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420 Magazine Official NextLight LED Grow Journal By Brett Blaze

Brett Blaze

Product Reviewer
420 Staff
Welcome Fellow Growers

Here we are at the start of a new Grow Journal with a completely different setup this time. For those who followed along on my Comparative Grow Journal you will remember I grew in Coco for the first time and had great success. Well in my opinion anyway. Although it was my first time in Coco it was only a moderate change from Deep Water Culture (DWC) hydroponics to a new hydro grow medium. Now it’s time to make the big move and grow in Living Soil.

One of the main areas I will be focusing on during this grow is environmental control. During the grow there are many different environmental conditions we need to deal with depending on location and time of year. Being able to provide a stable controlled environment for your plants will help eliminate a lot of the issues we sometimes experience. For me it’s living in a desert area with above normal temperatures and lower than normal RH.

As with my previous journals I will include tons of photos and since this is a new setup I will cover the details of the equipment being used in this new grow environment.

Here are the details of this grow.

Location
- Southwest US in the California desert. Outside temps are expected to reach above 100 F (38 C) with RH at 25% or lower throughout the veg period and lower temperatures in the 80s to 90s during flower.

Grow Area – For this grow I will be changing from a 2' x 4' x 8' to a 4’ x 4’ x 8’ (120mm x 120mm x 240mm) tent which means changes to the lung room. For the previous grow I had the ventilation from the tent going back into the lung room. Although the lung room had a portable air conditioner exhausting to the outside, it was still fighting the warm tent exhaust. This time I will have the tent exhaust going out to the garage to help control the heat issue. What it may also do is make RH harder to control due to the dry new air coming into the room. As before I will have a large humidifier in the lung room as well as a small fogger humidifier in the tent.

Lighting – For lighting I will be using @NextLight 's Mega Pro 640W LED Full Spectrum light. Because this is Full Spectrum, I can use the light from seed to harvest.

This is a great looking light and I’m anxious to give it a try. A couple of important features include 2.6 PPF/W (μmol/J) 1650 PPF which is about as high as I have seen. Also nice is it’s IP65 Wet Rated which is needed when I spray the foliage. I won’t have to worry about getting some spray on the lights.

Although it comes with onboard dimming of 25%, 50% 75% and 100%, I will be using NextLight’s Control Pro to provide complete control of the lights from light timing to sunset and sunrise dimming. I will cover the Control Pro and it's features in more detail later during the grow.

The Mega Pro measures 36.75” x 37.75” x 3.25” (957 x 933 x 77.3 mm) and weighs just 26 lbs.(11.79 kg). Perfect for the 4’ x 4’ tent I will be using.

Ventilation - For ventilation I will be using AC Infinity's Cloudline Series T8 and Controller 67. The T8 and Controller allow adjusting ventilation based on temperature and humidity levels received from the included temperature and RH sensors. In addition to controlling the vent fan levels, the Controller 67 has many other features I will cover in more detail during the grow.

Nutrients – For this Living Soil I am going to use @GeoFlora Nutrients Veg and Blum for top dressing. To get the microorganisms started I will also be using Earth Alive soil activator. Also, throughout the grow I will be adding Purpinator to help improve the color, aroma, and potency of the final product.

Pest Control – I will be using @Sierra Natural Science SNS-209. SNS 209 is an Organic Systemic Pest Controller that will not harm the other living organism in the soil. When using living soil the important thing is to keep it living.

Grow Medium – So this is where we make the big change. For this 4’ x 4’ tent I will be using a 3’ x 3’ x 1.5’ Living Soil bed that will contain 65 gallons (9 cu ft) of soil. My goal is to have a No-Till soil bed I can continue to use for future grows.

The seedlings will start out in solo cups and then the best 4 plants will be temporarily transplanted into 1 gallon @GeoPot containers to establish strong root growth. The 4 plants will then finish up in the large soil bed.

The base soil for this grow is a well-balanced mix containing the following components.

Peat Moss - 33%
Organic Canadian Sphagnum Peat Moss
Aeration - 34%
Organic New Mexico Pumice - 20%
Organic Par-Boiled Rice Hulls - 10%
Pre Charged Bio-char - 4%
Compost - 33%
Worm Castings and Vermicompost
Initial Nutrients and Amendments
Volcanic Basalt
Organic Terviva Karanja Cake
Organic Diamond K Gypsum
Calcium Bentonite
Clean Sourced Soft Rock Phosphate
Organic Ferticell Active 2-20-2 Micronized Soft Rock Phosphate
Organic 2 Row Milled Malted Barley

Strain - Granddaddy Purple Feminized and/or Northern Lights Feminized provided by @Weed Seeds Express. These are nice strains that have similar flowering periods and height. I haven’t decided if I will use two of each and it may depend on the best 4 plants out of the ten I will be germinating.

Tomorrow I will be going over the set up of the new system as I progress through this journal.

So feel free to pull up a seat a follow along. I will be back tomorrow.
 

TorturedSoul

Member of the Month: May 2009, Oct 2010, Sept 2017
Lighting – For lighting I will be using @NextLight 's Mega Pro 640W LED Full Spectrum light. Because this is Full Spectrum, I can use the light from seed to harvest.

This is a great looking light and I’m anxious to give it a try. A couple of important features include 2.6 PPF/W (μmol/J) 1650 PPF which is about as high as I have seen. Also nice is it’s IP65 Wet Rated which is needed when I spray the foliage. I won’t have to worry about getting some spray on the lights.

Although it comes with onboard dimming of 25%, 50% 75% and 100%, I will be using NextLight’s Control Pro to provide complete control of the lights from light timing to sunset and sunrise dimming. I will cover the Control Pro and it's features in more detail later during the grow.

The Mega Pro measures 36.75” x 37.75” x 3.25” (957 x 933 x 77.3 mm) and weighs just 26 lbs.(11.79 kg). Perfect for the 4’ x 4’ tent I will be using.

I wonder why that product weighs what it does. Is there a lot of steel in its construction? Have you moved its power supply out of the tent in order to remove a good bit of heat production from it? I assume it comes with a decent length cable to facilitate that, and the company might offer a further extension for a relatively cheap price.

Speaking of heat, do you use a swamp cooler there? They're supposed to help with both high temperatures and low relative humidity both, aren't they?

I guess there is a good bit of difference between "living soil" and your past hydroponic grows. But you seem to be proficient at growing a cannabis plant, so you'll probably do fine. Personally, given your environmental conditions, I'd have stuck with DWC hydronics (and used a largish reservoir for each plant, with as high a level of dissolved O₂ in the nutrient solution as I could get. Learning new things can be fun, however - plus, you get to learn new things ;). And there are a number of forum members who have experience with that thing who, presumably, can help you with it. Hopefully, they'll all subscribe to your journal.

Good luck with your grow!
 

Mdlroad

Well-Known Member
Welcome Fellow Growers

Here we are at the start of a new Grow Journal with a completely different setup this time. For those who followed along on my Comparative Grow Journal you will remember I grew in Coco for the first time and had great success. Well in my opinion anyway. Although it was my first time in Coco it was only a moderate change from Deep Water Culture (DWC) hydroponics to a new hydro grow medium. Now it’s time to make the big move and grow in Living Soil.

One of the main areas I will be focusing on during this grow is environmental control. During the grow there are many different environmental conditions we need to deal with depending on location and time of year. Being able to provide a stable controlled environment for your plants will help eliminate a lot of the issues we sometimes experience. For me it’s living in a desert area with above normal temperatures and lower than normal RH.

As with my previous journals I will include tons of photos and since this is a new setup I will cover the details of the equipment being used in this new grow environment.

Here are the details of this grow.

Location
- Southwest US in the California desert. Outside temps are expected to reach above 100 F (38 C) with RH at 25% or lower throughout the veg period and lower temperatures in the 80s to 90s during flower.

Grow Area – For this grow I will be changing from a 2' x 4' x 8' to a 4’ x 4’ x 8’ (120mm x 120mm x 240mm) tent which means changes to the lung room. For the previous grow I had the ventilation from the tent going back into the lung room. Although the lung room had a portable air conditioner exhausting to the outside, it was still fighting the warm tent exhaust. This time I will have the tent exhaust going out to the garage to help control the heat issue. What it may also do is make RH harder to control due to the dry new air coming into the room. As before I will have a large humidifier in the lung room as well as a small fogger humidifier in the tent.

Lighting – For lighting I will be using @NextLight 's Mega Pro 640W LED Full Spectrum light. Because this is Full Spectrum, I can use the light from seed to harvest.

This is a great looking light and I’m anxious to give it a try. A couple of important features include 2.6 PPF/W (μmol/J) 1650 PPF which is about as high as I have seen. Also nice is it’s IP65 Wet Rated which is needed when I spray the foliage. I won’t have to worry about getting some spray on the lights.

Although it comes with onboard dimming of 25%, 50% 75% and 100%, I will be using NextLight’s Control Pro to provide complete control of the lights from light timing to sunset and sunrise dimming. I will cover the Control Pro and it's features in more detail later during the grow.

The Mega Pro measures 36.75” x 37.75” x 3.25” (957 x 933 x 77.3 mm) and weighs just 26 lbs.(11.79 kg). Perfect for the 4’ x 4’ tent I will be using.

Ventilation - For ventilation I will be using AC Infinity's Cloudline Series T8 and Controller 67. The T8 and Controller allow adjusting ventilation based on temperature and humidity levels received from the included temperature and RH sensors. In addition to controlling the vent fan levels, the Controller 67 has many other features I will cover in more detail during the grow.

Nutrients – For this Living Soil I am going to use @GeoFlora Nutrients Veg and Blum for top dressing. To get the microorganisms started I will also be using Earth Alive soil activator. Also, throughout the grow I will be adding Purpinator to help improve the color, aroma, and potency of the final product.

Pest Control – I will be using @Sierra Natural Science SNS-209. SNS 209 is an Organic Systemic Pest Controller that will not harm the other living organism in the soil. When using living soil the important thing is to keep it living.

Grow Medium – So this is where we make the big change. For this 4’ x 4’ tent I will be using a 3’ x 3’ x 1.5’ Living Soil bed that will contain 65 gallons (9 cu ft) of soil. My goal is to have a No-Till soil bed I can continue to use for future grows.

The seedlings will start out in solo cups and then the best 4 plants will be temporarily transplanted into 1 gallon @GeoPot containers to establish strong root growth. The 4 plants will then finish up in the large soil bed.

The base soil for this grow is a well-balanced mix containing the following components.

Peat Moss - 33%
Organic Canadian Sphagnum Peat Moss
Aeration - 34%
Organic New Mexico Pumice - 20%
Organic Par-Boiled Rice Hulls - 10%
Pre Charged Bio-char - 4%
Compost - 33%
Worm Castings and Vermicompost
Initial Nutrients and Amendments
Volcanic Basalt
Organic Terviva Karanja Cake
Organic Diamond K Gypsum
Calcium Bentonite
Clean Sourced Soft Rock Phosphate
Organic Ferticell Active 2-20-2 Micronized Soft Rock Phosphate
Organic 2 Row Milled Malted Barley

Strain - Granddaddy Purple Feminized and/or Northern Lights Feminized provided by @Weed Seeds Express. These are nice strains that have similar flowering periods and height. I haven’t decided if I will use two of each and it may depend on the best 4 plants out of the ten I will be germinating.

Tomorrow I will be going over the set up of the new system as I progress through this journal.

So feel free to pull up a seat a follow along. I will be back tomorrow.
I'm in
 

TorturedSoul

Member of the Month: May 2009, Oct 2010, Sept 2017
I wish the manufacturer posted PAR readings

I noticed that, when I visited the website to read about the product. I even downloaded the specification sheet and owner's manual .PDF files, and looked for the usual "light across the recommended footprint" graphic(s) in them. I don't want to automatically assume the worst, but it is somewhat concerning when the manufacturer of what is, after all, a relatively expensive product decides to withhold that information from the public when even mid-tier LED grow light manufacturers have been routinely publishing that information about their own products for a while. One would think that such knowledge could only help the gardener fit the product to the proper size/ shape garden space, and to hang it at the height that best suits his/her needs. And it would presumably help sell the product, assuming it doesn't show that the light fails to meet its published efficiency and gross output specifications, or do so but in a poor way (e.g., huge "hot spot" in the center of the space and lacking near the perimeter.

IDK. I'm not exactly familiar with the brand. Are they just getting started at the grow light thing? If so, maybe they're still figuring it out.
 

sp4z205

Well-Known Member
I noticed that, when I visited the website to read about the product. I even downloaded the specification sheet and owner's manual .PDF files, and looked for the usual "light across the recommended footprint" graphic(s) in them. I don't want to automatically assume the worst, but it is somewhat concerning when the manufacturer of what is, after all, a relatively expensive product decides to withhold that information from the public when even mid-tier LED grow light manufacturers have been routinely publishing that information about their own products for a while. One would think that such knowledge could only help the gardener fit the product to the proper size/ shape garden space, and to hang it at the height that best suits his/her needs. And it would presumably help sell the product, assuming it doesn't show that the light fails to meet its published efficiency and gross output specifications, or do so but in a poor way (e.g., huge "hot spot" in the center of the space and lacking near the perimeter.

IDK. I'm not exactly familiar with the brand. Are they just getting started at the grow light thing? If so, maybe they're still figuring it out.

I did the exact same thing, after looking through the site and not finding anything..... I'll simply wait until someone else has some experience with them.

That's a little pricey to not have all the information I want/need to set things up mentally/on paper ahead of time.
 

Brett Blaze

Product Reviewer
420 Staff
Day 2 Update:

Today I'm going to setup the lung room and tent so I can install the @NextLight Mega Pro and the AC Infinity T8 vent fan tomorrow. But before I get going I'm going to drop the seeds in water and let them soak overnight to get ready for germinating. @WeedSeedsExpress provided 5 each of the Granddaddy Purple and Northern Lights seeds. All 10 went into the cups to soak for 24 hours.

Journal 092121-26.jpg
Journal 092121-27.jpg


One of the changes I want to do is have the exhaust from the tent go outside somewhere. For my situation that ended up being the garage. Some may resist exhausting a grow tent to the garage due to humidity issues that can cause possible mildew problems but in the desert I really don't have to worry about that.

The first thing I did was decide how I wanted the lung room laid out. The total room space is about 10' x 10' but one wall needs to be dedicated to a work bench and photography area. The AC is already installed from the last grow and works fine keeping the temps down. With the exhaust to the garage it will be even easier. (I also have a humidifier which not shown in the illustration) Since I want to start a worm bin and have access to the sides of the tent I needed 2 feet on each side while missing the stud in the wall when drilling the 6" hole for the vent.

Lung room 09222021.jpg


I didn't get as lucky as I had hoped and had to drill 5" off of my intended target to miss a stud. I reduced the 8" duct size from the T8 to 6" to allow a smaller hole cut. Per AC Infinity Tech support you can drop one size (8" to 6" or 6" to 4") without reducing efficiency.

Using a 6" whole saw I cut from both sides then inserted the vent pipe which had a hood, damper and screen built in. The hood side screwed into the garage wall and the inside wasn't budging so I just sealed the inside area around the pipe.

Journal 092121-7.jpg
Journal 092121-8.jpg


Since the upper openings in the tent are 11" I was able to make up the 5" difference for for the hole in the wall. The plan is to run the tent ventilation duct straight from the fan through to the garage without any bends.

Journal 092121-9.jpg


Enough for today. Although it may not sound like much progress that 6" whole was tough since the garage side had 1" of wood under the sheetrock and of course the hole was not perfect so a lot of shaving was required to get the pipe through. After about an hour I remembered I have a Dremel and was able to get it finished. Plus it's still 120°F in the garage and it doesn't take long to get tired in that heat at my age.

Tomorrow I will plant the seeds in their solo cups to germinate, install the ventilation and lighting and go over some more details of each.
:peace: :48:
 
Last edited:

Brett Blaze

Product Reviewer
420 Staff
I wish the manufacturer posted PAR readings, I like their layout - that spectrum is interesting, I wonder what their goal is to leave off the deeper reds.

Will be interesting to see how it progresses.
I'm working to see if I can get this information and will post what I find.

Thanks for posting the questions all. I'll do what I can to provide answers. The products for this grow are new to me too so we will be learning together.

Also I'm sure the vendors will be dropping by from time to time and may be able to provide some answers to your questions. We have about 4 months so I'm sure most if not all of your questions about the products I will be using will be answered.
:peace: :48:
 
Last edited:

Brett Blaze

Product Reviewer
420 Staff
I wonder why that product weighs what it does. Is there a lot of steel in its construction? Have you moved its power supply out of the tent in order to remove a good bit of heat production from it? I assume it comes with a decent length cable to facilitate that, and the company might offer a further extension for a relatively cheap price.

Speaking of heat, do you use a swamp cooler there? They're supposed to help with both high temperatures and low relative humidity both, aren't they?

I guess there is a good bit of difference between "living soil" and your past hydroponic grows. But you seem to be proficient at growing a cannabis plant, so you'll probably do fine. Personally, given your environmental conditions, I'd have stuck with DWC hydronics (and used a largish reservoir for each plant, with as high a level of dissolved O₂ in the nutrient solution as I could get. Learning new things can be fun, however - plus, you get to learn new things ;). And there are a number of forum members who have experience with that thing who, presumably, can help you with it. Hopefully, they'll all subscribe to your journal.

Good luck with your grow!
Hi TS

I will get into more details regarding the LED and the other products in the next few days.

I chose the portable AC for the initial low cost and ease of continued use. It works fine but eliminating the warm tent air will make it more efficient.

Hydroponics works great but from my experience it takes more maintenance, more room and the nutrients are almost always multipart components that take time to measure and mix. Below is from two grows a go with a 4 x 4 Hydro system. Feel free to check it out. Here! All automated but still way more than I want to deal with now. I also want pure organic for my cannabis going forward.

Tent and Stuff 04152051-12.jpg
20191026-IMG-0900.jpg


:peace: :48:
 

Brett Blaze

Product Reviewer
420 Staff
Here are the PAR charts as provided on NextLight's site. NextLight Mega Pro PAR

NextLight Mega Pro x1 inside a 4' x 4' Grow Tent

Flower Footprint: 4' x 4'
PPF: 1650
Energy Use: 640W (629W @ 277V)
PPF/Watt: 2.6
Unit Dimensions: 37.75" x 36.75" x 3.25"

Mega-Pro-18inch-White.jpg
Mega-Pro-24inch-White.jpg


NextLight Mega Pro x1 inside a 5' x 5' Grow Tent

Flower Footprint: 5' x 5'
PPF: 1650
Energy Use: 640W (629W @ 277V)
PPF/Watt: 2.6
Unit Dimensions: 37.75" x 36.75" x 3.25"

Mega-Pro-18inch-5x5-White.jpg
Mega-Pro-24inch-5x5-White.jpg

:peace: :48:
 

Brett Blaze

Product Reviewer
420 Staff
Day 3 Update

After 24 hours of soaking all the seeds sunk and a few of the Northern Lights were already sprouting. I'm going to place the seeds directly into soil filled solo cups and bypass paper towels and/or peat pods. All ten seeds will be germinated and the best two of each strain will go on to 1 gallon @GeoPot fabric pots to build root structure. I prepared the water to be used to wet the solo cups with Quillaja Extract Powder, a saponin wetting agent which will help provide even watering. I also added a small amount of Earth Alive and a small amount of Mycorrhizae to the water.

Journal 092221-7.jpg


Journal 092221-2.jpg


You can see the foam from the wetting agent. I'm using an industrial sprayer which really helps get an even spray. It has .5 gal and 1 gal per minute nozzles.

Journal 092221-5.jpg


Journal 092221-6.jpg


Here a close up of one of the Northern Lights. a few others also started but this one was the furthest along. Most have a preferred way of placing the seed. I decided to place them sideways and pinch the hole shut.

Journal 092221-8.jpg


One last short spray and under the dome they go.

Journal 092221-9.jpg

Journal 092221-10.jpg


Cont.
 

Brett Blaze

Product Reviewer
420 Staff
Day 3 Cont.

Also today I set up the ventilation and lighting.

First up is ventilation. I will be using the AC Infinity T8 part of their CLOUDLINE Series of inline duct fan systems and their latest temperature and humidity fan Controller 67. I used the T4 with their previous controller during my last journal and was really happy with it. AC Infinity's latest controller programming includes automated triggers, timers, cycles, scheduling, minimum speed, and custom transitions. It also supports up to two CLOUDLINE, AIRLIFT, or CLOUDRAY fans with EC motors to share the same programming so I can hook up my AC Infinity T4 if I need to expand and add another tent. I am also using AC Infinity's 8" Carbon filter and their 8" to 6" reducer.

Journal 092121-4.jpg


Journal 092121-6.jpg


Journal 092321-10.jpg


Everything tested out fine. You can plug the fan directly into an AC outlet without the controller and it will run at full speed. Now that it's running I'll move on to the lighting.

Next is the lighting

The NextLight Mega Pro comes folded in so it's only about 18" x 37" when stored. That can be nice if you decide to store for a season or two. It also feels very well constructed.

Journal 092121-13.jpg

Journal 092121-14.jpg

Journal 092121-17.jpg

Journal 092121-18.jpg

Journal 092121-19.jpg


Journal 092121-20.jpg


The light hangs from two provided metal hangers that fit through the holes seen above. Installation was really simple.

Journal 092321-11.jpg


Cont.
 

Brett Blaze

Product Reviewer
420 Staff
Day 3 Cont.

The Mega Pro light level can be manually adjusted in 25% increments or when hooked up the the Control Pro, adjustments can be made in 1% increments. The NextLight Control Pro can control up to 500 NextLight Pro Series fixtures per controller (250 fixtures per channel).

Journal 092121-21.jpg


Journal 092121-22.jpg


Everything testing out ok so I mounted the controllers on a panel next to the tent ready to be hooked up and programmed tomorrow.

Journal 092121-25.jpg

:peace: :48:
 
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