About: I'm an artist and designer in Oakland who makes all kinds o' things. I draw, paint, sculpt, animate, design and write. Now I just need to update that damn website!

Step 1: The Supplies

Step 2: Assembly

Step 3: Wiring & Connections

Step 4:

Step 5:

Step 6:

Green Tech Contest

Finalist in the
Green Tech Contest



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    22 Discussions

    Thank you for this project. You addressed an important issue. I also like high temperature at noon and low temperature in the evening.

    Maybe you should consider other strips. According to the datasheet (https://www.diodeled.com/custom/download/productFile/filename/DI-24V-KRNG-Specification%20Sheet.pdf/) they have a horribly low CRI of 68%. 80% is minimum these days.

    Changing the color temperature by mixing two spectra is not ideal (http://www.astro.umd.edu/~cychen/MATLAB/ASTR120/Blackbody2,%205-2-10_03.png) but unfortunately we don't have other options.

    The reason this is so expensive is...there is only one manufacture of this type of LED. The switch is a LED dimmer. the trick is that the LEDs respond to the dimmer by changing color temperature instead of output level.

    2 replies

    You're totally wrong. Only output levels are changing, cold leds decrease while hot increase, and vice versa.

    There are quite a few manufacturer's that make these LED's. The strips themselves have two circuits to them, one for the higher and one for the lower kelvin temperature LEDs, the two circuits are individually dimmable; thus the ability to create your own color temperatures. The led's themselves cannot change color temperature.

    "Yes." You could do it with a color temperature LED bulb, if you can find one they're not hard to find either, LimitlessLED, EasyBulb, and MiLight are all names for the same bulbs. The thing is that they are standard E26/E27 or bayonet bulbs running on mains power. If you want it 12v for safety or other reasons, you have to go with strips.

    What you *can* do to save a little money ov the pricy three wire VCT strip is buy a WW strip and a CW strip. I routinely see these for $10-12, often with 12v wall wart and an IR remote controller you won't use. :P Splice the two + wires together if your controller doesn't have two terminals and just put them parallel to each other. so you need 20mm plus a little slop instead of 10mm and slop, big deal.

    If you like the MiLight idea, they do make a MiLight LED strip controller—and you can get a flat wall-plate-looking remote for the MiLight VCT stuff (strip controller or mains LED bulbs) off eBay. Everything else you can find on Amazon. I'd share links to stuff I know works together to save you a little research , but I don't wanna step on any toes and risk being regarded a spammer.

    BTW, the temptation to buy waterproof LED strips… I'd resist it. Harder to get the silicone off the cut points than it looks like on YouTube in my experience.

    Nice work! This is a great project, but in the interest of transparency, you should disclose that you're an employee of Elemental LED in step 1.

    Good luck in the contest!

    3 replies

    It is true, I am an employee. I hope you don't fee you've been tricked or duped. I feel my creativity goes beyond my choice of work place.

    No skin off my teeth -- I knew that going in. I also really like the project and Elemental LED, and there's nothing wrong with recommending your employer's products if you're passionate about using them. I'm just suggesting that you make that clear up front, so it doesn't come back to bite you in the butt later. :)

    I like it... hadn't seen those white balance strips before. 2200K *AND* 5500K LEDs. Sweet!

    Regarding the high cost, remember that sometimes time is money.
    I know it would take me more than $99 (and that's at something like a $1/hour rate) to come up with my own driver, LED strips, etc.

    Ya gotta admit, it's a great idea/concept.

    Great idea this reminds me of the old ilford cold head lamps that you could control the contrast on for an enlarger without using gels.

    I thought artists, particularly those working in color, prefer natural Norht light, which is neither cool nor warm.

    1 reply

    Thanks everyone for the kind words and honest feedback. For my first instructable project. I feel like I've received a lot of attention and I'm pretty jazzed about that. I've entered this into the Instructables GreenTechnology contest. I hope I can get your vote.
    Keep building, friends!


    Seems excessively expensive. I'm sure you could have used a microcontroller for a just a few bucks.

    2 replies

    That's all that is in those nice controllers, but the quantities are low. Prices will have to come down as LEDs become more common.

    Yeah, 250$ seems a lot of money for this project. I'm pretty sure you can do it for less.

    As an artist, I can appreciate a light that doesn't cook you while putting out the light you need.

    Also.....nice looking fixture...well, done!

    Being in printing years ago there was a problem with "product match" to get the printed image of a product (dress, car, etc) colors to match the actual product in real life. There was a lot of effort to insure the lights were daylight grade in the negative "dot etching" stage to pull proofs of the the image to be as accurate as possible. This would have been a great advantage back then. Just a few thoughts. Peace