Introduction: Airport Runway Sign Shelf Upcycle With Fiber Optic/LED Lighting
Runner Up in the
Trash to Treasure Contest 2017
When I originally started, I wasn't exactly sure what I was going to build or how I was going to repurpose this airport runway sign.
It was destined to be metal recycled, but I thought it could have a new life being upcycled into something else.
My goal was to create something with minimal cost.
Now it is a display shelf combining old fiber optic lighting with new color changing LED bulbs.
Total money spent $25
Step 1: How Does It Work
These airport signs are still in service at most major airports. As they reach the end of their service life they are being replaced with newer LED signs.
The airport picture is the same type of fiber optic light still in service as of 2017. I took the picture on a recent flight.
With any repurpose project, breakdown and brainstorming is important.
The light frame is aluminum construction and contains fiber optic cable being lit by 2 12V projector bulbs.
This unit was no longer in service and had damage to multiple fiber optic leads
Step 2: Building a Stand
I came across this old office chair that could be used a stand for the sign. It was being thrown out by a neighbour
During the planning I was trying to determine if it would be a display sign or be used as a shelf. I had a scrap piece of plastic that had potential.
Chair cost $0
Step 3: Fixing the Interior
4 nuts and 1 1/2 inch long bolts secure the stand to the underside of the sign.
The interior needed cleaning, repair, and rewiring.
The chasis is well designed and constructed, with a little work the interior cleaned up well.
The original wiring was 240V stepped down to 12V lights with remote light controls. Since I'm using 120V bulbs, the wiring is much more straight forward with the new lighting controls built into the bulbs.
The wiring blocks were reused in different locations
A few zip ties
An electrical cord from a broken appliance
Step 4: Adding New Technology Lighting
I needed 2 sockets to hold the new bulbs.
$5 for a used light on a local online page.
I decided to retain the metal housing but really only needed the light sockets.
2 GU10 bulbs were the same size as the original 12v bulbs. I decided to spend $20 on these color changing bulbs with remote. A fair price for some cool new technology for an old sign.
Energy efficient at 7 watts total, similar to an older night light
Total invested so far $25
Step 5: Testing the Lighting
The new lights work great and the remote adds a lot of new functionality and colors.
Well worth the $20 bulb investment
Step 6: Adding the Shelf
I had a scrap peice of BBQ matt from another project. It was just enough to fit the top.
A straight edge and a sharp knife made quick work of the matt.
I searched a local online page and found a perfect piece of tempered glass being given away for free.
I did measure the glass thickness and used an online resource to determine the carrying weight and appropriate glass overhang. Glass was well within the required strength and overhang requirements for the sign.
Beveled Tempered glass top FREE
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