first step of grow room setup is finding the right space that will be used as a grow room. As we mentioned above, you can choose the grow space based on how many plants, what growing system you’ll use and availability of services. The grow space you choose can be in the garage, basement, closet or attic as long as it meets the requirements. Here are some requirements that we think must be in the grow room:
- The room should be clean and away from pets.
- There is enough elevation to hang the grow lights and grow tall plants.
- The room must be tightly closed, which no outside light can penetrate into the room (lightproof).
- The room without window would be better, because you don’t need to seal it off. Don’t worry about air circulation inside the grow room because you’ll have the ventilation setup later.
Besides the above requirements, your room must also fit your needs based on the factors at the above section.
After choosing the right space, the next step is to prepare that grow space. You can start by removing everything from inside the area, except for ceilings, walls and floor. After that, you can clean the area from all kinds of dust and dirt on the floor and walls. For the walls, make sure you brush and clean it with a disinfectant as well.
Step 2: Prepare the Walls
At this step, you should cover the walls of grow room with highly reflective materials in order to maximize the output of grow lights. By using a reflective material, the lights output are more focused on the plants. There are several ways to cover the walls of the room and here’s how to cover the walls that we highly recommend:
- Using synthetic films, like Mylar (it’s able to reflect more than 95% of the light)
- Using white plastic sheeting, like black and white polymer or panda plastic (it’s able to reflect up to 90% of the light)
- Painting the grow room walls with a flat white paint (it’s able to reflect light up to 80%)
At the picture below, the grow room walls are covered with reflective material from black and white polymer.
Step 3: Grow Room Ventilation Setup
This is one of the most important steps in building a grow room, which you have to set up a ventilation system in the room. With ventilation system, you are able to provide air circulation in the room and bring in the fresh air, which will be needed by your indoor plants. Besides, it will also allow you to control the temperature, humidity and heat inside the grow room.
Vented Grow Room Ventilation
In order to set up ventilation for the vented grow room, at least you’ll need these grow supplies:
- Intake fans
- Exhaust fans
- Carbon filters
- Oscillating fans
For an example of this vented grow room ventilation, look at the above design or diagram.
Sealed Grow Room Ventilation
In order to set up ventilation for the sealed grow room, at least you’ll need these grow supplies:
- Air conditioners
- CO2 tank/burner
- CO2 controller
- Oscillating fans
For an example of this sealed grow room ventilation, look at the above design or diagram.
We will discuss this grow room ventilation setup in more depth in this guide: Under Construction.
Step 4: Grow Room Lighting Setup
Another important step in building a grow room is the installation of indoor grow lights (lighting setup). At this step, we assume that you’ve decided on the type of grow lights that you’ll use. Regardless of what lights you use, it’s time to hang it into the ceiling of grow room. You can use some kind of adjustable hooks or chains that comes with the light you buy, or you can buy it separately.
What about the distance between grow lights with indoor plants? As far as we know, each type of indoor grow light may give you a different coverage area. For example, most LED grow lights will give you a maximum coverage area of 3×3 ft for the flowering stage. While other types of lights and different watts will give you more or less coverage area. That’s why we recommend you to do some research on the lights you’ll use.
Step 5: Grow Room Flooring
Some indoor growers may require advanced drainage system on the floor to ease their activities. But, in this guide, we will make it more simple and it won’t cost you too much. Considering we want a cheap grow room setup as possible, so we use black and white polymer for grow room flooring. It’s the same reflective material that can be used to cover the walls of your room.
Here’s a tip for grow room flooring — You can coat the floor with some kind of cardboard and cover it with black and white polymer for drainage. Take a look at the picture below how we cover the floor of the room with black and white poly.
By using the above materials for flooring, at least it can make it easier for you to clean it up. Because surely there is a possibility of spilled water during watering the plants. If you’re looking for other options, maybe you can take a look at rubber pond liner.
Step 6: Grow Room Environmental Control
As you might know, maintaining something definitely requires tools or equipment, as well as maintaining a grow room. Here’s a list of grow room supplies and equipment that indoor growers often use to maintain or monitor the indoor climate of their grow room.
- Temperature & Humidity Meter
- Humidifier — Used to keep the grow room humid enough for the plants.
- Dehumidifier — Only used if there’s excess moisture and you’re struggling to keep the humidity down in the room.
Now, it’s time to place those grow supplies and equipment into your grow room. Do some test with the grow lights on to check and adjust the room temperature. What’s the ideal grow room temperature? Well, it depends on the type of plants you have, because each type of plant has an ideal temperature. However, as a rule of thumb, try to keep the grow room temperature between 65°F (18°C) and 80°F (26°C).
Step 7: Installing Growing System
Now that we’ve finished setting up a grow room, the final step is to set up growing system. Regardless of what grow system you use, whether it’s soil, soilless or hydroponics, put your system into the room. You can place your pots/containers or set up hydroponic system right under your grow light setup.
Here’s a quick video showing a basic grow room setup. The video below will cover lighting setup, ventilation setup and some grow supplies for indoor grow room.
In order to maximize the potential of your grow room setup, make sure that you’ve ‘a detailed grow room design’ from the beginning. Regardless of the size of your room, whether it’s large or small grow room, the most important is your room works best for you and your indoor plants. We hope this guide about grow room setup can give you the information you need to build your own grow room. Happy Growing and Go Green!