Building an Ultra Stealthy Grow Cabinet
This article comes courtesy of the good folks at seattlecannabisjournal.com, and was re-edited for clarity and ease of reading. Click Here to view the original article in all its glory!
The day I got a recommendation for medicinal Cannabis was a relief. This was followed by the knowledge and urgency that I needed to get some plants in the ground immediately.
This had been a long-time dream of mine, and I fondly imagined my first harvest, curing my flowers to perfection, and collecting their resin for concentrates. I saw myself carefully journaling their progress, and eventually becoming an expert caretaker of myself and my marijuana garden.
Then reality set in: I have a small space, in a small house, in a crowded neighborhood.
Momentarily discouraged, I quickly scrapped the idea of a dedicated room filled to the brim. I began with getting clear about my intentions; I wanted to inconspicuously and autonomously produce my medicine. This was a much more respectable and realistic goal, and one that I could embrace.
After months pouring over cannabis related text and furrowing my brow at various nooks throughout my home, I saw through the problem. I would build a stealthy grow cabinet!
On Craigslist I found a cabinet kit still in the box for only $35. It came in at 24″ L x 30″ W x 70″ H. Next, I purchased a 6″ inline fan for another $100. The fan combined with a 400 watt light and Cool Tube from a previous grow gave me something to design around.
My sights set, I loaded Google’s 3D rendering freeware, Google SketchUp, and got to work.
Sirius: Google SketchUp can be pretty tough to use without training, especially if you’ve never used it and you just want to design one thing. Rest assured: some paper, a pencil, a little math, and careful planning will work just as well!
The first thing to deal with was the Intake and exhaust – a clean environment and fresh air for my plants.
A rule with any grow space is to have the intake’s opening twice the open area of the exhaust’s.
Important: The opening for your intake hole should be about twice the size of your exhaust hole.
My inline fan with had 6″ opening (28 square inches) so I would need 56 square inch opening. I went with two louvered grills that were 5″ x 8″ which gave me 80 square inches – 30% for the louvers = 56 square inches. Perfect!
Sirius: This is a great point! In any enclosed grow area such as a tent or grow cabinet, it’s important to have a larger opening for intake than for exhaust. This will maximize the efficiency of your fan in addition to keeping it working for longer. Plus, this will keep tents from “bowing” in, reducing your grow space.
Of course I wanted to filter the intake air to keep out dust, pet hair, pollen, mold and the like.
Next, I faced the issue of providing my plants their light.
I chose a High Pressure Sodium bulb. Since these produce more light from the side(the long side as opposed to the plug and tip of the bulb), light coverage could be maximized by positioning them front to back. Some creativity was required to install the Cool Tube to keep my HPS bulb from becoming too hot.
We learned above that the cabinet is 24″ deep. Now this Cool Tube was 20″, hardly enough room to attach two 6″ flex ducts for ventilation without having to keep a door open.
Keeping a door open is not a viable option for the stealthy gardener like me! I decided to use some creativity.
The solution I came up with was to place the duct work outside of the cabinet.
I built and installed 4″ x 10″ x 48″ wooden housing for the duct work for the exhaust of the Cool Tube (picture 3rd down). Next, three 6″ duct flanges into the back wall of the cabinet leading into the duct work spaced vertically 9″ apart.
This allowed three different height settings for the light. The unused two positions are capped off. Take a look…
I installed a sealed fan room to house the 6″ inline fan mentioned above. This sat in the top inside of the cabinet, pictured below.
Now that my fan room was set up, I allowed the exhaust to escape upward into a carbon filter. I mounted the filter inside a Rubbermaid tote to make the whole setup more discrete.
A fan speed controller and light timer are mounted on the outside of the fan room.
Next to the fan room is space for other more technical things. Here we find the ballast and command switching station.
Also, I installed a “Kill-a-Watt” device to monitor my electrical usage so I can easily calculate the total extra cost to my electricity bill each month.
I vented this area with a 4″ opening that opened into the fan room.
When all was said and done I harvested 264 grams (9.3 ounces).
Final Harvest Weight: 264 grams (9.3 Ounces)
The final bounty boasted nine ounces of dried and cured cannabis flowers.
After the initial investment, $1.64 was my total cost per gram when I factored electricity, carbon filter, and nutrients.
Affordable medicine is a right, and medicinal Cannabis sets a standard for patient autonomy. Enjoy producing your own medicine.
Sirius: This is definitely an advanced method of creating a grow box, but he makes sure to include a lot of things one needs to consider when creating one, such as ventilation and making sure to leave room for everything you need. Do you have a better/more practical/more efficient design? Let us know so we can share with the world!
See Another Stealth Grow Cabinet in Action and Build Your Own!
Was the cabinet in the above article a little too much for your sensibilities? Then check out these pics by one of our awesome readers!
Make sure to click each one to see the full size picture.
These pictures were sent in by one of our readers who has taken a far more simple/easy approach to making a grow cabinet than G.D. Bud. Here’s what he had to say about it:
“1st time grower. Plants are 1 month old, and 12″ tall now. Set up for less than $250. Used cab.w/4 bulb, 24″ T5’s, 4″ elec exhaust, Thanx for great info.”
Use the following items to make a stealthy grow cabinet just like his:
- Old cabinet
- Line inside of cabinet with mylar (reflective material)
- Hang T5 grow light to inside-top of cabinet with rope rachets
- Cut 12″ hole in back (near bottom) for cool air intake
- Attach air filter to your intake hole if the outside air is dusty (and to protect your grow cabinet from any stray bugs)
- Cut 4″ hole out the top to use as an exhaust hole (cut a bigger exhaust hole for a bigger cabinet, or if you’re going to intall more/bigger/hotter lights)
- A 4″ exhaust hole uses 4″ ducting with fan to pull out hot air (drawing in cool air in through your intake).
Remember, fan should be pointed up, to pull hot air out of your cabinet!
- Now you just add plants!
Grow Cabinets – 5 Best Stealth Grow Boxes for Growing Weed
Today I’ll guide you through the process of finding the best weed growing cabinets & indoor stealth grow boxes for marijuana. Read on! here.
Equip Yourself With The Best Gear To Ensure Best Yields
In a world of weed growing, there’s a simple formula:
Proper stimulation + controlled environment = thriving and gains.
Gimme a holla if you agree!
This postulate is quite simple, yet it requires many factors to work in real life.
One of the core factors of a successful weed growing is the environment, and if you’re growing indoors, having the best weed growing cabinet for your plants is the absolute must.
Table Of Contents (show/hide)
Without a proper foundation, your plants aren’t going to thrive. You can do everything else with the utmost care but fail because you’ve selected bad indoor stealth grow box for your ganja. Today I’m going to teach you how to avoid this mistake, by selecting the best grow box for your needs and evaluate everything important.
Best Weed Growing Cabinets – The Specs Comparison Chart
For all you seasoned growers out there, here’s a handy chart that summarises everything you need to know about these grow boxes.
Cash Crop 6.0 Plant LED
34.75″ Tall x 16.5″ Wide x 11.25″ Deep
Wood + Reflective Layer
Dealzer Grandma’s Secret Garden 3.0
36″ Tall x
20″ Wide x 16.5″ Deep
MDF + Reflective Layer
Grobo Premium Automated Grow Box
48” Tall x
14″ Wide x
Plastic + Wood + Glass
Hellogrower 20″ Stealth LED Grow Box
15” Tall x
24” Wide x
Reflective Mylar Fabric Layer
48″ Tall x
24” Wide x
Dual-Layer Reflective Fabric
A good specs sheet is enough for a seasoned weed grower, but if you’re just wandering into the world of weed growing, read on for the detailed reviews of these indoor stealth grow boxes for marijuana.
What to look for in a growing cabinet?
A proper grow cabinet should tick all the boxes (literally) that suit your needs while adhering to the industry standards in build/material quality, the ease of assembly, and intuitive & functional design.
Starting from the ground up, a reliable indoor grow box should have:
An adequate shape & size
There’s a ton of different weed growing cabinets available on the market, all with their specific shape and size. First of all, the best grow box for you should be able to house all your plants or fit in your already-set growing setup. Growing cabinets usually come shaped as squared or rectangular boxes, while there are models designed to fit in corners or have pitched roofs, all to suit the specific needs of the grower.
Before considering a specific model, please make sure to double-check the dimensions of the space you’re putting the tent in, and the interior space for your plants, so you can fit them all inside. You’ll need at least one feet of space above the tent roof to accommodate extraction fans and duct tape.
A quality frame & construction which is easy to assemble
With weed grow boxes, everything starts with the frame. Usually built from metal pipes of various sizes and diameters, frames are there to ensure the stability and sturdiness of the entire setup. You don’t want a wobbly configuration where you’ll fear that it might come down and destroy your plants.
If possible, aim for galvanized steel as pipe material as these are sturdy and durable. Again, it all depends on the size, but the usual diameter of the pipes goes from 16 to 25 millimeters (0,6-0.9 inches). Make sure to inspect this feature. The pipes are almost always hollow, and the material is 0.8mm thick. Have in mind that the stronger the construction, the heavier the tent will be (this can be a problem when moving).
Lately, there’s a trend where manufacturers advertise powder-coated bars in their grow tents, boosting the overall impression of quality. Even though it might seem like a good thing, it can often be a good way to hide rust, which is your enemy.
Finally, look for the welding quality and its consistency on all the pipes included in the box, and look for reinforced plastic for corner pieces – these don’t rust and don’t puncture the cover material.
A great weed growing cabinet will also have several supporting bars for hanging the lights, and those will match the quality of the frame bars.
A dense, high-quality cover
The quality of a grow cabinet and its performance depends on its cover. Without a proper cover, you’ll have light leaks and uneven light exposure on your plants, which is a big no-no if you want results. A typical quality grow box cover is made out of three layers:
- Outer fabric, thick and colored, usually labeled with a number that represents its thickness quality (from 190D to 1700D, depending on quality)
- Middle lightproof layer (which varies)
- Inner reflective layer
Cheaper products will feature a lower-grade thickness and two layers, while more expensive options will feature full-quality layers.
During my years of growing, I’ve noticed that manufacturers tend to mask the thickness quality of cover material by showcasing only one dimension of the thickness (the higher one) while there are two dimensions – Wrap (vertical) & Fill (horizontal). Each dimension has its own thickness level, which refers to the number of threads in the fabric. So, to cut expenses and “mask” their product as a high-quality one for the lower price, manufacturers put 600D wrap and 100D fill and advertise the product as 600D thick.
When browsing the web, try to inspect this feature in detail – your plants will repay you!
This one is self-explanatory. The zippers are the things you’ll use the most on your marijuana grow cabinet and having low-quality zippers will destroy the tent’s value in no time. You’ll have light leaks, it will be hard to zip/unzip them, and they will start to get on your nerves.
Aim for quality zippers – save your sanity.
Functional and easy-to-use door
When you’re using grow box zippers, you’re opening or closing the door. So, the grow cabinet door should be big and functional and allow for effortless closing and opening. There are models which allow for 3-side opening, which is amazing for big adjustments and difficult maneuvers.
Furthermore, you can have a 360-degree opening, but don’t expect this feature on cheaper models.
Always have the location of your grow tent in mind because you want to use all the openings accordingly, and not be blocked by walls or something else in the room.
A well-placed viewing window/s
Typical stealth grow box usually features a viewing window or two; these are used to quickly check on your bush without jeopardizing the ecosphere you’ve carefully created there. A good viewing window is patched with quality material which won’t leak heat or moisture, is made of good materials (same as the cover), and has a good clip to leave it open for you to look inside or have some outside influence if you’d like. The location of the window could be an advantage or a complete failure – sometimes manufacturers put these on such wrong places, so you’re left with the look of your best grow light top side and almost nothing else. Consider the setup you’re going to have hanging from the grow box ceiling and examine the window’s location.
A certain amount of vents & ducting ports
Because of the air-cooled reflectors use, every weed grow box should have at least 3 vents for uninterrupted airflow and ventilation installation. These vents are usually made from a weaker material than the cover, and the important things to look for in those are:
- Mesh used to block bugs
As with everything hardware-related, a premium marijuana growing cabinet will have a high-quality, super-fine micromesh that will allow airflow while keeping all uninvited guests out.
Furthermore, the ports for ventilation installation should have several layers of protection, so you can install the mechanisms and seal the canals properly. This is important for both moisture and light leaks.
Finally, a good weed grow box will have several smaller ports for cables, each with its own protection pocket and zip tie to ensure tightness.
A quality set of accessories
A good quality indoor stealth grow box for marijuana will arrive in a handy packaging which contains the tent itself, alongside some handy accessories. Depending on the product quality and price you can expect to get things like:
Velcro spill tray
Hanging straps of good quality
Hanging tools pouch with a reflective outer material
Soft mesh netting accessory – amazing for plant training
A handy carrying bag for the whole thing
The best grow box for marijuana will include all of these things, but it’s not necessarily important to have it all. The most important thing for a growing cabinet is that it fits your needs, is sturdy, functional, and has no leaks.
Now, let’s review the current top products on the market!
With the knowledge from above, you’ll be able to differentiate a good product from a bad one, and find the most suitable stealth grow box in no time!Today I’ll guide you through the process of finding the best weed growing cabinets and indoor stealth grow boxes for marijuana. Read on! here… ]]>