Introduction: Add Remote Controlled RBG LED Lighting to Cabinets

This instructable shows how to add Remote Controlled RGB LED Lighting to IKEA Hemnes Cabinets or any other similar cabinet.

You will need a LED strip kit see Ebay

The kit contains a 5m roll of 5050 RGB 150 LED strip, a remote control and a power supply. You will also need a length of RGB ribbon cable to join the strips together. See Ebay for cable.

The 5m roll is enough for a double width glazed full height cabinet and a single width glazed full height cabinet (animation 1 above). It will also work with a double width glazed full height cabinet and a double width half glazed half boarded full height cabinet (animation 2) above or a combination of the two.

It should take less than an hour to carry out and although easier with empty cabinets I have completed the last 2 with the cabinets full.

Tools required are a small drill to pass the RGB cable through the top of the cabinets. A screwdriver to fix the remote control receiver and if you are not using clip on connectors a soldering iron and solder.

Step 1: About RGB Strip Lighting

RGB strips come in a variety of types. This project uses 5050 RGB LEDs with 150 LEDs per 5m roll. The roll has connector at both ends that just plug directly into the infrared receiver. The receiver is then plugged into the main power brick.

fig. 01 shows a close up of a section of RGB strip. On this strip there are 3 x 5mm RGB LEDs per section and 3 resistors to limit the current flow through each colour LEDs. Each 5mm RGB LED has 3 LEDs inside, Red, Green and Blue and depending which LEDs are lit and by how much gives the full range of colours. All colours on will give white.

At the end of each section there are 5 copper bars. The strips can be cut with scissors in the middle of these bars. Connectors or soldered wires are then used to link to the next section of RGB strip with a special ribbon cable. The ribbon cable has four colour wires Red, Green, Blue then Black or sometimes white which is the 12v supply.

fig. 02 shows the circuit diagram of 1 section of 3 RGB LEDs that make up 1 module between the copper strips. Each LED has a Red a Green and a Blue LED inside it.

fig. 03 shows the parts that come with the RGB lighting kit. The remote control allows any colour lighting as well as dimming. The are also some flashing modes as well.

Step 2: Installation

fig. 01 shows the overall schematic diagram of wiring in a double and single glass cabinet. The 5m roll is cut into 3 equal strips. The strips are then run up behind the door frames 2 in the double and 1 in the single cabinets. The diagram also shows the RGB ribbon cable locations as well as the jointing points.

fig. 02 shows the hole in the top of the cabinet for the 12v power cable. The infrared receiver is shown fixed to the top of the cabinet with the RGB LEDs strip connected and routed down the door frame. This is shown on the opposite side to the diagram is fig. 01 as my double cabinet is on the other side.

fig. 03 shows the RGB cable routing behind the adjustable shelves and fixed shelf. This is where the waterproof cover over the LEDs helps as it not only prevents the components being knocked off but also helps hold the strips in place. You could use the self adhesive backing if you wanted but I find they hold themself in place without.

fig. 04 shows the joint between the RGB strip and the RGB ribbon cable. You can also see the hole drilled in the cabinet roof where the cable routes to the next RGB strip in the cabinet next door.

fig. 05 shows a set of solderless joints available from Ebay. There are all sorts of solderless connectors available see examples here.

fig. 06 shows a reel of RGB cable and connections to the copper solder pads on the RGB strips. Here are some example You Tube videos showing soldering and striping back the waterproof layer.

fig. 07 & 08 show different configurations of completed cabinets. The AV rack in fig. 07 has been modified to take a large Media Center PC and 2 internet servers.