Seed2Need uses three grow light sets. Two are Costco wire storage racks that are 17” deep and 4’ wide. They come with 6 shelves. Seed2Need uses only 4 of these shelves and places them 16” apart in order to provide space to raise the grow lights as the seedlings increase in size.
Seed2Need’s third light set is a commercial grow light set that was donated by one of our volunteers (the cost new was approx. $1200.00). Truthfully, I prefer the wire storage racks. Besides being a fraction of the cost, wire storage racks are lighter and easier to move, it is easier to to adjust the height of the lights and they can also be used for storage when they are not being used for seed starting.
Two shop lights are used on each level of the grow light set. Each shop light contains two bulbs. In order to provide the seedlings with a full light spectrum, we either use full spectrum bulbs or we use one cool white (6500K) and one warm white bulb (2700K) in each shop light. Full spectrum bulbs are more expensive.
Florescent bulbs are quickly being replaced by LED. As a result, it has become increasingly difficult to find florescent shop lights. Seed2Need’s last two florescent shop lights were ordered from Grainger Supply on Osuna. I have no experience using LED but I assume that they also come with full spectrum, cool white or warm white bulbs.
Grow Light Sets | Prepping Seeds
You also need trays to put under the pots of seedlings to prevent water from leaking onto the light fixture below (danger of an electrical shortage). Seed2Need uses cafeteria trays – the same type used in school cafeterias. Seed2Need’s cafeteria trays are 13” x 17”, they are light and they have a lip around the outside edge to prevent water leakage. Each tray holds twelve 4” pots and three trays fit on each level of a 4’ grow light set. They come in many colors and you should be able to buy them at any store that sells restaurant supplies. They are inexpensive and they last a lifetime.
Each grow light is connected to a surge protector. The surge protector plugs into a timer and the timer plugs into the electrical outlet. We leave the grow lights on for 8-12 hours/day.