Build Your Own Grow Light - Green Up Your Garden in 2018 (A Detailed Guide to Growing Healthy Veg)
Grow Light Build 2015 - Updated 2018 is my journey to build a Grow Light/Germination area for the upcoming 2016 garden year. The goal was to grow some winter veggies for salads and smoothies, as it has become a risky business purchasing lettuce due to e-coli poisoning. An area in the garage was just the right size, but had to be cleared out of scrap metal, paint, deck stain, generator, tool box and other stuff.
The bulbs came in and were the correct kelvin but wrong type bulb. Instead of sending back the bulbs, four were liberated from one of the shop-lights and rewired differently to accept them. A ten bulb shop-light was placed and test subjects seem to be thriving so the lights seemed adequate for greens. Mats were all on the same temperature controller with new trays ordered as original ones would split after a season of use. Permanent cups were also ordered which are awesome, nice and sturdy and can be run through the dishwasher.
Supply List (updated 2018) included Timer from Amazon, 4 light Shop Light from Home Depot, Germination Station from Midland Hardware, Heat Mat Thermostat, Garden Stake Tags from Amazon, 6500k from Lowes (replaced with 6000k Led bulbs from Amazon), Oscillating Fan, Power Strip, 4 pack of LED Bulbs, Tray# GS2211 and Dome V2211 from Indoor Garden Supplies, 20 oz. Tumblers and 16 oz. Tumblers plus Adjustable Grow Light Rope Hanger.
December 18th, 2018 saw an update on the grow table with 4 three year old fluorescent tubes replaced with 6000k Led bulbs from Amazon at a cost of $42 instead of $23 for new 6500k fluorescent bulbs at Lowes. December 24th saw an order for 2 new Led grow lights for the new indoor garden area but too expensive at $300 until found on e-bay brand new still in box at an auction price of $222.50 instead of $110 originally bid. The 1,000w lights were used for existing table while 700w was used for new grow area.
December 22nd saw work begin on the new grow area by first building a frame out of 2x4s that would fit perfectly into corner space available then adding plywood sides and top before painting white to match walls plus adding two shelves underneath for storage purposes. Lights were hung using adjustable rope hangers before wiring up power strip to timer then plugging in fan and heat mat thermostat before plugging in led's last.
Finally, lux and wattage will need to be checked with Kill a watt meter or download an app for lux and fc to get some sort of idea of light quantity. This detailed write-up provides lots of ideas when considering a Grow Light Build project.
What type of bulbs did you use for the grow light?
I used 4 LED bulbs liberated from one of my shop-lights, and 6500k bulbs for the upcoming 2016 garden year.
What kind of trays did you use?
I ordered Permanest Trays and domes from Indoor Garden Supplies. The tray number is GS2211 and the dome is a V2211. I also ordered "permanent cups" which are 20 oz. cups that fit 18 to a tray (barely) and 17 to a tray (comfortably). The smaller ones are 10 oz. cups and fit 21 to a tray (comfortably).
What type of timer did you use?
I used a timer from Amazon.
What type of germination station did you use?
I used a germination station from Midland Hardware.
What type of heat mat thermostat did you use?
I used a heat mat thermostat.
What type of garden stake tags did you use?
I used garden stake tags from Amazon.
What type of oscillating fan did you use?
I used an oscillating fan.
What type of power strip did you use?
I used a power strip not the one in the picture, but the same one I use for my fish tank.
What type of adjustable grow light rope hanger did you use?
I used an adjustable grow light rope hanger.
How many watts were being drawn from the outlet?
I'll need to check that with my Kill a watt meter, but to be honest it doesn't matter to me what it is. You can download an app for lux and fc, that would be an easy way to get some sort of an idea of light quantity.
What lumens were you getting at what distance from the canopy?
Biscuit, I'll see what I can come up with this weekend in way of Lux and Wattage.