It all started with my wife and I doing some Christmas shopping at LIDL. I was going around a corner to get some milk, when I spotted my dream-come-true item: The Pride of Belgium Advent Beer Calendar. It took some time to persuade Eva to get it, but it was definitely not the hardest part of the project.
Step 1: The Wait
I still had to wait until 1 Dec, and for two weeks, all I could do was admire my big box of beer.
Step 2: The Beers
The first one was a Hoegaarden White, the second a Leffe Radieuse. I couldn't be happier...
Step 3: The Bottles
As I kept opening the advent slots every day, I became so content with my life, that I started wondering how I could prolong this moment and let it just last after Christmas Eve. Looking around the dining room, I spotted my EKBY ALEX drawer shelf, where I keep all my tinkering stuff, like led strips, soldering tin, screwdrivers, etc., and realised it looked quite sad and empty. I thought the bottles would look just great lining up there. My wife was not so happy.
Step 4: The Shelf
There were 24 bottles, and it seemed they would just about perfectly align with the shelf, but the corner was still sort of sad looking and dark.
Step 5: The Ledstrips
When the fridge door needed some fixing, and I went to snatch a screwdriver in one of the drawers, I realized I had a few spare led strips lying in their neat little silver pockets. I also remembered my wife saying at some stage (after I ordered the sixth $2 ledstrip), that I should stop as I would never use them. However, I honestly believe everything finds their place, you just need to wait it out... And here it was, the moment two of my 3528/300 5m led strips finding their place.
Step 6: The Driver
Luckily I had a spare power supply (used to drive an old monitor) in the cupboard, so I went to get it. I also had a plug that went with it, used for testing various led strips for various projects around the house.
Step 7: The Assembly
On Christmas Eve, all I had to do was assemble the whole thing. Unfortunately, there was only place for 23 bottles on the shelf, but then, I just emptied the last one and dropped it into the recycling bin.
For connecting the plug to the ledstrip, I used an old-school wire connector, then all I had to do was dip the led strip in loops into the bottles. The first 5 meters (might have been a bit less) ran out at about the 15th bottle, so I connected the second strip onto the end of the first one using another connector (make sure you match red (+) with red and black (-) with black), then dipped the connection into the next bottle in line. I needed to do some thinning on the plastic coating of the connector, but hey, it is only 12V, so no worries!
Step 8: The Beauty
When I plugged it in, it was a thing of pure beauty. As my wife started threatening me with shoving the whole thing into the bin, I declared the corner my territory, never to be touched again by her.
Step 9: The Bonus
The out of the blue bonus came with me sharing the photos of my newborn baby with the family on Christmas Eve. Quite unexpectedly, they started buying and bringing me 0,3 liter beauties for Christmas and Boxing Day. What could I do? I started swapping out the good old Belgian bottles with the new ones. Just keep them coming...
Step 10: The Thanks
Thank you for listening, and all of you please have a great new year! :)