svg DIY Indoor Grow Light Setup for Less Than $40 | Urban Leaf

DIY Indoor Grow Light Setup for Less Than $40

Getting through winter can be tough; it’s dark when you get to work, dark when you leave, and depending on where you live – there can definitely be a limit to the novelty value of all that snow.

The good news is that you don’t have to wait until Spring to get started with gardening again. And having something healthy, green, and luscious can be a great way to brighten up your apartment! What’s more, you’ll also be able to grow things that are either very hard to find in winter, or if you do find them they’ll be either insanely expensive or really bad quality. See also our Top 5 Reasons Why Gardening Should Be Your #1 New Years Resolution!

Below we lay out everything you will need to set up a winter garden, including a simple DIY indoor plant grow light setup guide. Read this introduction guide for grow lights first, then continue all the way to the end of this blog for a special treat that’s guaranteed to cure your winter blues 😉

DIY Indoor Grow Light Setup

The first and most important part of your grow lamp setup is the light. As Dr. Rob explains here, plants ‘eat’ light and convert it into chemical energy to fuel their growth. Not enough light = slow/weak growth. It’s important that you use a grow lamp specifically for plants – the normal type of light globe that’s screwed into your ceiling probably isn’t going to work. 

The problem with normal house globes is that they don’t offer the right frequencies of light for photosynthesis. More on that here. This video will help you understand what to look for when shopping for grow lights for your indoor plants. You can also take a look at the lighting section of our website for more grow light options. 

Simple Indoor Plant Grow Light Setup: Lamp Stand

There are a ton of different options here, and we recommend you choose the one that suits your space. One of the most important features to look for when starting a DIY grow light setup, however, is the ability to adjust its height. You’ll want to make sure that the globe is 3-4″ from the plant at all times. Obviously, as the plant grows taller, the light needs to move up. For this reason (and also because they’re very affordable) we like desk lamps like the ones below.

DIY Indoor Grow Light Setup: Timer

There are definitely a lot of options out there, but we usually endorse the KISS approach when it comes to timers. The only thing this timer needs to be able to do is to turn on and off once per day. The same time every day is fine. Given the simplicity of our requirements, we find that mechanical timers are best. If you’ve already got one lying around, or want to do something a bit fancier with your scheduling, then by all means use a digital one – but they are usually a bit more expensive. 

You want the grow light to be on for 12 – 16 hrs per day. Usually, it makes sense to synchronize this with your own waking hours, but if you wanted to do the opposite (and it’s not going to be in your bedroom) then that’s fine too.

Simple Indoor Grow Light Setup: Costs

Basic Indoor Grow Light Setup

The total cost for setting up and running a DIY indoor grow light setup like this will vary based on your location. Here in the US Amazon Prime will deliver the grow light, lamp stand, and timer to you for around $40.

Basic Indoor Plant Grow Light Setup Running

The running costs will depend on the wattage of the grow lamp, and you can calculate the exact cost here. Based on an average US residential electricity cost (of ~13c/kWhr) and 14hrs/day on time, the grow lamps we recommend above will cost:

  • $1.44 per month for the 26W CFL
  • $0.39 per month for the 7W LED

This video contains more details on all of the above, as well as demonstrates how to put everything together for your DIY indoor grow light setup. If you want to see a few grow light options that you can buy directly from our website, then you can check this out

We hope that this blog and the Youtube video we created helped answer your questions about how to do a simple indoor grow light setup. We check comments daily, so if you have any additional questions feel free to leave them below.

 

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