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Canada Grows to the 4 Plant Limit

Discussion in 'Indoor Growing' started by DIY-HP-LED, Sep 10, 2017.


    DIY-HP-LED Well-Known Member

    This thread is for Canadians who want to economically set up a small grow that's in compliance with the upcoming (approx. spring of 2018 ) law or for current medical users. We'll cover modern LED lighting options and especially DIY LED grow lights, starting, growing methods and other practical aspects of setting up and maintaining an economical small grow in Canada. Sharing ideas, knowledge and experience is the purpose of this thread. I might have started it and will maintain it, but I don't own it. It's for all Canadians who want to set up a small indoor garden that is economical, energy efficient and effective. There are a few knowledgeable and experienced Canadian growers on this board that know where the best places to buy gear are and have approaches that might be better suited to some on this thread than those I present. I hope they will join in and consider this thread as their's too.

    Tens of thousands of new growers will be starting next year, from old timers who grew years ago with gaslight like me (just kidding, I ain't that old) that are starting again to newbies. The wealthy, those with limited means and medical needs, will pay a lot less and have more control over what they consume, if they grow it. In some provinces it might be quite some time before there's available supplies and folks can make their own high quality hash and edibles quite easily and cheaply.

    There are a few unique challenges Canadians face, that our American cousins don't, like the difference in the dollar, Canadian shipping and customs duty. The approach to setting up a grow depends on one's circumstances, a wealth person would do things differently than someone of limited means. Many medical patients and older folks are on fixed incomes and many don't have a lot of resources, that's where my primary focus will be.

    I usually live on another thread here called Economical multi LED Chip Projects for Growing Click on the link to go there. I'm into low cost DIY lights and dealing with some cost issues that low income Canadians face.
    I'll cross post some stuff from that thread here to get things going. So here is a section I wrote recently about my own small economic grow and how I approach things and solve problems. Another section follows on LED drivers and the problems that many Canadian growers face and ways around them.

    An Economical Small Grow (currently set up for veg)
    As I mentioned I took the summer off and I'm just getting going again with a couple of plants (OG Kush), one clone is an old mother I'm growing out and the other a clone of the same individual filling out the grid. I'm vegging with intense light 24/7 for 30% faster growth and running the environment a bit warmer and hope to have a good 3' X 7' canopy ready for flower at the end of the month. I train the plants to the outside of the grids to get the extra canopy area. I've got a 200 watt 5000k veg lamp on one end of the table and two 30" long 140 watt 5000K tube grow lights at the other over the small plant, 50K LUX on the grid! The details of the veg light(s) construction are posted earlier in this thread if ya wanna know how they were built.


    The grow table is an old interior 30" x 6 1/2' door on a slightly tilted 2x4 frame to aid drainage. It's covered in a cushion floor remnant and the sides are strapping screwed to the door covered with vinyl siding channel, the drain is a piece of pipe siliconed and sealed in. The table drains into a under the bed tote and I pump the run off into a bucket and dump it. The 10 gallon air pruning grow bags sit on dollar store shower mat sections, I just removed the wooden cover slates and used the plastic, cheap and it works great. Alternately you could use plastic milk crates lined with weed barrier cloth and it will produce a one pound plant, provided other things are done right. The grids spread and flatten the canopy so the light can get at everything, putting them on the pots makes plant rotation, removal and maintenance much easier.

    I'm vegging in my flower room for now, but at the end of the month the big 1.2 KW water cooled rig will cover the table, the timer will be turned back and we can rock! I haven't measured the power consumption of the new configuration yet, but I think I might take some power off the rig when the Citizen COBs go on, but it'll still be a real monster. My goal was to equal out door conditions, but you don't need that intensity for 12 straight hours, lower levels are more suitable in this situation.

    The 335 watt lamp on the tripod I call the "left over lamp" and it was made awhile back from, you guessed it, left over stuff. I'll cover it perhaps in the next post. It usually covers the near end of the grow table when the canopy gets real big, I hang it across the table on the end of the water cooled lamp for extra coverage. The side lights come into play later in flower, but I might dispense with them after this grow, the power level on this garden is stupidly high for the number of plants I'm growing. I figure I should be using about 1 KW max on this kind of setup when the new COBs are installed, I probably can get my 2+ pounds with about 800 watts. Sometimes we just get carried away, and I'm still buying this shit! What's the definition of stupid again? As someone on one of these boards once said, "Pot might not be addictive, but growing it is"!

    Cheap Chinese Drivers
    As many of you know I live in Canada and up here things are a bit different when it comes to setting up and economical small grow and especially for buying or building grow lights. If money's no object or yer selling pounds a month on the side, then order up yer COBs, meanwell drivers and heatsinks, but be prepared to pay dearly. Not a problem if it's say a "business" investment and a few percent in increased efficiency pays dividends over time and will also allow more production from limited power resources. But let's say you just grow for yourself and others and don't sell it, or want to stay inside the new 4 plant limit law that is coming here. In addition let's say you have limited means, or have a medical issue and this is your medicine.

    Until recently the price of quality COBs has been very expensive and even though there are some places selling quality COBs now for a good price, there's Canadian shipping, the difference in the dollar and customs, on top of the US purchase price. It's the same story for high voltage meanwell drivers, only shipping is worse for bulky items and heatsinks are even more expensive to ship. American builders often get free delivery and pay no sales tax, so their choices are different (and better) than those who live in other places. When you order on ebay from China, you seldom pay shipping and almost never pay duty, it's just the purchase price. I wish they sold high voltage, high powered drivers too, and if anybody knows if they do, post a link here.

    I've been using a half dozen or so of each of 2 types of Chinese 3 amp 100 watt drivers for 3 years now (one type adjustable and the other non adjustable), been running them at 100% and I haven't had one fail yet (though I take care to try and cool them a bit). I didn't expect this, which is one of the reasons why I chose unenclosed drivers, so I could repair them if they screwed up, none have so far. In terms of efficiency, they are just current limited SMPS (Switch Mode Power Supplies) and almost all of those are around 90% efficient when operated at rated output and it doesn't matter much where they are made. I use them to drive pairs of 100 watt floodlight COBs and other better quality COBs, though an an adjustable version is best suited to this task. Of course using high voltage drivers and running COBs in series is best practice for a number of reasons, including: simplicity, efficiency and better power distribution. But if your in Canada the Chinese flood light drivers with free delivery are a viable alternative for the budget conscious builder.

    Using enclosed drivers greatly simplifies your build, just add heatsinks, fans and a frame to mount everything on.

    Ok that's it for now, post here if you have questions or answers, build ideas, products and designs that can help Canada grow to the four pound limit. If your Canadian and would like this kind of thread, give this post a like
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2017
    thetr33man and Photon Flinger like this.

    DIY-HP-LED Well-Known Member

    Another cross post...
    Health Alert:clap:
    Was just reading this online...
    If ya wanna stay sharp, stay high! Pot might not be so great for young folks brains, but if yer over 50 (if yer not now, you will be, if yer lucky), it's a different ball game. Lot's of new research coming out on the health benefits, particularly for older folks. It may slow down or stop not just alzheimer's, but general age related neural decline, you won't have a 1000 yard stare and drive at 10mph in a few years. When it comes to pot, I think it'll end up as, "Old Farts Rule"! Imagine what the media/political reaction will be to a successful clinical trial for alzheimer's, the health websites, TV, health magazines and newspapers will be all over it. Why even ole Jeff Sessions will be high, either that or watch his brains run outta his ears. Other research shows there's every indication that it is highly effective for brain injuries too by preventing brain cell death and aiding recovery. So there's good news for the youngins after all. They've done (and are doing) a lot of work with old folks and pot in Israel and recently greatly expanded medical access.


    DIY-HP-LED Well-Known Member

    and another...
    The Cheapest Quality COB 350 Watt Grow Light Build

    Here are some of the main parts that will build the cheapest DIY high quality 10 COB grow light that I know of.

    The COBs
    These Citizen 81 watt 3500K 90 CRI COBs are around $20 US for 5 pcs, so for around forty bucks US you can get 10 COBs
    The CLU044-1212B8 CRI 90's have an awesome spectrum with 660 nm at 90% of output and pretty good in the blue end too. They are real cheap and highly effective and 2 would run nicely on a cheap 70 watt driver at about an amp each. These COBS wouldn't even need to be supplemented, since they pretty well cover all the spectral bases. Here's the data sheet

    The Drivers
    The 70 watt version of these enclosed drivers will drive the COBs safely at nearly the specified amperage when run in parallel pairs of off one driver. So to drive the 10 COBs (5 pairs) you would need 5 drivers and buying a spare driver might be wise. So say 6 drivers including a spare at $5.49 US each, or about $30 bucks US for drivers including a spare. When you use 70 watt drivers, if one COB in the array becomes disconnected or fails (very unlikely with these COBs) the driver won't produce enough current to damage the remaining COB. These 2100ma 38 volt drivers are a cheap way to drive good quality COBs safely, or you could run the COBs hotter and safely (1500ma) with individual 50 watt drivers, but 70 watts driven in pairs is cheaper, just as safe and keeps you closer to peak COB efficacy. Using enclosed drivers greatly simplifies your build, just add heatsinks, fans and a frame to mount everything on.


    So the essentials for this 10 COB 5 driver lamp cost about $70. US, not bad. Add in another $40 for Ideal COB holders and good thermal paste and you won't even have to solder anything.

    If anybody knows of a cheaper way to drive these COBs speak up. Running them in series with Meanwells would be best and about 94% efficient, but this is just as good and cheaper, it's just about 6% less efficient than top drawer. We're looking for low cost quality light and that counts on the COBs, the drivers have a claimed efficiency of 88%'', I'll put that particular claim to the test soon. The key advantage to these drivers is cost and they deliver anywhere for free or cheap.

    Everything else is fans, frames and heat sinks, depending on where you live, users choice. As long as it cools the COBs and spreads the light with about a 8"- 10" COB spacing. This lamp should provide about 35,000+ lumens to a garden and the light intensity (or PAR if you gotta meter) depends on the COB spread and distance from the plant(s).
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2017
    Photon Flinger

    Photon Flinger Well-Known Member

    Few other things I would add in for people to consider using on their DiY quests.

    Metal Super Stores are available in most cities and will cut to order so you can get sheets, plate, tubes for mounting light sources to. Saves on heat sinks.

    Future Electronics for Bridgelux chips. Won't find them cheaper at Digikey. Sorry to you US vendors but with the exchange rates, taxes, border fees we end up paying 2x or more than your listed price.

    Agree with chinese drivers, especially my cheapo PWM ones. 1 out of 2 of my meanwells died. It happens so it is best to keep lots of spares around.

    19" box fans from the big box stores often come up for sale at $20. For a tent you can make a nice all in one light, fan, filter with one. At setting 1, box fan uses 54w, at setting 3 it is 85w.

    SIP res systems work well. 10-15 buck 102l tough tote with some sort of fabric pot and simple wicking system. Easy to run, resilient and you can fit 2 into a tent.

    Use pro-mix unless you want to be fighting bugs in the winter. End of season bales can be had for 20 bucks.
    DIY-HP-LED likes this.

    Gquebed Well-Known Member

    Tens of thousands of new growers will start next year?

    I think that might be overly optimistic...
    louiedogg and DIY-HP-LED like this.

    DIY-HP-LED Well-Known Member

    I don't, when you consider there are about 35 million people in the country, it's very probable statistically speaking. There are already thousands and probably tens of thousands of growers of various kinds including medical. When it becomes legal there will be many more, most will grow a quarter pound plant in the closet and store/ use it over the next year or two. Much will depend on how quickly the provinces move on the supply end.

    But you must admit, because yer here, that there's something addicting about growing, if you like smoking. It's easy to get hooked.:wink:

    DIY-HP-LED Well-Known Member

    Should have hit reply, Doh!

    Gquebed Well-Known Member

    Oh i understand that numerically it is possible.

    But i also understand that most people are lazy. Lol

    I think there will be thousands who try to grow. And likely only hundreds who stick with it.

    Over several years, as those hundreds who stick with it become the envy of others, there may eventually be tens of thousands of new growers...
    Rusher and DIY-HP-LED like this.

    TurboTokes Well-Known Member

    Ive seen no literature on the new proposed grow your own laws, have any links?

    As a canadian that is "forced" to hide the plants currently, Id love to hear what they are proposing. Last I heard there would be a height limit of a meter I believe, which is tough to swallow but I could manage if I didnt have a plant count. Just curious if theres any trusted sources out there yet
    j.t.1986 and DIY-HP-LED like this.

    DIY-HP-LED Well-Known Member

    Just what I read in the papers and see on TV, the feds are forging ahead and the provinces better stop whining and get on board. I don't know who would check on plant numbers and measure them, if anybody showed up at my door with a fucking tape measure next year I'd tell them to obtain a warrant (good luck with that). Keep a low profile (don't get ripped off), don't sell to kids or deal with crooks and I don't think anybody will bother you. The plant limits will be struck down as unconstitutional anyway, multiple adults in the same household will sue and win on the basis of discrimination, the government knows this already, many who have concerns about legalization don't. If you read the Health Alert post above, you'll see that the situation could change radically with the release of single clinical trial on alzheimer's and they are in the works right now.

    DIY-HP-LED Well-Known Member

    Somehow posted twice, damn, bluetooth mouse!
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2017

    GroErr Well-Known Member

    Some good info posted, we do have some challenges here with supplies.

    I do however disagree with the 10's of thousands of new growers. There may very well be an initial surge in provinces/municipalities that actually allow the 4 plant federal limit without significant burden on growers (like registration, licensing fees, inspections etc.). But I also think that will be short lived and I doubt many would bother if enough barriers are erected by dumb-ass provincial and municipal growing rules. Ontario is a good example and one of the first to announce some of their plans. Enough to know that Wynne and her cronies will erect as many barriers and control around growing as they can possibly do legally. Their focus is tax grabs and control, including additional policing to make money off that end as well. Ontario is headed towards prohibition 2.0, not "legal". There will be as many schemes as there are provinces and municipalities, while it's all speculation at this point, I'm usually not far off from reality in my analysis.

    Also, growing top shelf bud and quality is not as easy as a formula or reading a book, although some vendors will try and make it sound that way to get the sale. Growing quality bud consistently takes effort, investment (indoor), and passion to learn the ropes and stick with it. Most will drop out after a first attempt, many after a few, that 10's of thousands after the initial surge will be in the 1000's imo.

    DIY-HP-LED Well-Known Member

    You could be more right than me, but the bottom line is we'll have more company, support and a new openness about our hobby. It might be possible to openly trade clones online and share experience personally. If yer experienced, you could run local seminars on DIY lights and growing for fun or profit, some places will even have gardening clubs.
    Gquebed likes this.

    Gquebed Well-Known Member

    I have thought i might like to share my room building or tent set up experience. Seem to have a knack for that...lol

    As for growing... i would classify myself at an intermediate level... helpful to beginners.. lol
    DIY-HP-LED and GroErr like this.

    OLD MOTHER SATIVA Well-Known Member

    don't hold your breath on the 4 plant limit either
    GroErr likes this.

    DIY-HP-LED Well-Known Member

    I don't think the new law will be much different than those covering personal production of alcohol or tobacco (30Ib/year/ adult in the house, I believe). I don't think there's going to be any registration or fees, that would be challenged constitutionally, such things are covered federally under the excise act and the provinces have to go along. When it comes to recreational licensed production and retail sales, the province is king. Those who are medical users will still deal with health Canada regulations, though they may be getting their medicine at a drug store.
    GroErr likes this.

    DIY-HP-LED Well-Known Member

    Com on Mother!, Don't be such a pessimist. With LED lighting they wouldn't have a snowball's chance of continuing prohibition against growing, especially if it's not criminal and a cop can't easily obtain a warrant. The government is not omnipotent, laws have to be created that lay within the existing parameters of traditional english common law and the constitution. Besides, it's not that hard to get a prescription for 3 grams a day (15 plants) and the black market would have a field day.

    GroErr Well-Known Member

    While you are correct in the federal laws, regulations around distribution/retail, grow your own, age limits, and many other items not covered federally, it is up to the provinces. That's what will drive so many different schemes/hurdles and whether or how you'll be able to grow your own, not the federal laws. Some municipalities will not allow growing at all or make it so difficult that it won't be worthwhile.

    Personally I don't care what the laws are or how the provinces implement it. I've been growing for so many years it means nothing to me and will continue doing so until I'm dead or in jail. But the 10's of thousands of new growers will follow those rules or they'd be growing already. Interesting year coming up, will be entertaining to see how dumb-ass backwards provinces and municipalities handle prohibition 2.0.

    DIY-HP-LED Well-Known Member

    Unfortunately I don't think law enforcement will be interested in pot, I say "unfortunately", because with the current opioid/fentanyl crises, the dead bodies are stacking up like cord wood, here and especially in the states, some places in Ohio have reefer trucks parked outside the morgues to hold the extra bodies. There are many tragic stories of parents ODing in the house and their kids finding the bodies. The cops have bigger fish to fry just trying to save those who OD, I think busting grow ops will be low on the list, unless kids are involved, then look out! I think it will be Trudeau's way, not Bill Blair's, if it were up to him pot would be regulated like plutonium!
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2017
    Gquebed likes this.

    Gquebed Well-Known Member

    Ya ... weed is small fish now... cops have no time for it anymore...
    GroErr likes this.

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