Anyone care to share pic's of their homemade stands for florescent lights? I want to build something to hang the ligths on.
This is not a standard shop light, but it does use compact fluorescent bulbs. I use this to start my plants every spring. It is hung from the ceiling using lamp chain from the hardware store. Hooks are screwed into the ceiling studs and the horizontal chain is used to better space the vertical chains. I use hooks to adjust the height as the plants grow. It is heavier than a shop light, so would be easier to do with a shop light. It is hanging over a folding card table. It is an alternative to a rack or shelf. HTH
This is the one I built (we made the side pieces a little longer than in the plans) - I love it!
I have a pic of my small light setup here on my blog. link below
Here is a link that might be useful: Light Setup
I built these mostly from scrap wood. Have worked great for me for several years now! Paul
I already had these plastic shelves laying around; they're the kind with the round tubes that fit down into holes in each corner and can be taken apart. Very lightweight, and you can add as many shelves as you want. I hooked the chains from the shoplights onto some picture hanging hooks I had and then hooked the top of the hooks over the lip on the edge of the shelves. It's worked a treat so far, though I need to get a couple more lights for the bottom shelf.
I think Paul might be a postal worker? ;)
Nice seed rack.
Here is one I built a few years ago. This is the way it looked this morning. It was made buy just putting some 2x2s together and hanging the lights.
I just bought some new plastic shelves last week and plan to add lights to them too.
Here is the light setup that I have used successfully for the past 10 years to grow from seed,overwinter tropicals and to grow on cuttings. Easy to make and inexpensive. I generally use a warm white and a cool white in each fixture but at present have a wide spectrum and a cool white in each. This also gives me light to grow and flower tuberous begonias.
Here is a link that might be useful:
Hey mailman22, No, I'm not a postal worker, but you probably are with that name! LOL! Gave you a great idea, didn't I? The six trays were near a dumpster at a local PO. I inquired and they were being thrown out because the handles were broken or cracked. I thought of a great use for them, so I took them and patched them up with duct tape, so that I wouldn't hurt myself. Then I built the rack so that they would fit the rack. They are nice and sturdy and are great for working with seedlings! All the Priorty mailing stuff is my wife's that she ordered thru USPS.com and uses it for mailing ebay stuff! Won't be long and the rack will again be full of tomato plants, etc! Paul
Yes I am a postal worker.
I use the trays in a very similar setup. Mine are a bit more in better shape. Perks! ;)
rockland guy, I have that same picture on my wall(The one to the right by the candles. It came with two matching mirrors). Nice light stand, too.
Wow... I'm trying this whole growing from seed thing for the first time. I was a little unsure how it was done, but this really helps! Super jealous of some of those. :)
How close do the lights have to be, generally, to the seedlings? A couple inches? A foot? Does it matter?
Oh yeah it matters. As close as possible without touching the plants to avoid leggy plants.
Hmmm... bummer. I only have about a 2 foot long tray, but I went out today to HD and bought a clamp lamp with a 65 watt bulb. I guess this won't work. I couldn't seem to find a shop light that I could hang from chains though. Is any ballast hangable?
So off to the return line I go! :)
Home Depot is where I got my lights from. You're looking for a 'shop light' (always helps me when I at least know the name of what I need when I hit the HD, then the challenge is just finding a salesperson :). Usually there's a whole aisle with fluorescent fixtures, flush mounted, etc. There'll be several kinds of shop lights, I get the cheapest ones which are about $9.84 at my store. Bulbs are usually in a different aisle, couple bucks a pop. Don't fall for the bulbs that say they're 'special grow lights', just the regular bulbs will do. Best of luck!
Okay, I think I'm set! I went out last night and bought a two- tube, 2 foot fluorescent fixture, one white bulb, and one on the bluish side.
I think this should work much better than the clamp lamp. Thanks for your help!
No problem. And just as a follow up, the lights I referenced above are 48 inches in length, so in case you should expand your operations, it covers 2 seed trays very nicely. :) Not that I'm endorsing you getting addicted to starting seeds or anything...
Good to know, sleepy! You know, I haven't even started them yet, and I think I'm already addicted. It's taking everything I have to wait until it's the proper time to seed! :)
My family thinks I'm nuts to go through all this trouble for plants that I could buy at the store. But they just don't get how rewarding it is.
I went to a garden show yesterday and scored about 15 packets of seeds as well!
Hahaha, well I am hooked too, for sure! It all started when seed started going on sale at the end of the season; lots of online deals and my local seed shop had their '09 seeds for a quarter a piece; I couldn't resist! The thing that appeals to me is that I can grow fun and different things that I can't find at my local garden center and I can grow at a quantity that is much more cost effective, especially for things like perennials. Sometimes they want $15 or $20 for a gallon size perennial! Plus, I hate winter and it's so depressing out, the sweet little seedlings make me so happy. I was so happy it was finally time to start some of the slower growing flowers. I bet the garden show was fun! I'll have to see if/when there will be one in my area. Oh and the other thing about lights and possibly needing more than one is that I have found it helpful to have one shelf for germinating or just-sprouted flats where the lights are right down close, and another shelf for the seedlings that are getting taller where the light is higher.
I have an assortment of lights in my little corner of the plant world. They all seem to be very happy and like many others I have made do with what I have and purchased very little.
Here is a link that might be useful: My lights and plants
OH MY GOSH... my fluorescent lighting woes continue. lol.
First I bought a clamp lamp and bulb, then realized that it was just not enough light. So off to HD I went.
Then I bought a 2 ft (way more expensive than a 4 ft)ballast with the two bulbs... only to discover that it had no cord. And I'm not electrically inclined. Not going to mess around and get electrocuted. Plus the s hooks I bought were too small.
So on my third trip tonight I finally settled on a 4 foot shoplight. Way too big, but way cheaper and far easier to use. Should have listened to you guys the first time! ;)
Yeah, the cost of little extras can really mount up. I bought ten four foot fluorescent light fixtures for $3.99 each, but they didn't come with a cord. I went to home depot and they want $5.97 for a cord with a plug on it, which is more than I paid for the light fixtures. I spent quite some time searching for power cords on the internet and found a place that had some over-run cords for 95 cents each, but they wanted $11 to ship them. I finally decided to cut the cords off a bunch of old electric typewriters and other electronic equipment and use them.
And you are right, the cheapest fluorescent fixtures and bulbs are 4 footers. Strange pricing that a two foot bulb would cost more than a four footer.
Here's a pic and details on a small light set up I ran across on another discussion. Uses a white plastic bucket and one CFL (compact fluorescent light bulb). You can make the same sort of set up with a cardboard box lined with foil too.
Good for small numbers of plants but it is so cheap to make that several wouldn't cost much to put together.
Here is a link that might be useful: Small seed starter set-up