At night, it is almost impossible to make it downstairs without stubbing your toe or tripping on something. I've tried night lights but they just don't cut it, there are never plugs where you need them and they don't light up a large area.
So, i decided to take a diy approach and build a lighting system my self with a few inexpensive parts.
Sorry for the bad camera!
Step 1: Gather Materials
For this project, you will need:
- LED lights. i bought 1000 warm white LEDs for $5 USD
- 1 Resistor. The Rating doesn't matter all that much, but i used a 1 ohm 1/8 watt resistor
-Capacitor (Optional) If you want to use a capacitor, use a 10v 480μF Capacitor.You may need to get one with a higher voltage rating if you hae12v LEDs.
- Speaker wire. I used 16 gauge, but i recommend you use 18 gauge or smaller wire.
Step 2: Tools Required
- Very small flat head screwdriver, this should be a little thicker than a sewing needle.
- Wire cutters / wire strippers
- Soldering iron
Step 3: Measure How Much Wire You Will Need
In my case, i needed 10 feet to span the length of my kitchen. In order to find out how many LEDs you'll need, pick how much distance you want between each light. I spaced my lights 6 inches apart. You can also pick the number of LEDs you want to use, and divide that by how many inches or centimeters your length of wire is. the quotient will be the number of inches or centimeters you need to space your lights out by.
Step 4: Mark Your Wire at Equal Intervals
I find that if i lay the wire down on the tape measure, and tape it at both ends i can just go along with a marker and mark it at the intervals we found in the previous step.
Step 5: Insert LEDs and Pierce the Wire
Place the wire on the wire cutters where the gap is above the handles.
Then put the small screwdriver on one side of the wire and push it through or use a hammer to pierce the wire.
Finally, push the LED throught the two holes and make sure the positive (Longer lead) is in the side with the white line. Make sure all of your LEDs are in the same way, if some don't light up when you test it, make sure the positive is on the correct side.
Step 6: Insert the Resistor(s)
Take the resistor and push it into the end of the wire on the negative side.
You can also solder it on to the end if you prefer. This would also be the time to insert the capacitor inline with the resistor if you wish.
Step 7: Test the LED Light String
The LEDs that i bought required 3.3v which is a common voltage. if you don't have a bench power supply, you can use two AA batteries wired in series. If all of your LEDs light up, success! If not, check to make sure the positive and negative are correct on the wire and on the LEDs that don't light up.
Step 8: Pictures of the Lighting Sysem Installed
I don't have the lighting installed in the kitchen yet, but i have it installed in the stairwell: