Author Topic: Installing LED strips and other LED issues  (Read 8140 times)

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Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 6641
Installing LED strips and other LED issues
« on: April 16, 2019, 01:06 PM »
A sister thread on LED lighting:
http://festoolownersgroup.com/festool-jigs-tool-enhancements/routing-a-channel-for-led-lights-using-the-mfs/msg577072/#msg577072


I'll try not to get too nerdy on this subject but that will be tough to achieve.  [smile]

The first part of this post will be installing the LED strips in the stretchers I made for some cabinets.

The next posts will just be an assemblage of various information I've acquired in the 15+ years of working with LEDs. I'm by no means an expert on the subject, but having worked with them for such a long time I've stumbled upon some interesting items.

As the saying goes, "Even a blind squirrel finds a nut once in a while".

Feel free to chime in.

Here's just a little bit of background information to put the ensuing conversation in proper context.

The bane of all LEDs is heat. The magic temperatures for cooking are 40ºF and 140ºF.  For LEDs the magic temperature is under 150ºC. The junction temperature of the LED must be kept to a MAX of 150ºC, preferably a lot less. As an example, If an LED has a rated 60,000 hour life at 125ºC its life is reduced to only 10,000 hours at 150ºC and anything in excess of that just creates a rapid downward spiral.

Here's a cross section of an LED. The junction is the pink area and the thick green area is whatever substrate the LED is mounted on. It may be a circuit board or it may be tape. There can be quite a distance between the LED junctions and the heatsink. So if the heatsink is measuring 150ºC, the junctions will likely be over 180ºC. Keep it cool, the cooler the better.



So with that out of the way let's install the LEDs in the stretchers. I've learned/prefer to mount all the LEDs on some type of heat sink. I know some manufacturers say to just peel off the double stick tape liner and stick the tape to any surface you want. That may be ok on metal surfaces but on wood surfaces you're adhering the LEDs to an insulator. More on this later with some interesting photos to share.

Also, if you have a problem with the LEDs down the road it's simple to remove the LEDs with a few screws rather than unpeeling them and then having to remove the adhesive that's left behind.

For this project I used Lighting Ever LEDs on a roll. They're 2835 LEDs and burn at 4100K so they're very efficient. They produce a lot of light with little current draw. The 2 sided tape used is 3M VHB so they will stick to a lot of different surfaces.

I used 1/2" wide by 1/16" thick aluminum flats for the heatsink. Here's a photo of the aluminum being marked for the hole punching stage.



Here's a Roper Whitney hand punch in a bench mount that's used to punch the 4 attachment holes.






A couple of good wipes with IPA and the aluminum is ready for the LEDs.



I used a 2mm gauge block to evenly space the heatsink from the channel. I placed the gauge block behind every screw hole and then drove in the screws. The gauge block prevented the heatsink from moving as the screws are driven home.



The LED assemblies are held in with 4 each #4 screws.



The Diode LED covers are snapped into place.




 
Here they are fired up. You can see they provide more than enough light for a drawer.  [big grin]  I turned one on and let it burn for 48 hours continuously. The room temperature was 67ºF, the heatsink temperature after 48 hours was 74ºF.  [cool]



« Last Edit: April 26, 2019, 12:26 PM by Cheese »

Festool USA does not pre-approve the contents of this website nor endorse the application or use of any Festool product in any way other than in the manner described in the Festool Instruction Manual. To reduce the risk of serious injury and/or damage to your Festool product, always read, understand and follow all warnings and instructions in your Festool product's Instruction Manual. Although Festool strives for accuracy in the website material, the website may contain inaccuracies. Festool makes no representations about the accuracy, reliability, completeness or timeliness of the material on this website or about the results to be obtained from using the website. Festool and its affiliates cannot be responsible for improper postings or your reliance on the website's material. Your use of any material contained on this website is entirely at your own risk. The content contained on this site is provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice.


Offline RKA

  • Posts: 1822
Re: Installing LED strips and other LED issues
« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2019, 02:12 PM »
Time for questions? 
What is the tie bar?  (the heat sink or the cross member you're attaching the heat sink to)
Can you drill through the tape or does it have sufficient wiring embedded that it should be left intact?
When do we get to the part about the switches?  (waits impatiently)   [smile]

Thanks for writing this up!
-Raj

Offline rvieceli

  • Posts: 1074
Re: Installing LED strips and other LED issues
« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2019, 02:17 PM »
Very nice and good pics as usual.

The Roper/Whitney is nice but I was hoping for at least a 25 ton ironworker.  [wink]

Ron

Offline Michael Kellough

  • Posts: 4329
Re: Installing LED strips and other LED issues
« Reply #3 on: April 16, 2019, 04:17 PM »
Thanks for going nerdy on the led strips.
I didn’t do any research so I’m just now learning about the need for heat sinks.

Offline Russty

  • Posts: 23
Re: Installing LED strips and other LED issues
« Reply #4 on: April 16, 2019, 06:24 PM »
Me too. Im planning on using led strips to illuminate above a "broken glass" ceiling in my ensuite. Ive had led strips explode and catch fire in the past which worried me, they were covered in a kind of clear plastic sheath which i guess insulated them. I guess i need to find some aluminum, we only have aluminium in the uk, will that do the job?  [tongue]

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 6641
Re: Installing LED strips and other LED issues
« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2019, 01:10 AM »
Time for questions? 
What is the tie bar?  (the heat sink or the cross member you're attaching the heat sink to)
Can you drill through the tape or does it have sufficient wiring embedded that it should be left intact?
When do we get to the part about the switches?  (waits impatiently)   [smile]

Raj, The stretcher (tie-bar) is the piece of 18 mm thick BB that ties together both vertical sides of the cabinet and it also houses the LED lighting.

Best not to drill through the tape as it is the "circuit board" that provides juice to the LEDs. Keep it intact.  [smile]

By popular demand, the microswitch section will be the next entry (even though the author waits impatiently to be nerdy on other aspects of LEDs).
« Last Edit: April 26, 2019, 12:27 PM by Cheese »

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 6641
Re: Installing LED strips and other LED issues
« Reply #6 on: April 17, 2019, 01:31 AM »
@rvieceli

An ironworker...I wish that were so Ron [sad]

I do have what may be a poor cousin to the Ironworker....but it was a little large to put into a bench mount.  [eek]





The 1/4" hole in 1/4" thick steel is still pretty impressive even in todays terms.



« Last Edit: April 17, 2019, 02:05 AM by Cheese »

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 6641
Re: Installing LED strips and other LED issues
« Reply #7 on: April 17, 2019, 01:44 AM »
Thanks for going nerdy on the led strips.
I didn’t do any research so I’m just now learning about the need for heat sinks.

Cooling is your friend Michael...I can't repeat this enough. I've spent 30 years of my life immersed in the semiconductor field and LEDs  are nothing more than another item grown on a silicon chip. There are 2 things that will take them out, too much current and too much heat.

Offline rvieceli

  • Posts: 1074
Re: Installing LED strips and other LED issues
« Reply #8 on: April 17, 2019, 08:01 AM »
@Cheese my son just started a new job at a fabrication place a couple towns over. They have a 160 ton press with all kinds of spiffy high tech controls on it.

Ron

Offline leakyroof

  • Posts: 2280
Re: Installing LED strips and other LED issues
« Reply #9 on: April 17, 2019, 10:08 AM »
Me too. Im planning on using led strips to illuminate above a "broken glass" ceiling in my ensuite. Ive had led strips explode and catch fire in the past which worried me, they were covered in a kind of clear plastic sheath which i guess insulated them. I guess i need to find some aluminum, we only have aluminium in the uk, will that do the job?  [tongue]
   I thought it was AL-U-MIN-UM.... at least it sounds that way when I hear the word coming out of a Brit's mouth..... [wink]
Not as many Sanders as PA Floor guy.....

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 6641
Re: Installing LED strips and other LED issues
« Reply #10 on: April 17, 2019, 10:50 AM »
I've had led strips explode and catch fire in the past which worried me, they were covered in a kind of clear plastic sheath which i guess insulated them. I guess i need to find some aluminum, we only have aluminium in the uk, will that do the job?  [tongue]

I think the LEDs you're referring to were of the waterproof variety. They're covered in a clear, half-round vinyl cover. I'll have more to say on those later.

Well as leaky points out AL-U-MIN-IUM is actually the preferred material for heatsinks as it has better thermal conductivity. But because it's next to impossible to find in the states, we have to settle for the poor cousin of it...plain old aluminum.   [poke]

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 6641
Re: Installing LED strips and other LED issues
« Reply #11 on: April 17, 2019, 11:06 AM »
@Cheese my son just started a new job at a fabrication place a couple towns over. They have a 160 ton press with all kinds of spiffy high tech controls on it.

Ron, it always amazes me how much capitol needs to be invested in starting a metal fab shop. If you want to be a carpenter spending $10,000 gets you going in the right direction. For metal fab, $10,000 gets you a TIG, a welding table and maybe a decent drill press.  [eek]

That's the reason I usually shop the used market for many metal fab items. Metal fab shops open and metal fab shops close every day. There are a lot of items that were purchased and never used before the doors were shuttered.

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 6641
2. Installing LED strips and other LED issues
« Reply #12 on: April 17, 2019, 01:05 PM »
When I started this project I decided the easiest/slickest method to actuate the LED lighting was using an encapsulated reed switch actuated by a rare earth magnet counterbored into the rear of the drawer. The ONE sample I rigged up worked perfectly. Here's a "mini drawer" I fabricated to determine the proper placement of each reed switch/magnet pairing. That's a magnet underneath the blue tape.



So, flying high from my success, I purchased $120 of reed switches and  magnets. I then installed 5 of them in a cabinet and used the "mini drawer" to functionally test the setup.


 
Well ONE sample does not a design of experiments make.  [crying]  Of the 5 reed switches I installed, 2 always worked properly but 3 of them would actuate but would never shut off unless you hit them with a screwdriver handle. I believe it was the high level of in-rush current drawn by the LEDs that was "welding" the reed switch conductors together. Then when you rapped them with the screwdriver, you'd break the weld and they would spring apart. 

I'm sure there's an electronic work-around for this issue but that's several levels above my pay grade.

So back to old tech microswitches. They're cheap and reliable and have a typical life span of 1 million cycles. I purchased these from Amazon for $8 for a pack of 5. The reed switches were $4 each. This option really does work well and it's something I'll never have to revisit in my lifetime.



In this view you can see the "mini drawer" pushed forward to expose the small hole needed for the self-closing Blumotion slides.



Here's a shot of the XURUI microswitch along with the proper size quick connect ends. While 1/4" wide is common for most electrical items, microswitches use 3/16" wide connectors. These are from Digi-Key. While I would have preferred purchasing Honeywell microswitches because they're only about 50 cents more and they're local, Mouser was out of stock at the time. Omron is another good brand to look at.



Here's an overall shot of one side of the cabinet.



Photos of the European terminal strip, the Molex wire connection and the Altec terminal jumpers.






Offline neilc

  • Posts: 2766
Re: Installing LED strips and other LED issues
« Reply #13 on: April 17, 2019, 08:04 PM »
Nice work!  Thanks for the tutorial!

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 6641
Re: Installing LED strips and other LED issues
« Reply #14 on: April 17, 2019, 09:42 PM »
Nice work!  Thanks for the tutorial!

Thanks Neil...this thread is nowhere from being finished. I plan to add to it a little everyday as that’s how I learned about LEDs...a little everyday.  [smile]

The downside is that it is robbing time for me to learn Fushion 360 and to fire up that Shaper.  [crying] [crying]

Offline neilc

  • Posts: 2766
Re: Installing LED strips and other LED issues
« Reply #15 on: April 17, 2019, 10:37 PM »
Combine those interests.


I make these LED-lit nightlights for baby gifts.  All cut with the Shaper.  I've done them with painted as well as natural bases. 


The LED kits I buy from Amazon as well as the cast acrylic sheets. 


Lights are multi-colored which add entertainment value as the babies grow up and want to learn their colors.  And wireless remote control.



Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 6641
3. Installing LED strips and other LED issues
« Reply #16 on: April 17, 2019, 11:11 PM »
So one of the more obscure terminologies with using LEDs is that they need a "Driver" to be functional. In layman's terms a "driver" is nothing more than a power supply. It's usually a 12 volt or 24 volt solid state transformer. For the most part it is encapsulated in a plastic housing which will give it a certain amount of water protection. They'll typically have an IP (Ingress Protection) rating from IP 62 to IP 68. An IP 68 rating is defined by the official words "Protected from long term immersion up to a specified pressure and totally protected from dust ingress."

They are certainly not your old school ventilated power supply. They are inexpensive and bomb proof. I've had 2 each Triad 40 watt power supplies powering the outside garden lights for the last 12 years. That includes 20+ fence lights, 30+ garden luminaries and 5 spot lights.
The Triad power supplies are controlled by 2 photo sensors. One for the front yard lighting and one for the back yard. They turn the LEDs on at dusk and off at dawn. The total cost per month is around $1.50.
And the outside scene at nite is brilliant. It's a wonderful world to walk into at night and it's also a wonderful deterrent to when someone thinks that what you own is what they need to own. [big grin]










I prefer using Meanwell drivers for interior LED lighting. They are also recommended by Diode LED for driving their LEDs. They are inexpensive, small, well sealed and reliable. They come in a plethora of wattages. The fewer watts, the smaller the package.

https://led.meanwell.com

When I redid the one side of the kitchen 5 years ago I knew I wanted some under counter task lighting so I added an electrical box in the wall. I placed a small, $10 Mean Well 12 watt driver in the electrical box. The 2 leads exiting the enclosure drive a Diode LED light bar under the cabinet and a strip of Diode LED Ultra Blaze on a heat sink placed in the countertop.






The heat sink is 1" x 1/8" aluminum flat. It's attached to the countertop using traditional machine screws so everything is flush.





« Last Edit: June 26, 2019, 10:34 AM by Cheese »

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 6641
Re: Installing LED strips and other LED issues
« Reply #17 on: April 17, 2019, 11:34 PM »
Combine those interests.

I make these LED-lit nightlights for baby gifts.  All cut with the Shaper.  I've done them with painted as well as natural bases. 

The LED kits I buy from Amazon as well as the cast acrylic sheets. 

Lights are multi-colored which add entertainment value as the babies grow up and want to learn their colors.  And wireless remote control.


Nice stuff Neil...you continue to surprise and delight. I just wish I could wrap my head around Fushion 360...I'd be a new person.  [smile]

Offline Bernmc

  • Posts: 48
Re: Installing LED strips and other LED issues
« Reply #18 on: April 18, 2019, 02:01 AM »
The electronic equivalent of the reed switch would be a hall effect sensor, coupled to a relay (probably the simplest and could handle a variety of current loads. Mosfets would be an alternative to the relay.)

The circuitry is quite simple, but it would be a bit more of a fiddle than the microswitches.

The other alternative would be to use the reed switch to trigger a relay, and then have the relay handle the higher current to power the LEDS. Again, a few more components, but you wouldn't have the reeds singeing themselves together.

Offline six-point socket II

  • Posts: 1053
  • aka @the_black_tie_diyer
Re: Installing LED strips and other LED issues
« Reply #19 on: April 18, 2019, 03:55 AM »
Hi!

very interesting insights Cheese, thank you!

Kind regards,
Oliver
Kind regards,
Oliver

Offline Bugsysiegals

  • Posts: 282
Re: Installing LED strips and other LED issues
« Reply #20 on: April 18, 2019, 09:25 AM »
I'll be building kitchen cabinets in the next year and was interested in doing LED lighting as seen at IKEA.  I really appreciate you taking the time to share what you've done here, it will certainly help me, much appreciated, and great work!!

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 6641
Re: Installing LED strips and other LED issues
« Reply #21 on: April 18, 2019, 10:33 AM »
The other alternative would be to use the reed switch to trigger a relay, and then have the relay handle the higher current to power the LEDS. Again, a few more components, but you wouldn't have the reeds singeing themselves together.

Ya, thanks for bringing that up. That's one of the paths I actually thought about. However, because there are 4 separate cabinets, I'd need at least 4 solid state relays plus voltage in to power the relays etc, etc. Things just started to get complicated quickly. The microswitches kind of kept the clutter to a minimum.  [smile]


Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 6641
4. Installing LED strips and other LED issues
« Reply #22 on: April 18, 2019, 12:30 PM »
Here's a real nice compact solution if you're short on space. It's one of the latest Diode LED products. It combines a wall box mounted driver with an integral dimmer. They come in 3 different wattages and in 4 different colors. They aren't inexpensive though, the 60 W model runs $190.

I put in the 60 W model on the other side of the kitchen and run 11' of Ultra Blaze in CHROMAPATH® Slim aluminum channel for under counter task lighting along with 3' of Ultra Blaze imbeded in a walnut counter top.

https://www.diodeled.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/2019-diode-led-catalog-041119B-web.pdf









Here's another new product from Diode LED. It's flexible and goes around corners.


Offline Michael Kellough

  • Posts: 4329
Re: Installing LED strips and other LED issues
« Reply #23 on: April 18, 2019, 01:45 PM »
Can you put one of those 40 watt Meanwell drivers in a wall box? If so, would you switch the power to the driver or the output to the led’s?

Offline RKA

  • Posts: 1822
Re: Installing LED strips and other LED issues
« Reply #24 on: April 18, 2019, 03:20 PM »
This is great, I'm starting to understand all the bits involved.  The hall effect sensor is intriguing, but my googling is turning up stuff that doesn't look like it's packaged for plug and play use.  Ideally I would want to buy a kit with the switch, relay, driver and LED's all together and ready to wire into the cabinet. 

So here is a question.  I don't know enough about the wiring yet to understand if this is right.  I'm designing a cabinet for my wife (she would say it's going nowhere, but she doesn't appreciate that thinking is half the work!  :-P) which will be waist high about 600mm/24" wide, with two symmetrical doors and a drawer (above or below the doors).  So I need:
  • 2 20" sections of the LED tape
  • 1 driver (how much output?)
  • 2 hall effect switches
  • 1 relay?

There will be two LED strips inside the cabinet, and if either door is opened, I want both LED strips to light.  I think that means both switches need to be connected to the driver and relay so either switch can turn the lights on.  Does that sound doable?

*Edit*
One more thing...I know I want a warm light (2700K tops), but I'm not sure about the intensity.  In case the two strips end up being too bright, I may need to dim them, but really only once to get it where I want.  Do the drivers come with an integrated dimmer where I could make the adjustment before hiding the driver away in a recessed compartment hidden in the cabinet?
« Last Edit: April 18, 2019, 03:27 PM by RKA »
-Raj

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 6641
Re: Installing LED strips and other LED issues
« Reply #25 on: April 18, 2019, 05:00 PM »
Can you put one of those 40 watt Meanwell drivers in a wall box? If so, would you switch the power to the driver or the output to the led’s?

I don't think a 40 W driver will fit in a wall box Michael. However you may be able to put 2 each 20 W drivers in a wall box and run them in parallel. That's exactly what I'm doing with the photo of the 2 Triads because of space limitations.

https://led.meanwell.com/productSeries.aspx#tag-6-57

Here you can see the 40 W Triads stacked on top each other because these are inside a small metal box I placed in a rear concrete step that I poured.
An 80 W driver would never fit in this small space.



And here's an example of the size of a 60 W driver.



If it's for task lighting, definitely switch the 120 AC that goes to the driver.

Also choose a driver that will provide you with more power than you need. 15% to 20% is the rule of thumb. So if you know the LEDs will draw 20 watts, choose a 25 watt driver.

I use CV constant voltage drivers which serves probably 90% of the LEDs. Mean Well also sells CC constant current for those LEDs that require them.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2019, 05:02 PM by Cheese »

Offline Bernmc

  • Posts: 48
Re: Installing LED strips and other LED issues
« Reply #26 on: April 18, 2019, 05:07 PM »
@RKA If you have limited electronic smarts, then a simple relay setup would be the way to go (the Hall effect switch is kind of ‘fun with over engineering’). The idea is simply to separate the high current LED circuit from the low current switch - Reed switches have tiny little filaments of moving metal, so any significant amount of juice running through them can weld them together.

Below is a very simple doodled concept using a solid state relay (a relay that is all electronics inside, rather than the mechanical device that works with a coil and magnetism). Solid state relays draw much less current than the mechanical relays, so it opens up options for low power solutions. Just be aware that some solid state relays are designed to handle an AC output, and some for DC - the LEDS will want DC.

You’ll be able to find equivalents in yankland or fleabay if you don’t want to buy direct from the sweatshop, but something like this from Aliexpress would work. It only needs 12 milliamps on the input, so I suspect you’d get decent life out of a 9V battery, but you’d need to experiment.
Mount it to another bit of looomininininum if you’re running lots of strips (spec says anything over 10amps needs a heat sink - I doubt a couple of short runs of drawer lights will need that much)

If you want everything mains powered, there are plenty of power supplies/drivers that have multiple outputs, so you can run one output on the reed switch/drawer sensor side, and another on the LED strip side.




« Last Edit: April 18, 2019, 05:38 PM by Bernmc »

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 6641
Re: Installing LED strips and other LED issues
« Reply #27 on: April 18, 2019, 05:28 PM »
This is great, I'm starting to understand all the bits involved.  The hall effect sensor is intriguing, but my googling is turning up stuff that doesn't look like it's packaged for plug and play use.  Ideally I would want to buy a kit with the switch, relay, driver and LED's all together and ready to wire into the cabinet. 

So here is a question.  I don't know enough about the wiring yet to understand if this is right.  I'm designing a cabinet for my wife (she would say it's going nowhere, but she doesn't appreciate that thinking is half the work!  :-P) which will be waist high about 600mm/24" wide, with two symmetrical doors and a drawer (above or below the doors).  So I need:
  • 2 20" sections of the LED tape
  • 1 driver (how much output?)
  • 2 hall effect switches
  • 1 relay?

There will be two LED strips inside the cabinet, and if either door is opened, I want both LED strips to light.  I think that means both switches need to be connected to the driver and relay so either switch can turn the lights on.  Does that sound doable?

*Edit*
One more thing...I know I want a warm light (2700K tops), but I'm not sure about the intensity.  In case the two strips end up being too bright, I may need to dim them, but really only once to get it where I want.  Do the drivers come with an integrated dimmer where I could make the adjustment before hiding the driver away in a recessed compartment hidden in the cabinet?

Raj if you want a plug & play package check out Haefle. They offered something along those lines for wardrobes a few years back.

I'd stick with microswitches because of their simplicity and reliability. I also looked at hall effect but that approach wasn't too friendly.  [smile]

Here's a visual aid I slapped together. 2 LED strips connected together at the top. The driver is plugged into 120 VAC. One leg of the 12 volt output connects to the LED, while the other leg of the 12 volt output connects to each microswitch. Each microswitch connects to one of the LEDs. If either switch is triggered, both LED tapes will light.



Let me get back to you on the dimmer. I have one that's maybe the size of a 1/2" cube. It's really tiny. I use it for adjusting light levels. I'll go down and dig in my LED SYSTAINER... [eek]...that's a fact. A Systainer actually stuffed with LED items. How NERDY is that?  [crying]

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 6641
Re: Installing LED strips and other LED issues
« Reply #28 on: April 18, 2019, 05:34 PM »
Hey @Bernmc would you be able to run multiple reed switches to the relay?

Is there a practical limit on the number?

Offline RKA

  • Posts: 1822
Re: Installing LED strips and other LED issues
« Reply #29 on: April 18, 2019, 05:38 PM »
@Cheese Thanks for the pictorial, that makes it very clear (I would have been lost if you typed a paragraph).  So if I wanted to eliminate the battery and only have it powered from AC, does the relay need to be spec'd for that (because it would see 120VAC)?  Same for the reed switch?  And any guesses if any wood can be present between the magnet and switch?  The idea would be to conceal all the switch elements so it's not obvious how the light is activated, other than the movement of the door (that's why I didn't look at the microswitches, I think it would be impossible to conceal them).
-Raj

Offline Bernmc

  • Posts: 48
Re: Installing LED strips and other LED issues
« Reply #30 on: April 18, 2019, 05:50 PM »
Hey @Bernmc would you be able to run multiple reed switches to the relay?

Is there a practical limit on the number?

Yes, you could just parallel them, as long as you want the situation where any switch powers the same LEDs (eg any drawer switches on all the lights, as in Raj’s requirement). They’re only activating the relay, so you could have as many as you want - it’s the other side of the relay doing the heavy lifting.


Festool USA does not pre-approve the contents of this website nor endorse the application or use of any Festool product in any way other than in the manner described in the Festool Instruction Manual. To reduce the risk of serious injury and/or damage to your Festool product, always read, understand and follow all warnings and instructions in your Festool product's Instruction Manual. Although Festool strives for accuracy in the website material, the website may contain inaccuracies. Festool makes no representations about the accuracy, reliability, completeness or timeliness of the material on this website or about the results to be obtained from using the website. Festool and its affiliates cannot be responsible for improper postings or your reliance on the website's material. Your use of any material contained on this website is entirely at your own risk. The content contained on this site is provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice.


Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 6641
Re: Installing LED strips and other LED issues
« Reply #31 on: April 19, 2019, 01:05 AM »
1. So if I wanted to eliminate the battery and only have it powered from AC, does the relay need to be spec'd for that (because it would see 120VAC)? 
2. Same for the reed switch? 
3. And any guesses if any wood can be present between the magnet and switch? 
4. The idea would be to conceal all the switch elements so it's not obvious how the light is activated, other than the movement of the door (that's why I didn't look at the microswitches, I think it would be impossible to conceal them).

4. So Raj, let's start with the easiest answer first, if i'm understanding you correctly, you want this project to perform virtual MAGIC for your wife to justify why you spend so much time on the FOG.  [poke]   Ya ...I get that.  [smile]

1. I have limited experience with solid state relays but I believe you need to match the incoming voltage. They are pretty cool and certainly blow away the traditional variety. They're so small and so quiet. @Bernmc may want to chime in here.  [smile]

2. Reed switches are usually rated by current capacity, but because in your application the reed switch is only being used as a signal carrying switch and not as a current carrying switch, current capacity really doesn't matter.

3. There can be some wood between the magnet and the reed switch. It all depends upon the strength of the magnet and the distance of it from the reed switch. Trial & error are the words to live by here. Just play around with it and you'll get the feel. Also understand that the lineal position of the magnet relative to the reed switch can make a difference because the position of it determines the size and the force of the magnetic field. That's the reason I fabbed up that "mini drawer" to experiment with the positional issues between the magnet and the reed switch.

We'll be interested in your results.

This is the unit I use for adjusting brightness. It's really tiny.



https://www.luxeonstar.com/500ma-externally-dimmable-buckpuck-dc-driver-leads

Offline RKA

  • Posts: 1822
Re: Installing LED strips and other LED issues
« Reply #32 on: April 19, 2019, 06:43 AM »
Thank you @Cheese and @Bernmc , I fear I’ve stepped into another rabbit hole.  Just another day at the office I guess.   [smile] And Cheese, “magic” is dead on!  Since nothing is built yet, I have complete control (1% influence) over the design parameters of this little project.  Once I identify the bits I need, I can modify (ask for permission) the cabinet to accommodate the magic beans. 

And sorry, I think these unique requirements went outside the scope of your multi part series.  I can create another thread if you want to keep this one simple?
« Last Edit: April 19, 2019, 06:45 AM by RKA »
-Raj

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 6641
Re: Installing LED strips and other LED issues
« Reply #33 on: April 19, 2019, 10:21 AM »
Raj if you're looking for plug & play, you may want to consider some various Diode LED products. An assembled product would include everything you need except for the driver and switching mechanism. They have a new product called Spotmod Slik LED Panels.



They also offer fully assembled light bars.
https://www.diodeled.com/cascade-led-light-bar.html
https://www.diodeled.com/tru-link.html

Puck lights.
https://www.diodeled.com/triant-led-puck-light.html

Or just generally assembled product.
https://www.diodeled.com/products/fixtures.html

Sensors & dimmers.
https://www.diodeled.com/products/led-control.html

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 6641
5. Installing LED strips and other LED issues
« Reply #34 on: April 19, 2019, 11:48 PM »
I've had led strips explode and catch fire in the past which worried me, they were covered in a kind of clear plastic sheath which i guess insulated them.

So @Russty , this response goes back to your previous experiences. I assume the LEDs you're talking about were waterproof LEDs. If so they probably had a profile that looked similar to this.



Well the supplier of these LEDs suggested I just remove the liner of the VHB double stick tape and adhere this to any substrate I wanted to. So I did. I routed out some channels in stretchers that were part of a cabinet assembly and adhered the LEDs to the wooden stretchers after sealing the channels with 2 coats of sanding sealer.

I then decided to "burn in" the LEDs for a couple of days just to make sure everything was copacetic. So after 2 days of continual activation they looked like this.



Day 3 looked like this.



Day 4 looked like this.



And day 5 is when I decided to intercede.



Upon closer inspection you can see burn marks on the LED covering. Even more surprising is that some are burned, some are really burned and some are not burned at all. That's the way it's always been with semiconductors, "catch as catch can."  They're all individual entities and they all age differently and in this particular incident, produce different levels of light and different levels of heat.

You'll also notice that they've been adhered to a wooden substrate. That's a big part of the problem. Wood is an insulator and it absorbs a minimum amount of heat and radiates none. The silicone waterproof barrier over the LED puts the final death knell on this product.

This LED can't rid its heat from the top and it can't rid its heat from the bottom. It just sits there and cooks. Possibly, if it's in a water bath it may survive, however that's not how these are commonly used. They're typically used outside when moisture is a problem.

I do think however, if these were placed on an aluminum heatsink, these issues would be mitigated to some degree. Keep them cool is a mantra.




« Last Edit: April 20, 2019, 09:56 AM by Cheese »

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 6641
6. Installing LED strips and other LED issues
« Reply #35 on: April 20, 2019, 11:02 AM »
Here's a good article on drivers & power supplies. They also talk about Constant Voltage CV versus Constant Current CC. The subject of dimmers is also talked about.

https://www.ledsupply.com/blog/understanding-led-drivers/

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 6641
Re: Installing LED strips and other LED issues
« Reply #36 on: April 25, 2019, 12:07 PM »
Can you put one of those 40 watt Meanwell drivers in a wall box? If so, would you switch the power to the driver or the output to the led’s?

Hey @Michael Kellough I just received a 20 watt Meanwell for an edge lit bathroom shelf project. Here's how it compares to the 60 watt and a single electrical box.


Offline Michael Kellough

  • Posts: 4329
Re: Installing LED strips and other LED issues
« Reply #37 on: April 25, 2019, 01:11 PM »
Thanks! Excellent provision of information, as usual.

Offline Russty

  • Posts: 23
Re: Installing LED strips and other LED issues
« Reply #38 on: April 27, 2019, 04:31 AM »
that is definitely consistent with what happened to mine, they were clipped across joists so were technically in free air so lasted a bit longer, i cant remember how long exactly but i reckon about 4 or 5 months before they started to dim and then a few more months before they started to pop and catch fire.

Offline Gregor

  • Posts: 1475
Re: Installing LED strips and other LED issues
« Reply #39 on: April 28, 2019, 10:52 AM »
... 4 or 5 months before they started to dim and then a few more months before they started to pop and catch fire.
They what?


Offline usernumber1

  • Posts: 71
Re: Installing LED strips and other LED issues
« Reply #41 on: April 28, 2019, 12:14 PM »
not sure where you're getting your led from; after messing around with numerous local suppliers and chinese deals, all my installs are going to be from armacost only. their LEDs are up to spec and i have not see any burnouts.

i think leevalley also uses them as a supplier. they are definitely premium priced but sometimes there's a sale from their site

i should add the installs have some spec requirements, so for example you may need aluminum housing for cooling purposes, etc. depending on power, length of run, etc. there's other things : they provide technical docs

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 6641
Re: Installing LED strips and other LED issues
« Reply #42 on: April 28, 2019, 02:30 PM »
Glossed over thread saw about heatsinks etc. Found this https://www.superbrightleds.com/moreinfo/aluminum-channels/klus-b1888-micro-alu-series-surface-mount-aluminum-led-profile-housing/1020/4785/?utm_source=googlebase&utm_medium=base&utm_content=B1888&utm_campaign=GoogleBaseChild&gclid=Cj0KCQjwnpXmBRDUARIsAEo71tS1sKb4alua32CQ-Wv8ztLrZLdUJhIbkOWGyRphRIWfUjGuLxbxX0gaAssyEALw_wcB

The extrusion you noted is manufactured by Klus. Nothing wrong with their products, it's good German stuff. They produce a variety of various aluminum extrusions and I'm using one of theirs for a an edge lit glass shelf in a bath.

I tend to use all DIODE LED products when I can because of their track record. I've used them for the last 6-7 years and haven't had any issues.  It's currently used mostly by commercial fabricators in the kitchen, bath and lighting arenas.

https://www.diodeled.com

Interestingly enough as a comparison, the Klus 39" long extrusion you pointed out costs $33.90 with a frosted cover.
The DIODE LED 48" long extrusion costs $23.50 with a frosted cover. If I had a commercial account, I could probably get a 10%-15% discount.

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 6641
Re: Installing LED strips and other LED issues
« Reply #43 on: July 09, 2019, 12:12 PM »
So, it's been a while since we've seen this post.

I purchased some in-concrete friendly LED lights that were IP 67 rated at the time. And that time was 13 years ago...

They are manufactured totally from 316 SST, and feature 3/16" thick tempered glass lenses set in silicone. All the internal seals are Viton o'rings.  They truly are the cats-pajamas...material wise. They were given the name Polaris because of their water affinity and were only manufactured for about 3 years.

Unfortunately, the then current LED lighting technology wasn't commensurate with the materials science technology. So the LED lights they used at the time were just a multitude of 5 mm LEDS in a small circle to produce a fairly bright lite. It worked well for a awhile, but like I've said before, heat is the enemy of semiconductors and without a robust heatsink, it was inevitable that they would have a shortened life span. her affinity city.

Unfortunately the life span was even shorter than I thought it would be, just 2 years. These are used for lighting stone treads and are on a dusk-to-dawn sensor. They're on a yearly average of 12 hours per day which comes to 4400 hours per year. So to only get 9000 hours of use from an LED that's rated at 50,000 to 60,000 hours was disappointing.






Here's the housing.






Here is the original LED array that came installed in the housing.


« Last Edit: July 11, 2019, 10:48 AM by Cheese »

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 6641
Re: Installing LED strips and other LED issues
« Reply #44 on: July 11, 2019, 11:49 PM »
The original LED array that comes in the stainless housing dies in a helter-skelter fashion. Sometimes it's death starts as a single LED and sometimes it's several LED's that fail all at once, and that pattern slowly continues until all the LED's are finally dead.



I originally purchased 6 of the Polaris lights and over the past several years after swapping in and out all 6 of the housings, all of the Led arrays are toast to a greater or lesser degree. To continue to use the housings long into the future, I decided to fabricate replacement LED units using the newer technology of a single high efficiency LED mounted onto a single pad.

I chose Luxeon Star LED's because of the many options they offer including, spectral color, white color temperature, luminosity, LED driver amperages and their long term reliability. Typical LED life with a proper heat sink is in the 50,000 - 60,000 hours range. If you subscribe to a dawn-to-dusk lighting program, that means almost 12-13 years of usage before a replacement needs to be considered.

https://www.luxeonstar.com

So the first thing I determined is that the premature failure of the individual LED's was because of a lack of effective heat-sinking.
Thus, I started with designing an aluminum plug inserted into the stainless housing that would securely hold the LED while also being a line-to-line fit with the stainless housing. That way, as aluminum is a great conductor of heat, any extraneous heat generated would also be sloughed off to the stainless enclosure, even though stainless is horrible at heat dissipation. Using the stainless housing as an additional heat sink/transfer mechanism was important as the housings reside within concrete steps which can then dissipate heat because of their thermal mass.
So the concrete stays cool, which means the stainless housing stays cool, which also means the aluminum plug and the attached LED stays cool.



« Last Edit: July 12, 2019, 12:02 AM by Cheese »

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 6641
Re: Installing LED strips and other LED issues
« Reply #45 on: July 14, 2019, 11:23 AM »
The aluminum plug/heat sink is fabricated from 6061-T6511 aluminum round. Close attention is paid to the diameters as I wanted it to fit snug inside the stainless housing.
The round recessed area in the top of the plug is where the LED and its pad will be mounted.  Likewise it was very important that the bottom of the recess is smooth & flat as it's the only mechanism for the LED/pad interface to carry away the generated heat.




The slot milled into each side of the plug is for running the 12V DC wires to the LED/pad assembly.




This top view shows the recessed area with 2 each 4-40 tapped holes to retain the LED. A light coating of thermal conductive paste is applied to the recessed area and the LED is then fastened down carefully so as not to warp or distort the assembly.




This is what a complete LED/pad assembly looks like. A single LED that puts out more lumens than the previous 18 each 5 mm LED's. The 18 previous LED's generated 120 lm, this single LED is rated at 186 lm @ 700mA current.

And here's a drawing of how the LED/pad assembly is created.






Two different color temperature LED's. The 3500K version is for the front steps where it matches the rest of the front garden lighting. While the 5000K version is for the rear steps to match the garden lighting used there.






The LED assembly is mounted in place but still needs to be fastened down with screws. You can see the black & red lead wires have been soldered to the LED and have been placed in their channels.

This is also a great shot comparing old LED technology to current LED technology. The single LED on the right puts out 45% more light than the 18 LED array on the left and it also has a 30% longer life span.




Here's a shot of the LED's in the front steps at night before the 2nd bluestone tread was attached. They put out just enough light to clearly outline each tread while not annoying the neighbors.  [eek]




« Last Edit: July 15, 2019, 11:08 AM by Cheese »

Offline ear3

  • Posts: 3886
Re: Installing LED strips and other LED issues
« Reply #46 on: July 14, 2019, 12:09 PM »
Sweet.  And how satisfying to be able to do your own metal milling.
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Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 6641
Re: Installing LED strips and other LED issues
« Reply #47 on: July 15, 2019, 01:26 PM »
Here's a better shot of the rear steps.

The first photo is before the lights come on.

The 2nd is at dusk when the photo cell sensor kicks in. It adds just enough light to highlight what could become a tripping hazard.

The 3rd is around 11:00 PM when the potential tripping hazard turns into a reality. You can see that there's a good amount of light being thrown on the treads. Also note the similar color temperatures between the garden lights and the step lights. If this lighting wasn't matched, it'd be immediately noticed.  [eek]







Offline Michael Kellough

  • Posts: 4329
Re: Installing LED strips and other LED issues
« Reply #48 on: July 15, 2019, 01:59 PM »
Thanks for posting, this is very educational.

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 6641
Interesting, new 500 watt LED's for outdoor activities
« Reply #49 on: July 17, 2019, 11:54 AM »
Just happened upon these today. They seem like they'd be perfect for a tennis court or basketball court at night. A 500 watt current draw with a 65,000 lumen output.

https://www.ledlightexpert.com/500-Watt-LED-StadiumPro-LED-Stadium-Lights--65000-Lumen-LED-Ballpark-Lights--5000K-Bright-White--10KV-surge-_p_1380.html


Offline Michael Kellough

  • Posts: 4329
Re: Installing LED strips and other LED issues
« Reply #50 on: July 17, 2019, 12:30 PM »
Installed at only 8 feet high, I’m enjoying these 10k lumen shop 4 foot strip shop lights from Rockler.

Also love how lightweight they are. You could use double stick tape or Velcro to hold them in place.

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 6641
Re: Installing LED strips and other LED issues
« Reply #51 on: July 18, 2019, 11:54 AM »
Installed at only 8 feet high, I’m enjoying these 10k lumen shop 4 foot strip shop lights from Rockler.

Also love how lightweight they are. You could use double stick tape or Velcro to hold them in place.

Thanks for that @Michael Kellough  I'm curious if you used fluorescent lighting before in that area, and if so are the LED's brighter? How is the light spread compared to fluorescents?  The color temp seems pretty good.

Is it a single or double tube?  Second thought...maybe it isn't even a tube at all?   [eek]  If that's the case, they'd get thrown in the trash when they die.

Offline Michael Kellough

  • Posts: 4329
Re: Installing LED strips and other LED issues
« Reply #52 on: July 18, 2019, 03:36 PM »
Yes these replaced fluorescent lights and they’re a big improvement in brightness and cri.

Two rows of closely spaced leds. I seem to recall doing a rough calculation based on a couple of inches and there are about 400 individual leds.

Here is a tight shot of the room, spruced up to host my wife’s new etching press.
The light fixture is installed right above the gearbox parallel to the bed. It makes a pretty clear shadow of the stand but it also cast plenty of light laterally.

« Last Edit: July 18, 2019, 03:38 PM by Michael Kellough »

Offline rvieceli

  • Posts: 1074
Re: Installing LED strips and other LED issues
« Reply #53 on: July 18, 2019, 03:52 PM »
Michael very nice press. Did you fab the stand? How does she like the crank? I’ve never seen one without the big wheel.
Thanks

Ron

Offline Michael Kellough

  • Posts: 4329
Re: Installing LED strips and other LED issues
« Reply #54 on: July 18, 2019, 04:36 PM »
@rvieceli thanks! Made the stand from 3” 8020 stock and 1/2” MDO as shear panels to be able to leave out some aluminum stock and maximize storage.

The Dodge 5-1 reducer works fine (rated for something like 1500 rpm [scared]). It does stick out a lot more than I expected. By modifying the mount and choking up on the space between parts I could move the handle in about 1-1/2” but it would take some work.

Hard to see in the pic but I had to add extra stock to the bottoms of three of the legs because the floor is so out of level. The leg on the right corner is the designed length while the leg diagonally opposite needed an extra1-3/8”. They must have run short of concrete when pouring the floor. Getting it to reach the door (behind the camera) took priority.
« Last Edit: July 18, 2019, 07:25 PM by Michael Kellough »

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 6641
Re: Installing LED strips and other LED issues
« Reply #55 on: July 18, 2019, 05:00 PM »
Here is a tight shot of the room, spruced up to host my wife’s new etching press.
The light fixture is installed right above the gearbox parallel to the bed. It makes a pretty clear shadow of the stand but it also cast plenty of light laterally.

I don’t know what it is or what it does...but it’s a real neat piece of equipment.  [cool] [cool] [cool]

« Last Edit: July 19, 2019, 02:03 AM by Cheese »

Offline BarneyD

  • Posts: 86
Re: Installing LED strips and other LED issues
« Reply #56 on: July 18, 2019, 06:12 PM »
I'm with @Cheese.  My first thought was of the old mimeograph machines (which smelled so nice).
Barney

Offline Michael Kellough

  • Posts: 4329
Re: Installing LED strips and other LED issues
« Reply #57 on: July 18, 2019, 07:29 PM »
Etching inks don’t smell too bad but after printing mineral spirits is used to clean the plate.

What was it that made the old mimeo supply smell good?

Offline Michael Kellough

  • Posts: 4329
Re: Installing LED strips and other LED issues
« Reply #58 on: July 18, 2019, 07:36 PM »
@Cheese  the fixture has four rows of led’s, 6 led’s per row per 2”. Overall length of rows is 45.5” so 45.5/2 = 22.75 x 24 = 546 led’s. BRIGHT!!!

Doh! Noticed in the enlarged photo that the columns of led’s are numbered. The last is 110 so there are 440 led’s.
« Last Edit: July 18, 2019, 07:42 PM by Michael Kellough »

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 6641
Re: Installing LED strips and other LED issues
« Reply #59 on: July 19, 2019, 11:04 AM »
@Cheese  the fixture has four rows of led’s, 6 led’s per row per 2”. Overall length of rows is 45.5” so 45.5/2 = 22.75 x 24 = 546 led’s. BRIGHT!!!

Doh! Noticed in the enlarged photo that the columns of led’s are numbered. The last is 110 so there are 440 led’s.

Nice stuff Michael  [smile]  Those are 2835 LED's...that's a good thing as they are currently the most efficient commercially available LED's. Another popular & inexpensive LED is the 5050. The 5050 is physically larger but the 2835 LED produces 20% more light than a 5050 LED while drawing 15% less current.

FWIW...the LED's get their name from their size. The 2835 is 2.8 mm x 3.5 mm and the 5050 is 5.0 mm x 5.0 mm.

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 6641
Installing LED garden lighting and other LED issues
« Reply #60 on: July 31, 2019, 12:37 PM »
So, last evening was beautiful and as I was sitting outside just enjoying the lighting, I started to think about a tutorial on LED lighting issues, specifically when it comes to garden lighting.

I initially installed a commercially sold solar lighting system in the garden 15-16 years ago.  It was comprised of 30 stainless bollards, each with a small solar panel for a cover, 2 rechargeable batteries inside and using 2 each 5 mm LED's. It was neat at the time because it was a self sustaining system, however one soon realized that this was a system from heck if you were serious about maintaining a back yard that was illuminated for longer than 2 hours per day.  [eek]

The solar approach at the time was a great idea, but because of the then available rechargeable batteries, the low efficiency of the available solar panels, the low efficiency of the LED's and the Minnesota winter temperature extremes, the concept just wasn't feasible.

This led me to convert the luminaries from solar to 12V DC. The 12 VDC system has worked extremely well over the last 13 years and it's still working tonight.  [smile]  I have it connected to a photoelectric cell so it turns on at dusk and turns off at dawn.
The system in the back yard consists of:
30 ground lights
20 downward projecting fence lights
4 spotlights
2 stainless in-stair lights
And 2 lit butterfly baths

This runs dusk to dawn, 24/7 and costs around $1 per month.

The first aspect of this conversation was converting the stainless solar bollards to 12 VDC LEDs and the second aspect, 2 years ago was converting RAB 120 volt dome-down fixtures to 12 VDC dome-up fixtures. Out with the old...in with the new. The RAB vapor proof luminaires are sweet and I use them as they were designed dome-down on the house for general outside lighting. However, adapting them for dome-up fixtures in the garden was an interesting challenge because of the rain and the snow.

If there's some Iinterest in the RAB conversion process let me know.

Here are some interesting snippets from the garden last night.

The RAB vapor proof light converted to 12 VDC LED's in a dome-up configuration.




One of the butterfly baths. An inverted wine bottle with a very deep punt and filled with LED tape.






General ground lighting






Spotlights on the cat & on the fountain






The gate entrance with downward projecting LEDs lighting the pathway while the fence also has downward projecting LEDs at a higher level to highlight some of the taller plantings. You can also see the fountain in the background on the LH side.


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Offline Richard/RMW

  • Posts: 1924
Re: Installing LED strips and other LED issues
« Reply #61 on: July 31, 2019, 04:44 PM »
@Cheese I cannot let the boss see any of these photos or I'll spend the rest of my free time natural lifespan installing lighting. She's a stage lighting pro from her prior life, while for me lighting is either "enough" or "too dim".

Anyway, beautiful spaces, I can understand your enjoyment. Thanks for sharing.

RMW

PS - love the "butterfly bath".

As of 10/17 I am out of the Dog business and pursuing other distractions. Thanks for a fun ride!

Offline neilc

  • Posts: 2766
Re: Installing LED strips and other LED issues
« Reply #62 on: July 31, 2019, 08:55 PM »
Your yard looks amazing.  Really cool to see the impact of light and shadows on a space!

Thanks for sharing!

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 6641
Garden LED Lighting and other LED issues
« Reply #63 on: August 03, 2019, 09:12 AM »
The lighting is pretty dramatic at night however, what's missing are the colors so I snapped this photo just as the sensor kicked the lighting on. In photography parlance, it's known as the "Golden Hour". Here's a comparison of the same basic area just taken at different times.





And @Richard/RMW here's the butterfly bath taken at the Golden Hour. I placed it in front of the purple Echinacea which Monarch butterflies love.




What can't be seen are the Liatris cylindracea just behind the Echinacea. The Monarchs love the Liatris even more.  [big grin]


Offline Koamolly

  • Posts: 109
Re: Installing LED strips and other LED issues
« Reply #64 on: August 03, 2019, 01:45 PM »
That is really cool landscape lighting you have there.  I’m always trying to come up with a creative functional design to light the fifty stairs that lead to my house.  Years ago I put some of the original Malibu tiered lights using ABS pipe to raise them up a bit and set them in concrete.  I live in a rain forest so the height helps since the vines tend to take over pretty quickly.  This setup worked really well for quite awhile until feral pigs moved through and dug up the set in concrete lights, cutting the wire and rolling many down the hill.  They also undermined my 4’ wide concrete stairs about 2’.  I ended up with cheap solar lights from Costco which maybe last 3-4 hours, which have also been dug up by the pigs.  They last a couple of years.  The latest ones have a long LED bulb which produce lighting from the lower portion of fixture that causes one to be looking directly at the light source which means it’s actually hard to see the stairs in the dark.  I like your industrial dome lights.  I have some near my shower.  I was wondering...  Don’t you get a lot of glare from those two designs since the tops are clear?  Do you need to nestle them down in the foliage to avoid that?  Maybe from a distance it works better?

My place is basically in a jungle with the house looking at a huge tree which I’m able to light up with floods mounted on the house.

I really like your wine bottle light idea.  I need to give that some thought.  They would stay full of water at my place but the mosquitoes have so many sources of water it probably wouldn't make any difference.  I certainly produce enough empty wine bottles!

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 6641
Garden LED lighting and other LED issues
« Reply #65 on: August 04, 2019, 11:53 AM »
That is really cool landscape lighting you have there. 

Don’t you get a lot of glare from those two designs since the tops are clear?  Do you need to nestle them down in the foliage to avoid that?  Maybe from a distance it works better?

I really like your wine bottle light idea.  I need to give that some thought.  They would stay full of water at my place but the mosquitoes have so many sources of water it probably wouldn't make any difference.  I certainly produce enough empty wine bottles!

Thanks @Koamolly ...no there's no glare at all. Most of the light is transmitted side ways. The LED bulb is comprised of 12 side emitting LEDs and only 1 top emitter. I actually line the inside of the globe with a piece of frosted vinyl film to prevent glare and also to change the LED from a point-source to a line-source.






This is how the RAB's are supposed to be installed.




When you turn them upside down, water/snow melt collects at the light base and it wants to get past the rubber gasket and enter the light.

I was able to drill 2 holes 180º apart that channels the water into and through the light base, then into the bottom bowl and finally it runs down the inside of the 3/4" MNPT galvanized post into the ground. 




Here's a shot of the light base attached to the bottom bowl (LH) and the bottom bowl by itself.




Probably the most important part of having maintenance free garden lighting is to come up with a robust wiring method. The typical solutions used for home owners, center around using this style of lighting connector. CAUTION...this solution is a total  abomination and will only work for a very limited time.




My experience is that this style of connector lasts maybe 2-3 years before you start to have lighting issues. Lights that don't come on, lights that flicker, lights that flash on & off. It's all in the connector. Moisture enters the wire "wound" and oxidizes the individual wires and also the wire connector. The oxidation interrupts the electrical path and it'll only get worse.

I tin all electrical wire connections and use Wago wire nuts The tinned wires will not corrode because of the lead in the solder. In the last 12-13 years that I've used this methodology, I've not had a single light issue with almost 60 lights and 70 light & wire connections.  [smile]




Here's a shot of the punt inside the bottle. It's pretty deep so the water stays in the bottle for at least 4-5 days.  [big grin]

« Last Edit: August 05, 2019, 12:56 AM by Cheese »

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 6641
Why I solder LED connections rather than use the slip-on connector
« Reply #66 on: August 13, 2019, 12:21 PM »
When I fabricated the LED light bars for a built-in cabinet, I decided to solder each connection to the LED bar instead of using the slip-on connectors that are supplied. Here's the slip-on connector attached to the LED tape.



My thought was that the drawers will be opened and closed thousands of times over the life of the LED bar and the drawers are also equipped with Blumotion slides that produce a small shock when they fully close. I figured that the vibration would eventually compromise the slip-on connector integrity. So I soldered the leads to all 20 light bars. Not a big deal...just a PITA. [smile]






Now, moving on to the under counter LED lighting in the kitchen. It's an aluminum channel that conceals 12' of LED tape from Diode LED. It's their UltraBlaze line of LEDs. It draws 4.3 watts per foot.
I decided that because the under counter lighting is permanent, it doesn't move and its not subject to vibration, I'd use the standard Diode LED slip-on connector.

Well after 18 months of the LEDs working, the factory slip-on connector died. It was a slow death and happened in fits & starts.

I think the large current draw coupled with the frequent use of the LED lighting compromised the connection and over time it was all down hill. These under counter LEDs get turned on & off at least 8-10 times per day.

The plastic connection was actually burned as was the copper connection on the LED tape.




From here on out, I'll be soldering every connection to LED tape.








Offline six-point socket II

  • Posts: 1053
  • aka @the_black_tie_diyer
Re: Installing LED strips and other LED issues
« Reply #67 on: August 13, 2019, 01:16 PM »
Thank you for this "loaded to the max" thread of LED wisdom & knowledge!

Kind regards,
Oliver
Kind regards,
Oliver

Offline tjbnwi

  • Posts: 6132
  • Cedar Tucky Indiana
Re: Installing LED strips and other LED issues
« Reply #68 on: August 13, 2019, 05:42 PM »
This is the only other LED tape connector I'll use besides soldier.

http://gmlighting.net/LED_Sure-Tite™_Tape_Connectors

Tom

Offline Richard/RMW

  • Posts: 1924
Re: Installing LED strips and other LED issues
« Reply #69 on: November 14, 2019, 03:43 PM »
@Cheese - I'm looking to add some strips of LED under open shelves. If I'm read your comments correctly would it be a enough to mount them to these channels?

The way my brain works I'm envisioning the AL channel acting as the heat sink and prevent the LED from burning?

Thanks,

RMW
As of 10/17 I am out of the Dog business and pursuing other distractions. Thanks for a fun ride!

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 6641
Re: Installing LED strips and other LED issues
« Reply #70 on: November 14, 2019, 03:53 PM »
Those profiles look fine Richard, unless you're using some ultra high output LED's.

As an example @Richard/RMW I've been running Diode LED Ultra Blaze strips in a channel that's .820" wide x .375" deep. The Ultra Blaze draws 4.32 amps per foot and produces 360 lumen per foot.

You can compare those specs with the specs of the LED's you're using versus the size channels you've identified.
« Last Edit: November 14, 2019, 04:30 PM by Cheese »