RGB LED strip diffuser tube

Dave_H

Flashlight Enthusiast
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I've been playing around with low-cost 3-6 foot remote-controlled RGB LED strips, which are powered from USB. Shorter ones can be had locally for under $5, 6-footers are up to $10-$12.

I spiralled a 6-ft. strip around a 5-foot piece of 1/2 inch white PVC tubing, which made a nice "light pole".

I was thinking of running a strip up the inside of a translucent plastic tube, enough to diffuse the light a bit but not block too much light. Checked around home, nothing suitable. PVC pipe, even thin-walled, is too opaque. Nothing was found in a couple of dollar stores, have yet to check big-box outlets. I'd like to find something simple and cheap OTC, say
1/2 to 1 inch diameter, 3-6 foot length.

Diffuser from a LED 4-foot T8 tube which is plastic (plenty of glass ones still) occurred to me but I don't have any which are defective and ready to take apart.

Any ideas?

Dave
 

LEDphile

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White PEX pipe might be translucent enough, if your local hardware store carries it
 

Dave_H

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OK thanks, not familiar with PEX but now know what it is, HD should have some locally. However, I am looking for rigid tube which stands up on its own, a sort of light tower supported at the base.

Checked another 2nd-hand store and one large chain, found nothing remotely suitable, new or used, raw material or finished product, strange. Hoping to avoid specialty high-priced items if possible. Even clear plastic could be sanded for diffusion. I'll keep looking.

Dave
 

Dave_H

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I found rigid PEX at HD but it is about the same opaqueness as white PVC.

Took a trip to Ikea, had a good look around but did not see anything close. Funny how such a simple item can be this elusive.

Dave
 

Dave_H

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Closest I've found which is not all that close, is a 4-foot clear plastic T8 or T12 tube protector, around $8 at HD. I'd need to sand or otherwise treat the surface to make it translucent.

Dave
 

Dave_H

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Location
Ottawa Ont. Canada
I tried rigid white 1/2" PEX tubing, found 5-foot length for $4 at HD. It's not too opaque but created a light "ring" effect with LEDs on the strip, interesting but not what I wanted.

I also found a 4-foot length of straight polyethylene foam tubing similar to insulating sleeves used on small water pipes, in translucent colours. It has better diffusion and cost $1.50 at Dollar Tree. This one is green, sort of biases the effect, but know where to find a clear version.

Dave
 
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