Seed Starting Lighting System

Lighting can be very expensive if purchased commercially, anywhere from $70- $500.

Here’s an easy plan to make your own.

I got this wood at my neighbor’s after finding out he is a custom cabinet maker & had a dumpster full of cedar, mahogany & teak scrap!

Needless to say, I had my first dumpster diving experience and it was so inspiring. I got 2 truckloads!

And my neighbor paid less to dispose of the rest.

This set-up shows 1 level. But it’s tall enough to add another level at a later date.

Although grow lights are best, they are expensive. A regular shop light is sufficient light to make good transplants if kept in a sunny window.

What you will need:

  • 1/2 ‟ plywood cut 44‟ x 13‟
  • 4 pieces – 1×2” or 1X3” – 38” long
  • 3 pieces – 1×2” or 1×3” – 52”long
  • 2 pieces – 1×3” or 1×4” – 17’ long
  • 1 1/2“ wood screws
  • 2 large, sturdy, screw hooks
  • 1 shop light


  1. Cut all pieces to length.
  2. Then, working from the bottom up. Always put 2 screws at each attachment point for stability.
  3. Attach the plywood to (2) of the 52’ pieces standing on end, with 4 “ out each end. Place screws every 8 “ to prevent warping with time.
  4. Attach vertical side posts, (4) 38” pieces to the outside of 52” pieces, starting edge even with end of plywood.
  5. Next, attach the (2) 17” pieces to the outsides of the verticals, placed with bottom edge 17” from the bottom.
  6. Last, attach the third 52” piece centered across the top of the 17” pieces. Attach flat so a new level can be added later.
  7. Attach screw hooks under the top cross member to hang chain from shop light.
  8. Most shop lights come with adequate chain to adjust light up & down at least 6”.
  9. For best results, place this system in front of a sunny window to supplement with natural sunlight.
  10. To keep it easy, turn lights on when you wake up & turn them off when you go to bed at night, 12-16 hours.

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