Thursday, March 21, 2013

Grow Lights

Years ago, we found this wonderful wooden planting box that was discarded by a neighbor, and we snapped it right up.  It is about a foot deep and about four feet long by two and a half feet wide, making it the perfect size for growing greens, both in the sunroom and out.  But even though our sunroom is sunny in the winter, we knew we could grow our greens faster with the addition of a little bit of light.

What you see suspended over it is Mr. FC&G's new grow light.  It is constructed of two shop lights that each hold two grow lights, making it four lights wide.  It is possible to buy a four-light fixture at the hardware stores, but we could not find one of the length we wanted that would hold the grow bulbs we wanted to use.  So, Mr. FC&G, with his ultra-detailed craftsmanship, attached the lights with two metal bars and fixed chain to suspend the light from the ceiling.  The metal attachment bars, per Mr. FC&G's detailed nature, are filed until all rough edges  are smooth and rounded.  And, of course, the light hangs perfectly level.

Oh, and that screen you can barely see over the planter box?  That is the critter guard that Mr. FC&G constructed last year to protect our greens when they are outside.  We really don't need it on there now, but it is as good a place as any to store it.  It is constructed of a wood frame and metal screening, and he has tailored the screen edges so they are all rounded and so there are no rough pieces of screen sticking out to hurt hands and bare legs when we remove it.

The Analysis
Fast:  It didn't take Mr. FC&G long to construct the grow light to his preferred dimensions and his exacting standards in his shop.  He worked on it a couple of hours each of two weekend days.

Cheap:  Certainly, it will take a while to recoup the cost of the two relatively-cheap lights just in wintertime greens, but the project in total was probably less than $50.  "Anything for more greens," said Mr. FC&G.

Good:  I've wanted a large grow light like this for years, but commercial seed-starting racks can be expensive.  This was within budget, does the job beautifully, and allows me to enjoy some more of Mr. FC&G's detail-oriented craftsmanship!
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  1. I paid $11 each for fluorescent light fixtures at Lowes. The full spectrum bulbs are less expensive if you don't purchase them through a nursery or greenhouse supply - check Lowes. It took all of 10 minutes to hang my lights and plug them in. Love my small greenhouse!

  2. I found many important points in your blog, many sites are offering online services to buy led lights

  3. Good job! Using LED grow lights for your plants is a wise decision.