In the prespring of 2016, I found that I had greatly exceeded the demands of my first, for this house, system of gardening grow lights. Considering that I was anticipating the need for around 900 plants this year, my growing capacity had to increase. We have a short growing season here in Nova Scotia and I like to start as many plants as possible indoors or in the cold frame.
Making a grow light system is not difficult and a small one is really simple. I will dismantle my old one and build the new so you can see how easy this can be. Please note that this is my method or for that matter methods of putting up grow lights for the basement or garage. They are not fine furniture which makes them easier to make and quite utilitarian.
My old set up was used for storage on top and growing down below. The plants in it had been started from cuttings or were repotted and the temperature was allowed to be quite cold so that some of them had entered dormancy. I have a few begonias from cutting that I expected to go dormant but they are amazingly robust. To beging tearing down the system I unplugged the lights and cleared the top.
The lights were removed to another part of the garage workshop. As you can see, each shoplight holds 2 flourescent bulbs and is attached to a couple of lengths of 1 by 3 strapping. These were simply the scrap wood boards I had handy at the time.
With the lights gone you can see that I have a piece of styrofoam insulation on the floor. This is not necessary but in my case quite nice. The shop is on a slab and I only have enough heat in the room to beat the possibility of freeze up. In the spring I will heat it more for plant growth but through the winter the cold allows the plants to be dormant and not grow too fast and need to be planted out before time.The insulation just gives a bit more control and little edge for the growing.
The plants get moved away leaving a look at the supports on either end. These are metal supports that were left behind by the previous owner of the property. They may have been for supporting the wheels of his atv when he was working on it, I really do not know. What I do know is they work for me in this case. If you were making your own light stand, wooden boxes, cardboard boxes, bricks or what have you would work as well. Be careful to keep the cardboard dry when watering plants. These keep the boards for the lights about 14 inches off the styrofoam. You can also see a heating pad I use for starting seeds or cuttings. I find the heat makes a big difference. Not necessary but certainly nice.