Saturday, March 3, 2012

Expanding Grow Light Room: Using Space Beneath a Folding Table.

We are running out of room underneath the grow lights. It seems that every year we are doubling in size when it comes to vegetable starts.
With the inevitable solution of adding more grow lights to our grow room, I have been pondering where and how to add more room. We have the "grow room" in the office which is very small and cannot fit another table. After pondering or days, the solution finally came to me.
Why not set up the grow lights in the dead space under the table? Solution: we have these bed risers from when we needed to store stuff under our bed. This gives 8inches of lift to the 6ft folding table holding all of  the veggie starts and our current grow light system.

I built a wooden platform that fits beneath the table. This can hold 5 trays across with a little wiggle room on each of the sides. Now I just need to figure out how to mount the light fixture underneath the table and we are golden.
Luckily I have this sweet machine to help me create solutions to all of lifes problems!

Thanks for reading!


K-Koira said...

Great idea. Hopefully it will help you increase all of your vegetable start production a lot.

Poppy said...

Awesome idea! I love it! I have yet to use grow lights, just taking advantage of the sun shining on our hot tub. I've heard of folks using regular florescent lights as grow lights, do you know if this works?

Have a great weekend!

Mike said...

K-Koira: Thanks! We are able to fit 5 full trays under the table as well as numerous 4" square pots in the open space. Hopefully it will help!.

Poppy: Yes, we do use 'regular' florescent light bulbs for our grow lights with great success. We bought 2 4ft florescent light ballasts which hold 2-4ft bulbs a piece. We bought these at our farm store for $9.99 each ballast.

I then go to Lowes (Which is a place I dislike supporting) and buy the bulbs. They sell florescent bulbs there that have different 'colors' of the light spectrum. I usually use the red and blue spectrum bulbs for the veggies. It seems to work really well.

For one ballast, your cost is less the 20 dollars. It is worth it for us because we have no southern facing windows, which makes getting 12-16hrs of natural light impossible. We have been running the same 2 ballasts for 3 growing seasons with no problems, great growth, and no more leggy seedlings!