These pictures were sent in by one of our readers who has taken a far more simple/easy approach to making a grow cabinet than G.D. Here's what he had to say about it: "1st time grower. Used cab.w/4 bulb, 24" T5's, 4" elec exhaust, Thanx for great info." Use the following items to make a stealthy grow cabinet just like his: Old cabinet Line inside of cabinet with mylar (reflective material) Hang T5 grow light to inside-top of cabinet with rope rachets Cut 12" hole in back (near bottom) for cool air intake Attach air filter to your intake hole if the outside air is dusty (and to protect your grow cabinet from any stray bugs) Cut 4" hole out the top to use as an exhaust hole (cut a bigger exhaust hole for a bigger cabinet, or if you're going to intall more/bigger/hotter lights) A 4" exhaust hole uses 4" ducting with fan to pull out hot air (drawing in cool air in through your intake).
Remember, fan should be pointed up , to pull hot air out of your cabinet! Prompted by my daughters middle school project, might as well try to build a mini grow box. I have seen similar kits for hundreds of dollars online so how cheap could I make it and for it to do about the same thing. As the first attempt, some corners were cut and I think now I would use LED red/blue lights instead of the HE lights I happen to have had around the house. The lights I used did fit into an acceptable light spectrum and only used a total of 45w when on but working out the kinks on that part now. Total cost was minimal as the most expensive single part was the cooling fans and thermostat and I think I got them on sale for about $35. The rest for the most part was salvaged parts from prior projects around the house. However, if bought new I would estimate about $50 total cost. Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.
Materials will depend on what size you want the box to be. In this case, the box was 33" tall x 18.5" wide x 18" deep to house starter plants and those that will reach a max height of about 24". Of course, if you wish to build bigger, add to the below supplies. No special tools needed, just a drill, circular saw, knife, square, and a tape measure. A multi-meter would be helpful if your kind of new to electrical stuff. Common 1/4 plywood (1 x sheet) Cooling fans (x2) Thermostat & Speed Controller (1) about 8' of 1" x 2" for the basic frame. Wood Screws 1" estimate (30) Underfloor Heating Foil / Foil Tape / Simply Aluminum Foil. 1-1.25" Deep Handy Utility Box (3) 24" Red 14 Guage electrical Wire. Electrical Wire 3 prong (I used one from an old appliance I had but I am sure Lowes has them cheap) 1" x 2" x 6' (1) not needed but I did use it to cover seams between cuts like on top and above the door. Electrical outlet (1) Plus and minus using basic creativity. I did not take pictures along the way but I think it is easy enough to figure this one out. Depening on how big you want it, frame out a cube basically. I braced up the corners to prevent any swaying when moving. The top back of the box I framed out the part that will hold the electrical switches and sealed it away from the grow area below. Step 3: Step Three: Add the Sides, Door, Top and Bottom. The front contained the door so one single cut along the top, added the hinges, and door done. The top has two removable parts, one allowing a viewing area and light adjustment in the front and the other access to the power switches. Using whatever you determine is best or you happen to have around the house, now is a good time to add it. I used some Underfloor Heating Foil I had and applied it everywhere I could to contain heat, reflect light, and seal up the inside of the box from moisture. Eventually I ran out and used Aluminum Foil for the inside of the door. For the fans, I used some common fans used in entertainment centers to keep ones X-Box and such cool.
I bought a kit with two fans and one thermostat that I could program to come on and shut off at predetermined temperatures. The particular kit I used was simply a plug and play using a USB with no wiring required but I did find out the wires ran a little short thus some wires are seen inside of the box when my original plan was to run all wires on the outside. Simple enough, how ever big the fans are make a round hole on the bottom back corner of one side about 6" from the bottom to serve as the cool air intake. Create the second hole in the opposite side in the top front of the box to serve as the warm air exhaust. Of course you can do this when ever you wish but now prior to putting wires in and your fans, it may make better sense to sand and stain now. I was not going for looks here as you may see but I do think some water resistance would be a good idea.
Fans: Install the fans, intake fan on the bottom should be facing in allowing it to suck in outside air and push it into the box. Exhaust fan should be facing out pulling air out of the box. Box 1, Light Switch: In this project I used the light switch as the master control for the whole unit. Box 2, Junction Box and Power Supply: All wires centralized here and this is where I hooked up the power cable.