Originally Posted by Wibble360
I got some off eBay - like Chris said, dirt cheap (about £12 per 5 metre roll for 60LED/m splashproof 5050s)
Originally Posted by wthenshaw
I also picked mine up from eBay
I've bought them directly from Hitlights and also from Amazon. Amazon stocks some of the Hitlights so you can get their super speedy delivery when ordering through them. Here is a link directly to the Hitlights page for the 5050 lights
and the connectors
. You can search on the product description in Amazon and find the same stuff.
Jeffinslaw....that moderlersbrand stuff looks exactly the same....and probably is. How much did you have to pay for it? Their prices are not online. At $20 bucks a roll for 16+ feet....the Hitlights are less than $1.25 per foot. Even less than that if you go with the 3528 size instead of the 5050 size. Of course, you do have to do some work with them. I finished the lighting for the PSU side of the case, and thought I'd include some more pictures of how I prep the connectors, for those who might be wanting to do the same thing.
First, start with a roll of Hitlights, and one of the connectors I included a link to above:
The connectors are really intended to connect two separate LED strips together...but I want to use it to securely fasten one end of the lighting to some wiring that I will create. You can simply solder the wiring directly to the LED strips, but I had less luck with that, and prefer this approach now. So...I just cut the wiring between the connectors in half like this, and strip off about 1/2 inch of insulation:
I want to run these wires to the fan controller, so I'll need to lengthen the wires. So I cut two strips of 22 awg wire. I typically use white wire when I'm going to sleeve in white. I stripped off about 1/2 inch of insulation off of one end of both of these wires.
To join my white wires to the wires coming out of the connector, first I twist them together, and then I solder them to secure the connection. The twist I use is done like this:
Here is what it looks like with my wires:
Here are the wires with some solder securing the connection. Don't make fun of my solder skills. I've gotten better...but clearly don't have a future doing any type of intricate solder work.
Since you don't want your connection exposed...the next thing I do is put some heatshrink over the connection. I use some ridiculously small heatshrink (don't remember the size). The picture below shows some normal size heatshrink on the left, and the small stuff I use when joining wires on the right. It barely fits over the wire, ....doesn't add much of a bulge underneath sleeving....and really adds some more strength to your connection.
Here is the connection with the heatrshrink covering it:
I used some white electrical tape to cover the red/black wires coming out of the connector. Color bleed through would be bad with those colors and white sleeving. Then, I crimped some fan connector pins onto the other end of the wires.
Next I slide some white MDPC-X sleeving over the wires...
The I slipped some SATA shrink on to the LED strip connector end...
Shrunk it down....
I put a white fan connector on the end that I crimped pins for....
Slipped some SATA shrink on to the fan connector end....
Shrunk it down....
And....it's done. Really doesn't take long at all to make a custom length wire to connect to your custom length LED strip. Maybe 20 or 30 minutes tops.
Now...you open up the LED strip connector and you can see the contacts that will make the connection with the LED strip...
You simply slide the LED strip into the connector and underneath the contacts...
...and then click the connector flap back down on top of the LED strip. Done. The LED strip has 3m sticky tape on one side...so you can just peel off the back and stick this anywhere in your build you want to.
These are more daytime shots....but even in full daylight, you can see how much light is coming from inside the case. At night...I really have to dim the strips using my fan controller....or they are too bright....and ruin the effect of the lights in my reservoirs.
Another benefit of making your own LED strip connector and cabling...is that if I ever want to change LED strip colors...all I would have to do is cut the LED strip to size with scissors and stick it into the cable I built. Same thing if the LED's ever burn out. The connector is forever. One-time work....less frustration later down the road. It's also very easy to do. I highly encourage you to get a roll of these dirt cheap lights and play with doing some yourself.
The prices that some vendors charge for LED strips is astronomical compared to these. The Bitfenix
that FrozenCPU sells are $34 for about 20 inches. That's more than $20 per foot, instead of $1.25 per foot for the Hitlights. All you are getting for your extra money is that they have put a connector on the end already. If you are willing to do a little work...you can have much better looking and more custom cabling for your LED strips at a fraction of the price.