Wednesday, April 18, 2012

DIY- Grow Light

I love having friends who are just as crazy about gardening as we are.  I visited a friend last week who had rigged up a grow light this year in order to be more successful with her vegetable starts.  Let's just say, I was super jealous of her 8 inch tall lush tomato starts.  (Once again, I'm kicking myself for not starting our seeds sooner.)

She gleaned ideas for her set up by searching the internet for DIY grow lights.  She found that she could use a cheap Christmas rope light for a heat mat and a fluorescent shop light with a cool bulb and a warm bulb for a grow light.  She turns the light on when she wakes up and turns it off when she goes to bed.

Since I was super motivated after visiting my friend, I went to Home Depot and purchased a 4' hanging fluorescent shop light and a packet of "daylight" bulbs and a packet of "soft light" bulbs.  I hope I got the right ones.  In total I spent less than $40 and I have two spare bulbs in case I want to get a second light fixture.

I used some wood and screws we had laying around to build a framework that would fit on our breakfast nook table.  The only other parts I used were two eye hooks and two "S" hooks to hang the light from the framework.

There's enough space for one tub of starts.  If this works out well, I'll adjust the framework to fit two lights and two tubs.  I'm excited to see how much faster these starts grow compared to the ones only getting light from the window and the ones in the cold frame outside.  

1 comment:

  1. You are very welcome to have my grow light setup. It holds 4 flats of plants. I even have the lights. I found that I didn't' need the lights in the greenhouse. I use 1 soft white and 1 cool white bulb in each fixture and my plants were beautiful last year. You can set up a heat mat under the flats and you are set. I didn't use a heat lamp with the setup because I had the case sitting over a heat vent in my dining room. I had covered the whole unit in canvas (the canvas is destroyed now) and covered the top with cardboard. You could cover the whole thing in plastic and be good to go. Let me know if you want it.