Gas station without pumps

2018 July 19

Dropping old LED lighting project

Filed under: Uncategorized — gasstationwithoutpumps @ 14:28
Tags: , , , , ,

About 4 years ago, I started a project to replace the breakfast room ceiling fan (which my wife has always hated) with an LED fixture of my own design.  In order to do this, I designed some custom LED boards that could work over a range of voltages with PWM control of the brightness and I made some desk and table lamps using the boards, as well as a stroboscope (Summer project, LED board I-vs-V curve, Summer project 2, Desk lamp, Newer dimmer software, LED strobe using dimmer boardHalloween 2016, … ).

Although I have had the electronics done for the breakfast room fixture for about 3 years, I’ve not been able to come up with a mechanical design that I think will look good.  Also, the task of cutting the conduit in the attic to install an outlet for the wall-wart power supply did not appeal to me, so I kept putting off the project.

Last weekend, my wife, my son, and I went to the local Habitat for Humanity ReStore, ostensibly to look for cabinet handles and doors, but mainly just to browse. While there, we saw a used drum light ceiling fixture that was on sale for only about $16 (it is one that normally sells for around $120 new from Home Depot).  Since I had pretty much given up on coming up with a design using my LED boards that would look good, and my wife liked the drum fixture, we bought it and my son helped me install it.

The hardest part of the installation was probably pulling new wire through the conduit, since I did not want to use the old cloth-covered solid copper wire that was there.  I also added a grounding screw to the junction box for the lamp, since the old ceiling lamp had no ground connection.

Here is the “new” ceiling lamp in daylight.

Here is the ceiling lamp with 3 2700K LED bulbs.

Lining up the screw holes of the fixture with the screw holes of the junction box was also a bit tricky—my son’s holding the fixture while I fussed with that was a big help.

The whole project cost under $30: $16 for the fixture, <$3 for screws and wire, $7.50 for 3 LED bulbs. The new lamp is not dimmable (because of the cheap bulbs I chose), but that feature was not really needed for the breakfast room anyway.

So I now have a lot of spare LED boards that I need to find a project for—I’ve used a few of the boards for the desk lamp and stroboscope projects, but I don’t really need another desk lamp or stroboscope.  Anyone have any ideas?

3 Comments »

  1. Christmas decoration lights?

    Comment by gflint — 2018 July 20 @ 06:50 | Reply

    • I’m not sure how festive white lights that are too bright to look at will be, but I’ll think about ways to use them. I already set up some of them as a stroboscope in pumpkins (or a pumpkin substitute in years when I don’t have time to carve a pumpkin) for Halloween.

      We got a new live Christmas tree now, since our old one was getting potbound, but was in the largest pot we could move up the steps into the house. The new tree is only about 1 foot high, so is not going to have space for lights!

      Comment by gasstationwithoutpumps — 2018 July 20 @ 09:43 | Reply

      • You did not say you wanted GOOD ideas.

        Comment by gflint — 2018 July 23 @ 11:59 | Reply


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