Festive messages which encourage people to reuse and recycle Christmas lights, using faux Christmas trees and other such things will really have a lasting effect.
They are very pretty and will make you feel a little better about not polluting the environment.
You can also exchange Christmas decorations with your neighbors so you do not have to have the same Christmas decorations but still avoid wasting older decorations.
Thinking of starting some seeds?
When you are learning to grow from seeds, often you might see reference to a heat mat for seedlings.
That is not going to change any time soon.
This is a “readers’ favorite” post our how-to site.
Other Uses for Recycle Christmas lights
Soon it will be the festive season again and that time of the year where everyone will put up their Christmas lights.
The spirit of Christmas is being lost in the excessive commercialization of the holiday.
I love this experiment and hope he follows up at least once more. For those of you who love to experiment and are handy about building things, the Cheap Vegetable Gardener has also developed a larger, more involved computerized grow box, which is insulated (perfect for cool basements and unheated garages).
If you’re planning to start your seeds in a more conventional manner, here are directions and also 10 seed-starting tips.
Then in Update #2, he explains that he added red lights to the blue ones already in place to broaden the spectrum of light and — he hopes — decrease slight legginess.
The creativity of some gardeners never ceases to amaze me. You probably know about starting seeds in “pots” made of newspaper. But where do you put them after they’ve germinated? On a windowsill? Under a shop light? The Cheap Vegetable Gardener put his in a plastic tub outfitted with a string of LED Christmas tree lights!
He gives all the details here, including photos of each step and the technical reasons why this works. The setup took 15 minutes and cost $5, quite a bit less than most seed-starting equipment.
The problem he set out to solve is common to those who grow their own seedlings — he ran out of space. So he took a three-gallon Rubbermaid tub, a string of tree lights that were being sold for half off after Christmas, and drilled holes in the lid of the tub for the lights.
Did it work? Fortunately, we don’t have to wonder. He updates us with his progress. Update #1 shows the seedlings after they’ve sprouted. They look good, but he realizes that he needed more air circulation in his homemade grow box. (This is often a forgotten consideration in seed starting until you notice the mold on the soil.)
Click here to visit the Monitor’s garden section, which links you to blogs, essays, and articles on many different growing topics, including the joy of starting seeds.
Using LED grow lights, even those made from Christmas lights, provide multiple benefits to the home gardener. First and foremost, LED lights provide a substantial cost savings to operate over other types of light. You can string as many into a grow light system as you want and know that you’re receiving value for money. LED lights also last longer, meaning that once you’ve create a grow light system, you won’t have to mess with frequently replacing bulbs.
When it comes to creating a grow light system from Christmas lights, your options are limited only by your imagination. To create a protected place for seedlings and small plants to grow, drill holes in the lid of a plastic storage container and insert one light into each hole. If necessary, glue the lights into place or drill the holes small enough that the lights are secure once you pop them into place. Then use the container as a grow box. Alternatively, insert the lights in the holes of a piece of pegboard and affix the pegboard next to or above your indoor garden.
When you think of Christmas lights, you may picture the strands of blinking, multi-colored lights that often adorn holiday trees and houses during the month of December. While they’re pretty to look at and add a festive touch, they aren’t the best choice for grow lights. Ensure that the lights glow solidly and don’t flash. Select from lengths of lights that have as few as 25 bulbs per strand to longer ones that contain as many as 150, depending on the type of setup in which you plan to use them. LED Luxor notes that research indicates plants absorb the most chlorophyll when exposed to red and blue lighting; blue light, says the Urban Organic Gardener, encourages bushy growth, while red light encourages blooming. You may wish to stick to white LEDs if it seems too complicated figuring out which wavelength is best for you.
Benefits of LED Grow Lights
Whether you have indoor plants that sit too far from windows to receive all the sunlight they need to grow and thrive, or simply want to provide your plants with additional light during the dark winter months, you can create your own LED grow light system from strands of Christmas lights. Once you understand the basics, you can decide how best to use Christmas lights to aid the growth of your plants.
While you’re probably familiar with incandescent and fluorescent lighting, both of which have been around for decades, you may not be as familiar with LED lights. LED stands for light-emitting diode and simply describes a system that combines electricity with semi-conductor devices to produce light. Unlike other forms of lighting, LED lights emit light only; the heat produced is absorbed into a heat sink. While you can certainly use them to provide your plants with additional light, do not depend upon them to raise the temperature or provide warmth to your greenery.
Amie Taylor has been a writer since 2000. Book reviews, gardening and outdoor lawn equipment repair articles and short fiction account for a handful of her published works. Taylor gained her gardening and outdoor equipment repair experience from working in the landscaping and lawn-care business she and her husband own and operate.