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Flat LED strip for wire frames?

Discussion in 'Cutouts, Wire Frames & Motifs' started by stiebs, Aug 13, 2012.

  1. stiebs

    stiebs New Elf

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    Similar to another thread in this forum, I have a handful of old wireframe models with 240V rope light - most of which is in dire need of replacement.


    I currently have about 10m of My-T-Brite white LED rope, so was contemplating trying to find a translucent paint that would work on that... but I'll need a lot more than 10m to cover all my shapes, and the MTB rope has limited lengths that it can be cut down into.


    So my next bet is some of the flat silicon coated LED strip from Ray Wu. Obviously it will need to be shaped so that the edge of the strip is facing outwards, but will the silicon cover provide enough refraction so that the lighting will be effective on the wire frames?


    I was thinking of getting 5-10m each of red/green/blue/white/yellow and cut and join to suit my shapes.
     
  2. fasteddy

    fasteddy I have C.L.A.P Global Moderator Generous Elf

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    Strip is not the best choice for wire frames as it cant be bent sideways as the strip PCB is flat. The best choice is to use just RGB pixel strings for this and attach them on the frame sideways.
     
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    stiebs

    stiebs New Elf

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    I realise that it can't be bent sideways.. so if I were to use it, the sides of the strip instead of the front will be showing outwards. Just from the photos of rolls I've seen of the strip with silicon casing, it seems that it is still quite effective from the side.


    So the question I'm asking is; is the silicon cased strip reasonably viewable from the side, or are the photos somewhat misleading?


    I was thinking about RGB pixel strings, but that may well be overkill. I'm sure if I use static colours, I will want to be able to change the colours! But I'm not sure I can justify all the channels (and programming involved!) just for the sake of it..
     
  4. David_AVD

    David_AVD Bite my shiny metal ass!

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    I've actually wondered the same thing about the strip. Another (possibly crazy) idea is to face the LEDs inwards on the frame. No idea what it would look like. Maybe some experimentation is in order?
     
  5. fasteddy

    fasteddy I have C.L.A.P Global Moderator Generous Elf

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    Its somewhat OK but still its not what i would use as the light is not that great from behind due to the light dispersion.

    I think LithgowLights has redone a whole heap of wire frames. Hopefully he may jump in here and show a picture or 2 on what he has done.

    You dont have to actually use smart pixels, you could use dumb RGB strings, this way just by connecting the appropriate colour/s will then give you a possible 7 different colours to use on your frames.
     
  6. lithgowlights

    lithgowlights Senior Elf

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    I have done more than a few upgrades to the old 240V ropelight items here with rather good results IMHO. I used Metalcast spraypaint and the results are quite good.

    I started off with White LED Ropelight, took an image of the original 240V item (Even turned off if it had lots of blown sections), then slowly removed the old ropelight and strung the new LED rope on while it is illuminated. The reason to do it illuminated is so that you dont bend it too far and cause sections to go out, and the slight warmth of the glowing rope also helps soften it a little more so it bends easier. If you find you have to bend too sharply, do a larger loop and cover the bit you dont want illuminated with black electrical tape and it will never be seen - the word Toys on the santa item below is done like that

    Once completed, use the metalcast paint to spray the illuminated item. A bit of cardboard is ideal for blocking off bits you dont want to spray, although I dont bother as a little overspray is no big deal. The only issue is that in Australia Metalcast paint is hard to find - Supercheap Auto being the only place I can find it, and only in Blue, Red and Purple, but for most items that is enough.

    This is the original Angel, with 1 wing blown
    DSC_3900s.jpg

    Here is the LED Version:
    DSC_3905s.jpg

    And a few others I have done:
    DSC_3930s.jpg


    This one was originally just all green. I think it looks better in full color:
    DSC_3899s.jpg ]

    And I finally painted this one. It was done a few years ago and the quality of the LED rope was poor - most other sections which were used elsewhere and not bent, have failed, so i'll eventually restring this, but it's good enough for now.
    DSC_3931s.jpg
     
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    stiebs

    stiebs New Elf

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    So many options...


    Static colour LED rope light
    White (or warm white) LED rope and painted
    RGB pixels
    Dumb strings


    To go the dumb string route... I like the ease of the LED modules over bastardising big-w type light strings. There are a lot of dumb LED module light strips, but all the LED module strings are RGB. Or am I just not looking hard enough (or in the right places)
     
  8. David_AVD

    David_AVD Bite my shiny metal ass!

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    I was pretty sure Ray Wu had the single colour LED strings when I looked a while ago.
     
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    stiebs

    stiebs New Elf

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  10. angus40

    angus40 Senior Elf

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  11. OP
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    stiebs

    stiebs New Elf

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    Thanks angus,


    That's actually pretty effective.. looks like it will look pretty good on a wire frame
     
  12. angus40

    angus40 Senior Elf

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    what a difference leds make ! i wish i hade frames like those . Bet that took many hours to convert ?

    Well worth the effort.

    Cheers
     
  13. lithgowlights

    lithgowlights Senior Elf

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    It does not take as long as you think, but yes it's not quick. I did the Angel and Santa on the bike in a day, then the trailer the following day.

    One hint on getting good wire frames, consider going to the Christmas Lighting places where they have a lot of the old incandescent wire frames. Often they are willing to get rid of the wireframes which have failed at a very good price at or just after Christmas - I have bought a few in the past like that and restrung in 240V Ropelight, saving me quite a few $, and now with LED it makes the power savings not unsubstantial eithor.
     
  14. anon

    anon Apprentice Elf

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    Perfect thread at the perfect time.


    I ripped apart a 240VAC led rope wire star, hoping that it would be driven at a lower voltage...alas it's 240VAC all the way and I butchered it. The only thing salvage able is the wire frame.


    What is the idea of the metalcast paint on the strip? To disperse light? Being an enamel, how does it hold up to the flex of the strip if it does get a little bent or twisted?
     
  15. lithgowlights

    lithgowlights Senior Elf

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    The metalcast is simply to color the white LED Strip to give you a decent looking multicolor ropelight item. and it is a nice hard wearing, but long lasting paint that I have used on incandescent globes, LED's and ropelight in the past with great success.

    It is not the only paint, but works for me. Oh and I only paint after the item has been restrung in LED, not before, so the ropelight wont be flexed much after it is painted anyway
     

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