Figuring out the right type of light that plants need is something that I continually find myself trying to figure out! Sometimes I think that I have the right setup and lighting configuration but then I decide to move things around and I have to rethink my plant’s lighting setup.
Recently, I decided to try LED light strips so that I can easily install them on shelves. I have heard other plant parents talk about Barrina LED lights so I decided to switch things up, give it a try, and check out what the options are for LED grow light strips.
Conventional fluorescent light fixtures versus grow lights
Grow lights are made with a plant’s growth in mind. The healthier lighting spectrum that it produces is made up of more of the red and blue light that helps plants grow chlorophyll, flowers, and fruits. So, conventional fluorescent light fixtures and bulbs won’t work for plants, they are not full spectrum and cannot provide the right light that indoor plants need.
Kinds of Barrina LED lights
There are so many different kinds of Barrina LED lights that I was a bit overwhelmed when I started looking on Amazon! They have huge 8-foot bulbs, light panels, bulbs with pink light output, and many more options. Luckily, there was a 1-foot LED light strip that I could use for my shelves, which are 2 feet wide. I figured I could put it in the middle of the shelf and it would look like a cabinet light.
Barrina 1-foot LED T5 Grow Light Strip
I settled on these 1-foot LED lights because it is a full spectrum light strip that is easy to install. The lights came with different kinds of installation accessories – metal clips, mounting brackets, and zip ties – but since I had metal shelves I decided to use the included snap joints and attach them to the metal shelf with magnets.
This set of magnets worked great, the largest ones are strong enough to hold the light fixtures in place.
I used magnetic hooks to wrangle the power cord and the connecting cords. I am so happy that magnets work with my plant shelves, it made the installation super fast and easy. I think it only took a few seconds to set up!
The lights are easy to install in general, they aren’t heavy and they come with connector cables to daisy chain the set together. Plus, they are plug and play so once they were all wired up I just needed to switch them on. I placed one light fixture on each shelf with a couple of plants underneath.
The light output is warm light so it looks like general lighting. These awesome lights aren’t super bright, they look like regular lights (not pink or blue!) and it gives the plant shelf a nice polished look.
Testing the 1-foot Barrina LED lights
I had to buy more lights because I got a couple of rare houseplants and I was so scared that the pink princess, white princess, and monstera Thai constellation would wither and die because it didn’t have the right lighting conditions. The new leaves were bigger and plants were happy with the Barrina T5 light! After a month I decided to add another light strip and there is a huge difference in the brightness of the light. I think the plants will grow even more under the brighter light and I hope the leaves will be even more variegated.
I also bought this TVTUTPWY light that is a bit cheaper. Both lights were good but I think the Barrina LED light strip did better. The Barrina light was on the yellow side when compared to the TVTUTPWY light.
The setup was the same, one light per shelf. But the magnets didn’t work with the TVTUTPWY LED light so I improvised and used wire to secure it in place. I placed the same kinds of cuttings under the light bars and the plants under the Barrina LED lights look slightly better.
On another shelf with the TVTUTPWY light, the lower leaves of a philodendron lime plant didn’t do so well, only part of it was hit by the light, and some leaves yellowed.
My honest thoughts on the Barrina T5 LED grow light strips
I think the Barrina LED strip lights were effective and my plants look happy! I am planning on buying more for my other plant shelves or maybe even adding them to a mini greenhouse that I have.
So far I have only used Feit bulbs, Sansi bulbs and Soltech bulbs. I didn’t want to buy another lamp or grow light bulbs so that’s why I tried LED light strips. It definitely looks better since the light strips are along the top of the cabinet shelf.
Next spring I think I’ll test the Barrina light strips on growing seedlings indoors. But for now, I’m going to enjoy how great my plant babies are growing!!
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