DIY CFL Grow Light
Author: Jared Bouck
Project Cost: 25.00
Est Construction Time: .25 Hr
Required Skill Level: Can you screw in a lightbulb?
This project was a personal experiment that i did to learn about lighting options for the growing environment. And as it usually turns out, the results were better than I expected. So I decided to publish my findings here so others can use and experiment with them. Utilizing 4 CFL bulbs I was able to get results that were satisfactory for the vegetative phase of plant development for a fraction of the cost commercially available systems.
For this project we will be using a high wattage home type CFL bulb. Rated at 23 Watts Actual ( 100W incandescent equivalent) and they need to have a color of 6500K for vegetative growth. The nice thing about these bulbs being modular is you can mix colors by just swapping out a light bulb. So you can slowly shift to the flowering / fruiting red color spectrum gradually over a week to reduce stress on your plants.
Light Cord and socket.
This is just a cheap socket and cord fixture from the home improvement store that I picked up for this project. Ideally you will want a ceramic fixture for more rugged use, but this is good enough to start with.
This is a simple 4 bulb fixture. These are usually used in photography as the fixture in soft boxes. In our case it works well for a grow light as well. Note the all plastic construction. This is designed for use with CFL BULBS ONLY. They produce far less heat than incandescent bulbs.
So assembly is unbelievably simple for this project. Here I just installed a light bulb into the fixture for sake of comparison. If you can screw in a light bulb you can make this grow light.