Do It Yourself: Cheap Grow Lights

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Indoor plants usually require extra light for proper growth. A fluorescent system is the best all-around light if you are on a budget. The problem with fluorescent lights used to be their long, bulky tubes, which required specialized mounts. But new technology has helped with that. If you have a temporary need for a grow light, and you don't want to spend much money then the solution is as close as your nearest resale shop.

Things You'll Need

  • Desk lamp with goose neck
  • Curly fluorescent bulb
  • Obtain one or more goose-neck desk lamps at a resale, or second-hand store. Look for ones that take a standard screw-in bulb.

  • Purchase matching "curly" fluorescent bulbs for each lamp, and install them.

  • Set the lamp near the plant and turn it on. The bulb should be within 2 inches of the top of the plant and directly over it. As the plant grows bend the neck or otherwise adjust the light so that it remains 2 inches from the top of the plant.

  • Install a timer on the lamp to provide the best length of time, based on the plant's needs.

  • Keep the lamp in use for as long as the plant receives otherwise insufficient natural light. A curly bulb has an expected lifetime of several years so you can be sure of getting good value for the cost of the setup.

References

  • Photo Credit Ryan McVay/Lifesize/Getty Images
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