Grow lights are an essential piece of kit if you want to get a head start on your growing season or want to be able to grow indoors all year round.
If you want to make your own light set-up, here's a how to, along with the costings and where I got my bits and pieces. (prices were correct as of 2010.)
3 x 30W Daylight bulbs £6.69 each £20.07
3 x Bulb Batten Holders £1.69 each £5.07
2 x Rolls of Aluminium foil tape £2 each from poundland £2.00
1.5mm twin and earth cable approx £1.00 per mtr in B&Q £2.00
1 x Plug from ASDA £0.36
1 x Carboard box
1 x Piece of wood I had lying about
So I spent a grand total of £29.50 bear in mind that is for 3 bulbs! If you only used 2, it would only be just over £21.00...
FAR cheaper than your shop bought stuff and lets face it - far more fun and rewarding.
Here's a link for the bulbs, and one for the holders:
BATTEN HOLDERS: http://www.wickes.co.uk/Batten-Holder/invt/710002
So.... here comes the best bit, making it!
The batten holders are screwed to the piece of wood and then wired up with the 1.5mm twin and earth cable like so:
I've drawn it onto the batten holder instructions to give you a better idea:
Make sure you put a plug on the other end that has a 3 amp fuse, and that's it done:
...and with bulbs!:
Now for the reflector and it's amazing what you can achieve with a piece of cardboard and some aluminium foil tape; here's how I did it:
I cut jagged edges where I want my ends to be - this will help when folding the card around the end pieces; I also scored along the width of the card to help it bend neatly:
Then I cut out 2 end pieces:
I folded the ends of the shade around the side pieces and stuck them down:
Then I started lining the box with aluminium foil tape - I thought this would be neater than kitchen foil. You can pick this stuff up for a few quid a roll, but I got mine from the DIY bit in poundland!!
And that's that bit done - one nice and shiny reflector:
Then I added my lights. Using a sharp blade, I cut out a slit from the reflector allowing me to put it behind the batton holders; then I screwed in my bulbs:
I've got 3 30W daylight bulbs and wow; when I switched them on, the whole room went white! - You cant really get that from the photo, but believe me it was a shocker :-)
So that's it; get on and make one for yourself, then stand back and swell with pride.
Happy lighting, folks!