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EASY/CHEAP LED Case Lighting.....

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post #1 of 598 (permalink) Old 04-21-2012, 05:55 AM - Thread Starter
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Just a heads up for folks wanting LED lighting in their cases. Just bought These LED's

Soldered an old fan lead to a length of this stuff, and plugged it in to my fan controller as a dimmer, and it works awesome. CCFL ain't got nothing on these bad boys, and no need for an inverter- it works with your 12v rail. Clutter free lighting. Bought 16 foot for $14 shipped to my door. Cheap. 3M adhesive backing, and a low profile. I am really glad I didn't buy from a "pc specialty shop" as their prices were crazy compared to this deal. Granted, I had to do some work, but it's worth it. If anyone has any questions, I would be happy to answer them for ya. thumb.gif

HitLights

Edit: Oh yeah, it's worth mentioning. The RED is actually RED, not the washed out Pink/Orange that CCFL's are. AND BRIGHT. Like looking at a welding arc. biggrin.gif

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Added a small project that turned out well:

700

I traded red for white. Here is the update:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ramsey77 View Post

Preview:
Getting pretty good at this soldering business
100MEDIAIMAG0563.jpg
My homemade helping hands:
100MEDIAIMAG0564.jpg
All soldered and shrinked:
100MEDIAIMAG0566.jpg
100MEDIAIMAG0567.jpg
This leg starts here:
100MEDIAIMAG0573.jpg
Goes around:
100MEDIAIMAG0571.jpg
Then down:
100MEDIAIMAG0570.jpg
Then it finishes here:
100MEDIAIMAG0568.jpg
And this is really all you can see of the 2nd leg, which goes all the way around the perimeter of the inside:
100MEDIAIMAG0574.jpg
I will post some of it lit up later today.
100MEDIAIMAG0578.jpg

100MEDIAIMAG0581.jpg

Yet another leftover LED project in the works.

I was bored at work tonight so I made a "proof of concept" for a future project. The LED's are only running off of a 9 volt battery at the moment and lit from the bottom. I think it will look better running 12 volts and surrounded.

100MEDIAIMAG0609.jpg

All lit up.

100MEDIAIMAG0603.jpg

Made a bigger Fractal sign for my stand. The red that comes through is just red plastic that catches the light.

100MEDIAIMAG0612.jpg

100MEDIAIMAG0610.jpg
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post #2 of 598 (permalink) Old 04-21-2012, 06:03 AM
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Yup, these LED strips are great for everything.

I installed about 20 meters in total in our kitchen - white for under the cupboards, and some RGB strips + controller for the sills in the vaulted ceiling.

Looks great.

Not knowing stuff is fine, but don't regurgitate stuff someone else has said and pretend you understand it.


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post #3 of 598 (permalink) Old 04-21-2012, 06:04 AM
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those are similar to the one that bitfenix does

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post #4 of 598 (permalink) Old 04-21-2012, 06:11 AM - Thread Starter
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Yeah, except theirs are sleeved (IIRC), and super expensive.

A small tutorial on how exactly I soldered them:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ramsey77 View Post

This is where you want to cut BETWEEN:


Flip it over and just cut through the paper backing ONLY with a razor/exacto blade, and remove to expose the adhesive backing:


Now being very careful, with a light touch, score the adhesive and gently scrape it forward with your blade. You don't want to cut all the way through the copper ribbon:

Now take a push pin, and push it through the circles completely:

Two nice round holes to accept your wire:

You can leave the leads long, you will trim them after they are soldered:

I recommend everyone make their own pair of "helping hands". It is just some wire/rod with some gator clips soldered on the ends. I pinch them with a pair of vice grips, then pinch the vice grips in a vice:

This is where most people fail when soldering. You must "Tin" your iron's tip with a little bit of solder. It helps transfer the heat to the pieces you want soldered:

Add solder to where the arrow is pointing. Try to put the pool of solder that you tinned your iron with right underneath the hole/wire. The new solder should suck right down towards the heat, and make a nice pretty soldered joint for ya. Let it cool for a few seconds, then trim the long lead on the bottom as close as you can, then slip over your heatshrink, heat, then move to your next one:

This is the easiest/prettiest method that I have learned the hard way.
Edit: I soldered simple 3 pin fan leads to the ends of mine, and am using a typical fan controller to adjust/turn off. I think this is the easiest way, with the least amount of clutter and wires.
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post #5 of 598 (permalink) Old 05-04-2012, 06:39 PM
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Sounds like a good idea. You could light up a case like the sun with 16 feet of this stuff.

You should post some pics.
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post #6 of 598 (permalink) Old 05-04-2012, 06:44 PM - Thread Starter
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post #7 of 598 (permalink) Old 05-04-2012, 06:55 PM
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Yup, that's bright. I'm definitely going to buy a spool of this stuff and see if I can't get all 16' in my case...

In person are the lights as distinct as they look in the photo, or are they more diffuse like CCFL lighting?
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post #8 of 598 (permalink) Old 05-04-2012, 06:56 PM - Thread Starter
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Not like CCFL at all. They are actually SO bright, they are hard to look at. I am never wasting my time with anything other than this stuff. thumb.gif
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post #9 of 598 (permalink) Old 05-04-2012, 07:15 PM
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are you able to cut these to size? if so i may pick up some.


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post #10 of 598 (permalink) Old 05-04-2012, 07:31 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ELEKTRIK_BLUE View Post

are you able to cut these to size? if so i may pick up some.

Yes, you can cut it to length, as long as you cut in between every 3rd one. You can see the line between the two dots. I use a push pin to punch out the holes, clean the sticky off of the back side with an exacto knife, then stick the leads through the holes, add heat to the underside and solder to the top, let cool and snip the leads as close as I can. Then you add some shrink tubing. I test with a 9v battery. thumb.gif

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