Inexpensive LED lights from IKEA - Page 3 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-08-2011, 10:42 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by Paul Chet View Post
correct - they are 12V to begin with so we can copy Kevin's idea and snip them just before the driver, then run wire right to the fuse block.

i got the extra cord because this iteration of lighting has the on/off switch after the transformer (on the side with the plug). Kevin's model has the on off switch before the transformer (on the side that goes in the light). guess i could have just picked up a cheaper switch elsewhere. hmmm, might just do that since i will be adding several different lighting options. i might just install a small panel with rocker switches for different lighting combinations.

since we pass IKEA often it wont be a big deal to return the extra parts i dont end up using (that is anything i dont take wire cutters to!).
I'd go with some nice rocker switches as well.
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Old 08-15-2011, 09:24 PM   #30
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looks nice, I'm also going to have a project with this flexible LED strip
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Old 08-15-2011, 11:41 PM   #31
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Something to keep in mind when you buy lights from Ikea is the 12v power supply Ikea uses puts out a very consistent 12v power supply, while the power in your trailer likely varies up to 14.5v or more when the converter is charging the system. This is important to LED lights because, as I explain in this and the next few posts, LED lights are designed to work within a very specific voltage range.

If you supply too high a voltage to an LED, it doesn't make more light, it makes heat and eventually burns itself out. I have IKEA lights in our Scamp -- four strip lights assembled in a square over our dinette table (really lights up the table!), and their hockey-puck lights over the kitchen counters and sink (3 on one side, four on the other . . . and really lights the place up!), but rather than connect them directly to the battery, I've added a cheap ($2 . . . details in the thread I just mentioned) Radio Shack voltage controller to the circuits, protecting my LEDs and keeping my solar-powered trailer in the light.
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Old 08-16-2011, 05:52 AM   #32
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This past spring I installed some I bought from Superbrights. While expensive, they included an onboard current source driver which eliminates variations in brightness due to variations in voltage. They also have a full wave rectifier bridge to eliminate polarity concerns. I would expect this type of additional onboard circuitry to become more common as well as the prices to drop. Raz
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Old 08-16-2011, 09:23 AM   #33
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I knew you had posted something a while back about varying voltages Peter and I was going to search for the thread to find out specifically what you had added for your lighting installation. (thanks for making the search easier)
Your suggestion of varying voltages is the thought that was in the back of my mind when I ran the tests while hooked up to to my charger. I wanted to see if the lights would "melt" once the voltage got up there.

The lights aren't installed yet as I am waiting on the waterproof LED boat lights that I ordered from overseas so I can do a comparison. I'm guessing the boat lights will be a "cool" white as opposed to the 2700K of the Ikeas' but I may be pleasantly surprised. In the meantime I will search out those voltage regulators.

I think you also had some postings on your overhead cabinet installation and I made a note of it somewhere as I may incorporate some of your design in the 17 ft. Boler
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Old 08-16-2011, 11:54 AM   #34
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Glad to hear my post has been helpful. I plan to devise some type of bounce lighting as well and will check out Home Depot for possible solutions as per your "gutter" suggestion.

I just ordered these today for wet locations such as the shower, outside and in the range hood vent. Not sure if they are warm white or cool white but for the price I will take a chance.

3 METRE BOAT FISHING LED LIGHTS WHITE WATERPROOF 12volt | eBay




NOTE: the price is in British Pounds.
As of today 1 GBP = $1.57 Canadian or $1.63 US
The lights arrived this morning from Hong Kong and as suspected, they are cool white. No worries, as I will find certain spots where they will be useful. Total cost for 3 strings of these was about $25 Canadian. (postage was more than the lights)Customs didn't open it so I lucked out and had no potential duties or taxes to be paid.
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Old 08-20-2011, 02:58 AM   #35
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This past spring I installed some I bought from Superbrights. While expensive, they included an onboard current source driver which eliminates variations in brightness due to variations in voltage. They also have a full wave rectifier bridge to eliminate polarity concerns. I would expect this type of additional onboard circuitry to become more common as well as the prices to drop. Raz
And that's been happening, too. Several of the LEDs I have in our Scamp 5er came with their own, built-in voltage regulator, but they are designed for automotive use, where the voltage can vary from 12-18v, where the Ikea lights were designed for home use and connected to a driver hub that supplies a fairly constant 12v.
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Old 08-20-2011, 07:51 AM   #36
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And that's been happening, too. Several of the LEDs I have in our Scamp 5er came with their own, built-in voltage regulator, but they are designed for automotive use, where the voltage can vary from 12-18v, where the Ikea lights were designed for home use and connected to a driver hub that supplies a fairly constant 12v.
Peter, any idea if these other boat lights I purchased may have the voltage regulator? Thought you might be able to tell by looking at the photo. If you scroll down they show a close-up photo.

They advertise them as 12 volt for use in marine and caravans (RV's) but they are from Hong Kong and cost me about $1.60 per string(plus $6 shipping) so I question their quality.

3 METRE BOAT FISHING LED LIGHTS WHITE WATERPROOF 12volt | eBay


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Old 08-20-2011, 02:22 PM   #37
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Not usually, but because I can actually see the circuit board layout, this time I can. A minimal 12v LED grouping consists of three 3.2v LEDs and a "dropping" resistor that reduces the current and voltage sent to the three LEDs from 12v to 9.6 volts, and that's all those lights have. If it had a built-in voltage regulator there's be a 3, 4, or 6 legged integrated circuit (little black box with legs) somewhere on each of the boards. Adding one of those pretty much doubles the cost of each grouping, so on the super-cheap LEDs they usually leave them off.

That whole strand of LEDs likely draws a maximum of 6 watts, so a single 7812 regulator could power the whole string. Just be very, very careful about how you wire the 7812 up, otherwise you will cause a short-circuit to form inside the chip, and it will quickly (in a second or less) overheat and fail.

First, you must make sure your LED's light switch is connected to the positive wire going to your battery. I would check this using a multi-meter: with the multi-meter set to test "volts" (the -- symbol), touch the lead connected to the "COM" connector to your trailer's ground wire and the other lead to the wire going to your light switch. The meter should read out a positive number, probably 12- or 13-point something volts. If it reads a negative number, you either have your battery connected backward or the wiring to the switch is backward. Test other lights and circuits in your trailer to figure out which problem you have.

Once you're sure your trailer and switch wiring are correct you can start working on connecting your LEDs and voltage regulator. First, find out which way the LEDs should be hooked up. With these cheap LEDs they will not light up at all if you connect them backward, but if you reverse the wires they will.

Once you've figured out which way to wire your LEDs up you can add the 7812 regulator.
Looking at the chip with the side that has the letters on it facing up and the legs toward you, the left-most leg should be connected to the light switch, the right-most leg to LED wire that allows the string to light up when connected to the power switch. The center leg of the 7812 should be connected to the ground wire, the other wire coming back from the LEDs. Wire the 7812 up in a way that the center pin and wire can never come into contact with the other wires. I do this by insulating the center leg and wires with heat-shrink tubing.
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Old 08-20-2011, 03:30 PM   #38
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Not usually, but because I can actually see the circuit board layout, this time I can. A minimal 12v LED grouping consists of three 3.2v LEDs and a "dropping" resistor that reduces the current and voltage sent to the three LEDs from 12v to 9.6 volts, and that's all those lights have. If it had a built-in voltage regulator there's be a 3, 4, or 6 legged integrated circuit (little black box with legs) somewhere on each of the boards. Adding one of those pretty much doubles the cost of each grouping, so on the super-cheap LEDs they usually leave them off.

That whole strand of LEDs likely draws a maximum of 6 watts, so a single 7812 regulator could power the whole string. Just be very, very careful about how you wire the 7812 up, otherwise you will cause a short-circuit to form inside the chip, and it will quickly (in a second or less) overheat and fail.

First, you must make sure your LED's light switch is connected to the positive wire going to your battery. I would check this using a multi-meter: with the multi-meter set to test "volts" (the -- symbol), touch the lead connected to the "COM" connector to your trailer's ground wire and the other lead to the wire going to your light switch. The meter should read out a positive number, probably 12- or 13-point something volts. If it reads a negative number, you either have your battery connected backward or the wiring to the switch is backward. Test other lights and circuits in your trailer to figure out which problem you have.

Once you're sure your trailer and switch wiring are correct you can start working on connecting your LEDs and voltage regulator. First, find out which way the LEDs should be hooked up. With these cheap LEDs they will not light up at all if you connect them backward, but if you reverse the wires they will.

Once you've figured out which way to wire your LEDs up you can add the 7812 regulator.
Looking at the chip with the side that has the letters on it facing up and the legs toward you, the left-most leg should be connected to the light switch, the right-most leg to LED wire that allows the string to light up when connected to the power switch. The center leg of the 7812 should be connected to the ground wire, the other wire coming back from the LEDs. Wire the 7812 up in a way that the center pin and wire can never come into contact with the other wires. I do this by insulating the center leg and wires with heat-shrink tubing.

Thanks Peter. I actually just picked up the 7812's this morning and have started to make a video. I think the problem is solved with my computer and camera glitch so hopefully will be posting in a few days. I will send it to you first to make sure it is correct as electrical is not my forte.

Could I get away with encapsulating the connections with one of those little syringes of epoxy that you find at the hardware store?
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Old 08-20-2011, 04:29 PM   #39
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Could I get away with encapsulating the connections with one of those little syringes of epoxy that you find at the hardware store?
Yes, the cheap epoxy at the hardware store will work, but only coat the legs and don't let the metal tab come into contact with other wiring. The metal tab and back of the chip are a heat sink that helps keep the chip cool. I'd test to make sure everything works before putting the epoxy on, though, and some, more expensive epoxies are conductive, so only use the cheap stuff.
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Old 08-20-2011, 06:41 PM   #40
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You probably know this but with a 78xx with the TO 220 case, the tab is connected to the common (center pin ) which let's you screw it to a chassis for heat sink purposes. Raz
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Old 08-20-2011, 07:33 PM   #41
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You probably know this but with a 78xx with the TO 220 case, the tab is connected to the common (center pin ) which let's you screw it to a chassis for heat sink purposes. Raz
I was just about to ask how these can be attached. Not sure if this is the TO220 case but, can I simply screw the tab (through that round hole) to the same structure I will be mounting the light in? (I am thinking of routing a groove in a strip of wood and insetting the lights and switch)

For some setups I will use all 3 lengths of LED's with one 7812 reducer and probably the existing switch. Other combinations of 1 or two sections will be attached to a small rocker switch. The fellow at the Electronics store said these AC switches would work for DC.

The 7812 could then be screwed down to the wood, through that circular hole, and the 3 "finger" connections encapsulated with non-conductive epoxy?

For the "boat lights" I will do the same.

If I'm heading in the wrong direction, let me know.

Thanks
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Old 08-21-2011, 05:40 AM   #42
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Yes that's a TO220 case. If you test for continuity with an ohm meter you should find that the center pin and the tab are connected. Three terminal regulators in that case are good up to 1 amp provided the appropriate heat sink is used. The tab is meant to be screwed to a larger piece of metal, a heat sink, to shed excess heat so the device doesn't cook. I would not use the device for more than a couple hundred mA without one. The heat sink sizing is usually recommended by the manufacturer on the data sheet. Even with a heat sink these devices can get quite hot. Burn your finger on it hot. That's why computers have fans. I would not mount the tab on anything combustable.

You might want to check the data sheet for application notes as well. As I recall 78xx series regulators are prone to oscillation. Usually bypass capacitors are used across the input and output. Just a thought.

Good luck, Raz
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