Introduction: Height Adjustable Grow Lamp and Stand
With spring just around the corner, people are starting seeds and getting ready for planting. This instructable will show you how to build a height adjustable grow lamp stand that may be connected in series with other grow lamps. Each lamp will plug into the previous stand allowing you to use one timer for a few lamps, or alternately supply power to all the lamps via one cord and have a different timer on each. You will need basic carpentry and electrical skills for this project.
Step 1: Materials
- 2x4x8 : qty 3 (top, legs, feet )
- stud (2 1/2 x 1 1/2 x 8) : qty 1 (ankle braces)
- board 1/2 x 1 1/2 x 58+ inches :qty 1 (Top Braces)
- 4 foot T12 lamp holder
- Two T12 four foot grow lamps.
- Electrical wire. 16 ft minimum. The type of cord will depend upon your usage. If you plan to run a series of heating pads and lamps off of one cord be sure to use wire suitable for the amperage. I am using a 16-3 extension cord for my wiring. A search for AWG ratings will help you decided what wire rating will meet your needs.
- 3 prong Plug Adapters
- electrical outlet
- outlet box
- outlet cover
- 2 electrical fittings
- 2 blue wire nuts for connecting lamp.
- electrical tape
- 4 Eye Hooks (bolted)
- 2 Eye Hooks (wood screw ends)
- 4 Links
- 12 nuts (same size as eye hook bolt)
- 8 washers
- 8 lock washers
- 98 inches of chain. (23,23,16, and 16 inches) If you buy the chain uncut you will need a few extra links since the chain will need to be cut.
- 4 S hooks
I am including a switch as an optional item on a lamp stand. This will give the option to operate the lights manually instead of using a timer.
- Switch box
- switch plate
- 5inch pipe to fit electrical box opening (7/8 inch O.D,)
- 4 nuts for pipe
- 1 orange wire nut
- extra lengths of wires 1ft black, 1ft ground.
The second optional item is a Timer.
Step 2: Tools
- Speed square
- Circular saw
- Tape measure
- lineman's pliers
- needle nose pliers
- flathead screwdriver
- phillips screwdriver
- optional: Drill to make pilot holes.
Step 3: Building the Stand: Attach the Top Piece
Attach the 53 inch board to the ends of the two 4 foot pieces of 2x4. Use two nails for each board. Place the nails along the center line of the upright board and an inch in for either side.
Step 4: Building the Stand: Attach the Top Braces
Attach each of the top braces at a 45 degree angle. Use two nails on each end. Use a speed square to ensure that the corner is true. Each of the top corners will get two braces, one on each side of the 2x4"s.
Step 5: Building the Stand: Mark the Feet
Find the center line of both the width and length of the two feet long 'foot' piece.
Draw the outline of the end of a 2x4 centered around the center point you previously found.
Do the same thing on the opposite side of the board.
Measure in 1 inch from each end of the drawn 2x4 end and mark a spot to place your nails.
Step 6: Building the Stand: Attach the Feet
Nail the feet to the legs of the stand.
Step 7: Building the Stand: Attach the Ankle Piece
If you do not have a good device to measure angles:
- Cut a 32 inch length of stud.
- place the stud next to the stand as shown in the image and draw lines to match the angle of the leg and foot
- Cut the stud piece along the lines.
Align the ankle so that the ends are flush against the leg and foot.
Attach the ankle with one nail into the foot and two nails into the leg.
Flip the stand over and put another nail through the foot and into the ankle. Nail at the same angle as the ankle piece.
Step 8: Building the Stand: Attach the Eye Hooks
The determination of the location of the eye hook will depend on where the holes are on your lamp. The lamp I purchased had a hole 2 1/2 inches from the end where I could place hooks. With the lamp centered on the stand my stand eyelets needed to go in 3 1/2 inches from the edge of the leg.
- Measure in 3 1/2 inches( or your measurement if different) from the leg and along the centerline of the underside of the top piece. Mark that point.
- Drill a pilot hole for the eye hook. The drill bit needs to be smaller than the screw size.
- screw in the eye hook
Step 9: Assemble the Lamp: Attach the Ends
My lamp came with 4 screws and the ends folded in for packing.
- Fold up the ends
- attach the four screws into the screw holes
Step 10: Assemble the Lamp: Remove the "knock Outs"
- Using a flat tip screwdriver and hammer bang out the 4 knockouts where you will attach the eyelets.
- When the metal piece is sticking out, bend it back and forth with the lineman's plies until it snaps off.
- Decide where you want your cord to exit. I chose the top, end of the lamp housing.
- Knock out the round knockout plug.
Step 11: Assemble the Lamp: Attach the Eyelets
Assemble the parts in the following order through the eyelet holes you knocked out in the previous step. I attempted to place the parts so they will lock in place and not vibrate loose. Feel free to modify if you know of a better way.
eye bolt, nut, lock washer, nut, washer, lamp housing, washer, lock washer, nut
Step 12: Wiring the Lamp: Insert the Electrical Fitting.
Insert and tighten the electrical fitting into the hole you knocked out in a previous step.
Step 13: Wiring the Lamp: Insert the Electrical Wire
Insert the electrical wire through the fitting.
Step 14: Wiring the Lamp: Attaching the Wires
- Strip the ends of your wires
- Find a hole that accepts the green grounding screw.
- Using sandpaper, remove the paint by the hole.
- Using the green grounding screw attach the ground wire to the hole with the metal exposed. The ground wire will be green or exposed with no insulation.
- twist the black wires together, screw on a blue wire nut and then wrap with electrical tape so the wire nut cannot come loose.
twist the white wires together, screw on a blue wire nut and then wrap with electrical tape so the wire nut cannot come loose.
Step 15: Wiring the Lamp: Close Up the Lamp
Attach the cover onto the lamp. One end goes into slots and the other end lines up with a hole. There is a little metal piece of hardware to push into the hole that when twisted will hold the cover into place. I apologize for not taking a picture of this.
Step 16: Wiring the Lamp: Attach the Plug.
- slide the plug cover onto the cord. (don't forget or you will have to undo everything)
- strip the ends of the wires
- if the wires are threaded, twist them so they do not fray apart.
- the screws of the plug are color coded.
- white wire goes to the silver screw
- black wire goes to the brass screw
- green or bare wire goes to the green screw.
Step 17: Hanging the Lamp
- Using the links, attach each end of the 16 inch chain to an eyelet.
- Attach an S hook to the eyelets hanging from the stand.
- Attach an S hook to the end of a 23 inch piece of chain and to the center of the 16 inch piece you added to the lamp.
- Attach the upper end of the 23 inch chain to the S hook you hung from the stand eyelet.
- To adjust the height of the lamp select a different link to hook onto the S hook.
Step 18: Insert the Grow Bulbs Into the Hanging Lamp.
Insert the two grow bulbs into the hanging Lamp.
At this point you have a usable stand and lamp setup. You may use it like this or continue on to wire outlets and switches.
Step 19: Advanced Steps: Prepare the Electrical Boxes.
I will be assuming the installation of a switch and electrical outlet from this point on. If you do not want a switch ignore the steps and adjust your procedure.
- Remove the top and bottom knockout of the switch box.
- Remove the bottom knockout of the outlet box.
- Attach the two boxes together using the pipe and 4 nuts.
- Attach the electrical fitting to the bottom hole.
- to tighten the nuts tap on the handle of a flat screwdriver pushed onto the nut protrusion. (see image)
Step 20: Advanced Steps: Mount the Boxes
- Using 4 wood screws on each box, Mount the boxes near the outside top of one of the legs of the stand.
Step 21: Advanced Steps: Feed the Cord
- Feed the cord through the electrical fitting.
- Strip enough of the outer insulation so the white wire can be fed to the outlet box.
- Keep the ground and black wire in the switch box.
Step 22: Advanced Steps: Wire the Outlet
- Attach a length of ground wire to the ground wire screw on the outlet.
- Attach a length of black (hot) wire to the brass screw on the outlet.
- Feed the ground wire and black wire down through the pipe to the switch box.
- Attach the white wire from the switch box to the silver screw on the outlet
- Wrap the exposed connector screws on the outlet with electrical tape.
- Put the outlet in place and attach it to the box.
- Put the outlet cover on.
Step 23: Advanced Steps: Wire the Switch
- Attach a length of ground wire to the switch ground screw.
- Strip the black wires and attach to the switch.
- Wrap the exposed connector screws with electrical tape
- cut and strip the 3 ground wires to a reasonable length.
- twist the 3 ground wires together.
- twist a yellow wire nut onto the 3 ground wires and tape it so the wire not can't come loose.
- remove the eyelets if you have not done so.
- Use the lineman's pliers to move the eyelet back and forth until it snaps off.
- Attach the switch to the box
- Attach the switch cover.
Step 24: Advanced Steps: Attach the Plug
- Attach the plug to the cord feeding the switch and outlet.
- Use the same steps as you did to attach the lamp cord plug.
Step 25: Notes and Suggestions.
- For ideas on how to use the grow light stand in series see the diagram.
- I'd suggest one switch for an end of row stand and then successive stands only have outlets
- If you will be using a lot of stands and outlets ensure your wire is rated for the amperage of multiple lights and or heaters.
- It may be useful to add a seperate plug and outlet on each unit if you plan to use heaters at each station. the top series of plugs can go on the timer for the lamps and the bottom series of plugs could operate the heaters.
- Be sure to check the rating of your timer output if you have multiple lamps attached to it.
Step 26: Grow Something!
You are all ready for spring. Plant some seeds and grow something!