Create Your Own Grow-Light Shelving Unit

Posted by @beckygardener on
Need an indoor grow-light shelving unit to sow and grow your plants during the winter months? This is how I made one.

I created two grow-light shelving units several years ago. This is how one of them turned out:

Thumb of 2015-01-14/beckygardener/d0c5e2

I used 2 Edsal Model # UR185L-BLK, 36 in. W x 18 in. D x 72 in. H Steel Commercial Shelving Units from a big box home improvement store that are used for garage shelving storage. In fact, that is originally what they were bought for, but I converted them into grow shelves. The shelves are adjustable. No bolts, just a hammer to pop the shelving in and out of the unit. I originally paid something like $50 each, but I see the price is about $15 more now. Still well worth it.

The one modification I had to make to hang the shop light fixtures was to drill a hole through the 2 sides of the top shelf and both sides of the middle shelf. I drilled a hole in the center of each side panel. You have to drill a total of 4 holes per shelving unit. The idea is to hang the shop light fixture under the top shelf and under the middle shelf. (See how the shop lights are hung in my photos.) The drilled holes had to be large enough to get the shop light hanging chain through. I secured the chain using a long screw on the inside of the drilled hole in the frame.

I foolishly purchased plant grow-lights when I could have used one cool light and one warm light in each shop light fixture, which would have worked just as well as the expensive grow-light bulbs.

I purchased 2 cheap shop light fixtures per shelving unit.
These are the light tubes I eventually purchased. I used 1 of each fluorescent tube per shop light fixture: one warm tube and one cool tube.

The shelves on this unit are made out of particle board, so I lined the tops of the shelves with vinyl Con-Tact paper (which I had to tape down with clear wide packing tape on the ends to hold it in place because the ends curl up over time). This makes the top of each shelf appear to be white in the photos and makes them easy to wipe clean.:

Despite the initial cost, you will have a very large unit and will be able to adjust the shelves to be closer or farther away from the lights as needed. I have had very good success germinating and growing plants from seeds using this converted shelving unit.

I also added a 4-plug surge protector for the 4 lights on my 2 shelving units. The wall plug was connected to the light switch so that I could turn all 4 shop lights on and off at the same time with the flip of a switch.
Currently, I am not using the grow-light shelving units (they are once again in my garage being used for garage shelving) because I now have plenty of plants in my yard/garden beds thanks to several years of sowing and growing plants during the winter using these grow-light shelf units.

Here is a photo of my grow-light shelving units.:

Thumb of 2015-01-13/beckygardener/d41d19

The shelves are adjustable. You can move each shelf closer or farther away from the lights as needed.:

Thumb of 2015-01-13/beckygardener/784c59

Thumb of 2015-01-13/beckygardener/1e9d9d

This has been an excellent way for me to sow and grow from seeds to nice starter plants for later transplanting in my garden beds in early spring.

Comments and discussion:
Thread Title Last Reply Replies
Just starting out with my home grow light setup by Agoo Aug 12, 2017 4:18 PM 3
Shelving units by KurtMN Mar 6, 2015 6:05 PM 3
Great job Becky! by plantladylin Jan 29, 2015 7:25 PM 8
Bright ideal by chickhill Jan 29, 2015 4:58 PM 1
Excellent by Sunlover Jan 27, 2015 6:26 PM 1
A similar idea...... by Paul2032 Jan 27, 2015 6:24 PM 10

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