Project Guide

Create a DIY Indoor Grow Light System

1
Build the Wire Shelving Unit
Build the Wire Shelving Unit

Assemble the shelving unit according to manufacturer’s directions. Set your unit on top of a rubber mat or shallow plastic tray to save your floor from any spillage or water run-off.

2
Choose Your Lights
Choose Your Lights

Choose a grow light approximately the same width as the shelving unit. When selecting your lights, consider the light source. For our system we used LED grow lights. 


  • Fluorescent lights: Tubes such as the T5, T8 and T12 use 75% less energy and last 10 times longer than traditional bulbs. They’re best for starting seeds and growing greens and herbs. Full-spectrum fluorescents are the closest to natural lighting.
  • Compact fluorescent lights (CFLs): Similar in size to traditional iridescent bulbs, CFLs are much more efficient. CFLs do not emit much heat, so they can be placed closer to seedlings and other plants that need close light. They are available in different shapes, sizes, wattages to suit your needs.
  • Light-emitting Diodes (LEDs): Light, compact and efficient, LEDs can be specialized to emit only the colors plants absorb – red and blue, so they don’t waste energy.
3
Attach the Lights
Attach the Lights

Tie wire or chain to lights. Most grow lights come with wire to hang them. Attach the wire to an S-hook and hang it above the plants. You’ll need a light source for each shelf. When starting seeds, you’ll want the light closer to the plants. As plants grow, use the wire or string to raise lights.   

4
Set up a Timer
Set up a Timer

Set a power strip with a timer to be on 12-16 hours a day. Doing so saves you the trouble of remembering to turn it on and off. 

5
Plant the Seeds
Plant the Seeds

Fill peat pots or a seed-starting tray 2/3 full with seed-starting mix. Add your favorite herbs, greens, veggies and flowers. Keep the soil moist and watch as seedlings grow. 

6
Circulate Air Around the Plants
Circulate Air Around the Plants

Keep fungi and garden pests away by circulating air with a small electric fan on low near your plants.