Per the groundhog we are going to have an early spring this year, and in order to get a jump start on my gardening I wanted to start seeds inside this year. In previous years I started seeds in a portable green house but didn't always have success with the seeds starting due to the seeds molding and never sprouting. Last week I went shopping for grow lights, and was amazed that the fixture itself was $150.00! Discouraged I decided to try and make my own grow lights. I came across a video on you tube (http://www.youtube.com/feed/UCptL6_qMImyW_yZwiMjQdpg) that outlined how to make a grow station at home for $30.00.
In order to make the grow station you need the following supplies:
- (1) T12 light fixture
- (2) fluorescent bulbs that fit a T12 fixture
- (1) 10 foot section of 1 inch PVC
- (2) 1" PVC elbows
- (2) 1" PVC T pieces
To complete the project you will need:
- A tape measure
- A hacksaw
- A marker
First cut your PVC in 7 sections. You will need (1) 56" piece, (2) 14" pieces, and (4) 9" pieces. Then put the pieces together like shown in the pictures and video. Put the light bulbs in the light fixture and attach it to the PVC frame.
I made a few changes to the project:
- Instead of using plain fluorescent light bulbs, I used actual grow bulbs. The lumens were much higher in the grow bulbs than the fluorescent bulbs, so even thought they were a few dollars more I splurged for a few more lumens.
- I added more links to the chain that came with the fixture so that I could lower the light and make it closer to the growing medium so my seedlings would not become "leggy".
This light station is amazing and works like a charm! It cost a bit more than $30.00. The shop light was $9.00 more than his, and I spent and extra $10.00 on the grow bulbs, but even at $50.00 I was still well below the cost of buying a light station from the garden catalog and hydroponics store.