Introduction: Holiday LED Candy Cane
Hi, this is Scott, Customer Service Rep at Elemental LED. I put together a quick holiday LED project that I wanted to share with everyone. I had some red High Density Flexible LED Strip Light left over from my Rubik's Cube Lantern project that I've been wanting to use, and I was finishing up another shelf lighting project using neutral white High Density Flexible LED Strip Light. I decided to combine my the red and neutral white colors to create one of the brightest candy cane decorations ever!
This project only took a few hours and I will show you how I put it all together in this tutorial.
Elemental LED Materials List:
8 ft. High Density Flexible LED Strip Light in Neutral White
4 ft. High Density Flexible LED Strip Light in Red
12V Adapter - 60W
LED Adapter Splice Cable - female
DC Wire Plug - male
DC Wire Plug - female
Reign LED Dimmer Switch
1" X 4" X 12" Pine Board
5' - 3M Double-Sided Tape
1' - 18-2 AWG Lamp Wire
Step 1: Draw and Saw
Draw an outline of a candy can on your 12" board. Since the board is 3/4" thick, the width of the candy cane was drawn at about 3/4". Clamp your board and use your jig saw to cut out the shape. (I already started sawing before I took this pic).
Step 2: File the Edges
After your shape is cut, it is time to use a file to ease the edges. You don't have to make a perfect cylinder, just make sure to take a
good amount of the wood off the edges to make it look more candy cane-like. The High Density Flexible LED Strip Light is flexible, but you don't want to kink the strip where there is an LED (and there are A LOT of LED's on this type of strip light). So that is another reason to ease the edges.
Step 3: Tape It Up
Take your roll of 3M Double-Sided Tape. I have some 3/4" wide tape. Wrap the cane the best you can. It will be tricky in the curved area, but it doesn't have to be perfect.
Step 4: The LED Wrap
Ok, this part gets a bit tricky. First, take your 8 foot section of neutral white High Density Flexible LED Strip Light and cut it into 2
even 4 foot sections. Then, take your 4 foot red High Density Flexible LED Strip Light and line it up it between the two neutral white strips.
By the way, I used the double-sided tape because I am recycling the strip light from another project and the adhesive on the back wasn't as sticky as it once was. If you have brand new strip light, you will be fine just peeling off the adhesive backing from the strip light itself.
Your next step will be to wrap all 3 strips nice and even around the candy cane. (Easier typed than done).
Step 5: Soldering the Wire
Take your 18 AWG wire and cut several short lengths. Keep in mind that you will eventually need to twist all 3 positive wires together and then twist all 3 negative wires together. Solder each small section of wire to the contact points at the end of each run of strip light.
Step 6: Incorporate the LED Adapter Splice Cable
Take your LED Adapter Splice Cable and carefully test the connections to make sure that all of your contact points are soldered correctly and each strip of light is functioning as it should. Then take the positive wire from the LED Adapter Splice Cable and twist it up with the 3 total positive lead wires from the strip. Do the same with the 4 total negative wires.
Step 7: Heat Shrink and Electrical Tape
I decided to use heat shrink to cover the bare wires. Take a small cutting of heat shrink and place it around your bare wire. Use a heat gun to shrink the heat shrink to cover all of the bare wire on the positive wires and the negative wires. Wrap all of the wiring at the
bottom of the cane with white electrical tape to secure the wires.
Step 8: Put It All Together!
I originally thought that this project would be fine without any dimming component. I was wrong. I plugged this in at 100% brightness
and I think that it could be seen from the moon. It is necessary to incorporate one of the Reign LED Dimmer Switches to tone down the lighting to a pleasant brightness level. I attached a male DC Wire Plug and attached it to the output wires from one of the Reign LED Dimmer Switches. Then, I took a female DC Wire Plug and attached it to the input wires from the Reign LED Dimmer Switch. After that, I plugged my 60W 12V Adapter into the input on the switch, and plug my LED Adapter Splice Cable to the output of the switch. Plug it all in to a wall socket, and your done!
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