In my first week’s update of the 2018 pepper growing season, I expressed some concerns with my existing lighting set up. The clamp lights worked quite well with a singular plant when I grew out my hydroponic Aji Lemon, but when trying to light 40 seedlings, there were several pots that didn’t get much benefit around the periphery of the cone of light the lamps cast.

Not even twenty minutes after posting that update, I set about remedying the issue. I opted to order a 6-pack of Barrina LED T5 fixtures (Amazon link for those interested). Not only do this bulbs produce higher kelvin and lumen values — 2200 and 6500 respectively — than my previous set-up and with a greater coverage area, but they also allowed me to daisy-chain as many or as few as I wished, as you can see in the below photos.

New lighting for pepper plants

Since the package of LED fixtures are independent of one another, I had to come up with a simple mounting system. A couple of spare pieces of light-weight wood and a few eye hooks would do the job just fine. In the two photos below you can see the provided brackets for the fixtures laid out and the backside of the boards showing the hook placements.

New lighting for pepper plants
New lighting for pepper plants

Adding the fixtures was as easy as snapping them into the brackets mounted on the board.

New lighting for pepper plants

Getting the new set up into place was a bit tricky due more to my PVC frame design than the actual lighting, but once it was all hooked up to the chains it looked great. The new LED bulbs don’t put off any heat, use less energy and provide a wider area of coverage for the seedlings than the previous set up.

New lighting for pepper plants

As mentioned above, one feature I particularly liked about these Barrina fixtures is the ability to daisy chain them as shown below. Those connector cables can simply be removed whenever I feel like I need to tone down the amount of light being generated for my plants.

New lighting for pepper plants

As for the clamp lights, I believe I will still employ them on the next hydroponic project in August, but that still gives me many months to ultimately decide. I’m hoping this new lighting set-up continues to prove that I made the correct decision.