How to Make an LED Fairy-Light String using MR16's

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This instructable is a super simple, easy and fun way to make an LED Fairy-Light string using MR16 LED downlights.

It's also my first instructable!, finally after years of various DIY and tinkering fun. ^_^

So, getting down to business:, the first question really is.... why?

What is this even for?

 * This is a cheap, quick and easy way to put together a useable 12v string of lights, which can be utilised wherever there is a 12v power source!

* For those of us who might have small scale solar and wind power, while still moving around and renting homes, this can be a quick and efficient way to light:
spaces / rooms / studio's / cubby's / garages / porches / etc.., using our stored electricity, but without making any alterations to an already established house + it's electrical wiring.

* For any outdoors fun, (i.e. burning man, confest, rainbow family gathering, festivals, etc..) this can be a simple way to light an entire camp off just a small scale solar/wind/hydro temporary set up!

But why build it like this?

* This project can be built in 1 hour, with all resources except for the MR16 bulbs, available from a local hardware shop/electrical store.

* The total cost for this project was:   $150,  
   which includes: 
    - 10 Warm-white LED MR16 (3-watt) downlights       ($11 each)
    -  5  Amber LED MR16 (1-watt) downlights                 ($5 each - clearance special!)
    - 10 mtrs of medium thickness core speaker cable       ($1.50 p/metre)

* This setup can also be extended easily at any time once completed by simply adding more cable length. However, care must be taken to account for the total amp load on the cable, and not exceeding the maximum cable amp limits.

i.e. 10 white LED MR16's @ 3 watts each = 30 watt draw ( 2.5Amp @ 12v ),
but 20 white LED MR16's @ 3 watts each = 60 watt draw ( 5Amp @ 12v )

* The final and major benefit for this kind of setup, is the ability to add + remove lights in 2 seconds whenever needed.

e.g., if towards the end of a long night the stored solar power is starting to run out, but all you really need is to have 2 lights on for reading, instead of the 10 or 20 originally on for dinner/cooking, then you can simply walk along and, "ping", pull out the bulbs one by one, to create the perfectly suited lighting environment for the moment.

Ok then, let's get started!

If you're interested, and it's sounding like a good idea, then let's move onto the 1st step in building it:   --->

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iApple guy2 years ago