If you are blessed with DIY skills, then I guess you are in luck because you can handle about anything you’re tasked with. Well, cheers to that.
Now, if you are looking for an affordable way to make grow lights, there are various ways you can apply your DIYer skills. The skills come in handy if you are not impressed by what the market has to offer regarding grow lights.
– Reasons why you should make grow lights for plants?
– Why should you choose LED light for DIY Grow Light?
– Different types of LED light and DIY tips to turn them into effective grow lights.
Why Should You Make Grow Lights for Indoor Plants?
Letting you know, I can give plenty of reasons why you should create your Grow Lights. Additionally, depending on your situation, a DIY Grow Light might save you from purchasing an expensive light. For example:
- If you have a strict budget this month, a DIY grow light will help you to cost less.
- Suppose you don’t want to spoil your living room’s aesthetic look by purchasing an average Grow Light. So here, you can expose your creativity and design it. This will satisfy both your indoor plants and the appearance of your space.
- While you need Grow Lights for a limited period (for winter only), then, choosing DIY Grow Lights, will be wiser than the market’s high-priced lights.
- The different parts you will be using are adjustable in heights and sizes. Besides, you can change the materials according to your needs.
LED Grow Lights for Indoor Plants
There are various types of grow lights available in the market. It must be perplexing to decide with which one you should go further.
Let’s spill the truth. We are growers, not electricians. That is why working with the pre-made lights, conveniently fixing them will be better than building a light from the core.
Considering that, LED lights are our top choice. LED lights pretty much support all the needed wavelengths that your plant needs in different stages. Apart from that,
- LED lights are easily installable and risk-free
- It consumes less electricity
- The lights do not raise the room’s temperature
- LEDs are affordable and durable
- It is arguably the most energy-efficient light among all the artificial grow lights.
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How to Make Grow Lights for Indoor Plants
The following methods you can apply from larger to a smaller place because you are building the system focusing on one fundamental formula. Anyone performing the following procedures can decide the light’s size, number, and required wattages.
Using For LED bulbs:
The LED bulbs or tubes we use for domestic purposes can effectively serve as grow lights for indoor plants.
Want to know more about regular LED’s efficiency on plants? Read our detailed overview of “Can any Led Light be Used as a Grow Light for Growing Plants?”
Moving on, you have applicable LED lights that you opt to use as Grow Light. The next thing is, adjusting the LED in the right way to achieve all the best advantages out of it.
Step-1. Purchase the Bulb with the Required Wattage
Mathematically, 50-80 watts covers 1 square foot area of a Grow Room. In that sense, if you have a space of 2*3, you can either buy one LED bulb of 300 watts or use the one you already have at home with the same wattage.
Step-2. Connect the Wire
Wherever you plan to set up your indoor plants and Grow Lights, make sure to have a persistent electricity supply to the wires connected to Grow Lights.
Step-3. Arrange a Holder and Measure the Distance
Here you already may have a fixture on the wall, but it is much better to set a holder on the plant’s top. In that way, Grow Lights can distribute equal lumens to each plant.
One of the crucial tasks of installing grow lights is measuring the right distance. Too far or too close, both situations will be problematic for the plant’s growth.
A range of 15-25 inches is a standard distance to always choose for.
Step-4. Make the Final Adjustments
By analyzing your plant’s reaction, you can make adjustments freely. Not only that, but you also have freedom in choosing spectrum or number of lumens per square feet.
You can change the light anytime and use it in another room, without feeling guilty about wasting your money.
N/B: If you need to use a bulb hanged with long wires, keep the fan away as it will continuously keep moving the bulb’s position.
Make a Grow light using LED Tube
Step-1. Purchase the LED Tube with the Needed Wattage
As LED tubes are more in lengths, not so surprisingly, it undertakes a larger area than the bulb. The wattage requirement is quite similar, 50-80 for 1 sqft. In total, 250-450 watts LED tubes are endorsed for a small to medium grow space.
Step-2. Connect Electricity
Ensure to have consistent electricity supply via wires so the LED tubes will run uninterruptedly.
Step-3. Take Distance Measurements and Arrange a Prolonged Stand
Measuring distance has a little bit of difference for tube lights. The middle portion delivers plenty of lumens, whereas both the ends of the tube offer lesser lumens.
It is wiser not to count on the tubes’ ending part for your indoor microgreens. Try to accommodate your plants somewhere in the middle with an accurate distance (12-25 inches).
Step-4. Place Everything on the Spot Before Attaching the Tube Permanently.
As the LED tube will stand hardly with a surface, I recommend to place the plants and analyze, if the whole set up is working correctly for the targeted plants or not.
If not, your hard work will go in vain, and you have to re-do it.
N/B: A common question from LED tubes users is how to know; the existing tubes need to be replaced? Well, whenever you notice, the tube’s end is getting blackish, you would know it is time to replace the old LED tube.
Using LED Strip Lights
If you want to create a colorful corner for indoor plants, selecting various spectrums in strip lights is the best and most comfortable option.
On top of that, it allows you to manage plants in different stages, under one source of light. The ready-to-use LED fixtures will cost you a fortune.
Thereby, you can effortlessly create a DIY LED strip, in half of its budget.
- An aluminum frame/ holder
- Adhesive pads
- Nylon ties
- LED strips ( Available on amazon.com)
- Solderless connectors
Step-1. Reshape the Aluminum Bar
You can buy it or recycle an aluminum bar/frame you have at your home. In both cases, choose or recreate it by thinking, where, and how would you install it? Visualize it on your grow space and take some approximate measurements.
Why an aluminum bar? If you are curious to know the reason for emphasizing on aluminum bars because it will work as a heat sink. Aluminum will protect your plants from excessive heat and ensure the light’s longevity.
Step-2. Make a Secured Cut and Fix the Strip on the Frame
Have a closer look and start cutting the strip LED lights following the manual—select width in between the lights on the frame would not look strange.
Then, remove the adhesive paper where the light was attached to and adjoin it correctly on the aluminum frame.
Step-3. Connect to Power Supply
To connect the LED strips with electricity, link the strip-board with solderless connectors. While supplying power to one strip, it will continue to move on the line through wires.
Link positive wires to negative, connect the plug, switch it on to run the whole system’s electricity.
Step-4. Install the Bar
Lastly, when the aluminum LED strip bar is all set to launch, install it parallelly on the top. The LED strips are not as powerful as other LED light’s versions so that you can keep it closer to the plants.
N/B: You can use 30-50 feet LED strips light following this method. For more advanced options, observe the functionalities of LED strips before buying.
Using LED Spotlights/COB Light
Instead of using numerous little lights, if you search for one light that will cover your small space, the COB’s are the solution.
This fixture might be an ideal DIY grow lights to apply on grow tents and small spaces. These lights are powerful and give off less heat.
In the long run, it will save you from purchasing additional lights as it has a long lifespan and brighter than other lights.
- Aluminum frame
- Screws and nuts
- COB lights and holders
- Needed wires/cords
- Heat sink
- Adjusting wrench
Step-1. Attach the Heat Sink with the COB Chip
Select the wattage you need for your space and purchase a COB light. It looks like a flat chip at the first look.
You would need a heat sink along with the COB light. The heat produced by COB light is within safe touch. Still, including a heat-sink will reduce further risk.
Step-2. Connect the Cords to Supply Electricity
After that, solder the cord with the COB chip. When it’s done, plug the other end of the cable to supply electricity.
Step-3. Install the COB Light
Use the screws or nuts to adjust the COB light with the given holders. Then it is ready to hang on your Grow Space.
How to build a $40 CFL or LED Grow Light for indoor gardening ( Video)
Frequently Asked Questions
Can any regular LED light be used as a grow light?
Ans. Any LED light can support the indoor plants in performing photosynthesis. The efficiency might not be as a grow light but surely enough to survive.
In contrast, it depends if the plants require more light or are okay with limited regular lighting. Such as, ZZ plants or snake plants can thrive under any LED light, but Cannabis demands more effective light like artificial grow lights.
Which grow light is the best for indoor plants?
Ans. In recent times, the LED grow lights have seemed rapidly replacing most other standard lights that were popular a while back. Undoubtedly, the long-lasting, less electricity consuming, cooler temperature LED lights have caught the growers’ minds.
Can a plant grow lights cause cancer?
Ans. Whereas most regular lights strictly avoid UV rays; the grow lights use a bit of UV spectrum. Though the wavelength is not the most powerful one, long-time exposure can highly damage a human body, including cancer, defects in eyes, etc.
How do I choose an indoor grow light?
Ans. Before choosing an indoor grow light, the growers should check certain things, and they are: 1) the plant’s life stage 2) the required intensity of the light to cover your plant’s space 3) amount of power consumption 4) lower heat 5) easily installable and adjustable in different heights.
Verdict & Final Thoughts
When it comes to ways on how to make grow lights for indoor plants, it’s never an easy task. You need some impressive skills. Not to mention, the outcome will give you much more pleasure, and your plants will thank you as it has made only thinking of their betterment.
Your customized grow lights will bring you more confidence and affection for your greeneries than just spending a few bucks to set them up with purchased grow lights.
We understand you do not have enough time, but we have put everything together to resolve that. All you need to do is take a day off and follow our instructions to make your own artificial grow light.