inexpensive garage lights from led strips
Welcome to my first structure.
The project started when I recently rebuilt the garage and found myself needing full lighting.
I have two main goals: I want bright coverage and I want to report it as cheaply as possible.
For some reason I want to use all the LED lighting in my project, but the cost of commercial products is too high.
At the time of writing this report, the price of 4 feet shop lights was $40 and higher.
I did some research and soon found cheap light bars from China.
Bars are sold in 5 metres (16. 5 ft)
Can be found on ebay for $5-7 each.
But how to use them?
After careful thought, I came up with the idea of putting them directly on my truss.
This will give me the whole lighting and a clean modern look.
I found that one LED light was not bright enough, so I added a second light.
This may be enough for normal lighting, but I want more power and add a third one.
Why not at this price?
My garage is 24\'x40\' to give you an idea of the coverage \'.
I am installing lights on 5 Truss and they are 8\'6\' off the ground \'.
The other part of the puzzle is to power the lights.
The LED light strip runs on 12vdc and requires an external power supply.
You can get a 12 v power supply easily, but I guess it\'s a little cheaper, right?
So I used the old, abandoned PC power supply. Cost? Free!
You don\'t need to know about electronics for this project, but you need some basic welding skills. Let\'s begin!
Although the light strip comes with adhesive, I find that it is not enough to support the weight of the light when installing it face to face.
So I need a better solution.
Through trial and error, I ended up with transparent outdoor tape.
This kind of thing is super strong and can be preserved at extreme temperatures.
It is 1 \"wide and is perfect for connecting three LED strips to the truss.
Grab the ladder and roll the tape along the bottom of the truss.
Only roll out as much as possible so the roll doesn\'t fall to the ground and get dirty.
Place the tape directly in the center of the truss.
I pressed the tape firmly on the truss with a small roller.
I think I bought this Roller a few years ago to seal the edge of the wallpaper.
The rolling pin may also work, or even better.
Write a note before we start.
I purchased LED lighting from two different sources on ebay.
There is a power connector at one end and a power connector at both ends of the other end.
Any one can.
Scroll the LED light strip to align the power connectors in the same position.
This will simplify your life when connected to the power supply.
In other words, if you have a single-ended type, don\'t put it down one way, the other way is the opposite.
Peel off the tape and some protective backing on the led.
I found that I had better run the center LED light strip first and then dock the other two along one side of the light strip.
Whatever you choose, do so.
One at a time, if you want.
To get myself up and down the ladder a hundred times, this is what I do: run the tape throughout the length and use the roller as I go.
Starting at one end, I pulled a piece of tape backing arm length and then unplugged the backing tape from the arm length of the first LED strip and pressed it to the center of the tape.
Then I did the same with the remaining two tapes.
To ensure a good combination, you now need to put the LED tape firmly on the outdoor tape.
Do not use the roller for this step as it may damage the belt.
I tried using the palm of my hand and achieved quite a good success, but the best solution is to use the pressure of two thumbs.
I repeated this step until I covered the entire length of the truss.
The length of the LED strip you bought is unlikely to fit perfectly with the truss.
What are you doing?
One of the many cool things about these LED light strips is that you can easily cut them into length without damaging them.
Each strip has a small copper pad every few inches that can be cut safely (and join)strips.
Be careful to center your wound.
Now that these stripes have been erected and look good, you may be excited to light them up.
Time to run the power cord.
I used the 18 ga speaker wire for this step.
The job is perfect but you can use whatever you like.
The wire must be able to handle the combined current load of the lamp you send through it.
This is not a big problem unless you turn on a lot of lights.
This is where you test your welding skills.
Peel off a bit of insulation from all the leads and screw them together, red to red, black to black. Simple eh?
Weld the leads together.
I strongly recommend that you invest several shrink tubes for this project.
Make things tidy.
You can avoid welding by using a wire nut or curl
On the solder-free connector.
I prefer the welding of solid connections.
I used low-pressure staples about 3 feet apart while running.
Note: If you are doing a long run that requires multiple LED strips to cover the distance, do not use daisy chains or power from one LED strip to another.
If you do, the more led you add, the darker the lights will become.
Take your time and wire each belt separately.
In other words, run the power supply in parallel, not in series.
With parallel wiring, each LED will have full brightness.
On the first truss, I did a separate power run for each of my 9 LED strips.
Too much work.
After that, I woke up and ran the length of the truss with an electric \"bus\" and knocked the bus down each LED light strip.
For this I used the same 18 specification speaker wire.
Much less wiring, much less ladder time and cleaner installation.
Life and study?
You will eventually find yourself asking this question.
Here\'s how I can determine how many bars each power supply has.
On the side of most PC power supplies, there will be a chart that tells you the current load for each voltage rail.
On my power photo you will want to see the intersection of the yellow 12 v column and the 300 W output row. It reads 14A.
To put it more simply, when using a power supply of 300 watts, the 12 volt yellow line can output a current of up to 14 am ps.
OK, now that we know how much current we have to deal with, the next question is: how much current does each LED light strip need?
The search for LED specifications shows that each 5-meter light strip consumes 30 watts of power.
It was interesting but still did not answer our questions.
How many 30 watt LED light bars can I use 14 amps of power to drain?
To answer this question, I searched the internet for a power calculator.
I entered the value of the voltage we are using 12, the value of the power of each LED strip 30, click to calculate, it tells me that 2 is needed for each LED strip.
Current 5 amps.
So to answer the question of how many lights I can run out of power, the answer is. . . . . it depends.
In our example, the power supply we use can output 14 am ps. Divide 14 by 2. You get 5 points. 6.
Or in other words, you should be able to easily run 5 from this power supply.
I said the answer.
This depends on the current rating of the power supply.
The example I use is this particular power supply.
For example, the rated current of many dedicated 12vdc power supplies is 30 amps.
More amplifiers = more led.
Look at the labels and do math.
Now is the time to connect the LED strip lighting to the PC power supply.
There are several ways you can do this, and now is the time to make a decision.
Hard wire: connect the power cord of the LED light strip directly to the PC power supply.
This is a good solution, but what happens if you need to replace the power supply?
You have to put a new cutter and parser/curl in place.
There is no problem with this solution.
I only select the next option.
Connector: solder the PC power connector at the LED power supply end and connect it to the power supply.
This way, you can quickly disconnect if the power supply stops working.
At this point, we should talk about the power issue and start up and running again in a few seconds.
The PC power supply is not ready for our project immediately.
We need to make a quick modification of the power supply to turn it on when plugged in.
This guy did a great job of converting the PC power to the power of the lamp.
Remember, we are only interested in using 12 volts.
Once the power supply is modified and you have a connection on the LED light, connect both and plug in.
Since this is a new lighting device and my only light source, I have installed a switch socket between my Truss to power the PC power supply, and in turn to power the LED light strip.
Walk into the door and turn on the light switch to make the light on!
I am really happy that this gamble has been successful.
The lights are bright, even, very good.
I believe I may have spent a tenth of the cost of a commercial app.
The Led is available in a variety of colors, but there are two white colors.
Cool white and warm white.
In warmer places closer to incandescent lamps, cool is similar to fluorescent lighting.
I went with all the cool white.
Although it looks great, I think it\'s a bit too blue.
I would be cool and warm if I did it again.
They also have a waterproof version. The non-
Waterproof is a little cheaper. this is what I use.
I ran out of lights during the project and had to buy more from different sources.
The second one is cheaper, but there are two small dead ends.
Get what you paid?
Anyway, dead ends are not a big problem.
They can be cut and replaced easily.
Even though there is plenty of light, I think it still needs more light to shine directly on the workbench.
I like a lot of light.
But your mileage may be different.
I will convert my old store lights to LED using the same method.
One source of the lights: they are only on for a week but seem to work fine.
Just choose a free shipping and good rating.
It is expected to take a week or two from China to the United States.
You can find them from hundreds of vendors on ebay.
Do a search: LED patch 300 3528 5050 5630 3014 rgb led soft light strip light, if selected, select 5630
At least this is what I use.
Computer power supply: I work in it and have access to many abandoned computers.
This is exactly what you want.
Ask IT staff at nearby schools, businesses, or any place where IT staff is sufficient.
Be friendly and bring candy with you, most likely they will give you some candy.
Another option is to purchase a dedicated 12vdc power supply from ebay.
Search: adjust the power supply 12 v.
This one costs about $20 and you go this way instead of the PC power supply, simply connect the red and black wires on the LED lights to the power terminals on the power supply.
To be honest, it would be an easier solution, but it\'s easy for me to get free power, so the tape I bought from Amazon saved me $100.
I saw a few Chinese knock-
But don\'t believe in quality.
Walk with the real 3 m.
This project uses low voltage DC current and you are safe and legal to do it yourself.
The most dangerous part of the project is standing on a ladder. One last thing.
The project is labor intensive.
Expect a lot of ladder time!
This is an interesting and rewarding project.
I hope you find this instructions useful! In hindsight. . . .
When I realized that it was perfect to run under solar, I had finished the project. Why/how?
The whole thing runs on 12vdc the same as your car battery.
The solar panel kit becomes very cheap and it will be very easy to connect to the lights.
While this doesn\'t work for lighting your house, for occasional garage lighting I think solar is the perfect solution.
Another project of the day.