DarkBox Suggestion

Discussion in 'Grow Room Design/Setup' started by chillyb, Feb 10, 2009.

  1. Hi All!

    I had to post this info I just found online in regards to a DIY, light box that might be of interest to someone looking to build one.

    Anyway, here it is.


    • Screwdriver - I prefer a drill with screwdriver bits
    • Saw - Table, circular, or hand, in that preferential order
    • Clamps

    • 1x6 lumber, sufficient to make a box of the size you want
    • 1/2" plywood, large enough for the box you want
    • 1/4" plywood, large enough for the box you want - very good quality
    • Either one of above, the same size as your box, for the bottom and lid
    • Brads - 1 1/4" or 1 1/2"
    • Wood glue
    • Light fixture
    • Flourescent tube - the round tube kind that screws into a standard \tlight fixture
    • Electrical cord with plug and rocker switch
    • Hinges - 2 small hinges to hinge the lid - and screws to fasten
    • 1/4" foam weather-strip to put on the lid to prevent light leaks


    1. Decide how you want to make the corners of your box, you could choose to miter them, or to dovetail them, or rabet them, or butt join them, it will make a difference as to the length you cut them. I chose to miter them, because I have a power saw and it is the easiest joint besides the butt joint to make, and it looks better than a butt joint.
    2. Cut the 1x6's to length, so that the finished box will overlap the lid by 1/4" on all sides.
    3. Rabet the top edges of all four sides so the lid will fit flush with the top of the wood, or slightly below, and there is a 1/4" strip of wood around the outside of the glass.
    4. In one of the sides, cut a hole 1/4" in diameter - this will be for the power cord to enter the box
    5. Join, glue, nail, and clamp the sides together to make a box.
    6. Cut the bottom to fit the sides
    7. Glue and nail the bottom to the sides (the rabet is at the top \tof the box, not the bottom)
    8. Attach the hinges to the lid and one side (or the back, if you \tknow where the back is) so that the lid sets square and fairly \tclose to the sides
    9. Paint the outside of the box and top of the lid whatever color \tyou want
    10. Paint the underside of the lid flat white
    11. Paint the insides of the box white. (to reflect light)
    12. Attach the foam weather strip around the edges of the lid to \tcontact the sides when the lid is down
    13. Run the power cord through the hole in the side, and wire the \tlight fixture, make sure the rocker switch is outside the box!
    14. Put in the fluorescent bulb and test the wiring, no bare wires
    15. Cut of a little bit of the foam weather-strip, and stuff it into \tthe hole where the wire goes through, to prevent light leaks
    16. Set the lid/top into the recesses in the sides. (can be any type of material)
    17. Test it for light leaks.
      1. Turn on the light
      2. Close the lid
      3. Turn off the room lights
      4. When your eyes have adjusted, 3-5 minutes, look for \t\tlight leaks
      5. At seams, use some foam, or some caulk
      6. at the edges where the top meets the sides, try pressing \t\ton the lid first, if the light leaks stop, Try adjusting \t\tthe hinge so the edge where the hinge is further \t\taway from the side (the foam here is pushing the lid \t\taway from the box), or thinning out the foam on that \t\tedge
    Anyway...hope this helps.

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