[Sticky] DIY CFL Grow Box  

 
TempleGrower
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How to build your own CFL Grow Box

What's growin' on everyone?! So way back in the day when I didn't know grow tents existed/was too broke to afford them anyways, and being the DIY type that I am, I decided to build my own makeshift growbox out of an old 5 drawer dresser. It obviously doesn't produce light comparable to HID/LEDs, nor does it have exhaust ports/odour control (although you could probably install that without too much hassle) but, for next to nothing in my closet, it was legit. More recently, I was mainly using it for my seedlings prior to coming into my current setup with the 5 T5s. I did grow a plants right to harvest using it, and ended up with about an ounce per on average, if I remember correctly, so it definitely does work. Basically it goes like this:

Equipment:

  • Standard wooden dresser with drawers: The runners the the drawers use to move in and out are what the light board sits on. The various levels allow for decent height variability as you slide the board from one level to the next. Every level I move up, I get about 6 inches of new clearance. Works very well.
  • Light sockets/bulbs: I went to Value Village (local thrift store) and bought 4 shitty old lamps, and disassembled them so that all I had were the light sockets/cord. The nice thing about the twisty CFLs is that they come in both 6500K 'natural light' and the 2700K 'warm light' spectrums, which also happens to be your veg/flower temps. So that's handy. Plus, they last a LONG time, and are pretty cheap these days. I use the 26W '100W replacement' bulbs. The 26W ones are quite a bit bigger than the 13W '60W replacement' versions though, so watch for that.
  • Piece of plywood/foil: Measure the width/depth of the dresser, and cut a piece of plywood so it will fit in the dresser, and deep enough so it almost reaches the back, leaving about an inch for some airflow. I  covered the plywood in foil here because there isn't much area to cover, and I thought foil would do a slightly better job reflecting heat away from the plywood/be less flammable than paper if the shit did go down.
  • Small pieces of wood: this is to fasten to the board, and then attach the light socket to it. Since the bulbs are wider than the sockets they are in, they don't lay flush on the wood and need some extra clearance to help them lay relatively flat against the board.
  • White paper/foil/mylar/white paint: Up to you as to how you want to cover the walls of the dresser, just make sure it's decently reflective. I used white computer paper because this is a budget build, I don't really like foil (hotspots), and Mylar is expensive. Could paint it too I guess.
  • Zipties: because they are useful and awesome.
  • White Towel: This is what I used as a makeshift 'door', if you want to call it that. Something relatively reflective and easy to move.

First, take the drawers out and fasten your white paper/foil/mylar/paint to the walls (don't need to do the ceiling being that the light board will block it). I used a lot of tape. Next, I fastened the small blocks of wood to the plywood using two screws. Leave a bit of a gap though before snugging the block up totally against the plywood. Now, take your light sockets (I'll usually put a bulb in to see exactly how much clearance I need) and put them on the blocks that you have nearly attached. If the bulb doesn't rub up against the plywood, carefully feed a ziptie through that gap between the block and the plywood and around the light socket, snug the socket up to the block of wood by pulling the ziptie tight, and tighten up those screws to snug the block up against the plywood, also squeezing the ziptie in that gap thereby securing the socket to the board. This is surely the most difficult part so, make sure you leave yourself room to tighten that screw (i.e., don't put it directly under the cord, etc.). Repeat this for each light socket, making sure to space them out evenly.

And that's pretty much it! Slide the board into the dresser at your preferred height, plug it in, and voila. Even if not growing cannabis, it's great for leafy greens, herbs, etc. Mine pulls ~150W (including a 39W T5 I also have in there running across the centre) so it's quite energy efficient. In my pictures, you can see the lights are attached to a plant rack - I upgraded to this because it was easier to attach the lights to those blocks of wood using only zipties, without having to worry about screws - and it fit in there perfectly. I still have the plywood above it though for reflectivity, and it works GREAT for a little germination chamber up there on top of the board. Nice and warm.

Cons of this are that you don't have much control over odours, being that the front is not really attached. I'm sure someone smarter than me could think of a way to mitigate that though.. Maybe two dressers back to back? Easily could make a port for an exhaust fan pretty well anywhere so... I also only was able to fit two plants in there but again, great for smaller pots, solo cups, etc. Definitely doable, and it's not for larger scale grows anyways. And not much room for airflow. I used a small USB powered Playstation 3 intercooler thing - basically just 3 computer fans hooked together for some minor airflow, just to refresh it a bit in there, but having a towel for a door was probably ventilation enough.

Let me know what you think! Or if you've done something similar, lets see it!

DIY Growbox
DIY CFL Grow Box2
DIY CFL Grow Box
Light board with blocks
Plant rack with lights

Life's a garden...dig it - Joe Dirt

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Posted : September 18, 2019 8:02 am
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TempleGrower
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And for any of you non-believers, here are some photos of what I was able to come up with. Seeds from bags of legacy market BC Bud. This began 8 years ago in 2011, and was my very first attempt at growing ever... so crazy! I didn't realize it's been that long! Never looked back! But mostly because I forgot to.  😎 

1st grow 2011
1st grow3 2011
1st grow2 2011
2014 1
2014 2
2014 3
2014 5
2014 6
2014 7
2014 8

 

Life's a garden...dig it - Joe Dirt

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Posted : September 18, 2019 8:46 am
Macky
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Brilliant post as usual mate! Lovely work 

"True guidance is like a torch in the forest, it doesn't show everything, but gives enough light for the next steps to be safe" -Swami Vivekananda

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Posted : September 18, 2019 9:05 am
GuerrillaGrow
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Awesome dude, DIY buddies!!! Idk if you're like me but my default way of thinking is that if someone else can make it and provide it for sale I can almost always build it myself for less haha.

I bet that whole process filled you with pride and joy!!!

 

“It take many a year, mon, and maybe some bloodshed must be, but righteousness someday prevail.” Bob Marley

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Posted : September 18, 2019 10:06 am
White Widow
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This is absolutely amazing! 

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Posted : September 18, 2019 10:51 am
TempleGrower
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Eh, thanks for the kinds words guys! Maybe this will help someone out that's in a similar situation as I was... 😀 

@guerrillagrow69 you're absolutely correct! I love making my own shit... compost bins and screens, soil tumblers, rain barrels... I like browsing the free local classified ads and finding stuff to use on there.. It's where I got my garden racks that I built my new seedling/leafy green-grower (and they're actually from Holland! Pretty cool, and appropriate). Reusing/re-purposing stuff works your brain nicely, as well as saves shit from going to the landfills. Win/win.

Also, here is a pic of the various wattages/temps I snapped at the local garden shop, who have massively expanded their grow light/homegrow section over the last 8 or so months (not surprising, but funny to see ganja nutes everywhere now). These bulbs are made by SunBlaster, which is a grow light specific brand. I use their T5s, and they work very well. That said, they are probably more expensive than regular old Philips or whatever from Wal Mart or whatever... and whether or not the spectrum/output is actually better, I doubt it. I've always just used the same ones I use in my lights around the house... 2x 2700K and the rest 6500K, or as high as you can get.

CFL bulbs

 

Life's a garden...dig it - Joe Dirt

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Posted : September 20, 2019 5:10 pm
Macky
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Just goes to show man, anyone can do it! You just need a ight, a seed and some medium

Everyone should be growing their own 

"True guidance is like a torch in the forest, it doesn't show everything, but gives enough light for the next steps to be safe" -Swami Vivekananda

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Posted : September 20, 2019 5:15 pm
Mossbeardmitch
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The DIY revolution! 💪😄

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Posted : September 20, 2019 7:25 pm
ScottishMac
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this is jus another dig at me for not having a set up yet aint it 🤣 🤣  im getting ready hoping i win some seeds to be my first 😉, love the ideas though bruh class post, it gets the creative minds a tickin 👍 

"I know you don't smoke Weed, I know This; but I'm gonna get you High Today,'cause it's Friday.... An you ain't got shit to Do." - Smokey

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Posted : September 20, 2019 7:34 pm
Macky
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Posted by: @scottishmac

this is jus another dig at me for not having a set up yet aint it

lol, written just for you Mac 😉 Get on it man!! lol. Jokes, when you're ready man no rush 

"True guidance is like a torch in the forest, it doesn't show everything, but gives enough light for the next steps to be safe" -Swami Vivekananda

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Posted : September 20, 2019 7:40 pm
ScottishMac
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im trying to but just stuck waiting for the coin so i can hit the 1 click buy on amazon 😉 🤣 

"I know you don't smoke Weed, I know This; but I'm gonna get you High Today,'cause it's Friday.... An you ain't got shit to Do." - Smokey

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Posted : September 20, 2019 8:00 pm
Sammy
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@scottishmac

Can’t beat that Friday Quote!! 

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Posted : September 20, 2019 8:05 pm
ScottishMac
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my all time favourite films right ther lol

"I know you don't smoke Weed, I know This; but I'm gonna get you High Today,'cause it's Friday.... An you ain't got shit to Do." - Smokey

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Posted : September 20, 2019 8:19 pm
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