light stand purchase

Francis(6a)March 12, 2005

For the past year I've been looking to purchase a light stand. In the mean time, i built one from a wire stand from Lowes. I wired a few 2 bulb florescent fixtures and hung them on chains. Although its unsightly its functional..

However, I've been looking at this stand for some time and would like your opinions.

I appreciate your feedback concerning this stand.



Here is a link that might be useful: 16 Tray, 4 Tier Light Stand w/ Clear Cover

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jwmeyer(Z8 OR)

Is that 864.99? Boy that's alot of moolah for a light stand. I'd shop around if I were you. Are you primarily going to be using it for starts? Just seems like it's over priced to me...


    Bookmark   March 12, 2005 at 11:34PM
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shrubs_n_bulbs(z8/9 UK)

It does the right things, but expensive! Including twelve Gro-Lux tubes must push the price up. Personally, I would have liked to see four shelves and the ability to remove one or two shelves (it says four-tier so maybe it really is). Bit much for $100 of kit and $100 of tubes.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2005 at 5:28AM
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jwmeyer- 864.99 not including tax or shipping.. I've been looking for a good quality stand for the better part of a year. This one appears to be better made than any other I've seen..It would serve duel purpose, starting seeds and growing herbs during the winter. Along with suppling light to a few high light house plants i have. The stand i have now is not doing the job, the seedlings are stretching even though i keep the light with in a inch of plant tops.

shrubs n bulbs-- Your right!! But as i said above, this is a better made stand than the others I've looked at... And the shelves are removeable...

The alternative is to either go HID or regular 4', 4 bulb florescent. However, I like the new T5s low profile floros. I did the math to purchase the new T5 4 tube fixture @ 204 per fixture, the 8 tube fixtures are 349.00 not including the bulb which prices out at 15.95 ea. The HID (sunburst) 430W HPS (Son Agro)is 320.95. This light would cover approx 4'x4' area.
With regards to the stand, i like the ability to stack the lights to minimize the sq ft. needed. Using the HID I'll be unable to stack the lights which increases the floor space needed.

I'm trying to justify the cost and it is a lot of moolah :-)

Thanks for the feedback... I'll keep looking. If anyone has a well made stand or plans for a stand, please post a link.


    Bookmark   March 13, 2005 at 11:20AM
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ceresone(missouri ozarks)

i ordered my 4-shelf stand from meek lumber--and i have 4 double sets of lights on each shelf--cost altogether, under $200. shelves are moveable/removable, and lights adjust by raising and lowering the chains. i, too, wanted the more expensive stands--but this one has produced soo many flats of veggies and flowers, i'm beginning to wonder what i was thinking!! and--the plastic enclosures would fit it--as would a plain plastic "wrap"i'm happy with it.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2005 at 5:36PM
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bhos13(5/6 MO)

I think that's the same one I saw a picture of a few weeks ago , it does look like a very nice one. I based the design of the stand I'm building partly on it. Here's some pics after about $110 (including 4 2-bulb overdriven HD cheapy fixtures) and 8 hours of work (including rewiring the lights.)

Here is a link that might be useful: Homebuilt light stand

    Bookmark   March 14, 2005 at 1:19AM
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Wow, what a great job.. A few questions please, a clamp is being used to support the light shelf? Why is that? I noticed you have two elect conduits the running the length of your stand, I can't make it out, but what did you use to tighten the shelve to these conduits? If you used a set screw how do you keep the conduit from being dented? I would think a squeeze connector may work better than a set screw. 1/2 mineralac (sp) would supply the proper tightening without destroying the conduit.. It doesn't appear to be ridgid conduit. More like EMT or IM am i right?
I like this stand because your able to add a shelve as needed. Did you work off a plan?
I can see by the quality of the stand you have a carpentry background.. What does one do if he lacks the proper equipment to make such a stand?

    Bookmark   March 14, 2005 at 8:57AM
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amypepsi2(z 5 ohio)

We made our own Based on the Stand in the Burpee Seed started book. Made of PVC pipe.

Here is a link that might be useful: garden

    Bookmark   March 14, 2005 at 10:21AM
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bhos13(5/6 MO)

Amy, great job, I hadn't thought of using PVC but that makes perfect sense.

Francis, thx. That's just a common bar clamp in the picture, it's not attached but makes minute adjustments to the shelf height fairly easy for one person (with all those lights, that shelf is a bit heavier than I thought it would be.) The shelf clamps are cast steel conduit clamps from Home Depot, I think they were ~ $0.75/ea. It is a set screw type, open faced, but I haven't had a problem (yet) with denting the 1/2-in steel conduit. I don't know the conduit type (EMT,IM), it's the cheap stuff also sold at HD. The conduit is replaceable (the holes in the top 2x4 go all the way through) so I'm not that concerned about it should they start to get dimpled. I didn't work off of a plan other than the illegible scribblings I had made on some scrap paper the over the course of a few days before starting, but I can post measurements and a cut sheet if anyone would like them. I have to build more shelves, so I'll try to take some pics pics during and post them. The two shelves in the picture are different, the first prototype (holding the lights) was made with strips of 3/4-in hardwood ply, but it has more flex than I'm comfortable with so I switch to 2x2's (2x4's ripped on a table saw) for the second shelf and it's a lot more robust. The material covering the shelf is 1/8-in "tile" board, kind of like fiber board but coated on one side with a white, shiny material resembling bathroom tile. I think I'll enclose the back & top of the shelf with this material, it's surprisingly cheap ($8 per 4x8 sheet) and appears to be waterproof (on the coated side). I'm actually a computer programmer, but my father was a shop teacher so I guess I inherited his "handiness". The tools I used were a table saw (just to rip the 2x4's), circular saw, hack saw, mitre saw, drill and various bits, a router with a laminate trim bit, and clamps. I think HD would probably rip the 2x4's in store if asked, and a circular saw could be used in leui of a mitre saw (and they sell cheap manual mitre boxes for use with hand saws). The router was used to flush the shelving materials to the edges of the shelf only because I have one and am lazy, more careful cutting and a cheap hand plane or file would accomplish the same thing.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2005 at 11:10AM
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You have more ability than myself.. But being an electrician i noticed the EMT right off the bat .. If I could be so bold as to suggest you replace this EMT with rigid conduit (the kind your have to thread) Change out the set screw with a strap they use to secure conduit to a ceiling. I call them (Mineralac)(sp) Because the EMT will dent eventually and become useless.
Moreover, you did a great job and i would like to know the measurements, so if you can post measurements and a cut sheet, that would be greatly appreciated. No hurry take your time when ever you think of it.
I could probably get them to rip all lumber needed at Home Depot or Lowes.

I have to say that is very impressive stand and I could see its well made with a lot of forethought.
Good Job

    Bookmark   March 14, 2005 at 12:50PM
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maineman(z5a ME)


I looked at the Harris light stand and liked it quite a lot. The price did stop me though. I have a couple of light stands that I created by simply hanging shoplights from two of these chrome 24in.x 48in. wire shelves units. I positioned the bottom shelf all the way to the bottom so I could space the shelves out to get maximum room for each shelf.

By cutting a 1½" square notch out of the reflectors in the corners, I get four of the Home Depot commercial #140-904 shoplights per shelf. That provides eight T8 48" bulbs per shelf and, by overdriving them, I get the equivalent of 12 T8 bulbs per shelf, which is way more light than the Harris unit provides. Four standard 22" x 11" plant trays fit nicely per shelf, with a little room to spare. The shelves are adjustable in one-inch increments and the heavy-duty 5-inch caster wheels make the unit easy to move around and make it easy to sweep under the shelves.

I will probably get another one of these units next year to grow even more plants, and by that time my total investment will be comparable to just one of the Harris units. When I order from Northern Tools, I always make sure I don't have to pay shipping by either finding a special free shipping deal or simply buy enough at one time to make my order total more than $149 to qualify for free shipping.

These heavy duty steel wire shelves are rated at over 250 lb each. Shelves made of PVC pipe will bend down and take a permanent warp with considerably less load.


    Bookmark   March 17, 2005 at 3:13AM
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korney19(z6a Buffalo, NY)

Personally, I have been using Floralight tabletop models for the last 4-5 years and just switched over to the hi-intensity version of the Floralight 3-tier system; it was anywhere from $599-$799 but found it on ebay for 2 bills with the trays and 12 VeriLux bulbs. I've since OD'ed 2 bulbs of 1 tier.

Both Kmart and Aldi's have the chrome wire shelving w/wheels this week for $49.


    Bookmark   March 17, 2005 at 3:56AM
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maineman(z5a ME)


"Both Kmart and Aldi's have the chrome wire shelving w/wheels this week for $49."

Yes, but those are 36-inch by 14-inch shelves. Not a very useful size for a light stand. I much prefer the 48-inch by 24-inch shelves from Northern Tool because they accommodate four 48-inch Home Depot shoplights and four 11 x 22 plant trays per shelf. You couldn't fit much on the K-Mart shelves.


    Bookmark   March 18, 2005 at 3:33AM
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I also fell in love with the harris light stand. I showed it to my daughter and she thought I was crazy to consider buying it.Too much money.While shopping at costco I found a wire rack, I forget the brand name but it was $75.00 like 6ft 6in. tall all ajustable shevles on wheels. Then I went to a hardwhare store and bought shop light fixtures with grow bulbs, four bulbs per shelf.I have four seed trays per shelf, for a total of 16 trays in all. The total cost is about $250-$300. I have two of these shelf units set up in my house. I also have grow mats but you won't need them. My seedlings sprout like over night. So many seedlings. Hard to keep up with all my babies. but what fun! Its every bit as nice as the harris set up and if I remember right mine holds more trays.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2005 at 9:24AM
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