I'm going to show you the process I used to install LED light strips as an accent to a desk. This is a fairly simple project, but it does require that you solder some cable that will be used for a 120v line, so make sure you are comfortable with doing this before proceeding.
What you'll need:
- 12V power supply
- LED strips that run on 12V
- AC power cable
- Soldering Iron and Solder
- Wire Stripper
- Lighter and Shrink Tubing
- SPST low-voltage switch
- Double sided foam mounting tape
We'll then use those to add the strips to a desk.
Step 1: Make the DC Connection
We're going to start off with making the DC side of the connection. We will connect the switch to the power supply and also the connector designed to go to the LED light strips.
First, cut one end off the LED strip connector cable and strip each individual wire. Then place shrink tubing over the wire that will be soldered to the power supply's ground connection.
Solder the ground wires together and shrink the tubing over the solder joint.
Now, take the SPST switch and solder the positive wire from the power supply to one contact on the switch. Then solder the positive wire from the light strip connector to the other contact.
With that finished the DC connection is assembled and you simply need to plug the LED light strip connector into your light strip.
Step 2: Making the AC Connection to the Power Supply
Now we need to make the power supply connection that will go to our AC outlet.
Start by cutting the end off of the AC power cable so that you can rewire it to the power supply. Strip the casing off about 2 inches of the end of the power cable. Then strip about 1/2 inch of each of the 3 wires.
You'll need to slide a piece of shrink tubing over each of the 3 wires you'll be soldering and then additional tubing over the entire cable to cover all the wires you're working with. This tubing will act as a replacement for the casing you cut off.
Once the tubing is in place, solder the 3 wires together. Be very careful to make certain that you wire the correct wires together. Errors in wiring soldering these wires could result in failure of the power supply or possibly even a fire hazard. Be sure that you know which wire is the ground, live (or hot), and neutral before continuing with the soldering.
When you have the wires soldered together, shrink the tubing around the solder joints and around the wires to create a new casing for the wires.
Step 3: Mount LEDs
Finally, you need to mount the LED strips. For this guide I've chosen to mount them under the front of a desk to give some nice accent lighting. Wherever you choose to put them, this simple procedure should work.
First, take some of the mounting tape and place it across the entire back of the power supply. Then remove the covering of the tape and press the power supply firmly into place where you want it mounted.
Do the same with the switch, and place it somewhere out of site, but easy to get to. Lastly, follow the same procedure to mount the LED light strips into place.
With everything securely mounted in place, you're finished. Simply plug the power supply into the AC outlet and then flip the switch to turn them on.
This installation is really pretty simple, but if you feel you need more direction, please check out my other guide here:
How to Install your Own LED Light Strips
Thanks for reading!