Thursday, February 24, 2011

DIY Grow Light Stand

I have found grow lights to be the most helpful tool in growing plants from seed combine with a good heat mat and you can grow most anything successfully anywhere. They can be expensive however, so I have come up with a quick and easy cost effective way to make your own adjustable grow light stand with supplies from your local hardware store.

Materials for a 2 foot grow light stand {4 foot}

8’ PVC pipe {10’}

clip_image0022 – PVC T’s

clip_image0042 – PVC elbows

5’ Chain

clip_image0061 – 2’ light fixture {4’ fixture}

2 – S hooks

2 – Full Spectrum bulbs

1. Cut PVC pipe into these lengths – 4 @ 5”, 2 @ 2’ and 1 @ 26 {50}”. The 5” pieces are the bottom supports, 2 of the 23” pieces are the legs and the last 26” section is the top brace.

2. Now pop it all together. Put the 4 – 5” pieces of pipe into the T’s facing sideways with the leg in the T facing up. Now put on the elbow and pop in the 26” {50”} section. If you are making this 4’ wide you should insert a wood stake or piece of rebar into the PVC to help it hold the weight of the light.

3. Drape the chain over the top PVC bar and attach to light fixture with the S hooks into the slots provided for attaching it. The chain and S hooks let you adjust the height of the light as your plants grow. Always keep the light about 2” away from your plants. This step could be done in many ways depending on the light fixture you choose.

4. Insert full spectrum bulbs and plug in. You are now ready to grow!

Open the Pdf file for this project here

IMG_2873 After a trip to Lowes to purchase all the supplies to make this I had someone else use my directions and put it together.  I didn’t take more than 20 minutes including sawing the PVC pipe to the right lengths.  We chose not to glue anything so that it could be taken apart and stored when not in use.  We did have a problem with the light fixture though…it was intended for hooking  up to a ceiling and therefore didn’t have a plug so you would have to read the box carefully and make sure you have the right kind of fixture.  Another snag with the lights is that it seems that everyone is moving toward T5 lights and the ones I have been using use T12 full spectrum fluorescent bulbs.  So my favorite grow lights will need to be replace one day as the bulbs become harder to find.

image So in conclusion while I like the simplicity of this design and the DIY part of it after searching on line and comparing prices to what I paid for these supplies you can get a Hydrofarm Jump Start Grow Light with the T5 bulb for almost the same price on Amazon.com and some even have free shipping.  After comparing prices there we also found that it doesn’t cost much more to get the 4 foot light and you can put a whole lot more seedlinimagegs under it.  So if you have the room it would be more economical to get the bigger one.

A long the lines of heat mats we also found the Germination Station at Amazon.com to be a great buy because you get the heat mat with the planting tray for the same price as just the heat mat.  Some things don’t make sense, but it pays to shop around.

Hope this little bit of research will help you all to get in the mood to get some seeds started, because Spring just might be around the corner!

Get Growin’

~ Ferne

1 comment:

Lancashire rose said...

Nice project. Oh, the many uses of sprinkler pipe!