I got into gardening over the winter, so I started indoors. Rather than deal with lots of little shelves and lights, I went a bit industrial with some metal racks and LED shop lights, so I could fit in more plants with good light. I also tried to go for large plastic drip trays rather than a pan for each pot. Overall I like the setup so far, though having plants scattered around the place would be nice, too. The lights and plastic trays ended up being a lot bigger chunk of the cost than I expected, compared to the shelves. Also, for larger stuff I'm starting to use fabric plant bags, which presents moisture trapping issues without a riser of some sort, so I'm still working through some of the gotchas, especially on the large drip tray vs. individual ones, but it does allow for more flexibility on pot sizes.

I found a shelf I liked pretty quickly, it's all metal with notch/cutout assembly rather than the little plastic sleeves. I've seen it under other brands, but commonly it's a Muscle Rack UR482472WF, 72" x 48" x 24". The 18" was a bit narrow for most long trays, so I swapped to the 24". Biggest complaint is sometimes the metal fittings just won't take, and I've had to move them up or down a bit, but other than that I like them.

Trays were a bit more of a challenge - and, outside of McMaster-Carr, most places aren't well set up to search for "plastic thing in these dimensions" so it took some searching and experimentation, but for the 24" shelf, I settled on replacement pans for dog crates, specifically the 42 inch model from MidWest Homes for Pets, with stated specs of 41.3" x 27.75" x 1", giving it a slight overhang on width, but enough wiggle room on length to fit between the columns of the shelf.

Lights were easy - if not cheap - since the 48" long shelves work great with 48" shop lights, and the wire rack made them very easy to hang.

Meanwhile, spring came and while I was gardening more for enjoyment than for food, I went with some squash, pumpkins, peppers, and greens for outside, using spare wire shelves propped up with plastic pots, which worked probably better than it should have, but was a bit slidy. The trellis-cage-things had spiky bits which I rounded off with some moldable plastic, so they wouldn't poke through the fabric bags. Even the big 20 gallon bags ended up a bit small for the squash and pumpkin plants, which had trouble getting enough water and didn't produce much. Snails demolished the greens, and anything else that couldn't grow fast and up enough to outlast them.

I went mostly with plain worklights for inside, but mixed in a grow light per shelf on a few shelves. I wasn't a fan of the coloration from those in pictures, it's not quite as bad in person, but I still prefer having some normal lights to even things out a bit. The greens inside did a lot better away from the snails, thankfully.

At some point I'd love to have a greenhouse and some larger outside plots, but I'm glad I dove in and started learning without getting locked into researching things forever - I've learned a lot but just giving it a whirl and seeing what happens.