Keen to start an indoor garden but feel restricted by your budget? Look no further! You’ll be thrilled to discover lighting is the one area you can really save on, without cutting corners or jeopardizing your yields.
Me personally, I like to splurge on my growing medium and my nutrients. LOL!
And LED grow lights are cost effective and simple to install.
Remember my motto: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.
DIY LED grow lights are an affordable and environmentally viable way to go when it comes to your grow light options
From the vegetative growth cycle to the budding and fruiting stages, lighting is essential for healthy, bushy plants and increased yields.
LEDs available nowadays, for indoor growers, are designed to accommodate the different growth cycles.
And another bonus is that the LED grow light options If you can read and follow instructions you will, very easily, install your DIY LED’s and get your grow on!
Why Use LEDs?
Before I give you the list of guides you can follow to create your own grow light setup, let’s first talk about why using LED grow lights is the better option.
The truth about LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes) is that it runs cooler than other lights. An LED can last up to 50,000 – 70,000 hours reduced to 30%
Now since we mostly have our grow lights on, this is what really works best.
LEDs come in different colors, and for grow lights, the hues red and blue are very important for the growth of plants
No matter what shade of red your grow light is, this is very important during the flowering stage.
DIY LED Grow Lights: On A Budget — Choose from 15 Easy-to-follow Guides
So it is pretty much a no-brainer to switch to LEDs or, if you are starting out, to install LED grow lights from the word go.
Without further ado, below are the 15 DIY grow light setup guide
1: LED strip Lights powered by a computer power
This is one of the simple set-ups that you could do.
You may use LED strip lights made for growing (they come with the red/blue hues) or regular light strips.
But I suggest you use the relevant strips and keep the regular strips for the rest of your house.
This makes your grow room even more economical to run.
Your panel could be as big as you desire, but of course the bigger it is, the more LED strips you’ll have to use.
For this project, you’ll need basic electrical knowledge to be successful because there are a lot of wires to work with, especially since you have to connect this with a computer power supply.
If you only have a grow space like a 4x4 tent less than $35
Don’t get intimidated with this guide This guide is fairly easy to follow!
2: Using 3W LED’s Housed in Aluminum
Now the number of 3W LEDs you’ll use here depends on how big your grow area is.Instead of using metal or wood, you can use an aluminum panel for this setup.
The panel should at least be 1.5 mm thick. It’s always better to make the housing big so that the light would spread out better.
This is powered by a voltage regulator to ensure that only the right amount of voltage will pass through the setup.
What’s good about this write-up is that it’s very specific and easy to understand. Instead of just giving out the steps, explanations were also given as to why they are necessary. This is great for seedlings as a substitute to a t5 grow light.
3: 108 assorted LED Lights on a 3-Ft. Makes LED Heatsink
This setup This requires knowledge on how circuits work.
Overall, this requires 50W and is cooled by an 8cm diameter fan.
For complete novices this guide may take a bit more effort to figure out how to set it up, but thanks to you tube, even novices can get a crash course on circuitry.
5: Grow Light Setup using LED bulbs
Only 5 LED lights were used here.
The person who designed this setup did some good research when it comes to how much red and blue light is needed for the space.
6: 160W LED Grow Lights Setup for a 2x2 Grow Closet
The total LED bulbs used in this setup is 6 with 27W each. You’ll need to drill holes on it for the wiring and the light sockets.
This guide is direct and easy to follow with its illustration pictures. It focuses on a setup for a 2x2 grow space, it will also teach you how to estimate the number of LED’s you will need if you have a bigger or even smaller space.
7: LED Grow Light setup with wire shelving and timer
In this DIY guide The LED grow lights were tire wired to the shelf.
This guide doesn’t really include much specific as to what wattage the setup runs on so if you are attempting to copy this, you have to already have an idea as to how many LED’s you will use.
This setup is different because it uses a power strip with a timer so that you won’t have to worry about having to turn the grow lights on and off when needed.
8: 108W LED Grow Light Panel
This setup requires 36 LED grow lights in different hues. A metal panel was used as the housing, so prepare your drilling tools.
You’ll also need thermal glue to stick the LED’s on the panel. I’d say this is something pretty creative. instructions on this guide
The housing used for this is an aluminum heatsink.
If you want something that looks easy on the eyes, then you can follow the advice found here.
The person who wrote the guide
10: 15W LED Grow Light Setup in a Tub
As said on its title, this setup runs on 450W. video on YouTube
This makes things easier if you’re not into following long written instructions.
This setup also looks neat with its powdered aluminum panel that makes it durable.
The best thing about this setup is that the panel has switches for easier control of the varying LED lights used.
13: LED Grow Lights Setup Using 4 COBs
This setup is powered by an HLG-320H-C2100A LED driver.
There are steps here that include videos
Interestingly, the designer of this setup basically shared how he made this, but he actually sells this for $450.
14: Grow Light Setup Using LED Tubes
This guide is great if you only prefer reading instructions with a few steps. This setup also runs with a timer and a few light tubes and bulbs.
15: LED Grow Lights Using Christmas Lights
If you really want to save a few bucks and prefer not working with individual LED patches, strips, or bulbs, then this might work for you.
Things to Consider
There are definitely lots of DIY guides out there that you could follow to setup your own LED grow lights
A very basic knowledge of how electricty works is all you need to setup your LED grow lights according to the guide that best suits your skill set and pocket.
Always make sure that you use safety equipment too since you’ll be working with electricity.
If you’re someone who is quite experienced with building circuits and schematics, then all of these should be easy for you.
In fact, if you’re bold enough, why not create your own guide inspired by any of what’s listed above!5 Best COB LED Grow Lights Review: Complete Buyer’s Guide (2018)
Lindsey Hyland grew up in Arizona where she attended University of Arizona’s Controlled Environment Agriculture. She has supplemented her formal education by working on various organic farms, including spending a semester abroad in India.
Growing and/or raising just about anything gets her excited. She is especially passionate about environmental justice and low-tech, sustainable ways to better run small-scale farms and homesteads. Lindsey started Urban Organic Yield to discuss gardening tips and tactics.