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Thread: LED lighting on the cheap.

  1. #1
    TRN Science officer bill_bly_ca's Avatar
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    Default LED lighting on the cheap.

    So - I have been making a small work shop in a 8x12 shed in the back yard.

    Lighting was a question as I did not want CF tubes or bulbs.

    So off to EBAY I went.

    There are a LOT of sellers of LED strip lights for a very good price - The one I used was $4.50 US for 16 linear foot (5M)

    Link of what I bought

    The strips are typically a Kapton base (Strong gold Polyamide tape) with copper traces holding the LED and the load resistors with an adhesive on the back.

    The strip has "cut" points at 1' or 6" intervals. At these cut points there are solder pads that allow a 12V connection to be made.

    Delivery is typical 10 to 14 days to Canada - To Nica you may need to almost double that.

    Upon receipt the LEDs were spooled on an old super 8 style film roll. A quick plug in with the wat meter showed a blinding spool of white light that was very "Cool" (as in colour temperature) of about 6000K.

    The spool was cut to 4 strips about 4' long and wires soldered to the "cut" end. There was one wire tail soldered on the end of the first piece already.

    For my first attempt I decided to "Red Green" it on some used Pallet wood. Carpenters glue was used as the adhesive to hold the LEDs as the adhesive on the back of the LEDs themselves was not up to snuff to stick to the pallet wood.




    I then used an old surplus 12V power brick and cut the ends for a tie in.



    Used a scrap piece of 14/2 Romex as the hanger to the ceiling.

    This set up here is using 2 of the 4' strips and consuming about 12W.

    There is a desk to the left that I will use the other 2 - 4' strips to illuminate. Prabably for those i will just use a 1x2 to hold those and wire it back up the lamp shown here.

    All in all this is a blinding amount of light for 24W and $5

    If you do not have a 12V supply one can get block type or wall wart type 12V supplies off of EBAY or Dealextreme for $5 or $6.


    Definitely going to go all LED on the house design down in Masaya - and probably revisit the lighting of the house up here.

    Our "Red Green" version Hot tub is the next item to be LED light with the 3 colour strip I picked up at the same time - Next post when that is done.
    Last edited by bill_bly_ca; 02-11-2015 at 10:02 AM.
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  2. #2

    Default Re: LED lighting on the cheap.

    Very nicely done. Does it put off any heat?

  3. #3
    House SOB Little Corn Tom's Avatar
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    Default Re: LED lighting on the cheap.

    Nice job!

    Would make a nice retrofit if you had some old T-40 fixtures and did not have to construct the frame/fixture.

    Maybe glue a strip or two onto the old T-40 tubes and put a power supply on top or where the old ballast was?
    Life's different here ... It's a whole 'nother pace.

  4. #4
    TRN Science officer bill_bly_ca's Avatar
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    Default Re: LED lighting on the cheap.

    Quote Originally Posted by Little Corn Tom View Post
    Nice job!

    Maybe glue a strip or two onto the old T-40 tubes and put a power supply on top or where the old ballast was?
    That would work - But probably need silicone or contact cement.

    You would probably be better off just ditching the bulbs and gluing it to the steel fixture.
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  5. #5
    TRN Science officer bill_bly_ca's Avatar
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    Default Re: LED lighting on the cheap.

    Quote Originally Posted by kwah2249 View Post
    Very nicely done. Does it put off any heat?

    Nothing of note.. Barely perceivable..
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  6. #6

    Default Re: LED lighting on the cheap.

    " . . .All in all this is a blinding amount of light for 24W and $5 . . . "



    That beats the Costco price of $31 for a LED shoplight.

    All my lights in Nicaragua are LED except for 4 shoplights (4 x 40W each), and the twinkly lights that are strung around the compound.
    I have no idea what they consume.

    I could easily use the existing flourescent fixtures to fasten the LED strips, and fit a 12 transformer/rectifier combo where the ballast is mounted,, as LCT suggested.

  7. #7

    Default Re: LED lighting on the cheap.

    Quote Originally Posted by bill_bly_ca View Post
    That would work - But probably need silicone or contact cement.

    You would probably be better off just ditching the bulbs and gluing it to the steel fixture.


    Or a hot glue gun . . . .

  8. #8

    Default Re: LED lighting on the cheap.

    Quote Originally Posted by bill_bly_ca View Post
    Nothing of note.. Barely perceivable..
    Think it would work if you did an epoxy pour over it to keep salt air away?

  9. #9
    TRN Science officer bill_bly_ca's Avatar
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    Default Re: LED lighting on the cheap.

    Quote Originally Posted by kwah2249 View Post
    Think it would work if you did an epoxy pour over it to keep salt air away?

    Over spray it with Poly(urethane) ...

    They are sold "Waterproof" as well. But for those it is more suited for leaving it whole.

    Ebay - US seller

    Another has them as 4 - 4 foot strips for about the same cost.

    If you want them quickly (like within 1 to 2 weeks) from a US , Canadian or EU shipper they cost 2X more ..

    If you get from China they are dirt cheap and take 2 to 4 weeks.

    As for reliability - I did buy one strip 2 yrs ago (they were $15 then) and just ran them along a basement hallway - all still work today after being on 24/7 for 2 yrs.
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  10. #10
    TRN Science officer bill_bly_ca's Avatar
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    Default Re: LED lighting on the cheap.

    Quote Originally Posted by KeyWestPirate View Post
    I could easily use the existing flourescent fixtures to fasten the LED strips, and fit a 12 transformer/rectifier combo where the ballast is mounted,, as LCT suggested.

    You might be better off with a transformer with the power quality.

    Full wave rectified would be a smooth light. 1/2 wave the flicker would drive you bonkers.. But that would only run when the AC was on or with inverters.

    Best setup of all would be to wire them 12V DC and run them off a battery bank (AC or Solar charged) for the time the Electric DN/DS fairy packs it in for the day...
    ==================================================
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  11. #11

    Default Re: LED lighting on the cheap.

    Quote Originally Posted by bill_bly_ca View Post
    Over spray it with Poly(urethane) ...

    They are sold "Waterproof" as well. But for those it is more suited for leaving it whole.

    Ebay - US seller

    Another has them as 4 - 4 foot strips for about the same cost.

    If you want them quickly (like within 1 to 2 weeks) from a US , Canadian or EU shipper they cost 2X more ..

    If you get from China they are dirt cheap and take 2 to 4 weeks.

    As for reliability - I did buy one strip 2 yrs ago (they were $15 then) and just ran them along a basement hallway - all still work today after being on 24/7 for 2 yrs.
    Mucho Gracias! Might be a project to try in the future.

  12. #12
    TRN Science officer bill_bly_ca's Avatar
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    Default Re: LED lighting on the cheap.

    So I did the other half today -

    So I started with 1x2 cut down to 4'




    Some glue and brad nails...



    Then the LED strips




    Put up on the ceiling





    A good amount of light thrown...





    and the other end..



    all in all they worked out good
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  13. #13
    Dog Whisperer cookshow's Avatar
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    Default Re: LED lighting on the cheap.

    Nail Gun Fetish Bill?
    ‎"You know what you say when people tell you you can't do something? Fool, shut your mouth up!"
    Ernie K Doe

  14. #14
    Para aquí para acá Jonh's Avatar
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    Default Re: LED lighting on the cheap.

    I was about to say...

  15. #15
    TRN Science officer bill_bly_ca's Avatar
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    Default Re: LED lighting on the cheap.

    Funny you mention - One I bought - about 2 yrs ago - another 4 were part of a sale for $79 ( I needed a 16ga nailer and the set with 4 was cheaper than a single)

    Seems it is almost impossible to buy a sub $250 compressor these days without an obligatory brad nail gun....

    Got a 3 1/2" framing nailer as well... That is fun to use.. .
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  16. #16

    Default Re: LED lighting on the cheap.

    I'm most impressed with the organization of your workshop.

    To call mine a pigsty would be an insult to pigs.

    But those lights have unlimited possibility. You're not just limited to the standard two lamp shoplight dimensions.

    I have a number of places where this illumination would be perfect. Another thing, the strips could be applied with a glue gun to existing structure. I have a mezzanine in my bodega in Condega on which we store sacks of corn. Below, the original shelf space is really dark. A strip of these on the underside of the upper deck would solve the problem without taking more headroom.

  17. #17
    TRN Science officer bill_bly_ca's Avatar
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    Default Re: LED lighting on the cheap.

    Quote Originally Posted by KeyWestPirate View Post
    I'm most impressed with the organization of your workshop.

    It won't stay that way - I am really bad for putting down a tool where it does not belong, loosing it, buying another and then finding the original..
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  18. #18
    Viejo del Foro Just Plain John Wayne's Avatar
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    Default Re: LED lighting on the cheap.

    Hahaaha, Yes, if I was gone take photos of my work area I would square it away a bit too... I guess ALL handymen are a bit lackadaisical... LOL.. Me TOO!
    To be called a "Has Been" I must surmise, is much Greater than to be called a "Nevah Been"... JW...



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