Introduction: $10 Homemade Hydroponic Grow Light

I recently made a deep water culture hydroponic system out of a storage tot which will be kept inside for the rest of the winter. I plan on keeping it in a closet so I needed a simple lighting system.

Here's are the supplies:
1” PVC pipe – 2 feet long
1 ¼” PVC pipe – 2 feet long
1” PVC tee split
Extension cord (used one from home)
Outlet to socket adaptor
Lamp socket split
2 CFL – Daylight spectrum & 100W equivalent

Optional supplies:
2” net pot
¼” drill bit
2” hole saw with guide bit

If you are wondering about the cost of running the grow light, I did a quick calculation:

Two 23 watt bulbs running 16 hours a day for a month would cost about $2.50 based on Chicago’s very high electricity rates.

Step 1: Prepare Light Stand Platform

• Drill or use a currently available 2” hole in the top of the tote.
• Cut the bottom half of the 2” net pot and place in the hole.

Step 2: Assemble the Light Stand

• Attach the 1” PVC pipe and the PVC tee. You can secure the pipe with glue but I find it a pretty snug fit.
• Insert the 1” PVC pipe inside the 1 ¼” PVC pipe

Step 3: Add Light Stand Adjustment Feature

• Drill a hole through both pipes with a ¼” drill bit. This provides a hole the size of a pencil
• Repeat this process 2 more times by extending the inside pipe up about 6” each time.

Step 4: Wire Lighting System

• Thread the extension cord through the PVC tee
• Assemble the lighting system: Outlet to socket adaptor, lamp socket splitter, and 2 CFL bulbs
• Plug in the ‘lighting system’ to the extension cord
• Secure the lights by looping the cord around the PVC tee

Check out my blog for more DIY systems, hydroponic product reviews, and just general reference.