Picture of Styrene LED Strip Brackets

I bought a strip of Adafruit's RBG LEDs from Phenoptix. They come with a protective silicone sheath to stop moisture damaging them or metal shorting the pads. This is great but makes them pretty tricky to mount since it rules out tape or most glues.

I wanted a semi-permanent method to mount my LED strip. I could have 3d printed or bent some aluminium brackets, but ever since watching a YouTube video of Jimmy DiResta using styrene to make a box, I've found it hugely useful for making small items.

Styrene for enclosures and fixtures is a great material. It can be cut incredibly cleanly and easily with just a score of a knife followed by snapping along the score. It can be scraped, sanded, polished, painted and glued. Following Jimmy's recommendation I use DCM as a solvent to dissolve two styrene surfaces, attaching them very strongly within several seconds. I've made joins with DCM and tried to separate them later, only for the Styrene to tear around the joint not at the joint.

Read on for instructions on how to make these super quick and easy styrene brackets.

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Step 1: Cut strips

Picture of Cut strips

First, cut two strips of styrene, one 5 mm wide and one 10 mm wide. I chose 1.5 mm thick styrene purchased from eBay.

A set of vernier calipers is useful to mark the position of the cut on the stock. Alternatively a compass can be used to leave a mark equidistant along the edge with a pencil.

Lay the ruler over the cut position and score the styrene firmly once or twice.

Bend the scored piece backwards, it should snap off with a satisfyingly clean snap. The edges should be neat and free of burrs, but you might like to reduce the sharp corner by running the blade over it, held perpendicular to the surface.

Step 2: Cut some blanks

Picture of Cut some blanks

Decide how many brackets you require, then cut as many 30 mm long pieces as you need from the 10 mm wide strip.

anasdad6 months ago

Nicely done!

anasdad6 months ago

Nicely done!

seamster6 months ago

Ooh. I have to get some styrene. This looks incredibly useful.

steven48726 months ago

You can buy these if you want for not much money. However for a resent project I had to attach the strip to glass which forced me to use glue. after some experimentation i found the All Purpose Amazing GOOP worked well. Also Abrading the back side of the strip helped the glue stick to the plastic.

Some vendors of LED light strips are made with 3M adhesive factory applied. Those also worked well on glass.

padbravo6 months ago

comercial names for the solvent?

mikeasaurus6 months ago

I have use for these, thanks!

Jayefuu (author)  mikeasaurus6 months ago

Watch that styrene video by DiResta from the intro. Highlights some excellent techniques for getting good results. I love building with this stuff now.

andrea biffi6 months ago

that's intersting, but IMHO is better reduce the width to avoid covering a led..

Jayefuu (author)  andrea biffi6 months ago

I did make the width the same as the LED spacing (10 mm) but the strip was aligned wrong for the photo. Oops!