Back in February, I started creating this design to have a "night light" or an under the cabinet light. I then thought, I already have custom under-the-cabinet lighting. Why should I change what lighting I already have, and it's only 6 months old. So then I decided to keep the design, and just put it under the shelves above my desk. Which would make it into a night light because my desk happens to be in my bedroom. So technically, it isn't under-the-cabinet.
-18 gauge wire
-Several resistors (matching the number of LEDs)
-a switch (optional)
-Anything else that is mentioned
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BTW: I get my LEDs from ABCTRONICS.COM
Viewers Note: I ran out of resistors. I only have half of my stuff lite, so understand that. I also didn't solder...I ran out of solder. Thanks!
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Step 1: Find a Power Supply
No pics of mine. You should find an AC to DC power supply. The input should be 120vAC and the output should be around 9vDC to 15vDC. You should be willing to destroy it. Cut the end that is 2 inches or so from the small cylinder. Then strip the wires. The wire (dotted or straight on) is the positive wire. Connect the + end to your switch. Solder if needed.
Step 2: Measure
Let's begin by measuring. Measure the area under whatever you are putting the LEDs/wires. Then, cut the wire in 6 inch increments. Be sure to save some extra for your power adapter/switch.
Step 3: Connect LEDs
Of course, because LEDs need resistors you connect the resistors and LEDs. On the LEDs, big end to resistor and small end to wire (-). Then connect the resistor to the end of the wire (+). Keep in mind, each wire should be 6 inches.
In my case, I had 30 inches of space to run wires with. I have 5 LEDs. Each LED is 6 inches from its attribute. I made 5 individual wire and LED segments. I then connected them like in the picture. I believe it is called a "parallel circuit." That way, if 1 LED isn't wired correctly, the rest will remain lit. (that is my case on 1 LED)
Step 4: Connect the Segments
Now connect your LED segments. Again the same pic, just tie them together. A wiring diagram is below as a PDF (Adobe Reader or Preview). Remember not to tie to the next LED between the LED and resister, but to connect it between the previous LED, current LED's resistor, and the wires you are connecting. Also remember + and - when connecting wires.
Step 5: Tape!!! FUN!!!
TAPING...FUN!!! Alright, begin by taping the entire segment of LEDs to the cabinet/shelve. Make sure the LEDs aren't visible. I didn't connect it to the switch/power supply, yet. After, I finished I connected the wire that ran from the shelve to the desk. Then I soldered my power supply and switch to my wires coming down.
Step 6: Plug It In
Plug it in already. Make sure everything is wired correctly.
Step 7: Finish
Finish...clean up. I will eventually add a part 2. It i=will use a photo electric LED as it's power, or in other words, turning it into a night light.
Please be nice. (This is my 3rd instructable!)
Shoot me a message if you have any questions.