SunwayLED
Results 1 to 10 of 10

Thread: Quick interior lighting project with LED tape

  1. #1
    Flashaholic* idleprocess's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    dfw.tx.us
    Posts
    4,512

    Default Quick interior lighting project with LED tape

    When I "discovered" LED City was selling their basic LED tape for $25 / 3 meter roll, I decided on the spot that I was going to work on some accent/detail lighting in the kitchen and bought two rolls. The fact that they had a ~4500K CCT option was the kicker - I'm no fan of >6500K "cool white" for general lighting, but I'm also not too fond of the 2700-3000K "warm white" that the LED industry has been all-too-eager to supply.

    The LED tape is extremely simple to work with - each segment of tape works from 12V DC with a resistor to regulate current to each 3-LED string. For every 3 LED's, you'll need an additional 20mA of current. There's a quirk to this specific tape - for each three 3-LED segment there's a single 6-LED segment. For my project it wasn't a problem - just had to plan ahead on how I cut the segments so as not to waste any tape.



    Since everyone loves pictures, here ya go:


    Detail of the under-cabinet lighting - should have drilled that hole a wee bit closer to the corner ... live and learn (also good thing that I'm a bachelor).


    Detail of in-cabinet lighting. Using 18 AWG coarse stranded wire was not the best choice - far too rigid as you can see with it pulling the tape off. I also could have done a better job cutting the wires to length.


    The cat seemingly approves...


    Now I can clearly read labels when I'm "thirsty."


    That empty cabinet sure is well-lit! I'm using a regulated 12V DC / 750mA power supply here to run the whole show.


    The longer cabinet from below. Note the battery-powered light that's going to suffer neglect now that I'm tapping into the mains...


    Wire nuts - the choice of the professional! This is where all the connections are made. If I ever change this up, I might solder up a PCB to keep it neater.


    The whole shebang.



    All in all, it was a surprisingly short project. Took me about 10 hours altogether to lay it out, solder the segments together, string and apply the segments, repair the sole popped solder joint, then make it all neat.

    I used less than 2 meters of tape, so I have almost a reel and a half remaining. Overall cost was perhaps $40 ($25 for the tape, $8 for the power supply, $1 for the switch, and a generous $6 worth of other materials).

    I was initially hoping to do some sort of slick door-activated switching for the cabinets, but realized that would be a great deal more fitting work in addition to altering my arrangement of 5 strings (2 long outer in-cabinet + under-cabinet lighting plus the 3 short strings in the center cabinet).

    Lessons learned:
    • Use thinner wire - the 18 AWG I'm using is probably good for 10 amps when 500mA is about the most I'll see for the entire project. Sure it was "on hand" already, but it's pulling some of the tape off - only reason it's not a problem is due to my "the bigger the job, the better the job" theory of soldering
    • Measure wire runs a bit more carefully - slack is not your friend when you're trying to hide the entire project
    • Brighter LED tape would not have been a bad thing: it's fine when the lights in the kitchen are out, barely noticable when some ~12,000 lumens from the pair of dual T8 fixtures overhead are lit


    I think I'm going to call this project done and will be focusing on ways to do the same thing on the other side of the kitchen - main challenge there being that power is not going to be out of sight nor will there be a stove vent hood to inconspicuously mount the switch to.
    Last edited by idleprocess; 05-08-2012 at 12:11 AM. Reason: proofreading
    I apologize that this letter is so long; I did not have time to write a short letter

  2. #2

    Default

    Nice. Wanting to do same but that temp of tape is hard to find cheaply in UK.

  3. #3
    Flashaholic* AnAppleSnail's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    South Hill, VA
    Posts
    4,069

    Default Re: Quick interior lighting project with LED tape

    Quote Originally Posted by rob3rto View Post
    Nice. Wanting to do same but that temp of tape is hard to find cheaply in UK.
    What's Amazon shipping to you like? There are some I'm using; haven't put them through paces yet.
    My biggest light-hog is my camera.

  4. #4

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by AnAppleSnail View Post
    What's Amazon shipping to you like? There are some I'm using; haven't put them through paces yet.
    Most firms from USA charge a fortune. eg pair of D2s HID bulbs cost $70 to buy then they wanted $36 to ship. No idea on import duty and VAT would have been.

  5. #5
    Flashaholic
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    London, UK
    Posts
    211

    Default Re: Quick interior lighting project with LED tape

    Quote Originally Posted by rob3rto View Post
    Nice. Wanting to do same but that temp of tape is hard to find cheaply in UK.
    I can recomend a UK supplier of a similar product.
    International lamps Ltd stock self adhesive LED light tape at £17.95 for a 5M length.
    This uses a 12 volt supply, but each series group of 3 LEDs uses a simple resistive dropper, not any form of regulating circuit. The light output therefore varies according to the supply voltage.

    They also stock a regulated version that gives constant light output for moderate variations in the nominal 12 volt input. This is much more expensive though at about £100 for a 6M length.

    The above firm have a website, but AFAIK the LED tape is not on the website.

    I have no connection with the firm but would recomend them.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Quick interior lighting project with LED tape

    Looks pretty nice, and I like the color. Can you post a link to the strips you purchased? I'm having trouble finding the 4500k on their site.

  7. #7
    Flashaholic* idleprocess's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    dfw.tx.us
    Posts
    4,512

    Default Re: Quick interior lighting project with LED tape

    Quote Originally Posted by TecNine View Post
    Looks pretty nice, and I like the color. Can you post a link to the strips you purchased? I'm having trouble finding the 4500k on their site.
    They do not list these on their site; I'm local and dropped by to see their showroom and make the purchase. I suspect they would be happy to talk to you on the phone as well as make sales that way ... and you could mention their website to them at that time.
    I apologize that this letter is so long; I did not have time to write a short letter

  8. #8

    Default Re: Quick interior lighting project with LED tape

    Quote Originally Posted by idleprocess View Post
    They do not list these on their site; I'm local and dropped by to see their showroom and make the purchase. I suspect they would be happy to talk to you on the phone as well as make sales that way ... and you could mention their website to them at that time.
    Thanks, I might give them a ring. I like the color, and your idea of door=actuated switches would be a fun project!

  9. #9
    Flashaholic* idleprocess's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    dfw.tx.us
    Posts
    4,512

    Default Re: Quick interior lighting project with LED tape

    Quote Originally Posted by TecNine View Post
    Thanks, I might give them a ring. I like the color, and your idea of door=actuated switches would be a fun project!
    That was going to involve a lot of fitting and finding the exact right microswitch ... or working with a reed switch (I seem to recall that they have stiff current limitations). Wasn't my idea of fun, but it's one of the first things everyone asks about when I describe the project.
    I apologize that this letter is so long; I did not have time to write a short letter

  10. #10
    Flashaholic
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    cali
    Posts
    477

    Default Re: Quick interior lighting project with LED tape

    Does anyone know what brand of LEDs these tapes use, are they good LEDs or will they fail after a month or so even if they are supplied with a really good stable 12 VDC?

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •