The first thing that growers are conscious of when it comes to being compromised, is the strong pungent odor the plants emit while flowering and/or drying. The most popular solution to this problem is the use of carbon filters. Regardless of your lighting setup, the filter would be hooked up to a ducting fan, pumping the now clean air out of the tent/room. The high pressure sodium setup is going to require more equipment then LED’s to effectively clean the air. In a high pressure sodium grow room there must also be fans used to remove hot air from the hoods of the lighting system before it reaches your plants. So there needs to be a ducting connector used to combine the hot air from the lights with the clean air coming from the filter. This is going to use more fans and incur more overhead than LED grows. LED lighting does not emit anywhere as much heat as a HPS, so there is no need to have a separate ducting fan. I’s also important that all the air exiting your tent will need to be vented outside to ensure an optimal growing climate is maintained.
Equally important as masking the identifiable smell of cannabis, is avoiding suspicions from the neighborhood. It’s human nature to get a little to nosy, and there’s plenty of people with too much times on their hands. The home being used to cultivate needs to look as inhabited as possible. Many times people transform a properties bedrooms and living rooms into a full blown growing operation, containing plants in various stages of growth. It’s going to have a much higher chance of drawing attention if someone is going to the house for a few hours a day and leaves, instead of appearing to spend a reasonable amount of time inside the home. There’s numerous ways to do this so get creative. It would also be smart to leave designated spaces near the front door and windows full of furniture and other decor.
For those with smaller less organized operations, it’s much easier because they often live where they cultivate. These types of grow room have a far different risk than not looking inhabited. Other types of activity like having lots of traffic that doesn’t seem to hang out long, is a quick way to receive complaints from neighbors and put you on the radar of the local task force.
The sounds of high output fans combined with bright lighting systems can also give you away if not properly contained. In a small apartment or condo with neighbors close by, the more centered the grow room is in the unit, the better off you’ll be. Walls aren’t going to block the sound of multiple fans if they’re just feet away from the source. Both high pressure sodium and LED lights will completely illuminate a room and all windows in that room. This is one reason why I prefer using tents then an open room. If you don’t utilize tents, it will be tricky to both ventilate air and block light from the same window. This is why many people choose use the basement as an open growing space.
Taking steps like these and consistently investing money back into the security of the grow room will help your odds and reduce the chance of becoming the target of a violent robbery or a drug investigation. While cannabis is legal in more and more places each year, it remains illegal federally and attention from law enforcement in this industry is yet to prove beneficial. Never get to comfortable and cut corners when it comes to operation security.