Convert DC Light bar to AC Answered
I'm trying to help out a friend. He's an animation student and he frequently has to use a light box while he's sketching. For those unfamiliar, he draws on a paper, and then puts another paper on top and traces it again, but with a slight change from the first. This process continues over and over until the animation is complete. In order to be able to trace, he's got a piece of white plexi (with a 90° bend in it) as his "table". He then places an off the shelf Energizer "Under Cabinet Light" under the plexi.
This light has a fluorescent bulb and is powered by 8 AA batteries. Simple calculations means it's running on a 12V battery pack. Since he's often doing homework for 6 hours straight, the 8AA batteries become costly and the light dims over time. He was asking if I could hack the light to take AC power instead.
I have an old wallward ac adapter that has these specs:
Input: 120VAC 60Hz 30W
Output: 12V @ 1.2A.
I also took pictures of the circuit board I found inside the light. While I can't distinguish exactly what's on the board, I can pick out a capacitor, a transformer and some sort of regulator. I should've got a quick schematic... from the looks my google searching, it's a simple fluorescent lamp circuit.
Would it be as simple as stripping the ends of the AC adapter and soldering it to the positive and negative contacts on the light bar's circuit board? The adapter itself takes AC and makes it DC so it should work right?
Another thing he is thinking of is having me swap out the tube for LED's. I'll just need an LED driver and I can use the same power supply I found in my junk box... it's just a question if the high powered LEDs would be bright enough. Surely if the tube is bright enough on fresh AA batteries, 3 high powered white LEDs would be brighter right? Also he's on a budget, so the AC/DC hack would essentially free for him!