Need Design Input For Planned Indoor Farm 80 plants to start.

Discussion in 'Grow Room Design & Setup' started by cool2burn, Jan 5, 2017.


    bottletoke Well-Known Member

    Big difference in sounding like a dick and being a dick.

    ReDirect Member

    I am working with a number of Caregiver/growers in Michigan.
    All have had HPS CO2 grows with 72 plant max (36+- in bud) for 3+ years.
    With HPS they are getting 1.2-1.6 lbs per plant.
    20 tons+- of AC to cool the grows. What really bugs the Michigan MMMA growers
    is that in the middle of winter with sub-freezing temps outside, the AC is still running.
    For CO2/infestation/pollination/odor reasons they don't want to exchange air with outdoors.
    I got involved mainly over the electric bills in the $3,500-$5,500 range.
    The cost of changing over the grows to LED with an installed HPS infrastructure
    in place is questionable.

    They are doing it because:
    Last year Michigan legislature passed bills permitting licensed grows of
    500, 1000 and 1500 plants starting in about a year. HB 4827, HB 4209
    They are committed to getting these licenses and building out new facilities.
    And looking at massive $ no matter which way they go.
    The numbers for the LED grow are looking pretty good in this scenario due to the
    fact that AC and electric infrastructure are both reduced, and no light movers/installation
    needed, no hood ventilation/installation, needed.
    Then the savings from all this get applied to the light budget.

    What we have learned:

    This is mainly about BUD room - haven't addressed veg yet.

    1. To take advantage of CO2 they need 1100-1300 PPFD at canopy.
    With this, they are getting just about the same harvest per plant as HPS.
    We have found that with the 150-160 lumen/watt LED fixtures we are using,
    that equates to 50+- watts per square foot.

    2a. GrowerA -
    With this intensity of full spectrum (white) LEDs, they are getting almost identical
    Yields (+-2%) with side by side rows of 4 plants testing in the HPS grows. DWC, same room temps 75f+-, same nutes,
    Reflective Mylar around the LED row to minimize light mixing. The LED row "looked" healthier and "looked"
    like it would yield more, in the end, it came in lower.
    4 plants - 3 Whitefire + 1 Dutch Orange each row.
    LED=2419 grams, 4 plants HPS=2449 grams. LED about 1% less.
    They gave their "patients" blind choice, (bud density, look, smell and taste) 5 of the 6 patients
    had no preference - both awesome. One had a slight leaning towards the LED - likely attributable
    to that particular pile.

    My problem with this side by side mainly has to do with the fact that they didn't warm up the room at all
    for the test. 75% is on the cool side for HPS/CO2 (should be closer to 85-90) and you are "suppose to" run LED
    grows 5-7f warmer (90-95f+-) due to the lack of radiant heat baking the plants.
    Which means the LED row was 20f too cold.

    They are now doing a side by side at 80 degrees. Since the LED row is in the middle of the HPS grow
    they are paranoid about burning the HPS plants if they go any warmer. At this temp they "should" see better yields on
    both HPS & LED. I wonder at 75f if they are getting any benefit from CO2 (HPS or LED). They know what works and
    don't want to jeopardize the rest of the grow.

    So thermal handicap considered, the tests were very successful.

    2b. GrowerB
    Grew HPS for years and got rid of/transferred grow to someone else due to moving hours away.
    His new location had limited power and the utility won't upgrade him to 480 amp service which he used previously.
    Doing the math for a 36veg/36bud grow with 36 1000w HPS in bud + veg lights + 20 tons AC + other loads
    he knew he had a problem. Slowly building out (as he gets additional patents - 12 plants per patient) with blurple LEDs he was quite disappointed.
    The plants seemed to do real well for the first 2-3 weeks in bud then not so well. I loaned him 3 fixtures for 10 weeks
    and he bought them rather than return them. A couple months later 6 more. Getting much better yields than the blurples
    - but that almost isn't worth mentioning. Getting slightly more per plant than GrowerA

    3. An optimized LED/CO2 grow at 95f will be a challenge for Michigan growers to work in. You are likely more
    acclimated to higher temps. Separate climate controlled area for trimming - or off premises suggested.

    4. Michigan caregivers are still being raided. If one too many clones puts you over 72, or if one too many grams
    of finished product (15oz max) they take everything. So investing the minimum in infrastructure for cargivers is a priority.
    They are even taking the AC units outside in some cases. But with the new licenses, that is prohibited so they can look at
    normal investment/payback periods. I only mention this because I am unfamiliar with how Florida law is written. Consider
    curing/trimming at a separate location if there is any concern. Growers A&B above are doing this because they need to
    nail down the lighting scheme for the licensed grow so they can design the facility.

    5. NOT 1 light per plant. I had a hard time getting growerA to understand that if they are spreading their plants out
    farther due to crowding, DON'T spread the lights out further. For optimal yield with CO2, you need the high light intensity.
    Complicating this is their method which involves not only horizontal screens but vertical screens hanging from the ceiling
    on either side of the HPS & plants. Retrofitting LED fixtures in a continuous harvest set up like this is a real pain.
    With LED, think field of lights up there at there optimum spacing with plants below at their spacing.
    Bring any support infrastructure from below.

    6. GrowerA's HPS program involved using some sort of dual $HPS/MH$ bulb for the first few weeks of bud
    to reduce stretching. They saw little benefit after those first weeks so would switch them out for lower cost 1000w HPS for
    the remainder of the time to save hours on the pricey HPS/MH. With the LED lights The excessive stretching didn't happen.

    7. One big benefit of the LED COBs is light adjusting routines & infrastructure. The LED lights have
    Bridgelux Vero 29 4000k COBs 80w at 14.5" spacing. Each fixture 9 leds.

    On a field install, we get pretty much 1380+- PPFD everywhere at 18", 1200+- PPFD at 36", 1080+- at 48"
    What does this mean? No light adjustment needed. Hang them 6-12" higher than final plant tops and
    leave them. At the perimeter of the light field, use reflective solution - and keep it close.
    No 3' away on the other side of a walkway. In the above side by side, I was sort of concerned after the install was done
    and plants were just in - the lights looked ridiculously far away. In the end, it didn't matter.
    With the lights that far away, spending a lot of time keeping the canopy even is considerably less important.
    GrowerB above has stopped worrying about the canopy evenness and eliminated having walking corridors between
    every other row of plants. This is key. Lights don't just light the plant below but the ones adjacent. Add 2' aisles and
    there is a major drop in PPFD on both sides of the aisle.
    But if you don't need to adjust lights, don't need to even out the canopy, have the plant well trimmed as it goes into bud,
    don't have broken down light movers to access and you have the good penetration we are getting, you can go isle free
    which means that with the light field installation, you might have 20% more plants which more than offsets for the
    additional trimming at harvest.

    None of this is a big issue with a small grow but with 500 or 1500 plants, if you can reduce the time spent per plant per week
    by 10 minutes, with a 500 plant license, you just eliminated the need to hire 2 additional full time employees, 1500 = 6 full timers less
    while having 20% more plants. A worthwhile trade off.

    8. Chinese lights... Be careful. They range from overrated, quick lumen depreciation, led burn out models to better.
    You say Chinese lights but not sure what you mean. I wouldn't be surprised if Cree's and Bridgelux were made in China but
    they have QC standards beyond just the minimum needed to get product out the door. If a fixtures components don't have a track record
    like genuine Meanwell, Cree, Bridgelux, due diligence is in order. GrowerB above has partial failure on 4 of the 8 blurple fixtures he bought.

    9. Do not make a decision to go LED or HPS until you have done it yourself. You are looking at a major investment and need to
    have results you can trust. Growing indoors CO2 is a very different ballgame than outdoors. Set up a test tent and see how the Chinese
    fixtures work out. Just make sure you space your lights so that you are getting the desired PPFD regardless of what the manufacturer

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jan 9, 2017
    mjinc, Roger A. Shrubber and MarWan like this.

    cool2burn Well-Known Member

    Thanks so much for this information. Actually i have some interesting news. We as of right now have decided to move to Oregon to start our business. All things considered it just makes more sense there. First there are no residency restrictions. 2. I is legal for recreation there. 3. we can get our license to grow while still out of state are long as we purchase the land. 4 can get a 4 bed home on 3 acres for 400k there.5 it borders 2 other states which are favorable to the business. We talked to some lawyers there today and we are going to have a Skype consult in a week to discuss our goals and to make a plan to move out there.

    AeroNovice Member

    Im interested doing a grow on this scale, currently working with 2 110x20 areas not including space for a/c and nutrients. I have normally done outside grows and now im moving inside for the first time. Thinking about doing a soil grow but i want to maximize the quannity without sacrificing quality. How long on an indoor grow on average from seed to harvest does it take for you to get 3lbs in the 30 gal buckets?? i will be using gavita 1000w de.... still on the fence on whether i want to do i hydro/aero or just stick to soil and possibly do a drip system... not too excited about the thought of possible clogging

    shannonball Well-Known Member

    good advice. i think the guy is in for a lot of surprises and i hope he has very deep pockets. he's taking on too much too soon with little grow experience. good point about employees. wonder if he's calcuatated his energy cost for cooling, lighting etc. not to mention ferts. should be an interesting grow to watch.
    Carolina Dream'n likes this.
    Carolina Dream'n

    Carolina Dream'n Well-Known Member

    Your budget is way to small for your plans. Good luck finding land, raw supplies and labor that will do a 10000 sq ft building for 120k. My 50x50 metal building with land cost me 50% more than that and is half the size.
    4 month cycle in a commercial grow? lol come on. 2 month cycles, separate veg rooms. Can't waste time in a flower room.

    Flip flop rooms are a commercial growers best friend. One room is always on, keeping power consumption at a steady use, instead of 12 hour power spikes. So build two identical flower rooms, veg room and drying room.

    Personally wouldn't waste my time with LED on something this size. 315cmh for the win.

    Cooling 100 lights will take multiple ACs.
    Carolina Dream'n

    Carolina Dream'n Well-Known Member

    Who the fuck did these estimates for you?!! Wayyyyyy to low.

    A 10,000 sq ft building for 40k, lol.
    Carolina Dream'n

    Carolina Dream'n Well-Known Member

    Hire a lawyer.

    3 acres isn't enough land to grow commercially in Oregon. Lot must be 5 or more acres unless a super special case.

    You still need residency in Oregon, they just do not have a certain amount of months you must have lived there to get licensed.

    Your budget wouldn't even get you a recreational permit. Once again hire a lawyer. Medical is your option with that little of money.

    Oregon is flooded. Good luck. I'd stay in Florida, while the new states will be a hassle at first. The demand will be much higher than supply at first leading to higher prices.

    Have you looked into prices in Oregon? Unless you have name brand fire,(cookies, gelatos, OGs) you aint even gonna get 2k a unit for indoor.
    prostheticninja likes this.

    cool2burn Well-Known Member

    I already have and that is how I know everything you have stated above is incorrect or at least a few years outdated we close on our southern Oregon property tomorrow. BTW the grow permit with lawyers fees was 5k the permit fee for Tier 1 is 3750. not to bad actually. As for cost its no worries as long as whole sale does not drop under 1k until we are able to open our dispensary.

    UncleBuck Well-Known Member

    well, it's a few months later now.

    you still growing under a CFL in a cabinet in your apartment while relying on those disability checks and socialized medicine?
    Carolina Dream'n and bottletoke like this.

    UncleBuck Well-Known Member

    subscribed as i love to watch massive failures in real time.
    bottletoke and Carolina Dream'n like this.

    cool2burn Well-Known Member

    1. Led never CFL and 2. not an apartment a house and 3.sorry right now i grow just for my personnel use i do not need pounds for that and i grow in a cab to reduce smell as not not bother my current neighbors.

    cool2burn Well-Known Member

    Im really tempted to push the button on a zip farm setup however the double sided liquid cooled LED's are farmer friendly easy to self repair. In addition the heat reduction will really help with energy costs. I might buy a small one to test. I have never done much vertical growing. I do think it is the future of cannabis though. When Cali starts issuing grow licenses next year the market is gonna nose dive.I want to make sure i can produce in mass at lower prices. Vertical might be the way. It is just scary to go all in on it VS traditional Hydro.
    Carolina Dream'n

    Carolina Dream'n Well-Known Member

    That's funny because I'm in Oregon and lawyers related to cannabis are $500-800 an hour.

    I seriously doubt what you are saying. I'm just gonna leave it at that.

    cool2burn Well-Known Member

    They sell licensing packages..... Its not by the hour... This is who we use maybe you are just getting ripped off.

    cool2burn Well-Known Member

    Here is my current grow cabinet just 2 plants for myself.....Gorilla Glue #4 im going to start the switch later this week after i finish the top off nutes I already premixed.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    UncleBuck Well-Known Member


    from grow cabinet to warehouse. what could possibly go wrong?

    cool2burn Well-Known Member

    Dude I used to grow a lot when i was in San Diego. Where I am now I am not growing to make money so I am only growing my own. It is not worth the risk. I have to do a background screening for my License so I am not gonna risk it.

    BustinScales510 Well-Known Member

    That blurple reflective cab setup looks pretty tight. You should just do like 500 of those for your commercial spot.
    prostheticninja likes this.

    cool2burn Well-Known Member


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