HD shop lights on sale for $6.35

bobb_2002(Z6 S.W. CT)February 21, 2005

FYI - I went to HD yesterday to get more shoplights (sku 140-905) and was surprised to see them on sale for $6.35 each, so I got 8 more. They were normally about $7.95 or so which I thought was a great bargain. These are the 4 foot Commercial Electric ones with SL-15 electronic ballasts. They had about 75 of them in stock.

I'll be putting them on a 6 ft high wire shelf system that has 4ft long and 18 inch deep shelves, with 3 fixtures (6 tubes)per shelf.

Bob B.

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maineman(z5a ME)


"I'll be putting them on a 6 ft high wire shelf system that has 4ft long and 18 inch deep shelves, with 3 fixtures (6 tubes) per shelf."

Thanks for the "heads up" about the shop light sale. I will check our local Home Depot. I had a similar, perhaps identical, set of wire shelves I got from Sam's club last year. They were made by Seville. I think you will find that you have to cut a notch out of the reflectors where they meet the upright posts of the shelves in order to make them fit properly. I used a pair of tin snips and cut out about a 1½" square piece from the reflector, which brought it back to near flush with the body of the fixture. You won't have to trim the middle fixtures, but the ones on the outside will come in contact with the upright posts.

Are you overdriving your HD fixtures? If not, you might want to consider doing that. In which case, you might want to go back and get some more of those bargain fixtures, because it takes two fixtures to make one overdriven fixture. Overdriving will make your lights 50% brighter, which your plants will really respond to.

This year my wife appropriated the Sam's Club chrome wire shelves for use in the kitchen and I am now using a set of 4' x 24" deep chrome wire shelves, that actually work much better for me. The shelves themselves are 69" high, but with the large heavy duty casters, they stand 74" high (an inch or two shorter than my Sam's Club shelves.) The 5-inch casters make them very easy to move around and give some clearance under the shelves even though I have the bottom shelf in its lowest position to get maximum working space.

I am still using my Home Depot fixtures with the notched reflectors in contact with the upright posts, but now I get 4 fixtures per shelf and by overdriving them that is equivalent to 6 fixtures (12 bulbs) per shelf. My 22" x 11" plant trays fit much better on the 24-inch deep shelves and I get four trays per shelf with a little "wiggle room".

I now have two of those Northern Tool shelf units, with one still in the garage and one inside with the top shelf populated with two-week old onion seedlings. I plan to fully populate both shelf units with HD lights and seedlings of various sorts, and I am glad to let my wife keep the 18-inch shelves.

Incidentally, last year I had removed two of the shelves from the 18-inch unit because my plants were growing large. I realized that with two "extra" shelves per unit, I could buy a second unit and use the two extra shelves from it along with the two extra shelves I already had to connect the two units with a 4-shelf "bridge". That would make a single long unit 12 feet long, in effect getting a "free" shelf unit. But I couldn't find a handy place for the 12-foot unit so I scrapped that idea and went with the 24-inch deep 4-foot shelves, which I like better anyway.


    Bookmark   February 21, 2005 at 1:05PM
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bobb_2002(Z6 S.W. CT)

I already have them notched to fit within the 18 inches. I also used tinsnips and it was pretty easy. I'm not planning to overdrive the lights but I may in the future if I think I need the extra light. Right now it's easiest to just add more fixtures. If I have 18 inches of lights and only put 10 or 12 inches of plant trays on the shelves there will be enough ligh on the sides of the plants I think. I only used 5 of my 6 shelves because of space limitations, it won't make much sense to put them all in and have to remove them later.

Now I need some sturdy trays to hold 4 inch pots. I bought some about 20 years ago from Parks and one is still in good shape so maybe I'll get some more from them.

FREE SURGE SUPPRESSOR POWER STRIPS! I got a couple at Staples today, they are free after rebate. I think you can get up to 10 of them. They have 6 outlets (closely spaced). But the power cord is only 3 feet long. It's always a good idea to use surge suppressors with electonic ballasts because they can go away if you get a power surge (like from a nearby lighning strike).

Bob B

    Bookmark   February 21, 2005 at 5:42PM
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maineman(z5a ME)

Bob B,

Thanks for the tip about the surge supressor power strips at Staples. I will check out our local Staples next time it is convenient. Right now our streets are in pretty bad shape and we're getting more snow tomorrow.

"Now I need some sturdy trays to hold 4 inch pots. I bought some about 20 years ago from Parks and one is still in good shape so maybe I'll get some more from them."

Were those Perma-Nest trays? If they cost somewhat less I might get some, because the wimpy black plastic trays I am now using are barely good enough, but they cost less than a dollar each so I will keep using them for the time being. The Perma-Nest trays are actually deeper than I need. Maybe I will find some shallow stainless steel trays or something similar worth making an investment in.

"If I have 18 inches of lights and only put 10 or 12 inches of plant trays on the shelves there will be enough light on the sides of the plants I think."

When you do that you get only two standard 11" x 22" trays per 18" x 48" shelf. I needed a lot of space for seedlings so I placed four 11x22 trays per 18x48 shelf by placing them "the other way" and letting them overhang over the edges a couple of inches at each end. Of course that put some seedlings just a bit outside the reflectors but not by much. I overdrove my fixtures to get as much light as possible from three fixtures on four trays, but I much prefer my 24" x 48" shelves and the four fixtures they allow.

Also, the wire rims of the 18-inch shelves kind of dug into my overhanging flimsy vacuum-formed black plastic trays and caused some of them to leak, so I sealed the bodies of my lower fixtures to keep any leaking water out.

If the Perma-Nest 11x22 trays cost maybe $1.50 each I would buy a bunch of them, but Perma-Nest trays run on the high-priced side. I think they are over-priced. I will keep my eye open for something to replace my current flimsy trays with something much more permanent, substantial, and rigid, preferably dishwasher safe, and priced reasonably. Meanwhile, I'll get a hot-melt glue gun to try patching some of my currently leaking trays.


    Bookmark   February 21, 2005 at 11:45PM
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watergal(z6/7 Westminster, MD)

I too think the Permanest trays are expensive, but if you are in this for the long haul, they are a good investment. I ruined the paint job on the kitchen ceiling due to leaking flimsy trays. Dan's Garden Shop online sells them in bulk and they're not too expensive.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2005 at 7:15AM
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