Let there be LEDs.

General Discussion about almost anything Teardrop or camping related

Let there be LEDs.

Postby donmaloney » Tue Nov 11, 2008 12:02 am

I have been hard at work on my teardrop build...many, many thanks to all of the great advice offered on this forum!!!

I have made a lot more progress than my album would show, and I hope to have more pictures soon.

I had been thinking about lighting. I like the ideas of LEDs, but anything that I liked the look of was very expensive. I like the idea of puck style under counter lights, and rope lighting behind shelves just as accent lighting. I have been working on the puck lights, and here is what I have done so far. I got the LEDs w/ resistors on ebay. I found help with wiring LEDs here. http://www.instructables.com/group/LED's!/

I started with 3 1/2" X 3/4" oak stock.

Image

I turned that on a lathe to have a rounded edge, and be a perfect circle. I also used the lathe to take out the center circle.

Image

Image

I used a router with a rabbet bit with a bearing to route the area for the lens, and the disc that would hold the LEDs.

Image

I used a plexiglass disc and 5.3 mm bit to drill holes for the LEDs. Right now there are 5. I will end up doing 6, since that will work better for wiring. I used photoshop to lay out a template for the LEDs.
Image
I then glued a layer of foil to the disc to reflect the light. One LED is removed to show the hole.
Image
I will neaten that up for the final product, I just wanted to test how it would work.

I made a lens out of Plexiglass that I sanded with a random orbital sander. I liked it, but would like it to be a little more opaque. I tried a few layers of wax paper, and that helped. They are not in the picture. If anyone has a suggestion on how to get the lenses more frosted, that would be appreciated.


Image

Then I put it all together.
Image

When I figure out the lens, and smooth out the foil when I glue it, I think that will improve the look, but overall I am happy. They are what I wanted.

I wired it up to a 9v battery to test how bright it would be. They are very bright. I will wire them for 12v.

I wanted more lights with less LEDs in each so they do not seem like spotlights. A lot of the under counter lights I looked at had 20 or 30 LEDs in them. That will probably be nice for the Galley, but too bright for inside.

Here is one with 12 LEDs lit up.
Image


I have made 10 of these.
Image
I plan to do six like this and one with Red LEDs inside to avoid disrupting night vision (over my nav table :D ), and three in the galley on the hatch. I will stain and varnish them, too.
So, now that I know where wires are going, I can start getting this teardrop put together!!! :D More on the rope lighting and the entire teardrop later.
Don
Last edited by donmaloney on Wed Nov 12, 2008 11:31 am, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
donmaloney
Teardrop Builder
 
Posts: 33
Images: 23
Joined: Sat May 31, 2008 12:44 am
Location: Surprise, AZ

Postby DezPrado » Tue Nov 11, 2008 4:23 am

Nice job!! I can see a good bit of thought & planning has gone into it. I like your progress & chice of materials. Well done!
I have a similar project underway & have considered frosting the glass a little more by dropping it off at at a glass engraving place for them to do a bit of sand etching on the otherside of the glass (shiny side) to see if that would achieve the aim.
DezPrado
Teardrop Master
 
Posts: 128
Images: 8
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2007 2:46 am
Location: Blenheim New Zealand

Re: Let there be LEDs.

Postby Endo » Tue Nov 11, 2008 7:07 am

donmaloney wrote:. If anyone has a suggestion on how to get the lenses more frosted, that would be appreciated.
Don


You could try a spray on frost coating.
http://www.createforless.com/Chase+Glas ... medium=cse
Brad (aka Endo)
ImageImage Image
In God We Trust
User avatar
Endo
500 Club
 
Posts: 721
Images: 138
Joined: Fri Apr 01, 2005 9:59 am
Location: Ohio
Top

Postby oregonguy » Tue Nov 11, 2008 9:32 am

Have you considered placing the foil on the back side of the plexiglass? I've never used foil that way, but when ever I paint plexi, I always paint the back, it's as if you put a huge layer of clear coat over the whole thing. It improves the depth and richness of color, may also do something interesting with reflection of foil....
Check out our Website: www.oregontrailer.net
User avatar
oregonguy
Teardrop Master
 
Posts: 197
Images: 48
Joined: Tue May 27, 2008 1:30 pm
Location: Eugene Oregon
Top

Postby donmaloney » Tue Nov 11, 2008 10:17 am

DezPrado, I would love to see your project when you have pics. That is a good idea about the glass etching.

Endo, Thanks for the suggestion. I think I will try that today since it seems like the easy way to go.

oregonguy, I had not thought of that. That's why I post here, someone always has better ideas than I do. I think that should solve the problems I was having. I jsut have to make sure the glue I use is clear.

Thanks everyone for your help.
User avatar
donmaloney
Teardrop Builder
 
Posts: 33
Images: 23
Joined: Sat May 31, 2008 12:44 am
Location: Surprise, AZ
Top

Postby donmaloney » Tue Nov 11, 2008 2:40 pm

I used the spray on stuff to frost the plexiglass. I still sanded it to start with, but I think the spray stuff was exactly what I was looking for. I used more glue when gluing on the aluminum foil, and pressed it on really hard. Now it looks nice and smooth. I also put the aluminum foil on the opposite side of the plexiglass, and I think that helped the look a lot, too.
Thanks for the great tips, everyone.
Don
User avatar
donmaloney
Teardrop Builder
 
Posts: 33
Images: 23
Joined: Sat May 31, 2008 12:44 am
Location: Surprise, AZ
Top

Postby Walt M » Tue Nov 11, 2008 3:17 pm

Don, what about spraying the inside/back of the plexi. with aluminum spray paint? Walt
All that is needed for evil to flourish, is for good men to do nothing.
User avatar
Walt M
The 300 Club
 
Posts: 307
Images: 50
Joined: Wed May 28, 2008 6:14 pm
Location: Plaistow, New Hampshire
Top

Postby Jiminsav » Tue Nov 11, 2008 7:16 pm

ha ha ha ha ...today is your lucky day..do I know a way to frost plexiglass..yes sir I do.


wanna know the trick?


well, do ya?


ok..easy to do, go to the depot and get a can of MEK and wipe it on the plexiglass...poof, instant opaque.
Jim in Savannah
If you can read this bumper sticker, my camper fell off.
User avatar
Jiminsav
3000 Club
3000 Club
 
Posts: 3045
Images: 30
Joined: Sat Apr 17, 2004 8:49 pm
Location: Georgia, Savannah
Top

Postby donmaloney » Tue Nov 11, 2008 9:34 pm

Walt,
That probably would have worked very well. I did get the foil to look good today, but it does not matter. The frosted spray paint did a good enough job that you cannot see through it enough to see the foil. On the other hand, I ended up going with 12 LEDs in each instead of six since it blocked a lot of the light that was coming through.
Jim,
Thanks for the tip. I will try that next time. I thought for a second you were going to say, Go to the Depot, and get some frosted plexiglass. I know they make it, but do not have it at our stores. I think I may have done your suggestion trying to clean a clear piece before. I know that I smudged up a clear piece badly once, but I could not remember how.

I will post some pictures of one of the lights lit up, soon.
Thanks to everyone for your help.
Don
User avatar
donmaloney
Teardrop Builder
 
Posts: 33
Images: 23
Joined: Sat May 31, 2008 12:44 am
Location: Surprise, AZ
Top

Postby Walt M » Wed Nov 12, 2008 7:33 am

Don how about doing some sort of step by step of how you wired the whole thing I'd love to give it a try on the next build. Thanks Much, Walt
All that is needed for evil to flourish, is for good men to do nothing.
User avatar
Walt M
The 300 Club
 
Posts: 307
Images: 50
Joined: Wed May 28, 2008 6:14 pm
Location: Plaistow, New Hampshire
Top

Postby donmaloney » Wed Nov 12, 2008 10:57 am

Hi Walt,
Thanks for your interest. The project was a fun one, and I learned a lot.
I posted a step by step to wiring in the Electrical section.
http://tnttt.com/viewto ... 774#396774
I hope that helps.
Thanks,
Don
User avatar
donmaloney
Teardrop Builder
 
Posts: 33
Images: 23
Joined: Sat May 31, 2008 12:44 am
Location: Surprise, AZ
Top

Postby Walt M » Wed Nov 12, 2008 11:10 am

Hey nice job on the tutorial. What size leds did you use? I found a site from ebay that sells 10mm leds in colors, and I think they come with resistors in them? I'm not just thinking of my next tear but I'm in a band and I'd like to add them to our lightshow. What say you? Walt
All that is needed for evil to flourish, is for good men to do nothing.
User avatar
Walt M
The 300 Club
 
Posts: 307
Images: 50
Joined: Wed May 28, 2008 6:14 pm
Location: Plaistow, New Hampshire
Top

Postby donmaloney » Wed Nov 12, 2008 11:29 am

Thanks very much Walt.
I used 5 mm white LEDs. I got them with resistors on ebay, although I had to buy resistors afterwards so that I had the correct resistors for 12v. The 12v used 120 ohm resistors, and 9v used 150 ohm resistores...at least in my array.
The LED calculator http://led.linear1.org/led.wiz will help you plan what resistors you need since it will vary with colored LEDs, so do some planning before you order. Here is where I ordered the other resistors. http://www.goldmine-elec.com/. I also got some red and amber LEDs there.
I would love to see pictures when you get it all going.
Don
User avatar
donmaloney
Teardrop Builder
 
Posts: 33
Images: 23
Joined: Sat May 31, 2008 12:44 am
Location: Surprise, AZ
Top

Postby MidTNJasonF » Wed Nov 12, 2008 9:35 pm

We have frosted plexi windows at work by simply hitting them in a glass bead blaster (sand blast cabinet) at a fairly low pressure for a few seconds. No coatings to scratch, chip, or flake. No layers added to block light.

I know you are already done with that step but if you ever have to make more it is a thought. A local shop should be able to do it for a few bucks.
User avatar
MidTNJasonF
Teardrop Master
 
Posts: 118
Images: 13
Joined: Tue Aug 26, 2008 9:19 pm
Location: Middle Tennessee
Top


Return to General Discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot], Google [Bot], kevinmax and 2 guests