Give starts a boost with DIY grow lights, made from dryer vents

By Haley Bridgnell
lightbulb

Give starts a boost with DIY grow lights, made from dryer vents

Give starts a boost with DIY grow lights, made from dryer vents

It’s that time of year that everyone wants to get their hands in the dirt.

Unfortunately, for many of us there are still several more potential-frost weeks left to wait. But that doesn’t mean you can’t start your garden indoors. If you don’t have a year-round greenhouse or a good full-sun spot for starts in your home, you can still get there by starting plants under grow lights. Store bought grow lights can be quite pricey – in the $60 – $70 range. However, a video I recently found that I could make my own simple, much cheaper version using some basic materials at the hardware store.

Here’s how it goes:

You’ll need:

A dryer vent, 6” or wider  ($10)

2 light bulbs (I used 18 W ‘natural spectrum’ CFLs, for $18. While inexpensive, these are relatively low wattage; you can also go more expensive with stronger wattage bulbs found at a growing or hydroponic store)

Double lamp socket ($7)

Lamp wire ($3)

Hooks to hang the light

Total: $20-30

The vent forms the reflector for the light. Drill a hole in the top of the vent and pull the wire for the lamp socket through. The most difficult part is wiring the lamp socket, for those without much experience with sockets / wiring (me), but this is easily doable. For more detailed instructions, a Youtube video  is worth a thousand words. For more ideas or suggestions of projects, as always, give us a shout: lindsey@ceresgs.com.

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