Niwa, the world’s first automatic grow chamber run from your smart phone, is currently being funded via Kickstarter. After checking out them out online it turns out that the Niwa unit is quite a lovely centerpiece for your house as well. It's a really well-designed, self-contained growth chamber that is controlled by a computer, which can be interfaced with via a phone app. Compared to other self-contained growing chambers this one is gorgeous to look at.
Let's look at the specifics of the Niwa and how those stats would measure up when trying to grow marijuana.
The chamber is an enclosed unit with clear plexiglass walls, works with an ebb and flood system and has room for six plants. The system has been used with Rockwell, but would accept any suitable growing medium. Niwa works with an under pressure and has a fan sucking air out of the top of the unit while fresh air is pulled in via small windows at the bottom. As for lighting, it has an E27 light socket that can use a 100 watt or 250 watt CFL bulb, the company is also currently exploring options with LED lighting.
Cannabis can be grown in small spaces, and for years many growers have been getting decent yields out of their covert closet grows. Let's take a look at how this unit could function as cannabis growth chamber.
The unit was designed with medicinal plants, tomatoes, herbs and veggies in mind. I think that the unit would make an amazing veg chamber, especially for those living in a medical or recreational state were legalities would allow for six cannabis plants growing in your living room for all to see. However, when it comes to flowering there are some issues.
To start with cannabis relies on a 12/12 light cycle meaning that the plant needs to be in 12 hours of darkness to flower. You could always cover the plexiglass panels on the unit with MDF board or some other air tight substitute. Just make sure that absolutely no light could get in or it will interrupt the cycle. Perhaps in the future they will release a special cannabis version with automatic shutters or some type of smart tinting product that turns black when you push a button ensuring that the the space is light proof.
Cannabis really needs a lot of light to grow. In fact growth is directly related to light wattage thus the more light the more yield. With a 250 watt CFL bulb you won't be getting much of a yield, so this is why the space would make a great veg room where plants don't need that much light to grow. Another thing to keep in mind is that the unit comes with a bulb balanced to 6500k, which is great for veg. Plants in flower will need a light closer to 2700k for optimal results.
The next thing to bear in mind is smell and airflow. If you increase the light wattage you will also need to increase the fan size pulling out the hot air in order to compensate for the extra heat. One final thing that will need to be added to the unit if you do flower out cannabis inside it is a filter. Flowering cannabis gives off an amazingly pungent odor which for stealthy growers will need to be addressed.
All in all this is an amazingly designed unit that for some cannabis growers will make an interesting show piece for the living rooms.
Keep on growing!