Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Barrina T5 LED Garage Lights

You can never be too rich, too good-looking, or have too much light in your garage.

And for around $40 at least I can have one of the three.


When I bought my house about a year ago, I was fortunate that the three-car garage also came with bedrooms, bathrooms, a kitchen, and a living room attached to it. However, the garage lighting conditions were horrible.

The whole area was illuminated by four bulbs. Two of them in the garage door opener.


So one of the first things I did was find an HFT coupon for 4-foot LED lights, and I installed four of them. That alone made a world of difference.



But since I like to detail my Corvette in the garage, there were a couple of areas where good light was lacking, so I did a little research on YouTube and found a lot of videos about the Barrina T5 LED garage light fixtures available from Amazon.

They looked great, but the $39.99 price tag made me click "Buy Now."

Honestly? I thought they sounded too good to be true. I mean six bucks and change for each fixture? That's how much a big fancy cup of coffee costs nowadays. So either coffee is too expensive or these LED lights are too cheap.

Actually, it's both! But I digress.

The LED fixtures from HFT were sort of a PITA to install. They come with an integrated plug that was useless to me since I wanted them hard-wired, so I could turn them on and off with the wall switch that operated the light bulbs.

But once I got them installed they did a great job flooding most of the garage with a bright light.

However, if you like to detail your Corvette in the garage, you know that good light is a must-have, and although the HFT fixtures did a decent job, there was room for improvement. Having said that, even at $20 a pop, it adds up pretty quickly, and that kept me from adding more lights.

The picture above shows one side of the car under the Harbor Freight LED lights. Adding light fixtures to both sides was necessary, even though the right side of the car was better illuminated thanks to the light fixture over the workbench as well as the fixture over the third bay.

So I ordered the Barrina set of six LEDs.


They arrived in a couple of days in perfect condition. I inventoried the package and bench-tested each fixture.

I was also surprised to see all the extra accessories included in the kit, such as six switches with wall plugs in case you want to install them individually, five short connectors so you can install them butted to one another, and five 20-inch connectors so you can daisy-chain them with space in between, which is what I chose.

Additionally, there were two short connectors for hard-wiring the fixtures to a light switch. That's what I used, but had to modify one of them to suit my needs.


Above: The hard-wire option connectors could use a few more inches of wiring.

I had to run new wiring in the attic in order to be able to turn all the lights on with one switch. Doing this during the Florida summer months is not the brightest idea, but I wanted this project done in a timely fashion, so I bit the bullet and got it done.

The video at the end of this article goes into more detail as to what I did, as well as how exhausting working in a 100+ degree attic can be.

I said that I had to modify one of the short connectors, and I did this so I would be able to reach it from the attic and make the necessary connections to one of the Romex wires I installed.

I could've gone a different route and made the hole in the ceiling larger in order to fish the wire from below, but I thought that would look horrible, so I used a piece of wire from one of the switches, in order to make an extension.


Since I am not an electrician, I am not sure why the switches do not have a ground wire, so I added my own (yellow wire in photo above). 

I soldered the wires and insulated them with electrical tape. Then used shrink tubing to ensure a tight seal.

With all the electrical work out of the way, I started installing the fixtures.


I measured the desired location so the light fixtures would be in a straight line and used a string as a guide. This worked well. Of course, if you happen to have a laser for this, use that instead.

I connected the first fixture to the pigtail from the attic and tested it to make sure it was working properly. From there the installation went pretty fast as I plugged the 20-inch connectors and attached the clips to the ceiling drywall with the screws included with the kit.


Since you can daisy-chain these fixtures, the last one will have an open end. However, the kit includes plugs for them to keep dirt and bugs out. Not to mention safety reasons. That's a nice touch.

Three done, three more to go. But the difference was already significant, and to illustrate how much of a difference the proper lighting makes, see the photos below.


The photo above shows my '76 Corvette under the garage door opener light. That is two bulbs and probably the case for most garages.


The photo above shows my car under the HFT LED lights. One above it in front of the garage door opener, one above the workbench to the left of the photo, and another over the third bay.

Lastly, the photo above shows my Vette under the aforementioned lights plus the six additional Barrina LEDs from Amazon. And the difference is even more impressive and significant in person.

Above: Before (15,000 Lumens).

Above: And after (28,200 Lumens).

The Barrina LEDs are covered by a three-year warranty, but for the price of the kit, I am tempted to buy another one to either add a couple additional lights and have a couple of bulbs as spares.

I really think these shop/garage LEDs are an amazing value. They are easy to install, whether individually or as part of a string of lights, they are super bright as advertised, and the price makes buying them a no-brainer.

I hope you enjoy the video below. And if you do, please consider subscribing to my YouTube channel and giving me a thumbs-up via a "Like."

Thank you for following my '76 Vette Blog!





2 comments:

  1. That is a HUGE improvement! Love it....actually having my electrician wire a bunch of led lights in both of my garages ....you are correct, you can never have enough lights! Looks good!

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