26-1/2" LED Light bar Fixture - Fiberglass RV


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Old 02-23-2009, 12:20 AM   #1
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The darkest part of our Scamp 5er is the area between the outside door and the bathroom door. This is a real pity because that's also the place where we have a full-length mirror and space for Lynne to do makeup and hair. So better light is a must-have.

So I made a 4-watt, warm white LED light fixture to fit over the 26-1/2" door casing for the bathroom door.


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The neat thing about this light is it adds an attractive and easy-to-keep-clean diffuser lens to an otherwise hard to clean and ugly (but very bright) 4-watt LED strip-light. Made from wood, a 5/8" transparent Lexan tube, a switch, some zip ties, and a 19" long, 30 LED, Warm-White, 4-watt LED strip light (there are various manufacturers; I discuss this particular one here) this design can be adapted to work over a kitchen counter or other area that needs lots of light.


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I beveled my fixtures back plate to give the light a down-angle to better illuminate the area in front of the bathroom door. This end has a notch carved in to it where the wires from the LED can tuck under the wood blocks that go at either end.


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Old 02-23-2009, 12:31 AM   #2
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Here's a pic of the end block n place with the wire tucking underneath. You can also see the rectangular hole where the switch will go. (I'd suggest using a switch that fits in a round hole in most cases; the rectangular one I use here matches other switches in the trailer but is a pain to make cutouts for.)


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Even though the diffuser does hide some details, the pattern of the LED circuit board looked ugly so I put little patches of tape over all 30 LEDs on the circuit board and painted it white.


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The diffuser lens is secured in-place by zip ties that thread through holes on either side of the lens. One of each pair of holes at the back flares out to a larger diameter so the zip-tie head can recess into it.


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Old 02-23-2009, 12:44 AM   #3
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Here's the back where the zip ties tuck in to a groove between the two holes and the zip tie head tucks into it's larger diameter hole that goes only part-way through.


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The diffuser was cheaper and easier to make than you'd think. I bought 6 feet of 5/8" lexan tube for $4 from TAP Plastics (any plastics supplier will have the stuff), cut it to length with a hacksaw, then rubbed the outside with a coarse scouring pad.


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That done I fit my table saw with a fine-tooth "plywood" blade and cut about 3/16" off the back of the tube. (This is best done with lots of ventilation: the blade half-way cuts, half-way melts its way through the plastic.) After trimming the flash off the cut with the rounded end of a hacksaw blade I buffed the inside of the tube with the scouring pad and I had my diffuser.

Round off the corners of the wood parts of the fixture, do a little sanding, throw on some paint (Rustoleum White Plastic over White Sandable Primer), and assemble!


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(A pic of the light installed in the trailer will come later. Right now our 5er is sitting on jack stands at the trailer repair shop having some axle repairs done.)
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Old 02-23-2009, 07:42 AM   #4
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Peter,

Very nicely done. I bet Lynne thinks you are a great guy.
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Old 02-24-2009, 08:49 PM   #5
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Thanks Peter, I have been wanting to add a couple of lights, in new places, not into existing spots. How are you wiring them?
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Old 02-25-2009, 12:00 AM   #6
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Quote:
Thanks Peter, I have been wanting to add a couple of lights, in new places, not into existing spots. How are you wiring them?
The LED bar is hard wired (soldered) to the switch. Once installed over the bathroom door I will loosen the trim on the hinge side of the door and tuck a pair of 18 gauge wires down behind the trim, then run them back to the panel and converter and tighten the trim back up.


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The correct wiring for this light connects the red wire coming out of the LED array connects to the negative/trailer ground wire and the black one connects to positive/hot wire. If you get the wiring backward the LED will not light, and you need to uncross your wires.
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Old 02-26-2009, 09:00 PM   #7
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And the new light bar is installed over the bathroom door.


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Updated to replace picture, text.
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