Grow Tent Kits Buying Guide for Beginners

1
2432

Are you considering joining a growing community by purchasing a new tent and a lot of equipment? There is an easier way! Instead of buying a tent and trying to match all your equipment, guessing to which wattage you need or how much airflow should be required, check out a grow tent kit.

Grow Tent Kits

They are a shortcut to setting up your first (or second) tent because they include all the equipment necessary to get started. Some tent kits come with more, some with less, but a good grow tent kit should have lighting and ventilation matched to the size of tent you’re going to be using and also should include the appropriate accessories that you’ll need throughout your plant growth.

In this article, we will explain what a grow tent kit is, what is included, what are the key considerations for a grow tent. First and foremost, let’s take a look at the options we offer at VIVOSUN.

What Is a Grow Tent Kit?

At the very basic level, a grow tent kit should include: a tent or grow space, lighting, and ventilation equipment. A good grow tent kit will include some accessories. We’ll discuss which kind of accessories in this section. Let’s take a look at the equipment that must be included in a grow tent kit.

Tent

A tent is the most common inclusion. A grow tent is essentially a container for your plants. It is a rigid framework, usually made of plastic or metal, encased in a fabric outer cover. A grow tent is made of metal or plastic poles, usually treated with a coating to keep the poles from rusting, and a canvas material to isolate the environment.

Grow tents differ from grow spaces or grow cabinets in significant ways. Grow spaces refers to any kind of space where you grow plants – a basement, garage, or a closet all count as grow spaces. These are less effective than grow tents at containing light and temperature and humidity because they are not designed to do so.

A grow cabinet is a stealthy way to grow, but they are small and do not allow a lot of room for large plants or yields.

Lights

Grow lights include any kind of light that provides a spectrum and wattage that is strong enough to grow a plant. Most grow tent kits these days include an LED light, which uses diodes to emit light that is useful for plants. Other lights include High Intensity Discharge fixtures like High Pressure Sodium or Ceramic Metal Halide fixtures. We will focus on LED lighting for this article.

The right LED light for a grow tent kit should be a “full spectrum” light, which means the LED board has enough variety of diode colorations to provide the colors of light required for all stages of plant growth. A (cannabis) plant requires blue light during vegetative growth (this helps produce chlorophyl that plants use for building structure like leaves and stems) and red light during flowering growth (used for growing flowers).

The light produced by an LED fixture should cover the entirety of the space beneath the light. This coverage is measured in what is called the PAR map, which shows the light intensity distribution across the surface of the floor, where your plants will be growing.

LEDs should also have adjustable intensity, so you can adjust the brightness throughout the life of a plant. Additionally, a good LED light should have a “tunable” spectrum, which means you should be able to change the light coloration to meet the stage of growth.

Ventilation

Ventilation refers to any kind of device that creates air circulation or refresh in a grow space. This includes inline duct fans, oscillation and circulation fans, or any other accessories that are included in the ventilation system such as a carbon filter, ducting, and booster fans.

Ventilation is an extremely important part of your grow space. Airflow is the way we growers control temperature and humidity, which both must be in a very specific range – every plant has its own environmental preferences and ventilation equipment helps balance that. For example, controlling humidity is very important because if humidity is too high your plants may develop fungus or attract pests.

In addition to controlling temperature and humidity, ventilation recirculates carbon dioxide, which plants use to help with the process of photosynthesis. In addition, circulation fans help bend plants as they would in nature, which stimulates the production of auxin, which is a key regulator of development, cell division, elongation, root and stem health, and transition into flowering.

The best kind of ventilation kit will include equipment like an inline duct fan and ducting, but a better kit will include a carbon filter and an oscillation fan. An oscillation fan is usually overlooked as an unnecessary accessory, but it is crucial for improving plant health, controlling temperature, and stabilizing humidity.

Accessories

Grow tent kit accessories can vary wildly but there are a few things that a good grow tent should include such as trimmers or pruning shears, grow light glasses that will protect your eyes when you are in the tent, grow bags or pots for planting, hangers to help set up equipment, ducting, temperature and humidity meters, and if you get a smart tent, all the equipment that comes with it.

Accessories are not usually necessary for your grow but might be helpful as you continue to grow your plants and will save you money and effort later on so you don’t have to run to the store to get that equipment.

What Are the Key Considerations When Buying a Grow Tent Kit?

There are some key considerations everyone should take a look at before they purchase a new grow tent kit. These kinds of considerations will help you decide which grow tent kit will work best for you and your space. Remember, before you purchase, be sure to prepare by finding the specific space you plan to set up your tent in, measure it so you know exactly how much space you’ll have, calculate the amount of electricity that your devices will use and estimate the increase in electricity cost, calculate the number of plants you’ll be able to grow in your space, and calculate what equipment will fit in your grow tent. Let’s take a look at a few of these.

Grow Tent Size

The size of your grow tent should be determined by the size of your available space. The larger your space, the larger your tent. Regardless of the size of tent, make sure that each side of the tent has about 6 inches of space from the walls. This will give you room to fit cables and will help dissipate heat if needed.

Each plant requires a specific amount of space when it matures – for small plants, you can probably grow a lot in one space but for larger plants you might need to invest in a larger tent or just stick to growing one plant.

For cannabis plants, for example, you can expect each plant to take up 1×1-foot to 2×2-feet of space (usually 2×2-feet, but if you grow autoflowers they grow a bit smaller). This means a 4×2-foot tent should probably hold 2 – 4 plants (closer to 2). Keep this in mind when setting up your tent.

Additionally, consider the height of your grow space. Shorter tents mean your lights will be closer to your plant canopies, which has benefits and drawbacks. Taller tents give your plant more room to grow but it also means you’ll need a way to raise and lower your tent to meet your plants’ needs.

Tent size Number of plants
2’ x 2’ 1 – 2 plants
2’ x 4’ 2 – 4 plants
3’ x 3’ 2 – 4 plants
4’ x 4’ 4 – 6 plants
5’ x 5’ 4 – 8 plants
4’ x 8’ 4 – 8 plants
8’ x 8’ 9 – 15 plants
10’ x 10’ 12 – 16 plants

 

What Equipment Is Included in the Grow Tent Kit

The most important equipment you will need are:

  • A grow tent
  • A grow light (usually LED)
  • Ventilation (inline duct fan, ducting, carbon filter)
  • Accessories (glasses, timer, hygrometer, pruning shears)

Matching Equipment

Your equipment included in a grow tent kit should match the size of your grow tent. This is a crucial consideration because a lot of kits might not make a good match with the space. In this section, we have included a couple of guides to match your equipment with the space.

First, let’s consider lighting and your tent size. Depending on the wattage and the efficacy (measured in µmol/J), your light will be able to cover a specific size. We have put together a handy chart to address just this question:

Next, let’s consider the “size” of ventilation according to grow tent space. Ventilation capacity is measured by “cubic feet per minute” (CFM). We can measure the square footage of our tent by multiplying the area of the base (L x W) with the height (H). This cubic feet will be our guide to finding the right kind size of ventilation equipment for our tent. We don’t want ventilation equipment that is too weak, otherwise we will not be providing enough airflow for our plants, and we don’t want ventilation equipment that is too powerful as this will cause problems with pressure inside the tent. Let’s take a look at matching our ventilation equipment with our tent:

Quality

Quality is another crucial consideration when purchasing a grow tent kit. We will consider tents and lighting for quality in this section.

Tents: tent quality refers to the material that a tent is made of. For a good tent, you should look for thick, Oxford-type canvas material for the cover. “Oxford” is a type of weaving, also considered a basket weave, that is tight enough to be puncture resistant and to resist light leaks. We recommend a canvas with a 600D rating. The “D” stands for denier, a linear mass density of fibers. The higher the number, the higher the quality of fabric. Inside the cover we recommend a Mylar lining. Mylar is a highly flexible and highly reflective material that helps utilize as much light as possible by reflecting it back to plants. The higher the reflectivity, the more efficient your lights will be.

Lights: LED lighting quality can be considered in terms of efficacy and component quality. For efficacy, we want a minimum rating of 2.5 µmol/J. For components, you’ll want LEDs made by OSRAM or Samsung, which are the two leading producers of LED grow light technology. Grow lights should have a water-resistance that will allow them to continue working even in humid environments.

Most Important Features of a Grow Tent Kit

Let’s go a bit further and discuss the important features of a grow tent. We will look at a few other components that will help you consider whether a grow tent kit will be worth your while.

Spectrum coverage

Good lighting should be at very least full spectrum but ideally should be tunable. Full spectrum lighting refers to producing light that covers the entire visible spectrum of light – light that plants use. In reality, full spectrum refers to lighting that emphasizes both blue and red spectrum light (as well as UV and/or far-red or infrared light) since grow lights are designed to provide the best spectrum for a plant.

A tunable spectrum is refers to a light with a spectrum that can be altered to fit the specific stage of growth that the plant is currently in. This is very helpful because it means your lights are not using extra electricity to produce coloration that isn’t being used.

Proper ventilation

Proper ventilation refers to setting up your ventilation equipment correctly so that you provide the right pressure and airflow needed. We covered this earlier in “matching equipment,” but to speak on it further we should have equipment like carbon filters, ducting, and even silencers that will help get the most out of our ventilation equipment.

Proper ventilation means that your tent should have ventilation ports, both for ducting to fit through and small ventilation ports at the bottom of your tent so that air can properly flow through the tent, equalizing pressure and bringing in fresh CO2.

Easy to set up and use

Your grow tent kit should be easy to set up. This means your tent should be easy to build, the poles should click together without extra equipment and should be sturdy and reliable; the fabric around your tent should be durable, without light leak, and should fit snugly around the frame.

Lights should be easy to use and turn on and off according to your needs. Lights shouldn’t require much maintenance, shouldn’t be too heavy, and should be durable enough to last years.

Ventilation equipment should connect together snugly and should be secured with ducting clamps. Your fan should have holes that allow you to hang it safely from a crossbar and your accessories like your carbon filter should have a snug place to settle.

Conclusion

We hope this helps you consider what should be a good grow tent and what kind of products should be included when you’re looking for the right one. Usually, companies will have done all this work for you but you should always double-check their work because sometimes corners are cut or mistakes are made. Please contact us if you have any further questions or concerns, we would be happy to help you set up your own space!

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us!

And be sure to check out our other blog posts for useful tips on becoming a great grower!

Subscribe to VIVOSUN newsletter for growing tips, grower stories, special offers and get 12% off your first order!

We love the new VIVOSUN Smart Grow System and we are certain that you too will love it once you try it.

And join our Facebook farmer’s community for even more exclusive contests and prizes!

Download VIVOSUN App and explore more!

VIVOSUN App