University of Maryland Extension

PVC Light Stand

Do-It-Yourself PVC table-top light stand couldn't be easier to make!

PVC light stand completed

Make a simple pvc light stand to grow vegetable, flower, and herb transplants for your garden. The 4-ft. long shop light will illuminate approximately 3.5 sq. ft. of growing area; enough to grow 20-100 transplants depending on spacing and individual cell size.

Materials and cost

(doesn't include table, soilless media, containers, seeds, etc.)

All-season shop light fixture for 32 watt T-8 tubes  (ready to use with power cord and pull switch)$20.00
(2) T-8 tubes; 32 watt $9.50
10-ft. long, 1 ½ in. diameter pvc pipe   $6.00
(2) 1 ½ in. slip Tee $2.50
(2) 1 ½ in. 90º elbow $2.00
(4) 1 ½ in. end caps $3.00
Extra chain and hooks$4.00
Total   $47.00

It will cost about $9 to operate the shop light from March 15 to June 1: 32 watts x 2 bulbs x 16hrs x 70days = 71.7 kw x $.12/kilowatt-hour = $8.60.

PVC 10 ft pipePVC fittingsPVC connection
Use a marker to divide 10-ft. pipe into seven pieces: (1) 52 in.; (2) 18 in.; (4) 8 in. There will be no waste. Cut the pipe into the seven pieces with a hacksaw.Here are the seven pieces plus fittings.Build the ends by pushing two 8-in. pieces (feet) and one of the 18-in. pieces (upright) into one of the “T” fittings. (You can use pvc primer and cement to make a permanent light stand or push the pieces for easy takedown.) Repeat to build the other end.
PVC elbowsPVC connected endsshop light box
Insert the elbows on top of the two uprights and place the four end caps over the ends of the “feet.Connect the ends by inserting the 52-in. piece into the elbows.This is the shop light box. It came with a power cord and pull chain.
box detailT8 tubesadjust light height
T-8 indoor fluorescent tubes (cool) are a good choice. They produce plenty of light and are more energy efficient than older T-12 tubes.T-8 tubes are only 1-in. in diameter; ½-in. slimmer than older T-12 tubes.You can raise and lower your shop light with metal chains and hooks.

 PVC low light

Keep the shop light only 1-2-in. above the tops of your plants. This will make your transplants stocky and strong. You can raise the temperature and speed germination and growth by covering the light stand with a piece of clear plastic.

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