I’ve developed a simple LED lighting system to help while parking your car. For years I have been backing in my car in to the garage bay and have relied on a tennis ball hanging from a string for alignment / guidance and to indicate the stopping point. The tennis ball worked well, however, on bright sunny days it is difficult to see the ball in the relatively dark garage.
I came up with the idea to install LED strip lights centered on the garage wall and a hanging LED ball, both powered by the garage door opener, for improved visibility.
The figures above show the overall concept and photograph of what you see while parking. It works pretty well, if you are off-center you will see the ball to the left or right of the back wall LED light strip. When the LED ball touches my back windshield I’ve reached the ideal depth.
Step 1: Parts List
Here is what you will need for the project (available on Amazon):
- LED light strips, $8-12
- 12 volt power adapter, $5
- Short (1 ft) extension cord, $5
- Light bulb socket with side outlet, $3
- Low voltage wire
- Wiffle ball
Step 2: Fabrication / Assembly
- Mount LED light strips on a board and attach it to the garage bay back wall (centered). Run low voltage wire up the wall to the 12 V power adapter (next to the door opener).
- Snake LED lights into a wiffle ball, run wiring to the celling and over to the 12 volt power adapter.
- Connect the low voltage wires to the 12 V power adapter.
- Screw in the socket with outlet into the door opener.
- Plug in the 1 ft extension cable and the 12 V power adapter.
As the door opens the lights automatically come on… and time out after a few minutes!
Step 3: Parking
Above is a photo of my car parked in the garage (almost centered).
I hope that you enjoyed my Instructable!