October 18, 2019 5 min read


indoor grow light diy maker pipe winter


Get a head start on the 2020 planting season by building an indoor grow light table to sprout your seeds this winter. An indoor grow light table is a simple and affordable way to keep gardening through the winter and provide additional light to help your house plants thrive.

Here is our detailed guide on how to build an indoor grow table with just a few simple materials.


Why Do You Need an Indoor Grow Light Table?

Growing your own seedlings has several benefits for the home gardener including:

  • Growing plants from seeds is a more affordable way than using seedlings
  • Improve your seed germination rates
  • Seeds are more readily available in a broader range of varieties for a more diverse garden
  • You enjoy gardening all winter long
  • Allows you to grow food such as herbs and salad greens indoors year-round


The Effect of Light on Plants

To build an indoor garden successfully, it is essential to understand how plants respond to different levels of light and how this affects their growth.

Light falls along a spectrum of intensity. While a lamp may appear bright to the human eye, the spectrum of light emitted by this lamp may be insufficient for plant photosynthesis and, therefore, won’t encourage growth. The ideal growth lamp should also provide enough volume of light without producing too much heat, which can burn delicate foliage.

Another factor to consider when sourcing a light for your indoor grow light table is that different plants require different light levels. A good rule of thumb to guide you is that house plants require the lowest levels of light, leafy herbs need moderate light, and fruiting plants require the highest light levels.


The Best Light for an Indoor Garden

Outdoor plants receive a full spectrum of light which ensures their proper growth. Unfortunately, standard indoor lighting does not offer the necessary red-and-blue spectrum of lighting to allow plants to photosynthesize.

The best type of light you can use for your indoor grow table is an LED light. LED lamps offer the full spectrum of light without emitting heat. LED lamps are not only good for your DIY grow table, but they are also good for your wallet and the environment since they use much less energy than fluorescent lamps.

DIY Grow Light for Indoor Plants

Store-bought LED grow lights can be expensive, and it can be challenging to find the right one for your needs. So, if you are working with a tight budget or you can’t find the perfect LED lamp to add to your DIY light table, you can make your own grow light at home that provides the ideal amount of red-and-blue spectrum light for your plants.

This homemade grow light tutorial demonstrates how to create red-and-blue LED light panels that are modular so you can connect as many LED modules to the circuit as you need for your grow light table.


winter 2019 indoor gardening maker pipe

Instructions for Building a Homemade Grow Light System

For an indoor grow light table that will last for many seasons, use durable, sturdy materials that are designed to last. We recommend using EMT conduit.

EMT conduit is constructed from tough aluminum that is lightweight, which means you can build a portable grow table that can be moved around your home. Using EMT conduit also offers a second benefit, as you can hide unsightly electrical wires from your grow table light inside the conduit without the risk of damage.


Materials to Build a Grow Light Table

To construct your EMT conduit grow light table, you will need the following materials:

  • 6 x 6-foot pieces of ¾ inch EMT conduit
  • 4 x 16-inch pieces of ¾ inch EMT conduit
  • 6 x pieces of ¾ EMT conduit cut to suit your height
  • 4 x 4-foot pieces of ¾ inch EMT conduit
  • 3 x 1-foot pieces of ¾ inch EMT conduit
  • 4 x 4-way connectors
  • 12 x  90-degree connectors
  • 6 x T-connectors
  • 1 x 6-foot-by-16-inch coated wire shelf
  • 8 x conduit end plugs
  • 4 x 3-foot Full-spectrum LED hanging lamps, or 48 panels connected into 2 separate 6-foot circuits
  • 12 - 18 feet of channel material
  • 4 x eye bolts and nuts
  • 16 feet of double loop chain
  • 4 x S-hooks
  • 4 x carabiners
  • Zip ties
  • Caster kit for EMT conduit (optional)


How to Build a Grow Light Table?

  1. To build DIY grow tables, assemble your frame using the EMT conduit and the connectors. Connect two of the 6-foot pieces to 2 of the 16-inch pieces using the 90-degree connectors to form the base.
  2. Attach 4 vertical posts (which should be cut to a comfortable height) to the corners of the base.
  3. Use 4 more 90-degree connectors to attach another 2 6-foot pieces to the top of the vertical conduit parallel to the base.
  4. Thread 2 of the 16-inch pieces of conduit with 2 4-way connectors, then attach these to the 6-foot pieces of conduit. You now have a basic 3D rectangular frame.
  5. To create the upper part of the frame from which you will hang your LED lamps, connect the 4-foot pieces of conduit to the T-connectors on the base frame.
  6. Thread the remaining 2 T-connector onto the remaining 6-foot pieces. Use 90-degree connectors to attach the  6-foot pieces and 2 of the 1-foot pieces. Connect the last 1-foot piece to the T-connectors between the upper 6-foot pieces of conduit to stabilize the structure.
  7. Place the wire shelving using the zip ties to secure it and add the caster (if using) and place end caps on any exposed connector or conduit openings.
  8. To make your grow light setup, cut the metal channel a couple of inches longer than your lamp light fixtures. Measure and mark the holes on the channel material that correspond to the holes on the LED lamp fixtures.
  9. Drill the holes as well as two additional holes at either end of the channel for the eye bolts.
  10. Attach the light fixtures to the channel, then secure the eye bolts.
  11. Use about 4-feet of chain connected to each side of the top of the frame using S-hooks and attach it to the eye bolt using carabiners. Secure a power board and electrical cords to the frame with zip ties.


diy indoor grow table maker pipe


Final Thoughts

Building an indoor garden is a great solution to winter gardening woes and allows you to get a jump start your spring planting season during the colder months. Try this easy DIY grow light table at home or try making your own grow light so you can look forward to a better harvest for many years to come.

To learn more about how you can create unique DIY projects using structural pipe fittings, contact Maker Pipe at (843)-245-9747 to talk to our friendly and creative staff.