All of these materials were bought from my local hardware store. In addition to these supplies, you will need a power drill with a small drill bit, two adjustable wrenches, black electrical tape, and possibly wire cutters.
Vent Panel – aka our light hood
Full-Spectrum 100W equiv. CFL bulbs
180 degree Double Light Socket
Small Chain For Hanging
2 – Eye Hooks – Small
1. Measure the length of your hood. I found this one at the local hardware store
Find the middle and make a mark.
Do this for the other direction as well.
And make your mark.
2. Drill a hole for the light socket screw.
Find a drill bit that is slightly smaller than the socket screw. I actually drilled my hole about 1/2 the size of the socket screw.
Then I used the end of my Sharpie to widen it to the proper width. Made for a perfect fit.
3. Insert light fixture through hole in the hood.
Remove the nut from the light fixture. Leave the washer in place. Next, feed the wire through the hole. Do this from the inside (inner curve) of the light hood.
Pull or screw the light socket screw through the hole.
Next, feed the nut back onto the wires and screw into place.
Use an adjustable wrench to fasten the nut snuggly into place.
Make sure you adjust the fixture so the outlets are facing out.
4. Attach eye hooks to chain.
Use both adjustable wrenches to pull apart one of the links on the chain.
Slip the eye hook onto the chain link and use one of the adjustable wrenches to pinch it close.
Its okay if the chain link does not close cleanly. Just make sure it is closed so the eye hook doesn’t fall out.
5. Make holes and screw in eye hooks.
You can make marks if you want, but since the chains are adjustable I just eye-balled it. Turned out just fine. Use a screw to poke a hole in the hood. Make your hole just big enough to get the tip of the eye hook in. Screw it in the rest of the way. You can use a nut on the inside if you want.
6. Wire it up!
On your lamp cord there should be one wire that is ribbed, and one that is not. The ribbed wire is neutral. The non-ribbed wire is called the hot wire.
The white wire on your light socket is neutral and therefore should be connected to the ribbed wire on the lamp cord.
The black cord is hot and should connect to the non-ribbed wire of the lamp cord. Once your wires are secure, I would highly recommend covering them in electrical tape. This will help secure the wires in place and provide some protection. These caps are yellow because I was working on 2 light fixtures, this picture just came out the best.
7. Screw in light bulbs
After your wires are secure, turn over the fixture and screw in the light bulbs. I chose 26W CFLs with a color temperature of 6500K. These bulbs produce light that is similar to natural daylight, perfect for growing leafy greens. These are comparable to 100W incandescent bulbs.
8. Hang light fixture on light stand
Fasten some hooks onto your light stand.
Hang your light evenly. Try to place your lamp cord over the light stand to keep it out of the way.
9. test your light
Carefully plug in your light and test to make sure it works. If it doesn’t work, you can check three things: the wall socket, the light bulbs, your wires (Step 6).
And thats it! You have successfully just built your own grow light!
***Please note that this grow light works well for vegetative growing, i.e. herbs, lettuce, early stages of tomato and pepper, etc. This light is NOT ideal to use when trying to promote flowering, although in some cases it may work.***
***DISCLAIMER*** I take NO responsibility for cuts, burns, fires, or electrical shock. This is exactly what worked for me. NEVER, EVER plug in your cord until all wires are SECURE AND COVERED. I repeat, make sure all wires are covered before plugging in and testing you light.
Please leave comments if you have questions or suggestions! Happy growing!