How to Build an LED Plant Light

Overview

Gardeners have begun to experiment with LED lights set up over germinating plants to stimulate early root growth. The theory is that combining red and green LEDs provides the spectrum of light that encourages plant germination and early seedling growth. Here is a simple design red and blue LED Christmas lights mounted on a plastic storage bin lid.

Step 1

Drill rows of quarter-inch holes in the top of the plastic storage bin lid. Drill 10 rows of five lights evenly spaced across the top of the lid. Stagger the rows so that bulbs on adjacent rows are offset to each other.

Step 2

Plug the LED lights securely into the holes you drilled in the storage bin lid. Insert them from the top so that the bulbs stick out the bottom. On each row, insert two red bulbs and then a blue one. Continue plugging the bulbs in back and forth down the rows until all the bulbs are plugged in.

Step 3

Plug both strings of lights into the power strip and plug the power strip into the wall to test the installation. If all the lights light up, you are ready to mount the LED.

Step 4

Cut two three-inch ventilation holes in opposite ends of the storage bin. Mount the small ventilation fan over one of the holes pointed into the box. Plug the fan into the power strip.

Step 5

Pot your seeds, water them and set them in the bottom of the storage bin to germinate. Snap the lid onto the box and plug in the power strip. Your seedlings will have a well-ventilated and well-lit place to grow. Water the seedlings as needed. When they are grown and ready to transplant, remove them from the box. If you wish to continue growing them indoors you can set the LED lid panel on the table next to them to further stimulate their growth into fully mature plants.

Things You'll Need

  • Large plastic storage bin lid
  • Matching plastic storage bin
  • 1 string of 100 high quality red LED Christmas lights
  • 1 string of 50 blue quality LED Christmas lights
  • Power strip
  • Drill with ¼ inch bit
  • Small 4-inch square cooling fan with plug in.

References

  • Popular Science: DIY Grow Lights
  • LED Grow Lights: How to Make LED Grow Lights
  • Dabblings: LED Grow Light DIY
  • Mini Greenhouse Kits: Choosing LED Grow Lights for a Hydroponic Garden
  • Cheap Vegetable Gardener: Cheap LED Light and Grow Box

Who Can Help

  • NCBI: Development of plant growth apparatus using blue and red LED as artificial light source.
  • Luxeon Star: LED lights
Keywords: LED plant lights, DIY LED panels, homemade grow lights, LED grow lights, LED grow box, LED germination lights

About this Author

Tom King published his first paid story in 1976. His book, "Going for the Green: An Insider's Guide to Raising Money With Charity Golf," was published in 2008. He received gold awards for screenwriting at the 1994 Worldfest Charleston and 1995 Worldfest Houston International Film Festivals. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in communications from Southwestern Adventist College.

Article provided by eHow Home & Garden | How to Build an LED Plant Light