This is Part 1 where I will hook up the LEDs. In Part 2, I dress up the exterior of the light with bamboo and acrylic.
Step 1: Tools & Materials
6x LEDs (or as many as you want, in multiples of 3 per driver) - $20.16
2x LED Drivers - 12V / 85-265V - $5.04-6.64
1x Switch - $2.99 (optional)
12x #4-40 x 1/4" Screws - $1.96 (Home Depot)
12x Non-conductive washers (optional, Home Depot or RadioShack may carry)
1x tube thermal paste - $7.77
You can re-use the switch but I chose to purchase a different switch so that I can install it on the outside of the bamboo box I plan to make in Part 2. The screws I initially used were computer screws I already had but I switched to the screws I found at Home Depot because they included nuts. I included the non-conductive washers because I had some issues with shorts with the large head of the screws I initially used. While there shouldn't be a problem with the #4-40 screws from Home Depot, I decided to play it safe.
Other Tools & Materials:
Drill and 1/8" bit (optionally, 7/32" bit, too)
This list is what I used but all you really need is solder/solding iron and some wire (you can salvage some from the fluorescent light but I chose to leave it intact).
Step 2: Prepare the Fixture
Step 3: Attach the LEDs
Step 4: Prepare the LED Drivers
On one of the drivers, I soldered a switched wire (red) and a ground wire (black). If you are re-using the built-in switch, solder to that. Otherwise, in preparation for enclosing the fixture in a bamboo box (Part 2), I drilled a 7/32" hole in the side of the fixture and attached the red wire to the new switch. I also threaded a second red wire back from the switch into the fixture for attaching to 12V.
Step 5: Solder
1. The - of the driver (upper right of photo) was soldered to the - of the closest LED.
2. The + of the same LED was soldered to the - of the middle LED.
3. The + of the middle LED was soldered to the - of the left LED.
4. The + of the left LED was soldered to an extension wire connected to the + of the driver.
I then repeated the above steps with the "right" half of the light.
Step 6: Clean Up
Step 7: Done!
I had a few issues with LEDs not lighting up due to shorts. I believe my problems had to do with using excessive amounts of soldering paste. Just scrape away all the excess and everything should work great!