Hello all you happy people. Welcome to my first instructable.

This project came about as I recently rebuilt my garage and found myself in need of complete lighting throughout.

I had two main objectives: I wanted bright/even coverage and I wanted to do it as inexpensively as possible.

For a number of reasons I wanted to use all LED lighting for my project but the commercial products were cost prohibitive. At the time of this writing, 4 foot shop lights are going for $40 and higher. I did some research and before long came across inexpensive lighting strips from China. The strips are sold in 5m lengths (16.5 ft) and can be found on ebay for $5-7 each. But how to use them?

After a lot of thought, I came up with the idea of putting them directly onto my trusses. This would give me even lighting throughout and a clean modern look.

I found that one LED strip wasn't bright enough, so I added a second for more light. This is probably enough for general lighting but I wanted MORE POWER and added a third. Why not at this price, right? To give you an idea of the coverage, my garage is 24'x40'. I'm putting lights on 5 trusses and they are 8'6" off the ground.

The other piece of the puzzle is powering the lights. The LED strips run on +12vdc and require an external power source. You can easily buy 12v power supplies but I'm trying to go cheap, right? So I used old discarded PC power supplies. Cost? Free!

You won't need to know electronics for this project but you will need some basic soldering skills.

Let's begin!

Step 1: Prep the Trusses

Although the light strips come with adhesive, I found that it wasn't strong enough to support the weight of the lights when mounted facing down. Therefore I needed a better solution. Through trial and error I ended up with Scotch outdoor tape. This stuff is super strong and holds in extreme temperatures. It is 1" wide and works perfectly for attaching three LED strips to a truss.

Grab a ladder and roll the tape along the bottom of the truss. Only roll out as much as you can reach so that the roll doesn't fall to the ground and get dirty. Place the tape directly on the center of the truss.

I used a small roller to securely press the tape onto the truss. I think I bought this roller years ago for sealing the edges of wallpaper. A rolling pin would probably work as well or even better.

Step 2: Add the Lights

A note before we begin. I purchased LED lighting from two different sources on ebay. One had power connectors on one end, while the other had power connectors on both ends. Either one will work fine. Roll your LED strips so that the power connectors all line up in the same spot. This will simplify your life when it comes time to connect the power. In other words, if you have the single ended type, don't put one down one way, then another the opposite way.

Peel off some of the protective backing on both the tape and the LEDs. I found it worked best for me to run the center LED strip first then butt the other two along side of it. Do this step anyway you choose. One strip at a time if you like. To save myself going up and down the ladder a hundred times I did it like this:

Ran tape down the entire length, using the roller as I went.

Starting at one end I pulled an arms length of tape backing, Then pulled the backing tape off an arms length of the first LED strip and pressed it onto the center of the tape. I followed that by doing the same for the remaining two tapes.

You will now need to firmly press the LED tape onto the outdoor tape to ensure a good bond. Do not use a roller for this step as it may damage the strips. I tried using the palms of my hands with fairly good success, but the best solution was using pressure from both thumbs.

I repeated this step until I had covered the entire length of the truss.

It's very unlikely that the length of LED strips you bought will fit the truss perfectly. So what do you do? One of the many cool things about these LED strips is that you can easily cut them to length without damaging them. Each strip has little copper pads every few inches where it's safe to cut (and join) strips. Take care to center your cut.

Step 3: Run the Power Line

Now that the strips are up and looking good, you're probably excited to light them up. Time to run the power lines.

For this step I used 18 ga speaker wire. It was perfect for the job but you could use whatever you like. The wire just has to be able to handle the combined current load of the lights you are sending through it. Not a big concern unless you are running a lot of lights.

This is where you test your soldering skills.

Strip a little insulation off all the leads, then twist them together red to red and black to black. Simple eh? Solder the leads together. I'd strongly suggest you invest in a few pieces of shrink tubing for this project. Makes things tidy.

You could avoid soldering by using wire nuts or crimp-on solderless connectors. I prefer solder for the solid connection.

I used low voltage staples for my runs spaced about 3 ft apart.

Note: If you are making a long run that requires multiple LED strips to cover the distance, do NOT daisy chain or power one from another. If you do, the more LEDs you add the dimmer the lights will become. Take your time and wire each strip individually. In other words, run the power in parallel, not in series. By wiring in parallel, each LED will have full brightness. On the first truss I made individual power runs for each of my 9 LED strips. This was way too much work. After that I wised up and ran one power 'bus' the length of the truss and tapped off the bus to each LED strip. I used the same 18 gauge speaker wire for this. Much less wiring, much less ladder time, much neater installation. Live and learn eh?

Step 4: How Many LED Strips Can I Run Off of a Power Supply?

Eventually you will find yourself asking this question. Here is how I determined how many strips per power supply.

On the side of most PC power supplies there will be a chart that tells you the current load per voltage rail. On my power supply photo you'll want to look at the intersection of the YELLOW +12V Column and the 300W Output row. It reads 14A. In simpler terms, this says that when using a 300 watt power supply the 12volt yellow wires can output up to 14 amps of current.

Okay, now that we know how much current we have to work with, the next question is: How much current does each LED strip require? A search of the LED specs shows that each 5M strip draws 30 watts of power. Interesting, but still doesn't answer our question. How many 30 watt LED strips can I run off a 14amp power supply?

To answer that question I searched online for a power calculator. I entered the value of 12 for the voltage we're using, and the value of 30 for the Power of each LED strip, hit calculate and it tells me that each LED Strip will require 2.5 amps of current.

So to answer the question of how many lights can I run off a power supply, the answer is..... it depends.

In our example the power supply we used can output 14 amps. Divide 14 by 2.5 and you get 5.6. Or in other words, you should easily be able to run 5 strips off this power supply.

I also said the answer depends. It depends because power supplies will vary in their current ratings. The example I used was just for this one particular power supply. Many dedicated 12vdc power supplies are rated at 30 amps for example. More amps = more LEDs. Look at the label and do the math.

Step 5: Make the Power Connections

It's time to connect your LED strip lighting to the PC power supply. There are a couple of ways you could do this and now is the time to make that decision.

Hardwire: Connect the power leads of the LED strips directly to the PC power supply. This is an okay solution but what happens if you ever need to replace a power supply? You'd have to cut and resolder/crimp a new one in place. There's nothing wrong with this solution. I just choose the next option.

Connectors: Solder a PC power connector on the LED power ends and connect it to the power supply. This way if the power supply dies, you have a quick disconnect. Be up and running again in seconds with minimal hassle

At this point we should talk about the power supply. A PC power supply is not instantly ready to use for our project. We need to make one quick modification for the power supply to turn on when plugged in.

This guy does a pretty good job of converting a PC power supply into a source for your lights. Remember, we're only interested in using the +12 volts.

Once the power supply has been modified and you have your connection on the LED lights, connect the two and plug it in.

Since this was a new lighting installation and my only source of light, I installed switched outlets between my trusses to power the PC power supplies and in turn, the LED strips. Walk in the door, flip the light switch and let there be light!

Step 6: Final Thoughts and Sources

I'm really happy that this gamble paid off. The lighting is bright, even, and fantastic. I believe I spent maybe a tenth of what a commercial application would have cost.

The LEDs are available in all colors but two flavors of white. Cool white and Warm white. Cool is similar to florescent lighting where Warm is closer to incandescent. I went with all Cool white. While it looks terrific, I think it's slightly too blue. If I were to do it over again I would have gone 2 cool, 1 warm.

They also come in a waterproof version. The non-waterproof ones are a bit cheaper and that's what I used.

I ran out of lights during the project and had to buy more from a different source. The second ones were cheaper but had two small dead spots. Get what you pay for? Regardless, dead spots are not a big problem. They can be easily cut out and replaced.

Even though there is plenty of light, I think it still needs more light directly over the workbenches. I like LOTS of light. But your mileage may vary. I'm going to convert my old shop light into LED using this same method.

One source for lights: http://goo.gl/WRkh70 They've only been up for a week but seem to work fine.

Just pick one that has free shipping and a good rating. Expect a week or two shipping from China to the US.

You can get them from any of a hundred vendors on ebay. Do a search on: 5M 300LEDs SMD 3528 5050 5630 3014 RGB Flexible LED Strip Lights

If given the option, choose the 5630 non-waterproof variety. At least that's what I used.

Computer Power Supplies: I work in IT and have access to lots of discarded computers. That's exactly what you want. Ask the IT guy at a nearby school, or business or anywhere that's large enough to have an IT staff. Be friendly, bring candy, most likely they'll have a few laying around that they'll give you.

The other option is to buy a dedicated 12vdc power supply from ebay. Search for: 12v regulated power supply. This one sells for about $20 http://goo.gl/v9aR6S

If you go this route instead of the PC power supply, just connect the red and black wires from your LED lights to the power terminals on the power supply. This would honestly be an easier solution but I had easy access to free power supplies so I saved myself $100+

The tape I bought from Amazon. I looked at a few China knock-offs on ebay but didn't trust the quality. Go with genuine 3M. https://goo.gl/F6ODQw

Because this project uses low voltage DC current, it is both safe and legal for you to do yourself. The most dangerous part of this project is standing on the ladder.

One last thing. This project is fairly labor intensive. Expect a lot of ladder time!

This was a fun and rewarding project. I hope you find this Instructable useful!

In hindsight....

I was about halfway through this project when I realized that it would be perfect running under solar energy.

Why/how? The entire thing runs on 12vdc the same as your car battery. Solar panel kits are getting really cheap and it would be pretty easy to connect to the lights. While this wouldn't work for lighting your house, for occasional garage lighting I think solar would be a perfect solution. Another project for another day.

<p>120V is possible. I prefer the safer 12V. There are few code restrictions for low voltage. When you get to 120V all kinds of national and local codes and laws are involved, for very good reasons. </p><p> In the near future I except many more houses will be wired for dual voltage, low for LED lighting and electronics, high for power units - refrigerators, air conditioners, blenders, saws. You are simply ahead of the times.</p>
<p>We need USB charging ports at the wall!</p>
<p>Here's a whacky idea - how about NO power supply. All you engineers out there can let me know what you think of this:</p><p>Take 10 of these strips and wire them in series instead of the standard parallel configuration. That's 12v drop across each for a total of 120v. And LED's are diodes after all, so in theory you can just hook them up, they'll light up for half the cycle and not for the other half. Or you could just put a fullwave bridge rectifier in front of the strips.</p><p>Of course this means some dangerous voltages so you'd want to use the waterproof strips which encapsulate all the exposed copper except at the ends where you'd want to take appropriate precautions to make sure there is no exposed wiring. </p><p>But with the safety issue address appropriately, shouldn't this work fine? I'd think you could even use a standard lighting dimmer with it. Comments?</p>
<p>yes you can do that. Add a resistor in series to limit the current because the peak of the 120 Volt sine wave is 167 Volts. with a DC supply that 60 Hz is missing. even with full wave rectification you will still feel the 120 Hz. you will still need the limiting resistor. resistor value will be dependent of the current thru the diodes (LED's).</p>
<p>there is an issue with your thought, 12 Volt DC vs 120 Volt AC. </p>
<p>Yeah, as I said, LEDs are diodes, thus no conduction when the AC cycle goes to the wrong polarity, thus the LEDs would be lit only half the time. Or, as I said, use a 4 rectifier bridge in front of the LEDs to make DC (or at least 120Hz pulses all in the same direction).</p>
<p>is that a garage or a skating rink with a couple of cars?</p><p>Thanks for sharing.</p><p>wow! yeah, I did that with my garage also. I had bought a few thousand 3 Watt LED's from China. I had asked and paid for UV's and they sent me cool white so I could not make my grow lights. so I figured i would use them and I strung up a couple of hundred along the trusses. bought a few 10Amp 12V power supplies and voila! it is as bright as day!!! of course I only do a little woodwork or metal work in the garage so i don't need the light very often but it is fun turning the lights on and off to see how bright it becomes. which state are you located? that garage is HUGE!!! </p>
<p>Just three problems with using 120VAC with 10 strings in series.</p><p>1. The peak value of the AC, or DC out of rectifier is 170V, so the voltage is too high for 10 strings.</p><p>2. LED Diodes have a very small Peak Reverse Voltage rating and using on AC one may fail and that increases the reverse voltage across the remaining diodes and there is a very good chance of a rapid cascade of diodes failing until there is effectively a short across the supply.</p><p>3. What about somebody not aware of the diodes connected straight across the supply touches them?</p><p>2</p>
<p>Good idea using double-stick tape. I will use your idea to mount LED strip lights above the model train layout. A computer power supply provides 5V for accessories and 12V for the LED lights.</p>
Used in bedroom with an arduino to dim it down to be able to have a little game light
<p>arduino dimming? may I have more details please?</p>
<p>It was not very hard i used an arduino which monitors the analog value of input a4. This value gets digital written on pin 9 via a digital write function and the map function. To output 9 i connected a mosfet by which i can control the brightnes of the leds. The Mosfet is connected to a heatsink because it uses around 5A and the mosfet would get very warm.</p><p>Also i increased the pwm frequence so the power supply does not beeps the whole time</p><p>Under the following link you can find the wiring and code: <a href="https://circuits.io/circuits/3884770-zimmer" rel="nofollow">https://circuits.io/circuits/3884770-zimmer</a></p><p>As Mosfet i used this one: <a href="https://www.conrad.de/de/mosfet-fairchild-semiconductor-huf75339p3-1-n-kanal-200-w-to-220-3-1264404.html" rel="nofollow">https://www.conrad.de/de/mosfet-fairchild-semicond...</a></p><p>If you have any more questions simply ask.</p>
<p><a href="https://circuits.io/" rel="nofollow">https://circuits.io/ </a> looks very nice.</p><p>however I don't see the reason to use arduino here, looking at the program it seems that you are reading analog1 from trimmer and writing to analog2 which goes to power transistor, couldn't it be done just by linking the trimmer to transistor?</p>
<p>No you cant connect the transitor with the potentiometer, because the transistor can only turn on and of so they would only be on and off. By using the Arduino you get a very fast on and off switching signal which can dim the light. So a arduino is esencial to build a pwm dimmer or you could use a 555 timer ic but i dont have any knowledge about it so i used the arduino.</p><p>In the sketch A4 is the input and 9 is the output.</p><p>If you have anymore questions simply ask</p>
<p>well, maybe that HUF75339P3 is special (I am not able to find V-in vs I-out characteristic) but according to <a href="http://www.electronics-tutorials.ws/amplifier/amp90.gif" rel="nofollow">http://www.electronics-tutorials.ws/amplifier/amp9...</a> (from <a href="http://www.electronics-tutorials.ws/amplifier/mosfet-amplifier.html" rel="nofollow">http://www.electronics-tutorials.ws/amplifier/mosf...</a> - look for &quot;Basic MOSFET Amplifier&quot; string) it's easy to use MOSFET as analog amplifier.</p><p>btw I can not see the fast switching routine in the arduino program you provided yesterday.</p>
<p>I highly discourage you from using this approach. If you are using it in linear region, the MOS will just heat up and ... Smoke ;) PWM is used to reduce the power dissipated by the circuit, and is able to better control the luminous output. I'd use an 8-pin attiny for this job, rather than an arduino board, because the required peripherals are already there. You can still program them with the Arduino IDE, and as programmer you can use any 5V Arduino board (uno, mega, nano, ...)</p>
<p>Thats the point i wanted to say.</p><p>You explained it better. Good job</p>
The source you send is also a good idea, but in my opinion it was much easier to use an Arduino, because it provides all signals i need and i dont have to work with setting all resistors correct. The fast switching eoutine you searched is implemented in the arduino its called analogWrite().<br>This function gives a Pwm wave on the set Port with a duty cycle between 0 and 255. Here are the links to analogWrite:<br>https://www.arduino.cc/en/Reference/AnalogWrite<br>and<br>https://www.arduino.cc/en/Tutorial/PWM<br>Hope you now know why i use an Arduino, because it is very easy and i can do everything i want with it.<br>
<p>The whole system looks like this.</p><p>Not very nice build, but it works.</p>
<p>he used transistor and connected it that current for LED strips goes through it, then he used arduino to generate PWM signal and used it on transistor</p>
<p>Very romantic light ;-)</p>
<p>indeed !</p>
<p>Thanks for the tip.</p><p>I had this thought, too , but it remained as thought and stagnated !8</p><p>But now, seeing yours, I'm like, hey there are people who think alike and I must start the procedure.</p><p>Thanks, NiklasT5</p>
<p>If you are only using a single strip, an option is to buy aluminum channels with covers like these. I bought a set and they're terrific.</p><p>http://www.ebay.com/itm/10m-10pcs-1m-led-aluminium-profile-for-10mm-5050-5630-3528-strip-led-channel-/252827312089?</p>
<p>If you were to wire the 3 parallel strips to different power supplies which could be switched on and off independently, you could effectively have 3 different light levels: low, medium and high. While it would require more &quot;bus&quot; wiring, the resulting utility of 3 light levels might be worth the effort.</p>
<p>I wonder how many lumens per watt these strips put out? It may make more sense to </p><p> Also, if the current is regulated within the strip, I'm guessing you could put 10 strips in series and connect to house current, possibly with a diode or full wave rectifier*. Or maybe the LED's are enough. Doing this would require some real care due to higher voltage, and possibly a some money slipped to the building inspector.</p><p>*Either would be inexpensive.</p>
<p>I think the problem with this is the limited current capacity of the conductor in the LED strip. If a &quot;weak&quot; point burns through, you'll increase the voltage to each of the remaining LEDs, burning them out.</p><p>That said, there are companies that sell 120 volt LED strips... I just don't know if they use some sort of driver, or direct drive.</p>
Just run the strips in parallel. The same 12 V will go through each pair a little strip as easily as if you tried to put them all in series. Multiple paths will allow you to drive each path individually.
<p>In case something burns through, you could use a fuse or a cheap current regulator to keep things under control. I'll admit putting them in series may reduce the reliability.</p><p>None of this is worth it if the lumens per watt isn't good. I'm sitting next to a torchiere lamp I converted to LED's. With 3 &quot;stars&quot; of 3 LED's each, it puts out an awful lot of light for the wattage, which I seem to recall is 20 or 25. The light seems comparable to what it put out as a fluorescent torchier using about twice the wattage! It seems like more than it is, because it all goes up to the white ceiling and there's no lampshade to dim it. My memory is vague, but I think they might give off around 2,000 lumens. There's a switching regulator which keeps the current constant. Whole setup was, I think, $40. Of course I had to use a heat sink, which is the head from an old lawnmower engine.It would be relatively easy to put the same &quot;stars&quot; on the bottom of the garage roof trusses. Stars with only one LED might allow the light to be spread out a bit more. Not sure how this compares with the light strips' output, but I bet it's more efficient. </p><p>-----------------</p><p>It's not clear to me that driving the lights from solar panels is such a great idea unless there's a battery in the system. Otherwise, skylights ought to be superior.</p>
<p>Yes, but then you need that 12V power supply. </p>
<p>Very interesting and useful 'instructable' thank you. I am in the process of conducting a similar project myself in my workshop. I have a set of LED tube lights, fully enclosed units that I am installing under my workbench. This is to illuminate a rather dark area that the shop striplights simply do not reach. These units run on 5v and are meant to plug into a USB supply. I have a few old but still working PC PSUs lying around so why didn't I think of using one of those just running off the 5v rail rather than the 12v of your idea? I went and purchased a 5v power supply instead :( Ah well one lives and learns :) </p><p>I may look into installing LED strips/tapes in the manner you have once this little project is finished. Have you considered perhaps installing the LED tape runs using those staples designed for fixing electric cable? Maybe with a small wadding of soft packing to ensure no damage to the tape and underlying fine electric cable running in them?</p>
I did this nearly exactly the same running LED strips under my cabinets in my kitchen. The strips hide where you can't see them, yet provide excellent lighting for the countertops. Very good presentation here for your garage. The light should be excellent since so many sources should give you not much shadow either. Very good instructor bull and very good job.
<p>Hey thanks for posting this happy! I'm a tenderfoot and pretty much hitting right on the nail for peeps like me. I read alot of the replies too which am really glad to see there's alot of interest in this. I'm putting this down as a to do for the future!</p><p>Thanks again. </p>
<p>Great Project !! I do a lot of computer work, so I have saved a few power supplies for a project like this one (I'm also an electrician) I can't wait to do a similar project. You did a great job with the details</p>
<p>NEVER,<br>ever, completely trust double sticky tape to hold anything of value or will<br>have anything of value under it!Heat<br>and age will weaken the bond with nasty results.</p><p>I&rsquo;d<br>have stapled the 3M tape every couple of feet as you can&rsquo;t really get a good<br>bond to unsanded wood.Then, after<br>mounting the actual light strips (using Chinese double sticky) I&rsquo;d recommend<br>using Tie-Wraps or similar every couple of feet around the beams to support the<br>final assembly.</p>
<p>I've had good luck with acrylic adhesive mounting tape. I think all or most of the 3M UHB tapes use this type of adhesive. Use FIRM pressure in places where it's safe to apply, and let it sit in a warm place for a day or two before stressing. If the light strips are flat enough, perhaps they can be mounted, using thin acrylic adhesive transfer tape, to an aluminum strip. Again I'm speculating, but that might help them keep cool. For those with vacuum pumps, a vacuum bag setup might apply uniform pressure to the tape without breaking anything. If taping directly to wood joists, a better bond may be obtained if you apply shellac, sanding sealer, varnish or paint to the wood to give a fairly smooth surface. Unless the adhesive (not the foam) is very thick, anyway. In any case, make sure everything is clean. If you're sticking it to difficult plastics, there are special tapes for low surface energy materials. Lots of info on 3M sites listing what adhesive is best for what material.Or, if you want to go to the trouble, you can flame or plasma treat. I gather that the latter requires a fairly high voltage electric arc, and possibly an inert gas.</p><p>A lot of double stick tape uses rubber adhesive. There's more strength after a short period of time, but otherwise I think it's usually inferior.</p>
<p>B.S. 3M UHB lasts until about a week before he double hockey sticks freezes over. When my son and I built his CNC Plasma Table, the best option was to mount about $700 worth of gear rails with double sided tape. It has endured 20 deg F to 110 deg F and water and mechanical abuse and works as good as new.</p>
<p>Thanks much, Happydupa.</p><p>Very very inspirational and very similar to GREATSCOT's project.</p><p>By going through yours and GREATSCOT's description, I am taking up this project, sooner. </p><p>At first, the Power Supply will be through an old 400W (PC) PSU and then later convert the PS to 12V DC storage Battery and Solar Charger.</p><p>Once again, many thanks for inspiring me and many others, to take up the project.</p><p>Cheers.</p>
<p>You could use a much smaller power supply since the wires can only handle 14 amps. 14A x 12v = 168 w. Of course you don't want to run the power supply at 100% of capacity--it wouldn't last long. A 200w supply would be running at about 84% capacity. A decent power supply should be able to handle 84% indefinitely IF it is provide proper cooling.</p>
<p>This really looks very cool! But, complicated to get up there to wire it all, many power supplies.....and, unsure how it is less costly [counting time, effort, materials, AND power bill to support it?] ....than simply using ready-made shop lights, with LED bulbs already in them? What happens when the LED strips stuck to the rafter, dims, yellows, or loses LED function [as numerous types of our rope, strip etc. LED's have]? </p><p>Costco carries Feit 4' LED linkable shop lights, at $60 each. Plug'n'play. <a href="https://www.costco.com/Feit-Electric-4%E2%80%99-Linkable-LED-Shop-Light-with-Pull-Chain,-2-pack.product.100284402.html" rel="nofollow">https://www.costco.com/Feit-Electric-4&rsquo;-Linkable-LED-Shop-Light-with-Pull-Chain%2c-2-pack.product.100284402.html</a> ; Home Depot carries a list of various sizes and configurations of LED shop lights, also plug'n'play, in a range of prices. Easy to remove and replace. LED &quot;bulbs' configured to replace long fluorescent bulbs, even easier to replace [although, not all of those are very good quality, and can devolve into shutting off randomly]. </p><p>For the look of professional, clean-lines, with no fixture to dust off, the LED strips attached under 2x rafters or trusses, could have a beneficial edge. </p><p>I'd suggest taking advantage of those LED strips ability to choose colors, to make some strips run various colors, like reds and yellows, to help reduce eye fatigue from the blue wavelengths in the cool whites. </p><p>Also, you might want to get an EMF/RF meter, to take readings on what kinds of electro-smog the LED lights and associated equipment are emitting, as those can be a health hazard, if one spends too much time exposed to them. Some folks use metal mesh over a fixture, to prevent fixtures emitting high levels of EMF/RF into a living/working space [kinda like little Faraday cages around fixtures, must be grounded]. </p>
<p>Why are you even on this website? Also electro-smog is not a thing. You must be like that crazy dude from better call saul that's 'allergic' to wifi</p>
<p>Yes, and it is actually the same misunderstanding they had for the Chuck McGill character in Better Call Saul, you would detect EMF only if the current is alternating, there is no EMF with DC, and so Chuck should have been unaffected by a loaded battery.</p>
<p>sigh...nailed it</p>
<p>I have seen many negative comments on the web about low cost Chinese LED lights, and my own experience has not been good. I bought eight 240V LED light bulbs (replacements for bayonet incandescent down-lights) in the fond belief that they would last a very long time. Within a couple of months, two of the bulbs failed, so for the sake of getting matching bulbs, I ordered four more. Now, a year after initial installation, a total of five have failed, so I have seven of the Chinese ones and one local replacement from the hardware store. The Chinese ones are cold white, but I was unable to get a colour-matched one in the UK.</p><p>The bulbs are completely glass-encapsulated, so I can't get into them. They contain a matrix of 60 LEDs, and each time one has failed, it has been a single LED, but they must all be in series because when it happens, the bulb goes dim. I hope you have better luck - though you can.at least, replace short sections.</p>
<p>I've had poor luck trying this in the past. With the 5050 type LED strips running at their rated 12v there was far too much heat being generated in any long term use, leading to severe yellowing (browning eventually) and loss of brightness. Running single strips in aluminum housings improved their lifespan slightly, but with still disappointing results.</p><p>I double, and triple checked my power supplies, which were indeed running cleanly and accurately within a couple points of 12v. I suspect that some of these cheap LED strips are simply being over driven at their 'rated' voltage, in order to maximize their brightness.</p><p>Meanwhile, I have many meters of RGB 5050 LED strips which sometimes run for long periods at full white/full brightness, and I have never had the issue of them running hot. Perhaps due to the additional controller between the strips and supply...</p>
<p>This is likely do to voltage drop..and poor soldering of the strips when they are put on the spools. If you unroll the tape from the spool you will notice several places were segments of tape are joined together to get whatever length you are buying, I always re-solder these joints.</p>
<p>A nice solution for use of old PC power supplies! I used a LED strip to light my 20-foot long woodshed but bought a $20 12Volt, 4-Amp power supply. I could have saved the cash had I thought of that. Sometimes it is difficult to get the power requirement from the Chinese sellers. Not trusting tape to stick the strip in a cold and damp environment, I slipped the LED strip into clear PCV tubing that I clipped to the low joists. I keeps the strip dry and affords mechanical protection.</p>
<p>For those who haven't noticed, this instructable is a year old. LED technology is changing in leaps and bounds very quickly. I read this morning on MSN that LED brightness doubles every 18 months.... So with that - understand what this person did over a year ago can probably be done with completely different mechanics that didn't exist even a year ago. But what is pertinent here is a great concept and exploiting the advantages LED technology. </p>
<p>I am very appreciative of all the tutorials on this site. Just a <br>heads-up regarding LED type of lights, however. They are showing to have<br> possible negative effects on the body from retina damage to sleep <br>disorders, which can lead to a host of other health issues. It may be a <br>good idea to do an internet search to find out about the negative <br>effects of this type of lighting before installing them anywhere in the <br>home. By the way, plants thrive under regular fluorescent lights, but <br>don't do well at all with LEDs. That says quite a bit right there. <br>Anyway, an internet search to get yourselves educated before deciding is<br> always good. Just search something like &quot;LED lights side effects&quot; and <br>you will get a slew of information. It's always good to get both sides <br>about something before making the decision of whether or not to use it. <br>Have a wonderful day, everyone!</p>
<p>@AnnieSage citation needed! I did a google search of &quot;LED lights side effects&quot; and found this <a href="http://texyt.com/bright+blue+leds+annoyance+health+risks" rel="nofollow"> http://texyt.com/bright+blue+leds+annoyance+healt...</a></p><p>LEDs come in a wide variety of colors. According to the above citation, warm white LEDs have very little blue and thus do not exhibit this problem. </p><p>Since the poster likely does not live in his garage, it is very unlikely that he will suffer any symptoms other than being able to see what he is doing.</p><p>As for you comment about plants not doing well under LEDs, this is not my experience and it sure isn't a common opinion. Modern grow LEDs are IMHO vastly better than anything else I have ever seen or tried. They grow terrestrial and aquatic plants very, very well at a fraction of the power. They use a much safer voltage to work with, produce much less heat and they last much longer.</p><p>Look at the comments for the Mars brand LED growth light. </p><p><a href="https://www.amazon.ca/Mars300-Mars600-Indoor-Flowering-Spectrum/dp/B0122VD5ZG/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1498160658&sr=8-2&keywords=mars+grow+light" rel="nofollow">https://www.amazon.ca/Mars300-Mars600-Indoor-Flowe...</a></p><p>I always appreciate a good debate but without facts it is just another opinion and should be stated as such.</p>

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