Growbox construction started

Started constructing growbox in storage cabinet. First thing is lighting, as it's most anticipated by young plants i have.

Typical storage cabinet built back in '80s. I was granted a right to use this one after i speculated an option of disposing the TV and using its place for a growbox. That was ambitious idea, and i still like it, though the storage cabinet is fine either. It makes some constuction tasks even easier, at least i have a framework to build on, and there's a power socket on the opposite side of the wall, which is accessible thru the drilled hole. First task is to have a decent lighting, as i have some plants that require good lighting already. They're too young for rough hydroponic medium, but they are suffering poor natural lighting.

First set of materials, bought in OBI store. Wires, sockets, 2 timers (for pumps and lighting). There are only two plastic boxes of different height for hydroponic flood&drain system. There's just one luminescent lamp - Wolta 106W, white light (6400K), E27 holder. Two E27 lamp holders and a metal sheet (supposed to be outer windowsill) i'll make a reflector out of, two small steel rods and 4m of steel chain. 3m of foil insulation.

   Reflector made out of two metal sheets with 2xE27 holders. Reflector shape is not perfect, though it makes construction much simplier this way, so i'll live with it. Lamps are pretty heavy and long, this will cause much stress on holder connection.

 

  To reduce the stress, there's additional suspension added to lamp holder. BTW, those 105W lamps are likely the most powerful ones i can find for E27 holder. More powerful ones are made for E40 only. So probably i'll have to upgrade to E40 in future. I've rejected HID lamps because they would require ventilation to be built in the cabinet and it's out of scope for now.

 

Box is covered with foil insulation, and it's fitting of lamp on the picture. Lamp hangs on 4 chains, simply hooking to them with bond tips of the steel rod, it's quite easy to adjust the height. Two timers are to control lighting and water pumps. Mechanic one with granularity of 15min is for lighting, electronic one is for pumps.

 

Power wiring is done, young plants enjoy 16-hour light day. Two plastic boxes at the bottom, inserted into each other - supposed to become a flood&drain hydroponic system. Upper box for growing medium, bottom one would be a reservoir for nutrient solution. Such construction promised to be leak-proof and i liked that idea. However, i realised that nutrient solution is to be replaced every 2 weeks and it's going to be a problem. That would require either moving out the upper box to reach the reservoir, or implementing solution replacement without touching the reservoir. Both ways are too complex compared to separate reservoir which can be handled undependently.