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Picture of Modern 5-elements LED Lamp (bars)
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We have that one room in our house where we are only a couple minutes a day but when we are there we need good lights. At the moment there is just a simple light bulb and that doesn't give enough light. We don't like simple TL-lamps but we also didn't want to spend much money at design lamps so I decided to make my own lamps.

The idee was to make 5 the same wooden bars with a led strip in it and cover them with sanded plexiglass. Then I could hang them up in every figure I want.

In this Instructable I'm going to tell you how you can make your own!

Step 1: Design

Picture of Design
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Before I went to make them, I needed to make a design and a plan.

I used AutoDesk Inventor to draw the frame and the strip and to make the plans.

The frame is 5x80 cm. The led strip is 10 mm wide so I will make the groove for the led strip 12 mm wide. The depth isn't very important, I chose 10 mm.

The groove for the strip of plexiglass has a depth of 3 mm because the plexiglass I used is 3 mm thick. It's 18 mm wide so the strip has 3 mm at both sides to attach on.

At both sides there has to be a hole for the cable to the led strip.

If you want, you can download my plans.

plans.pdf114 KB
netwjennie4 months ago
Great idea, not only for the basement, can be used all over the house and the possibilities of design are endless. Thank you so much.
QAmakes (author)  netwjennie4 months ago
Thank you! To be honest: when I started making them, I had no idea in which figure I was going to hang them but because I knew there were so many possibilities I knew we would find a figure we like.

It also has another side: because of all the possibilities you can endless keep searching for a figure you like without making a definitive decision.
Well, this is the price for being creative !
Chriskym4 months ago
Sanding the plexi is BRILLIANT! I woulda never though of doing it that way, I don't necessarily need to build over head lights at the moment, but I will use your sandpaper and plexi trick on other builds. Thank you.
Yeah, initially they generally do still well. But after a few weeks, sometimes they come loose. Not sure why. Sometimes when I'm using them (even on painted surfaces), every 12" or so I'll put a but of electrical tape over it and a staple to hold it in place permanently. Just have to be careful not to press too hard and put the staple through the track.
For the power supplies, if you look on ebay for something like "ac dc switch 12v module" you can get a 240V ac to 12v dc board. They're generally only a few bucks each. The only thing is your have to wire them to 240V. 12V laptop power supplies are also pretty cheap as you're probably only looking for something about 1-2 amps. Essentially, the modules are the guts of laptop tranies anyway that they sell off cheap due to cracked cases or broken leads, but the guts still work.
Yes you can buy one big one, but generally the price goes way up the bigger they get. That's why I find buying a few smaller ones (1-2A) will work out around the same price and you can plug them into a standard socket and move them around as needed. I forgot the amount of times I've reconfigured the workshop and the last time I rewired all the fluoro lights to 240V plugs and wired up the switches with 240V plug sockets strategically placed.
Happy hunting.
QAmakes (author)  Chriskym4 months ago
I’m glad you’ve learnt something from my Instructable. To be honest I don’t really know where I got the idea. I probably saw it when I was surfing around on Youtube.
seamster4 months ago
Such a great idea! Love it, thank you!
QAmakes (author)  seamster4 months ago
Thank you! I'm happy you like it.
DavidE3414 months ago
Nice work, but IMO too much work to light a room/space that you only use occasionally. Lots of discussion on other forums about how to adequately illuminate garages, work areas, basements, etc. Most often recommended solution is some form of LED shop light (usually in 4' or 8' lengths) or replacement LED "bulbs" for existing fluorescent light fixtures. Many models interconnect and can often be found at very low prices (compared to your time to construct same). See examples at Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=led+shop+light&ref=nb_sb_noss_1
QAmakes (author)  DavidE3414 months ago
Yes I know it’s a lot of work but it was the first time I made my own lamps so I thought it was better to made the first ones for a room we aren’t all day long. It was a learn-project for me so I thought that if something did go bad that it wasn’t a huge problem.

I don’t know the exact price to make these but I’m sure there are cheaper solutions for this kind of rooms but then it isn’t made by yourself.
Check out/search:
20-Pack 3.3ft/1Meter U Shape LED Aluminum Channel System with Milky Cover, End Caps and Mounting Clips, Aluminum Profile for LED Strip Light Installations, Very Easy Installation

Used channels for adding under cabinet lights to kitchen.
QAmakes (author)  charlessenf-gm4 months ago
That’s a great tip but I think it wouldn’t have looked nice with the wooden frame.
jayrockamanic4 months ago
I love this project! Very nice use of wood to create pleasing lights.
Curious where people are buying these LED strips. And what temperature (color) folks are choosing for warmth.
QAmakes (author)  jayrockamanic4 months ago
Thanks! I ordered mine at Conrad.com but I think they only deliver in Europe. It was on a great sale when I ordered it. Here is the exact link: https://www.conrad.com/p/v-tac-vt-10-240-nw-led-strip-eec-led-a-e-open-cable-ends-24-v-10-m-neutral-white-1897559. You can find more information about the led strip here: https://www.v-tac.eu/led-lights/lights3/led-strip-samsung-chip/led-strip-samsung-2835-240-leds-24v-ip20-4000k-cri95-detail.html.

The temperature is indeed hard to choose. My led strip has a temperature of 4000K but to be honest: that’s colder light than I expected. In this case that’s not a huge problem but for rooms like bedrooms you want something warmer.
Cool! I made mine sequence from one LED driver, or I can turn them all on with eleven drivers (one for each rafter) for bodywork and detailing.


QAmakes (author)  mccanlessdesign4 months ago
That looks really cool!
Killawhat4 months ago
Great idea. I probably would have given route a coat of clear to help the LED strip stick better. The adhesive they use seems to come unstuck after a while. Personally, I would have routed out the back of the timber an used a cheap laptop power supply or AC/DC switch mode module per light and run an AC lead off it. Then you can plug it in anywhere. I thought the sanded plexi glass was a great cheap idea for frosted covers!
QAmakes (author)  Killawhat4 months ago
When I attached the led strip, it stuck very well so I will see how long it will hold. It’s the first time I used led strips for this kind of projects so I don’t have much experience already but thank you for the tip.

That’s indeed an option but I hadn’t any power supply’s that would work for this lying around so I had to buy some and then is one for them all cheaper then one for each.

It’s indeed a cheap way to have these kind of covers and if you sand in with patience it will look very good.
Really Super