Remember back when everyone was buying their first computer? One went out and spent a grand or two on the hardware, came home, set it up on a table in the corner, and there it sat. Cables running everywhere, various peripherals perched precariously on the edge of the table. It was impossible to vacuum around or clean up for that matter. Printer cartridges sat about, printer paper scattered….. recall that? And then came the age of the computer desk. Always advertised as made of oak, sure to enhance the interior decor.

And so everyone went out and bought a computer desk.

Then came laptops and tablets…and smartphones. So now the desk is any flat surface that will offer enough space to balance whatever device one is using. And what to do with those old desks? Mine was used for years in the basement as a workbench/worktable. Eventually it went into a burn pile as I recall.  I kept the printer stand around for printers, oddly enough. But now our printers are tucked in other places and a roll around printer stand just is not needed. So again, mine has been around for years holding books or whatever else I could fit on/in the thing. And then one day (today)…..

…. I was looking for a better spot to put some seedlings I started. Sitting in the sill of the basement window is problematic because, even though it is a very good quality window, it is damn cold next to it which forces me to have to move the plants down onto a table each night so I can pull the curtains. Some of my seedlings are pretty delicate and so I had the idea that maybe I should look into getting a grow lamp so the seedlings don’t need to go next to that cold window to get light. Turns out a 12″ x 12″ LED grow lamp is only about $30, so I ordered one.

Now I do a lot of different projects in our basement. There is a dearth of electrical sockets – a problem which I have not gotten around to solving yet – and so projects have to move around a bit between work sessions. I might work on an electronics project for a day or two, then move on to some other thing I have going thus forcing me to move the previous project out of the way until I get back to it. I set up a table next to the South window for my seedling project which works fine, but the table ends up crowded in the evening when I pull the seedlings out of the window. And then I noticed that old printer stand….

I emptied that old stand out, vacuumed it and then simply used sticky back Velcro to mount the grow light on the under side of the top of the stand. The electrical chord simply runs through the gap between the top and the back of the stand where all the old chords used to run. I set my seedlings down on the bottom, plugged in the grow light and….boom done! It is darn handy! I can adjust the height of the plants using the middle shelf if needed. It rolls around, so in the evening I can unplug it and move it out of the way. Then come morning roll it back over to a socket and plug it in. The LED grow light uses very little power, the printer stand is now useful as something besides a junk collector, and my seedlings stay warm and get proper light for growing. Kind of cool…..


The setup. Double sided Velcro to hold the light in place. Shelf can be inserted to raise or lower seedlings.
Seedlings absorbing light.
The setup. Double sided Velcro to hold the light in place. Shelf can be inserted to raise or lower seedlings.
The back of the new plant incubator












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