Introduction: How to Make a Cheap Vegetable Grow-Light Box: No Tools Just a Knife!
You can build a cheap effective grow-light box for starting vegetables seeds and growing transplants. You don't need any special tools, just a knife for making cuts in a 14 gallon/53 liter tote container lid. All the parts can be bought at hardware stores. The cost for the first grow-light box is about $27.00. The second box will only cost you $17.00... so why not make two!
The Parts List:
$4.97 - 4 100 Watt CFL Light Bulbs with 1600 Lumens and 5000 Kelvin Rating
$4.97 - 4 Gallon/53 Liter Tote Container: 24x16x12 Inches or 61x40x31 CM
$4.97 - Role of Duct Tape
$2.97 - Extension Cord (Optional)
$8.97 - 8.5 Inch or 21.5 CM Clamp Light (Make Sure it is Rated for 100 Watts or More)
- Some Aluminum Foil (Household)
You will have enough bulbs and duct tape to build a second grow-light box and that is how the cost is brought down for the second box. The box can really be made in about 25 minutes. I recommend using a 100 watt CFL bulb as this does not produce any heat issues. There is no need to go higher than a 150 watt CFL bulb. A 100 watt CFL is fully effective for this size box.
I used a wireless thermometer and the internal box temperature sat (after 3 hours of being on) at about 75 degrees Fahrenheit or 24 degrees Celsius using a 100 watt CFL bulb. The bulb and lamp reflector could be touched even after being on for several hours. I recommend, due to varying parts, doing a 3 hour monitored burn in of the grow-light box. You want to make sure there are no heat issues.