How to Make Your Own T5 Grow Light From the Hardware Store

Overview

A combination of T5 fluorescent bulbs in a regular fluorescent fixture makes a successful grow light for starting plants and growing low-light plants. With good light intensity, they are suitable for lighting houseplants year-round. T5 indicates the diameter of the fluorescent tube in eighths of an inch. A T5 tube is 5/8 inch in diameter.

Step 1

Attach the cup hooks to the ceiling or a shelf above the growing area. Be sure the hooks go into a stud.

Step 2

Thread the chain through the cup hooks. Attach the T5 light fixture at an appropriate height using the S hooks through the chain and the mounting loop on the back of the fixture.

Step 3

Install one warm-spectrum fluorescent tube and one cool-spectrum tube in the fixture. Plug in the fixture and turn on the lights.

Step 4

Place the plants under the fixture so that the uppermost leaves are approximately 4 inches from the light. Allow the light to heat up, then place your hand under the light at leaf height to test the amount of heat being given off. If it is too hot, raise the lights by lifting the S-hook and test again.

Things You'll Need

  • T5 2-bulb fluorescent fixture
  • 2 pieces of lightweight chain
  • 2 S hooks
  • 2 large cup hooks
  • T5 warm-spectrum fluorescent tube
  • T5 cool-spectrum fluorescent tube

References

  • Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Lighting Research Center : T5 Fluorescent Systems
  • University of Florida IFAS Extension: How to Build a Plant Lighting System
Keywords: T5 grow lights, grow light fixture, homemade grow light

About this Author

Diane Watkins has been writing since 1984, with experience in newspaper, newsletter and web content. She writes two electronic newsletters and content around the web. Watkins has a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry from Clemson University. She has taken graduate courses in biochemistry and education.

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