These LED wall cube shelves would be great to display any objects you might want to highlight, or as a simple lighting fixture. The basic concept is simple - shelves shaped as cubes, with integrated lighting strips that illuminates the wood and the objects on the shelf on all sides. Of course you can make these any size you'd like to fit your home and whatever you'd like to display on the shelves.
Step 1: The Wood
I'm going to be using big leaf maple here - basically I'm creating boxes, so of course you could use any wood that you have on hand. I'm cutting mitered corners because that looks nice and clean, although butt joints, box joints, or pocket holes would work fine too.
Step 2: Routing
Next up is using the router. I'm routing out grooves for the LED strips to fit inside. I choose to place the strip about an inch in from the back of the box, that way it will illuminate the whole box and whatever sits on the shelf in front of it.
Step 3: Gluing the Boxes Up
So once I had my pieces cut up with spaces routed for the lighting, I glued them together. All together I'm making three different sized boxes, and to glue them up I'm using masking tape to get the pieces lined up and then just folding it up like a package. This technique works really well, and the masking tape acts as a clamp.
Step 4: The Backs
Once the main boxes were created, I create some larger pieces for the backs. I had some thing pieces of the same maple which I roughly cut to size, and the I glued those up as well and added a little bit of clamping power to get a nice and smooth result
To fit the backs onto the boxes I simply glued those on as well, and I have a piece of scrap wood on the other side so I can clamp it up properly.
Step 5: The MDF Board
To be able to hide the wires from the lighting strips, and not have to worry about securing each box individually to the wall, I figured it would be a good idea to secure them all to a larger board. For this, I decided to go with a piece of MDF that I painted white.
Step 6: Brackets
I wanted to dress the boxes up a little bit, so I found some nice looking corner brackets. Although I really wanted the brackets to have more of an oil rubbed bronze look, so I decided to spray paint them, alongside with the screws to secure them. To make sure the screws stayed up properly when spraying, I'm attaching them to a a crap board. Then I screwed the brackets on to the boxes.
Step 7: The Position
Now where should I place these boxes on the board? They're all different sizes so I want them a little off center - not too symmetrical - and once I had that determined I simply screwed them to the board.
Step 8: The LED Strips
Then here I've got some white LED strips, and these will fit inside each groove. I'm soldering on some lines on each strip, now they're ready to attach to the boxes. Then I'm drilling a hole in the corner of each box and feeding the lines through there - and they're coming out on the back. Then I'm simply removing the protective backing and pushing the strips into the groove and I found that it was helpful to use the rubber part of a pencil to push it in between the lights to secure it better.
Step 9: The Switch
To control the lights I have small switch here which I'm attaching on the corner of the board. And I simply chiseled out a hole to fit it perfectly.
Step 10: Soldering the Lines
OK, so all the boxes are back on the board, and now I'm working with the back. So I'm connecting all the red lines and all the black lines together. Running the red through the switch, and the black straight to the power. And in an attempt to clean it up a little, I'm adding some tape to secure the wire.
To secure the switch I used hot glue.
To finish the boxes I added some dewaxed shellac.
Step 11: Covering the Lights
Then it was time to bring the whole unit inside, and I'm attaching this right next to my front door, simply by screwing the MDF board into the studs.
After plugging in the lights, I realized they were super bright, so I decided to use cover up the lights to dim them a little. I actually ended up using regular white hard stock that I'm cutting in thin strips. And then I'm using decoupage to attach them right over the lights. Once glued down, I also added like two coats on top of the paper to give it some protection, but it was pretty nice and stiff. And it really added a nice touch and brought down the light level a little bit.
Step 12: Conclusion - Watch the Video!
To get a much better perspective, make sure to watch the video that goes over each step on building these shelves.