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Old 2nd December 2010, 10:16 PM   #1
Frontl1ne Thread Starter
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Default Lighting for Display Cabinet

Hey peeps,

I've got no experience with electronics so I've come here seeking advice!

The situation is: I've bought this display cabinet and built it up etc looks very awesome. But, it looks really dull because there's no lighting.

Now I'm thinking about hooking up some kind of lighting for the cabinet however I'm not sure how to go about this. I have one idea of using LED strips down the back of cabinet and since it's right in a corner, hopefully the light will reflect off the walls and give the cabinet a nice lighting.

What I'm not sure on though is how to power these things. In computers it's just a simple case of plugging the LED or cathodes to the PSU. But how do I power a lighting system without a computer? Do they use batteries or do they plug into outlet sockets?

Also looking for other options in terms of lighting... preferably something simple to set up

Thanks for any suggestions or advice!
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Old 2nd December 2010, 10:37 PM   #2
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Adhesive/Flexible LED Strip is probably a cheap yet effective manner in which to do this. You can find the stuff online, and is quite easy to install (Peel off the back) and usually has a small amount of cabling that goes to a little controller, or even straight to a plug pack transformer, which you can plug into your wall socket.
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Old 2nd December 2010, 10:38 PM   #3
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Oh, and there is a MASSIVE choice in colours, you can even get colour-changing ones. But IMO I think a cool white looks best.
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Old 2nd December 2010, 10:56 PM   #4
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Sounds good Indiana, I did a quick search on ebay and found this:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/5m-co...Q5fAccessories

And there's this one:

http://cgi.ebay.com.au/12v-100cm-fle...item4154ea79e9

How can I tell if it comes with a controller or transformer?

And they are pretty expensive! My cabinet is about ~1.6m tall

Edit: Found a decently priced one here: http://www.ledsales.com.au/catalog/i...roducts_id=758

Though I don't think it comes with anything to plug into the wall socket.

Edit2: After doing a bit of reading... I think I need one of these? If I run two seperate strips of LEDs, will I need two power supplies or is there a way of joining the seperate strips?
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Last edited by Frontl1ne; 2nd December 2010 at 11:23 PM.
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Old 3rd December 2010, 12:12 AM   #5
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You'd probably be better off contacting the seller. I would guess that they would usually provide one, but don't quote me on that. The ebay one seems cheaper/better deal...
You can pick up a 12v power supply a lot cheaper than too, Jaycar should have them cheaper, even look around the house, 12v is pretty common?
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Old 3rd December 2010, 12:26 AM   #6
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Wandered through an Ikea last week and saw some nice strip LED lighting for shelving/cupboards, etc...
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Old 3rd December 2010, 1:34 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by merlin13 View Post
Wandered through an Ikea last week and saw some nice strip LED lighting for shelving/cupboards, etc...
These?
http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/50119407
They're super expensive compared to others on the net for #'s LEDS per metre.
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Old 3rd December 2010, 1:41 AM   #8
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Another LED strip you might consider.

http://www.lightinthebox.com/30-LED-...-_p141722.html

Using the remote can display full RGB range, brightness, flash/fade function.
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Old 3rd December 2010, 3:28 AM   #9
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What about some small CCFL's? I reckon that would look pretty good.
I.e http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?...ducts_id=12046
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Old 3rd December 2010, 9:36 AM   #10
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Thanks for the replies guys, but I still don't know what I'll need to hook the suggestions up to a wall socket. Is someone able to link what I'd need?

I thought about cold cathodes, but the cabinet is pretty much all glass and I think the cathodes will stick out quite a bit.

The cabinet did say it came 'lighting ready' though, it has a small light hole at the top. Some pics here:



Shining a torch down the light hole:




What do people tend to use for those light holes? Need something fairly powerful but able to fit in the hole which is only about the size of a 50c piece.
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Old 3rd December 2010, 10:11 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ... After doing a bit of reading... I think I need one of [URL="http://www.ledsales.com.au/catalog/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=200&product s_id=654"
these[/URL]? If I run two separate strips of LEDs, will I need two power supplies or is there a way of joining the separate strips?
The led strips come in modules of 3 led's each so you can cut them to suitable lengths that are multiples of 3 led's.
You only need one power supply to feed as many separate strips as you like.
It's very simple.
Ledsales don't sell "cut to length" strips any more but you should be able to buy cut lengths from other suppliers.

I used the strip lights from Ledsales in a night light behind a skylight diffuser and a 1 metre length hidden in a pelmet to light up the ceiling.
Works a treat.
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Old 3rd December 2010, 11:15 AM   #12
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Ikea sell 10W lighting kits for the Deltof too, but they're kinda downlights and for the use of displaying, the lighting is somewhat uneven. Sorry can't find link on Ikea site but they're sold in a cardboard box with clear top. Picture from Google search: http://www.bloglobyte.com/diy/i-hate...et-light-saga/

Haven't had the same heat problems as described in the blog, but honestly I've switched on the lights about 1-2 hours total in the last 2 years (Actually after reading the article, I'm a bit hesitant to recommend them!)

Using the hole, the light will be coming from the middle of the cabinet and anything displayed to the front will suffer from backlighting. I've been using the downlight but unhappy with the backlighting so the LED strips look a good idea, only problem of course will be the untidy wires as the cabinet is basically four glass panels with wire supports. Probably try and place the LED bar horizontally across the front of each shelf and run the wiring up one of the support, at least that way the source will be from the front of the display rather than the middle.
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Old 3rd December 2010, 11:24 AM   #13
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Thanks fraggle and presch, sounds like LED strips are the way to go.

Does anyone have a guide or can someone give me a run down on how to set up these strips? Is it possible to set them up without soldering? Would love some links to stores that sell the stuff too
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Old 3rd December 2010, 12:02 PM   #14
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I've used CCFL's sourced from Jaycar in the past for cabinet lighting, work very well, a more diffuse 'soft' light compared to LED strips.

They're 12V, so buy a 12V "wall-wart" and wire them up. Easy, and pretty cheap.

I've used LED strips too, the multiple point sources of light are more harsh, but created some highlights. A different lighting effect you may or may not like.
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Old 3rd December 2010, 12:08 PM   #15
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The hole is for you to run the power cables through. I just buy the IKEA lights to go with my detolf.
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