Suggestions on a CFL Cabinet

Looking through my things, I noticed I had two of these sitting around new in box. Well, I’ve long since sold my camera and even then I preferred landscapes to studio work. So I figured, each one of these 150w CFLs will flower a single plant, a number of seedlings or clones. I’m thinking maybe 2’x2’x4’ cabinet for each, with a PC fan on top to pull air, or not in the case of a male occupant. Air intake holes at the bottom, again or not, and the top just lifts off for access.

Heat- how hot do these get? Have heard cool enough to run without exhaust fans.
Space- is that enough light for the space? Space can be reduced, light can only be doubled (meaning only one cab).

Alternative materials? I don’t like the idea of not being able to see the plant well, considering plexiglass for the front to aid in light adjustment… one way mirror film? Or am I just high?


Do a cab with a door. You don’t want something that will let light in when flowering. Put the door on the front, not the top, so you can pull the plant out easily and inspect it closer. Pulling a flowering plant out of a cabinet from the top is difficult when the colas are getting big.

I’d be comfortable running one light in a 2x2x4 cab. I don’t think heat is going to be much of an issue with an exhaust up top.

Personally if I had those lights, I’d do 2 cabinets, maybe 2x2x3 each and stack them. One for veg, one for flower, have a plant flowering while you veg/clone/germ in the other cabinet.


I thought 3’-4’ myself, good to hear. I plan two, side by side. They’ll be multipurpose, as I have a flower and veg set up, mostly just little isolated environments. I don’t have a need, so much as a use, lol. I have a 2x4x6 tent that I thought about using them in, I have a 2 bulb T-12 in there now (ancient)… but I couldn’t figure out how to mount the light. So I figure, make them out of wood! While I’m at it, seal the wooden boxes, easier than sealing that tent.

So kind of envisioned a bottomless box, with the light mounted to the top. I realize now I explained that weird, my bad. Although still would be hard putting one over a large plant… Hm, maybe more towards your idea.


My first grow was a space bucket. Getting the sides on and off and not smooshing the plant was annoying. First thing I wanted to change after I finished that grow.


I have those same CFLs.
Never flowered under them, but I use it for mothers and clones in 2x2 tent. Work pretty good.

The wattage is over stated though they are 100w I believe.

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You’re right, it’s around 100ish. What kind of reflector are you using, if any? Right now I’m using the nylon 20”x28” reflector it came bundled with as a photo light, mounted a few inches above my vegging plants. Figure it’s gotta be better than the other light in numbers alone and it’s looking good. Definitely cooler than whatever was in there before, brighter too.

Honestly recycle them if it’s those exact ones as looks like their false advertising to the point they may only be 50w, and if that’s the case say two 13-14w Philips LEDs screw in bulbs at $12-14 for the two would be better and way less heat and directional once the domes are popped off.

Even using both those cfls in say a 2x2’s probably wouldn’t be enough light , just go led bulbs even if it’s not repurposing what you have already, though you would probably want at least 8-12 of those led bulbs for good light levels in a 2x2, anyways been known for awhile that those led Screw in lights work pretty decent and I for one used them for awhile too.

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I have plans for LED in the coming year, this is a stop gap!

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I’m just using a cheap dome that’s supposed to be used for reptile tanks.

If your looking to actually grow with these I would second the suggestion for going to LEDs.

You might be able to get more bang out of these hanging them sideways with some sort of reflector. , way back I I used beer cans cut in half vertically to direct light down, worked okay.

These work for clones for me and keeping mothers alive , but the growth speed isn’t there for actually running anything unless you add alot.

Way back I tried a CFL run, the density wasn’t there. Looking back I would have preferred to have invested in a small HID (LED wasn’t an option then).


Yes! They seem a bit lack luster, no matter the form factor. Now that LED is affordable it’s clearly better. My idea was to convert these later on with 2’ Bridgeluxe strips on the top and sides. I was just excited to see something I own, so free, that would be better than what I had now? Great! But can’t invest much into it exactly, I plan to switch to LED over the next year, so I’m trying to think future proof. Have to use these for the next 6 months for seedlings, then I’ll have 1000w HID I’m not using that can become my new veg light until, eventually, I get LEDs there… it’s just a step, lol. All it’s got to do is grow my 6 clones and seedlings for a month, then they’re onto loftier pursuits.

These will work great for rooting your clones and getting them ready for life under your HID. I’ve seen the brigelux strips, seems like a good option for sure.

I use a 1000w hid too.
Have a few blurple LEDs I bought some time ago “Bestva 1000w” - they actually work pretty good as supplementary lighting for the 1000w HPS.

Not sure what it’s like for you, but where I am electricity is so cheap $0.10CAD/KW I haven’t made the switch to high end LEDs, dont think I will for quite some time the up front cost is too high and the HID is still working and not breaking the bank on my monthly bills.

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I second what @Bammer1082 says, I use mine for keeping mom’s alive and cloning. The CFLs are perfect for Momma plants