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Thursday, December 16, 2010

Scoring Grow Lights

Jessica Walliser
Hobby Farms Contributing Editor

Grow-light system
Photo by Jessica Walliser
My used but new-to-me grow-light system takes up much less space in my basement than my current grow lights.

Jackpot! A gardening friend sent me an email a few days ago to let me know she had a grow-light system that was currently homeless. Did I want it? Of course I did! Apparently her brother-in-law found it sitting at someone’s curb for the trash man to pick up. He put it in the back of his pickup truck and took it to her house. My friend doesn’t have the room for the system at her place, so she thought of me (how kind!), and offered it up.

Although it isn’t exactly as slick as a modern grow-light system, it functions perfectly. The whole system is about 5 feet tall and has three tiers of grow lights. The lights go up and down on a track by twisting a knob. Below them are two black trays per tier, each of which can hold a full flat of seedlings or several 6-inch flower pots. Each of the three lights plug in separately so there is no wasted electricity if you only have one or two flats in place. There was even a timer with it! 

The fluorescent shop lights I’ve got on chains in the basement have now been replaced. I have wanted a grow-light system like this for years but never felt it was financially prudent to spend nearly $300 on one. It takes up much less room (as is true for all types of vertical gardening) and is way more attractive. I haven’t decided where to put it yet but I may move it upstairs into the family room. That would be so much more convenient than trekking to the basement every day to check on tomato seedlings and lettuce starts. 

Never have I felt so strongly that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. And, I’m so very lucky to have a friend who is willing to share the good stuff. Thanks, Sherry!

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Reader Comments
Wow, lucky you!!
Been meaning to make one myself almost identical to the one in your picture. But probably not as advanced as yours. I probably will not invest in a timer and will make do with manually adjusting the light. I was acutally thinking of using one of those metal storage racks/shelvings.
Dante, Hyde Park, MA
Posted: 12/11/2012 1:08:31 PM
Great article!!
Amy, Sophia, NC
Posted: 12/4/2011 8:45:03 PM
Wow! Very nice! I'm going to get my stand in today, find a couple of heat mats I tucked away safely so that I wouldn't forget where they are (oops), and get a few herb seeds in trays.
Robin, Talmadge, ME
Posted: 2/25/2011 5:44:22 AM
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