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Is it worth making a grow light system?

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So, I've been looking around youtube at tutorials but unfortunately most of them require going to a store called 'Home Depot' (which we don't have in New Zealand). I want to have a go at making a grow light system for my seedlings so I can give them a head start for my container garden for the summer. Where I'm living at the moment doesn't have any suitable window sills and most of the property is covered in trees. Full sun doesn't hit the property until the summer months.

In New Zealand we don't have general access to materials such as aluminium duct or shop lights, and prices here are like 50% more expensive than in the states. I do have access though to T8 and CFL lights. The cheapest a T8 light fixture (plus the tube) goes for is about $50, and a 2 pack of 18 watt CFL lights goes for about $12. I'm not sure how much light I would need for seedlings if I were to go with CFL.

In terms of build, I was thinking about building something along the lines of this (my dad has good knowledge when it comes to electronics but next to nothing when it comes to growing plants). A hydroponic light like this would set me back about $100.



So would it be worth making my own or should I just buy my first light?
 

ibaba

New Member
So, I've been looking around youtube at tutorials but unfortunately most of them require going to a store called 'Home Depot' (which we don't have in New Zealand). I want to have a go at making a grow light system for my seedlings so I can give them a head start for my container garden for the summer. Where I'm living at the moment doesn't have any suitable window sills and most of the property is covered in trees. Full sun doesn't hit the property until the summer months.

In New Zealand we don't have general access to materials such as aluminium duct or shop lights, and prices here are like 50% more expensive than in the states. I do have access though to T8 and CFL lights. The cheapest a T8 light fixture (plus the tube) goes for is about $50, and a 2 pack of 18 watt CFL lights goes for about $12. I'm not sure how much light I would need for seedlings if I were to go with CFL.

In terms of build, I was thinking about building something along the lines of this (my dad has good knowledge when it comes to electronics but next to nothing when it comes to growing plants). A hydroponic light like this would set me back about $100.



So would it be worth making my own or should I just buy my first light?
I think its worth it, what you have planned will be ok for veg, but you will need something better for flower. Have you considered LEDs, if your dad has electronic experience it should be a breeze to put together a high end panel.
 
I generaly find buying the whole light is cheaper, the ballest alone can be almost as much as a whole light fixture. That being said I think CFL's are better then T-8s but how many depends on how big you want to get them before you move them to you garden and how many plants you want to grow