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Making my own led strings?

Discussion in 'Lights - Store Bought and Home Made' started by indudio, Mar 10, 2012.

  1. indudio

    indudio Guest

    Hi everyone.

    I am contemplating making up some of my own led strings. With the ability to buy 1000 LEDs (5mm) in various colours delivered for around $25, I am thinking there maybe some value in pursuing this.

    All else I would need is the wire, clear heat shrink tube, appropriate resistors and sealer. I am not to concerned about the time factor of assembling, but has anyone else done this?

    Any thoughts?
     
  2. cenote

    cenote Suburbs of Philadelphia

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    I will tell ya...I made a strip for my fish tank last year, and turned out to be a pain. After factoring my time I came to the conclusion, I will just by modules or strings from now on :) I would wonder in your case, after buying wire at market price copper, if you can do it cheaper?
     
  3. Bird

    Bird Proud LOR user

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    I have never tried this but I tend to agree with the above post.
    After buying all the raw materials need to make the strings including plug ends I would think it might be cheaper to buy made up strings and then cut them to the lenght you want (or close enough lenght). Some strings can be cut into shorter segments.
     
  4. fasteddy

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

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    The Chinese makes these so cheap that it is hard to make doing this worth while. I cant see why you would want to put yourself through doing this unless you find it very soothing to solder up thousands of lights and put absolutely no value on your time you spend building these.
     
  5. AussiePhil

    AussiePhil Dedicated Elf Administrator

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    Take it from someone who has made lot's of LED string sections the ONLY reason to do it is if you want something unique that cannot be bought already made.


    Making mono colour LED strings is not even worth considering and most RGB stuff is now easier to do in Intelligent Pixels.


    I'm still making some very custom RGB stuff but only because i can't buy what i want.


    Cheers
    Phil
     
  6. damo1271

    damo1271 Full Time Elf Generous Elf

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    I have also thought about making my own strings. The way I had considered would be to make a template in MDF or even pine by drilling 5mm holes every 100mm. These will hold your LEDs while you solder them. Then you can cut standard length wires to go between each LED. To keep the soldering simple, design your string length to suit your intended DC operating voltage so you ony need one resistor (or maybe two in series depending on power draw).
    Just remember - on each wire slip on a piece of heat shrink (for each end) before making the connection! Use a piece of 5mm heat shrink over the LED and the wires to keep it all neat and stop the LEDs legs from spreading.

    If you want strings similar to the chinese ones - where there are multiple strings in parallel all twisted together - then increase the hole spacing on your template and the length of each wire. Eg. if you are going to twist 3 strings, use 300mm holes, 4 strings 400mm holes and so on. Then when you have made the individual strings you twist them together with 100mm between each LED. Believe it not I (carefully) use a cordless drill for twisting and untwisting strings!

    The benefit of doing your own strings will be that they are much better quality than the chinese ones and much more likely to last, even if they are more expensive. You can also design them to suit specific applications. (And best of all they will probably work, my chinese ones often need repairs to get all the LEDs working.)

    I posted a 'how to' on modifying 240V AC chinese strings to run on DC which might make your work a lot easier if you choose to modify the cheap chinese ones as others have suggested.
     
  7. OP
    OP
    indudio

    indudio Guest

    Thanks guys. Yeah I have some of the cheap 240volt lights from last year which I will mod for this year. I know single strings of mono colour is yesterday, but unfortunately I don't have an unlimited budget and as nice as rgb and pixels would be u could not justify the spend.

    I picked up a lot of big w strings on sale, but in my investigations I am not going to get 200 led strings landed here in Australia for less than 9.50 which is what I paid for the big w strings.

    I have found some Chinese places that sell 100 led strings @ 24volt for US $4 each, but it's the shipping that's the killer. I know it's still cheap comparatively, but just thought I would see what others experiences were!
     

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