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Try out SMD lighting instead of CCL or standard LED

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
[ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8G6AUuvjsKY[/ame]

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If you are still using LED modules or CCL tubes and inverters you may want to research SMD LED strips. These new generation LEDs are far brighter than cast LED "bulbs" and are brighter than CCL tubes without the hassle of stashing an inverter and all that extra wire.

The strips I use have no nasty "weatherproof" coating and are only 1/16" thick with a self adhesive tape on the back side. The copper film tape can be purchased in lengths up to 5 meters in a variety of colors including UV. The tape can be cut into segments of 3 SMD LEDs each. Solder points make joining strips or adding power leads a simple as a dab with the soldering iron.

For my test panel I cut up ten strips with 3 SMD LEDs each from Red, Blue, White, Green, UV and arranged them on a panel of .050 mill finish aluminum 5.75" x 3" and jumpered the strips using little pieces of wire garnered from some fan adapters I had. I cut the wire into lengths, stripped about 2 mm of each end and tinned all the leads. Then it was a matter of dabbing the soldering iron down onto a lead over a solder point...relatively fast and painless despite having 40 some solder connections to accomplish. I used a 3 pin lead from a fan minus the RPM lead to power the panel from a mobo header.

My initial impression was I could have used about 1/3 as many LEDs to get the effect I wanted and I could have skipped using white altogether as it washes out the other colors.

The panel sits at the bottom of the optical bay to light a reservoir, but as you can see it paints the entire raw aluminum interior of the LL V1100 in color from front to back. The acrylic fan guard on the top of the case also catches a lot of colors and light.

Compared to commercially available LED modules this type of light panel is much more effective at dispersing light throughout the case. Bulb type LEDs tend to focus their light pattern in a 170 degree cone. SMDs have a similar pattern, but they are so much brighter that cone can spread wider at a greater distance. Acrylic (and water) can be used to further disperse, blend, and diffract the light pattern. The small size of the strips allows for the light source to be concealed more easily than a tube or typical LED strip.
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post #2 of 14
OK so show us some! biggrin.gif
post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 
[ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lk3iGzqg9v8[/ame]
Note that not all SMD are the same. In this video the SMD parts are larger and thicker than the latest generation now available.


[ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TVQJZF0e4y4[/ame]
[ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hSjgS_Wz4yQ[/ame]
[ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7-YZGE5bTLM[/ame]
Shop Dog
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post #4 of 14
Are these any different from the 12v automotive accessories you can pick up in general stores? I got a set of these blue flexible SMD LED strips at my local Walmart for like $10.
post #5 of 14
I picked up some red strips of this stuff for my case and they are by far the brightest of all the LED's I've tried out. These strips are awesome for modding.
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post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by viper522;15294323 
Are these any different from the 12v automotive accessories you can pick up in general stores? I got a set of these blue flexible SMD LED strips at my local Walmart for like $10.
Those are not the latest generation and they have a thicker form factor due to the coating that protects the ribbon. I bought some off ebay dirt cheap and they are pretty bright, I use them on my motorcycle as marker lights to increase visibility and you can see them in the day. Just solder on a fan lead and away you go.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ScytheNoire;15296907 
I picked up some red strips of this stuff for my case and they are by far the brightest of all the LED's I've tried out. These strips are awesome for modding.
It's easy to overdo it with these new strips...I can see them from several hundred feet away...through the shop window up in the house.
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post #7 of 14
Wow awesome!

I just ordered myself some, hopefully put it to good use for my upcoming build!

Thanks Cyber!
    
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post #8 of 14
Can you give a link to the ones that you used? Since you say that there are "different generations", what's the biggest difference between the "new" generations and the "old" generations? Is it just thickness?
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post #9 of 14
subbed so i can look at everything later thanks CB!
post #10 of 14
Thread Starter 
I bought my strips from SuperBrightLEDs.com

The latest greatest are the super slim strips of ultrabright LEDs but even the gen before that with the slightly wider strips (and more color options) are brighter than the gen of LEDs you find on eBay.

http://www.superbrightleds.com/cgi-bin/store/index.cgi?action=DispPage&category=BARS&Page2Disp=/specs/nfls-ss.htm

NFLS means non weatherproof...which is what I recommend.
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