A few years ago all of the elevators in a local building were redone. A friend of mine saw all of the parts that were being thrown out and got permission to scrounge. We searched and found several items of interest. The best part that I took was the up/down arrows used outside the elevator on each floor.
I decided I should definitely make use of these arrows in some way. I decided to keep it simple and just wire the lights for control on a manual switch. I did just that about a year ago but encountered a few problems with my original design. I have therefore have redone it and am presenting the improved version here because I now know how it should be done.
My goals for the project were:
- to have the lights easily relocatable,
- to have a switch to control on/off as well as the direction of the arrow,
- and for the lights to be safe and reliable.
This project has saved from a landfill what is now a unique and simple bit of functional decoration. I used a piece of wood too small for most applications. Also, I used an old computer power cable and many parts on hand.
This project makes use of alternating current directly from a power outlet. Alternating current can kill. If you are not comfortable working with AC then do not attempt this project. Also, tools are used in the construction of this project which can be dangerous. I make no warranties or claims as to the accuracy or completeness of these instructions. Reader assumes all risks.
Step 1: Materials and Tools
- Computer power adapter with female end removed
- DPDT switch (rated for at least 15 Amps and 120 Volts)
- 16 gauge 3 wire electrical cable
- Box for electrical components
- Four wire twist connectors
- Electrical tape
- Wood stain
- Masking tape
- L brackets
- Four long bolts, eight nuts, and four washers
- Small cord (shoelaces would work)
- Wood for mounting lights
- The elevator lights
- Paint brush
- Wire strippers
- Wire cutters
- Staple gun
- Regular screw driver
- Router (not necessary, but nice)
- Dremel (not nice, but useful)
- Safety glasses and hearing protection (for use with power tools)