Introduction: Under Bed LED Lights
This is my first instructable so I thought I would make it an easy one.
There are a number of other instruables that are very similar to this one, which is where I got my idea from..
Step 1: Equipment Needed
So before you start its always best to make sure you have everything you need.
For this project you'll need:
• LED strip lights. These are 3528 36W warm white. purchased from Amazon for £3.29 each
• LED dimmer controller. purchase from Amazon for £2.19
• 12v power supply. I scavenged this from my spares box.
• Rocker switch. purchase from Amazon for £1.38 for 4.
• A couple of crocodile test leads for testing the circuit.
• some extra wire
• voltmeter (or in my case a voltage read out, works just as well)
Step 2: Tools Required
the nice thing about this project is that you really don't need that many tools.
- wire cutters
- wire strippers
- soldering iron
- tape measure
- electrical tape
- a drill (for drilling holes in the bed)
Step 3: Testing Your Power Source and LEDs
It’s important that you test your power source, you don't want to overload the LED's or not have enough power. You can do this by using a voltmeter, or, if you're like me and don't have one, you can use a cheap voltmeter read out
the power source I found said it was 9v DC. When I tested it, it was actually putting out 12v DC. This was perfect for this application.
It is also a good idea to also test your LED strips at this point too. Nothing worse than getting most of the way through before you realise they don't work.
Step 4: Assemble the Circuit
For this project I decided I would add in a remote dimmer. This is so I can vary the brightness. The remote dimmer is very simple to set up. The wires are ladled, so it’s simply a job of hooking the power supply up to one side and the LED’s to the other side. I’ve also opted to use a manual rocker switch so I don’t have to use the remote all the time. I've put this dimmer in before the switch, that way I can set the brightness then use the switch to turn them on and off rather than having to use the remote.
It’s the best to test the dimmer and the rest of the circuit before you commit to soldering. I did this simply by using the crocodile clips.
Step 5: Stripping, Soldering and Heat Shrinking
The next part that needs doing is to cut and strip all the wires ready to tin all the exposed wires ready for the soldering and heat shrinking.
At this stage the only soldering I did was to solder the remote dimmer to the power supply. The rest of the soldering was done after everything was in place on the bed.
Step 6: Attaching the LED Strips to the Bed
At this stage you need to find a suitable place to mount your LED strips. Ikea have very kindly added a nice lip to the underside of my bed which made a perfect place to hide the strips up out the way.
I used the drill to make a hole for the wires to pass though. The nice thing about this Ikea bed is that there is already a hole for attaching the side to the headboard. I used this as to drill the hole through. I didn’t have to commit to drilling through the bed. I could have simply passed the wires underneath. I just fancied a cleaner finish.
Next thing you’ll need to do is grab the tape measure and measure the space in which the LED strips will go. Once you have this measurement you can trip the strips down to size. The LED strips I used had double sided tape on, which is a pain to try and pull the top paper off. I decided I'd stick them as close to the back of lip as possible. This was mainly to limit the chance of seeing the strips.
Next, after passing the wires through the holes you can then go ahead and trim all the excess wire and finish soldering everything and heat shrinking.
The next thing, if you've chosen to use one, is to move the remote dimmer unit somewhere where it is visible for the remote. You need to do the same with the switch.
Step 7: Step Back and Enjoy
Once you have finished connecting everything and soldering it up push all the bedroom furniture back in place, pack all the tools away then step back and enjoy!
Step 8: Project Extensions
There are would be a couple of extra things I'd quite like to do to this project. The first will be to wire in two switches, one for each side of the bed so we can both turn them on and off. The other would be to set the switches in something to make them look a little nicer. This project will work just as well with the RGB strips, although wiring in the switch will be a little different.
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