Saturday, July 26, 2014

Lighting on Multideck layouts

As I have developed the upper deck areas, I have found that the lighting on the lower areas suffers.

I know this probably isn't news to anybody with experience with this style of layout, but the normal solution - florescent tubes or fixtures - isn't where I wanted to be for a couple of reasons. The reasons for myself boiled down to the major issues: cost, size, power requirements.

One of the positive things with the advances in LED technology has been the advent of the white LED, in multiple color offerings from cool to warm white.

Unfortunately, as with any new technology, the cost of the solution can be a little high. However, I was able to work around this problem by finding alternative suppliers.

I ordered 4, 15 meter spools of the indoor (in other words, not water-resistant) LED strips from seeedstudio. A power supply from some retired hardware at the office gave me a nice +12V DC supply and I soldered two strips together and mounted them by using their adhesive backing to stick them right to the wood benchwork.

After a while of them being stuck up, literally, I found that the adhesive had a tendency to let go. I guess this is from the heat generated from the actual LEDs, but maybe not. I cut small strips of styrene and used that as a brace to hold the strips in place. I placed them anywhere from 3 to 9 inches apart and that seems to be working fairly well.

First test area for LED strip lighting

More pictures, as promised.

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