START HERE: SIMPLE TEMPLATE
Use this easy template for your first Space Bucket.
Once you have prepared your main container, cut holes on the sides to hold the PC Fans(8x8 are preferred). Two fans per bucket is a standard recommendation. Use the lower fan as intake, and keep the exhaust close to the lights (heat from the bulbs needs to be extracted).If you have only one fan, use it an active exhaust and keep the intake passive. Once the fans are in place, connect the 12v power supply to them. Make sure the power supply has the right amperage (a standard 2A can run two fans safely).
Then, glue a power strip to one side of the main bucket. Here you will connect the plug from the lights (and timer) and the12v power supply for the fans, among other things you’ll find along the way.
The classic Space Bucket design is composed of two parts: a main container for the plant, and a light-top with CFL bulbs (both with ventilation). These grow buckets can be made in a weekend if the gardener has a hands-on attitude: with a SB you’ll be able to grow any kind of plant indoors. See the pictorial for extra step by step instructions. Knowledge of the dangers of electricity is essential, it is imperative to follow SAGs electrical safety guidelines throughout your build process.
The shopping list below serves as a starting point for one basic CFL Space Bucket. You can find a more diverse selection of trusted bucket parts at the Materials section.
- Four 5gal (20l) buckets, and one lid.
- Four 23w CFL bulbs, with this easy adapter.
- Two PC Fans and a 12v 2A power supply.
- A power strip, and a 24h timer.
Pick your best looking bucket and make some holes in the bottom with a hot piece of metal (a screwdriver will work). You can also use a rotary tool (like a Dremel), which allows faster builds. The holes will enable water drainage once the plant is inside. You can choose put reflective material on the walls. This will optimize the lumen output once the light-top is stacked. Mylar film sticks neatly with any kind of glue (and a little patience). If you have white buckets, this covering is optional, the walls will be already reflective.
Cover the outside walls of your main bucket with layers of black masking tape, this will make the Space Bucket lightproof and let you control light leaks.You’re looking for lumen tightness. Finally, get your extra buckets and cut the top off of them: the resulting bucket-tops (or spacers) can be stacked to the main bucket to alter the height of the setup.
It is time to build the light-top. We recommend at least 100 true Watts of CFL, that means 4 or 5 bulbs that can be arranged in many configurations. Mixing spectrums is encouraged with warm white and cool white lights.
Start by picking the best bucket-top and lid you have available. This process can be simplified using this easy 4 way adapter. If you only have sockets available, make holes on the walls of the bucket-top to fit E27 bulb sockets, and wire them in parallel. Always solder and tape your wires! Twisting the leads is not safe enough (wire nuts can be used too). Once the wiring is finished, glue a container on the lid to hide the installation.
Make room for a 8×8 PC fan on the side of the light-top: this will ensure that the heat emmited by the bulbs is extracted outside the plants environment. You can choose more effective fans for this task (inlines are recommended), combining the extraction system with a carbon filter.
Connect the light-top timer and 12v supplies to the power strip, and then the strip to the wall. And that is it, you’re done! You now have one fully functional Space Bucket garden. Plant your species in the main bucket (directly or with a pot), turn on the light-top and timer and watch life thrive and grow in the inside of your home.