If you’re ready to start indoor gardening, you’re probably wondering how to pick the best grow tent to meet your needs. One major factor is the type of lighting you plan on using. For indoor plants, quality lighting is vital to a healthy growing environment. Suffice to say, you’re going to need a sturdy tent to support your lights.
A variety of factors help determine how to choose the best grow tents for your lighting setup. Most growers use LED lights, as they put out less heat than HID lights. They’re also an eco-friendly, energy-efficient option. Most grow tents are well-suited for a wide variety of LED lights, but below we’ll outline some factors to consider when choosing your tent.
Is This A Veg Tent, A Flowering Tent, Or A Full Cycle Tent?
Some growers have separate tents for plants at the vegetative stage and the flowering stage, while other growers keep their crops in the same space for the entire cycle. All this affects the sort of lighting setup you need, and the kind of tent best suited to support it.
When it comes to grow stages, knowing your light’s PPFD (photosynthetic photon flux density) distribution is important. PPFD levels tell you how much photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) reaches your plants from a specific hanging distance. This ultimately measures how much usable light actually reaches your plants.
While this may sound complicated, all you need to know on a practical level is plants need different PPFD levels at different growing stages. Seedlings usually need PPFD between 200 and 400, while budding or flowering plants need PPFD between 600 and 900. A light’s product page should explain its PPFD levels at different hanging distances.
For example, a plant may get 300 PPFD when the light is hung at 12 inches. This means, during the seedling state, your lights should be hung around 12 inches from your plants. If you’re getting a tent for the seeding and vegetation stage, you’ll want a tent high enough to support that setup.
As you probably guessed, if you’re getting a full cycle tent, higher is always better. This gives you more flexibility to adjust the height of your lights as needed throughout the growth cycle. Many grow tents are actually height adjustable, which can be a big bonus.
What’s The Best Tent Size?
Picking the best grow tent for your lights means deciding on a tent size. As a general rule of thumb, you should aim for 32 to 50 watts per square foot of grow space.
If you have a light between 225 and 450 watts, it could possibly cover a 3’ by 3’ tent depending on where you are in the grow cycle. A 225 watt light would work better for the vegetative stage, when plants need less light intensity, while a 450 watt light would work better for the flowering stage.
Of course, this is just a general rule. The necessary wattage per square foot is contingent on the type of plant you’re growing and the efficacy of the light, so make sure to learn the specific needs of your plants and make adjustments as necessary.
You should also consider whether you’ll be using more than one light. The average hobby grower can usually get by with a one light setup. However, if you’re aiming to grow more plants, you’ll definitely need more space – and more lights!
If you’re going to have a multi-light set up, bigger is better as you’ll want to make sure you have adequate room to space out your lights. If lights are too close together, light overlap could mean bleaching or burning for your plants.
Growing can be an unpredictable process, so it’s always better to have more space than less. Grozeebo’s tents are modular, so you can adjust the size as needed throughout your cycle.
What Other Features Should I Look For?
Grow lights are hung from above, so you’ll need a tent with adequate support beams. Grow lights, LEDs especially, tend to be lightweight. However, it’s always a good idea to take extra precautions to ensure lights don’t fall. Go for a tent with metal poles over plastic ones.
Grozeebo’s Insulated Grow tents are made with T-slot aluminum framing, one of the sturdiest materials on the market.
Also, consider a tent’s material. Highly reflective lighting, like reflective mylar, helps you get the most power out of your lights.
It goes without saying, but a high quality tent is also important. Going for a cheaper grow tent often means subpar material. Tears, rips, and loose seams can lead to light leaks and a myriad of other issues that can adversely affect your yield.
Picking the best grow tent for your lights can be a bit complicated, but most growers – even at the amateur level – can figure it out with a little research. Just spend some time doing your research and getting familiar with the terminology. In general, however, the best thing you can do to support your light is to get a sturdy, spacious tent made from quality material.
Ready to get started? Browse Grozeebo’s Insulated Grow Tents, which are modular and made some of the sturdiest framing on the market. If you’re interested in learning more, check out our FAQ as well.