Over the past few years, Hydroponics for Dummies has tried to find the perfect Indoor Gardening Starter Kit.  We wanted one that had everything you needed for a successful first grow and that was easy to use and as foolproof as possible.  We tried a lot of hydroponic starter kits on the market and found them all lacking, so we decided to build our own.  This is our Entry Level, CFL Starter Kit.

CFL Starter Kit
            (Compact Fluorescent Lights)


Buy CFL Hydroponic Starter Kit Now

This basic, no frills approach to hydroponics is designed to do one thing, and do it well: grow great crops!  Its utter simplicity with no moving parts means there is nothing to break, nothing to maintain, other than replacing a burnt out bulb on occasion.  And because CFL lamps put out very little heat, you don't need ventilation or cooling fans.  Cleanup is a breeze, just dump out the soil from your hydro pots, replace with fresh soil and your ready to grow again.

CFL LightThe CFL Starter Kit comes with three 85W CFL bulbs and lamp cords with bulb sockets in them.  We don't supply reflectors for obvious reasons (see photo on the left) which saves you considerable money on unnecessary equipment. Since you need to keep raising your grow lights as the plants get bigger, you need some easy way to accomplish this.  What I do is loop the light cord over the pole then clamp in place with a clothespin.  We also supply a yo-yo light mount kit to accomplish the same thing.

This kit is easy to setup; it takes less than an hour -- no tools required.  We include six hydro grow pots which are plenty to enjoy bountiful harvests.  And of course the supplied grow tent is 48" x 23" x 60"h taking up just eight square feet of floor space while supplying over 40 cubic feet of growing area.

Total cost for complete CFL Starter Kit with three CFL bulbs, three cords with light sockets,  extension cords to tie your three CFL lights into one plug, digital timer for maintaining your lighting cycles and six months of nutrients costs just $475 including shipping.  Based on pharmacy prices, you'll easily break even on your very  first grow.  After that, you pay practically nothing for each succeeding harvest.


The CFL Starter Kit shown to the left is the perfect entry level indoor gardening system.  It better be, it's our very own starter kit.

Best Hydroponic Starter Kit

The CFL Starter Kit is my personal favorite.  After trying all different types of lighting (CFL, Metal Halide, Sodium Vapor and LED) I have a preference for CFL lights: they're inexpensive, last a long time, generate little heat, use little electricty and put out plenty of light for dense grows.

Hydroponics has become synonymous with indoor gardening which is a shame.  After going down the hydroponic path of hydro tubs and bubbleponics aeration and hydroponic reservoirs with drip irrigation I came a full 360º and now use soil in regular garden pots.  Soil is a great grow medium (after all, Mother Nature seems to do just fine with it) and is free from the maintenance and breakage pure hydroponic growing areas require.  The one downside to growing in soil is that you have to be around to water once a day, unlike pure hydro systems with plentiful reservoirs that can be left unattended to water your plants for weeks.

Undoubtably, you could build your own system to closely resemble what we've put together in this kit.  But why bother?  You'd have to deal with several different vendors as well as chase all over town buying components and at the end of the day, you're not going to save that much money and  you're going to do a lot of extra work.

You'll probably find yourself springing for a second unit as soon as you discover how easy the CFL Starter Kit makes growing.  With two systems going, you can have one in flowering mode, and the other in vegetation mode.  This way you'll be able to create your own clones and basically create a self-perpetuating growing machine.

There are dozens of advertised Hydroponic Starter Kits.  This is the best value of the lot.

FULL DISCLOSURE:  The products we recommend have been purchased and used by us.  Our reviews represent our honest opinion about the product.  However, in many cases we do make a small percentage (usually 10%) of the purchase price if you click on our link to the product before you buy.