4 Computer Heaven

LED Light bars

by on Oct.02, 2009, under Hi-Tech, Home Improvement

With white PVC pipe being so cheap, and LEDs in bulk easy to buy, it’s easy to make an ambient LED bar light to run on battery power for easy, safe indoor/outdoor lighting.

But I keep changing my lighting design for my first project – a six-sided gazebo.  I started with 4 clusters of three 5mm white LEDs along a 3 ½′ section. That’s twelve small LEDs to wire for one section.  I used 2 sections per side, 6 sides. I had 5 half sides built.  I was going to light only 3 of the six sides because the 12 LEDs in each of the 2 sections per side are very bright, but now I’ve changed the design to make one long 7′ section with six 10mm LEDs.  The larger LEDs don’t seem to be as bright but are more ambient and less directional.  6 sides times 6 LEDs means 36 of these larger LEDs instead of 2 halves per side times 4 clusters times 3 per cluster times 3 sides – 72 LEDs to wire. Much easier (less wiring) to just use the larger LEDs and have more ambient, less directional light.

I’ve 3 of the 6 sides finished.  I should be finished by this weekend, hang them and wire them into the 12 volt solar-powered rechargeable batteries and get a photo of it to post here.

Then from there, the next LED project is the convention display lights for Barbara “squeaks” Chapman.  Her lights are three 4′ sections of 8 blue 10mm LEDs – 24 total. They’re not specifically for lighting, but will work in attractor mode, flashing animations of lights to attract convention-goers to her table.  They’ll be powered and animated by either a PC laptop via USB or a battery-powered microcomputer.  I’m leaning toward the microcomputer, but will decide when I go to do the animations. Her next convention is next March 10-12, so I have plenty of time. I’ll post progress here as I get photos.

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