Modern hydroponic grow light systems are available with high-output, low-heat fluorescent lights that will not burn plants if hung at least 4 inches from the plant tops. Because water is used near these systems, ensure the lighting fixture you purchase is approved by Underwriters Laboratories, which conducts extensive safety tests on consumer products. Beware of homemade lighting systems, some can pose a significant threat to your safety.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Compact grow light system
- Old garment rack
- Sturdy substrate (PVC, wood, etc.)
- Appropriate cutting tool for the substrate
- Plastic ties
- Hanging chain
- Open-ended S hooks
- Plant seedlings
- Growing tray
Locate a garment rack on wheels to serve as the framework for your new grow light stand. A portable garment rack will save you time since you won't need to build the entire stand from scratch. It may not be necessary to purchase a new one; check local thrift stores and garage sales. If you do purchase a new rack, the price will be similar to what you would pay for building a PVC stand from scratch, usually £13 or less.
Ensure that the wheels roll properly, as this will allow you to move your grow light stand easily to sunnier areas that can supplement the fluorescent lighting system.
Measure the rectangular area around the bottom of the garment rack, where the wheels are attached to the upright poles. This area will become a shelf on which to place plant seedlings.
Locate a substrate to use as the shelf. A scrap piece of wood or sturdy plastic will work. Use the appropriate cutting tool to safely cut the substrate to the dimensions of the garment rack's base. Sand the edges to avoid getting slivers on your hands.
Drill one hole in each corner of the substrate. After drilling the holes, secure the shelf to the side poles with plastic ties.
Measure the height of the garment rack from the top pole to the bottom shelf. Cut two pieces of sturdy chain to that same length. Place one chain over each side of the rack, and attach your grow light appliance to both ends of each chain using open-ended S hooks.
Attach your grow light fixture's electrical cord to one vertical pole using a twist tie. This will keep the cord from swinging into your plants, and temporary twist ties can be removed easily when you need to relocate your stand or raise the lights.
Put your seedlings onto your growing tray, then place them on the shelf of the grow light stand. Ensure that your lights are hung as low as possible to give plants the maximum amount of light without burning them. As plants grow taller, shorten the length of each chain by raising the S hooks, then reattaching the grow light fixture to each end of the chains.
Modify an Existing Piece of Furniture
Tips and warnings
- Keep your electrical costs low by using one warm light and one cool light bulb in your fixture.
- Remove your plants before rolling your portable grow light stand to another location, especially if you're on a carpeted surface.
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