Tuesday, July 19, 2022

SP Jawbone Branch (Part 32) - Rebuilding LED Lighting Strips

What better way to celebrate the NightOwlModeler's 200th blog post than to make the post about rebuilding the Jawbone Branch's mockup LED lighting strips.

Time to return to good lighting!

For the last year I've been dealing with a shoulder injury which flared up when I started doing my over-head work mocking up the LED lighting strips for Owenyo.  Tonight I cut the LED strips into three pieces at the joints between the 3/4" plywood strips.  Then I took down the strips to start rebuilding them.  This is the first step in getting the "good" dual LED strip lighting for the Owenyo Branch.  Once I get this together, I'll start applying the LED strips under Owenyo modules to light Mojave staging.

Disassembly of Mockup

I used magnet wire to twist-tie the LED strips to the plywood strips.

This was pretty easy to disassemble the strips.  Basically I had to untwist the magnet wire which was holding the LED strips with the unpeeled adhesive backing in place for the mockup.

Clip leads attached and lighting the mockup LED strips to check which color is where.

OUCH!  I forgot how bright the LEDs are when I randomly dial in a voltage on the MRC 1370 power supply and clip-lead to the LED strip.  I took a couple tries to get the LEDs dim enough to photograph with them lit, but not blinding the camera!  It was fun to run the lights again for a bit for the first time in a couple months...

All the rippled and ugly buckled twist-tied LED strips.

I did make note with a Sharpie on each strip to mark "B" for Blue light strip and "Y" for the Yellow LED strip.  The Yellow LEDs is going to be pushed up against the ceiling with the Blue LEDs butted up against the lower edge when the strips are mounted.

A Time for Bonding

Locktite Interior Adhesive is applied to the angled surface of the plywood strips.  I used a putty knife to smooth out the bead of Locktite.  

Each LED strip was pressed into the bonding cement.  I basically had to press each one of the LEDs into the cement to keep them all on the same plane.  One of the worst effects of the twist-tied mockup was various LEDs not sitting in the same plane, causing hot and cold spots in the lighting.

The strips were already drilled for the mounting screws.  I've decided to mark the back side of the plywood to notch around some cable clamps, which will be running the wires for the LED lighting.

Blue and Yellow LED strips bonded to the plywood strips.  At some point in the future, I may end up painting the rest of the plywood black or something.  The interior of the ceiling in the shop/layout room is reflective silver from the insulation foam used in the roof.  So the whole "black theater valance" concept isn't really going to work, as the ceiling works more as a reflector, which should help in front of the lights.  The rest of the middle of the space will still use the reflective when I get the other lighting installed.

In Closing

Three nearly complete LED strips for lighting Owenyo.

Next time I'll get my 1/8" cutters in a Dremal and clear a small notch as marked behind the screw, then I can get into wiring each section of LED strip with Molex plugs.  I also need to get the main LED power control panel with the dimmer switches and the power supply mounted to.

Jason Hill

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