Author Topic: Business Idea: indoor growing kit with LED grow lights  (Read 10684 times)

rhadams1988

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Business Idea: indoor growing kit with LED grow lights
« on: April 16, 2016, 10:05:19 AM »
I've been considering an online business idea and I wanted to get this community's feedback. I've been growing leafy greens indoors with LED grow lights for a few years, and it's super easy.

Do you think there's a market for a kit that includes all the hardware, lamps, and seeds needed to grow greens inside? All you would need to do is add planting soil, plant the seeds, and water occasionally. Then you can have fresh greens through the winter. Feel free to tear this idea apart :)

kudy

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Re: Business Idea: indoor growing kit with LED grow lights
« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2016, 11:03:34 AM »
My sister and my mother both have an aerogarden, so I know people are drawn to the idea of growing herbs/greens in a small area of their interior home... the question is, how big is the market for people who want something more impressive than an aerogarden, but still small enough that it will fit in their house?

One immediate audience that jumps to mind are the green smoothie crowd, but I'm not sure if you'd be able to grow a smoothie's worth of greens every day? There's also the prepper crowd, I've seen a lot of those folks exploring the aquaponics (fish tank + hydroponic plants) market.

I've looked at a few "hydroponic window farm" DIY guides and maybe even a few kits - this idea eliminates the need for horizontal space, and it seems pretty cool.

ender

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Re: Business Idea: indoor growing kit with LED grow lights
« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2016, 11:27:22 AM »
I've been considering an online business idea and I wanted to get this community's feedback. I've been growing leafy greens indoors with LED grow lights for a few years, and it's super easy.

Do you think there's a market for a kit that includes all the hardware, lamps, and seeds needed to grow greens inside? All you would need to do is add planting soil, plant the seeds, and water occasionally. Then you can have fresh greens through the winter. Feel free to tear this idea apart :)

Do you have to keep the environment a certain temperature? Do you use specific LED lights? When I looked before, they were very specific and expensive.

I'm curious about this, since I live in the midwest - our winters are really cool and I would tend to think many things would require a lot of heat to really grow.

But I would love to do something like this. It just doesn't seem super economical to me given what I know and have researched and I'd love to hear your experiences.

MarryJK

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Re: Business Idea: indoor growing kit with LED grow lights
« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2016, 05:52:11 AM »
I have car related business too. I started 5 years ago. It was really hard to find investors but still I needed money for startup. So I took a loan on [PAY DAY LOAN LINK]. I am still paying 800$ every month but I have already a base of clients. It's nice to do what you like.

[MOD NOTE:  OMG.  WTF? Pay day loan links?  Here?  What were you thinking?  Banned for life]
« Last Edit: April 20, 2016, 06:37:22 AM by FrugalToque »

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Business Idea: indoor growing kit with LED grow lights
« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2016, 06:19:54 AM »
I would not get into this business. The police monitor hydroponics businesses and their customers very closely and can turn your life upside down with no accountability.

One example.

Frugal Lizard

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Re: Business Idea: indoor growing kit with LED grow lights
« Reply #5 on: April 20, 2016, 06:37:18 AM »
 Lee Valley sells a lamp and it seems very expensive for how many greens you could grow. I wouldn't likely buy a kit - they seem too expensive compared to what I was able to cobble together for next to nothing. My thinking is the type who wants to grow their own stuff is already predisposed to putting in some effort and would go the extra steps to put together something themselves.  Would yours be so much superior that I would pay more to have yours?  Superior in not just energy use, but design, time saving and resolve some of the design issues that I have with mine (with water and soil getting all over the place) or not big enough.

bobechs

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Re: Business Idea: indoor growing kit with LED grow lights
« Reply #6 on: April 20, 2016, 07:25:15 AM »
I would not get into this business. The police monitor hydroponics businesses and their customers very closely and can turn your life upside down with no accountability.

One example.

Well, I for one took "leafy greens" to be a euphemism in the first place...

dcozad999

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Re: Business Idea: indoor growing kit with LED grow lights
« Reply #7 on: April 20, 2016, 09:22:36 AM »
I would be very interested in something like this.

We are green smoothie people and it has raised our grocery bill considerably (especially the frozen fruit). We grow some in the spring - fall, but only have a small patio so it's only a supplement. And our local farmers' market prices are worse than Sam's Club.



HipGnosis

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Re: Business Idea: indoor growing kit with LED grow lights
« Reply #8 on: April 20, 2016, 10:41:54 AM »
You can start small and find out what the market is via Craigslist and Ebay (and so many similar venues).
There is definitively a market for things that are for growing things indoors.  I've been occasionally  researching hydroponics and there are quite a few sites.
But a substantial amount of them are primarily for growing 'the herb'...
Or you can start with a blog. 
Personally, I think you're really limiting your market by saying (just) for greens.
And I'd rather have a place to buy the parts rather than just a kit of a given size.

Can you share what greens you grow? 

rhadams1988

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Re: Business Idea: indoor growing kit with LED grow lights
« Reply #9 on: April 20, 2016, 11:03:29 AM »
Thanks for all the questions and ideas.

-Temperature - I've found that you don't need to keep the plants super warm to keep them growing. They just need to stay above 50ish degrees which isn't typically a problem in a conditioned space or basement. Plus leafy greens like lettuce and spinach love colder temperatures anyway.

-"leafy greens" euphemism - I'm actually talking about leafy greens like spinach and lettuce. I've never grown pot, but I hear it's much harder to do and you need pretty specialized equipment. That's not what I'm interested in.

-What greens do I grow - so far I've stuck to spinach, lettuce, and kale. They are super easy, grow well in the cold, and mature fairly quickly.

Thanks again for all the comments. It's given me a lot to think about.

HipGnosis

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Re: Business Idea: indoor growing kit with LED grow lights
« Reply #10 on: April 20, 2016, 12:45:52 PM »
Which variety of lettuce?

Johnez

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Re: Business Idea: indoor growing kit with LED grow lights
« Reply #11 on: April 20, 2016, 01:32:03 PM »
I'm actually interested in this idea, and in a DIY sort of way. I've been researching components (lighting, substrate, etc.) casually for a while now as an extension of my aquarium.

A kit site with interchangeable parts and options to build the whole thing would be pretty neat. Appeal to DIY and laziness at the same time haha. EM3EV electric bike site has kind of a simple way to build an ebike kit, as much  or as little as you need. The reason I like that site is it doesn't lock you into a set amount of options (option A, B, or C) with no customization, like other sites, leaving you wanting a bigger battery or more spead, or greater torque....

Kaikou

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Re: Business Idea: indoor growing kit with LED grow lights
« Reply #12 on: April 20, 2016, 02:09:07 PM »
I have car related business too. I started 5 years ago. It was really hard to find investors but still I needed money for startup. So I took a loan on [PAY DAY LOAN LINK]. I am still paying 800$ every month but I have already a base of clients. It's nice to do what you like.

[MOD NOTE:  OMG.  WTF? Pay day loan links?  Here?  What were you thinking?  Banned for life]

This comment made my day. Lol. Thanks for the laugh.

ooeei

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Re: Business Idea: indoor growing kit with LED grow lights
« Reply #13 on: April 20, 2016, 02:33:33 PM »
I suspect there's something similar to this already out there, but it could work with the right marketing.  I could easily see something like that taking off on Kickstarter with a tagline of "The LED system that's disrupting the home gardening industry".  Get buzzfeed or upworthy or some other site to post about it.  Give early adopters a discount, and set a funding target of $25k or so. Get some attractive men with mustaches and beards wearing flannel to show themselves trimming off some greens for a locally produced farm to table dinner served to their also attractive glasses wearing friends in their trendy urban apartment while they drink wine at their rustic wooden table.  Talk about how you're cutting out the middle man and bringing the products straight to the consumer for a great price, and you're doing it because when you set up your first indoor garden you had such a hard time finding all of the components, and having it in one system would make it so much better.

This may sound like sarcasm, but it's something I could actually see working.  People love buying things through kickstarter that they would never buy at a store, especially if it's "disruptive" or "revolutionary", even if the components are available cheaper in numerous other places that don't advertise much.  Make it a sleek fully supported system instead of components, and it could work, and make it small enough that you can sell it for <$100 and make a profit (even if it just grows a few micro greens).

A Japanese/western hybrid chef's knife called the Misen recently raised over $1,000,000 compared to its I think $50k target, largely due to Serious Eats publicizing it.  There are numerous similar knives available at similar price points (arguably equal/better products), but they made it simple and sleek and easy, one knife, no choosing sizes or comparing metals, and really sold the whole "it's just a few guys making this thing for you" feel even though they're having it manufactured in China and don't have any experience with large scale manufacturing.

This is how you do it:
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/misenkitchen/misen-cook-sharp
« Last Edit: April 20, 2016, 02:37:28 PM by ooeei »

Cosmos

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Re: Business Idea: indoor growing kit with LED grow lights
« Reply #14 on: April 20, 2016, 02:48:14 PM »
Interesting business idea. There are definitely several niches of customers you could target and likely do well. In addition to those noted above I'd add the vegetarians and paleo folks on weight loss and fitness forums. The "clean eating" thing is big on the forums and they have a subset of particularly competitive folks who try to be the best at healthy eating. What better way to be the "best" vegetarian or paleo devotee than to have your own indoor grow station?

Did you know Ikea is getting into this market?
http://www.ikea.com/ms/en_GB/ikea-collections/indoor-gardening/
You may want to have a look at that and see how it compares to your plans. If you have a similar size kit you'd want to beat the price or in some way add value or convenience. It's helpful for you that they are going to be selling this as it'll normalize a home grow station in a way that other microgreen, grow light, and mini hydroponic setups haven't, so a larger pool of people will be thinking about it than in the past.

rhadams1988

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Re: Business Idea: indoor growing kit with LED grow lights
« Reply #15 on: April 20, 2016, 05:39:49 PM »
Which variety of lettuce?

I've used buttercrunch in the past, and now I'm using a blend.

maizeman

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Re: Business Idea: indoor growing kit with LED grow lights
« Reply #16 on: April 20, 2016, 06:08:41 PM »
How much space in a house/apartment would this system actually take up to get a significant quantity of greens on a weekly basis? Not knowing anything about vegetables this seems to be like one of the significant barriers to adoption.

We've played with LEDs optimized for photosynthesis at work a bit (lots of blue and red LEDs lots less of other wavelengths). It's amazing how fast and how far the technology as come.

geekette

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Re: Business Idea: indoor growing kit with LED grow lights
« Reply #17 on: April 20, 2016, 09:59:00 PM »
IKEA will be selling a hydroponics system starting next month.  No word on the price yet, though.

But it does seem like there will be demand, if IKEA's getting in on it.

ender

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Re: Business Idea: indoor growing kit with LED grow lights
« Reply #18 on: April 21, 2016, 05:39:07 AM »
Thanks for all the questions and ideas.

-Temperature - I've found that you don't need to keep the plants super warm to keep them growing. They just need to stay above 50ish degrees which isn't typically a problem in a conditioned space or basement. Plus leafy greens like lettuce and spinach love colder temperatures anyway.

-"leafy greens" euphemism - I'm actually talking about leafy greens like spinach and lettuce. I've never grown pot, but I hear it's much harder to do and you need pretty specialized equipment. That's not what I'm interested in.

-What greens do I grow - so far I've stuck to spinach, lettuce, and kale. They are super easy, grow well in the cold, and mature fairly quickly.

Thanks again for all the comments. It's given me a lot to think about.

Cool (literally :-).

We currently live in a 1BR place and don't really have space but I have visions of a basement someday with a large shelf full of several rows of LEDs and growing plants year round.

dagagad

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Re: Business Idea: indoor growing kit with LED grow lights
« Reply #19 on: April 21, 2016, 09:27:11 AM »
Make it expensive and high end. That's the way I'd go. The key would be to be recommended by tastemakers.

Any links out there for how to make a basic herb garden outdoors? It's April so I'm thinking about it. I want to grow spinach, kale and basil.

libertarian4321

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Re: Business Idea: indoor growing kit with LED grow lights
« Reply #20 on: April 21, 2016, 09:38:43 AM »
I'd like to grow "greens" too, once Texas comes out of the stone age and into the 21st century like CO, AK, DC, OR, WA have done, and CA has effectively done.

We are talking about marijuana here, right?

dcozad999

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Re: Business Idea: indoor growing kit with LED grow lights
« Reply #21 on: April 21, 2016, 01:34:45 PM »
Make it expensive and high end. That's the way I'd go. The key would be to be recommended by tastemakers.

Any links out there for how to make a basic herb garden outdoors? It's April so I'm thinking about it. I want to grow spinach, kale and basil.

http://www.squarefootgardening.com/

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0055E7KR2/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_nS_ttl?_encoding=UTF8&colid=1AF1ENIITVTJR&coliid=I2RNC8BC64TB5D&psc=1


BFGirl

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Re: Business Idea: indoor growing kit with LED grow lights
« Reply #22 on: April 22, 2016, 11:56:36 AM »
I have grown herbs, lettuce, baby bok choy, small tomatoes and flowers sucessfully in aerogardens. I have two in my office with petunias growing (one has been going over a year).   I think miracle grow bought them out a couple of years ago and they have updated the design from the ones I have.  There are lots of people selling hydroponic systems on ebay (at least the last time I looked), so I think you would need to find a specific niche or make sure your product in some way stood out.

All the leafy greens I've grown are legal under federal regulations!
« Last Edit: April 22, 2016, 11:58:21 AM by BFGirl »