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Using LED strings on wireframes?

Discussion in 'Cutouts, Wire Frames & Motifs' started by toodle_pipsky, Jul 26, 2014.

  1. toodle_pipsky

    toodle_pipsky Minister of Silly Walks

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    Hey folks! I have some wireframes to light and heaps of single colour LED light strings. I've tried a few ways of wrapping the frames with these lights and it just doesn't look good. Has anyone had any luck lighting frames with LED light strings?
    (Budget's a bit tight with the little one and me only working part time now. Trying to use what I have before spending money)
     
  2. AAH

    AAH I love blinky lights :) Community Project Designer

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    I have used white led strings on the 9 reindeer and Santa that once had incandescant lights on them. I simply cable tied them on trying to keep the leds facing front where possible. The only photo I have handy is on my site and it is from 2011 when I only had 3 reindeer. They are to the left of the driveway pretty much halfway across the picture down the bottom. With the 9 reindeer and Santa all within a few square metres there's an amazing amount of light down there.

    http://www.hansonelectronics.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/Xmas2011-1.jpg
     
  3. OP
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    toodle_pipsky

    toodle_pipsky Minister of Silly Walks

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    Thanks for that, they do look good. I take it they're 3D frames? Mine are just plain flat ones. I'm wondering if clips will work for my lights, the lights aren't sitting in sockets (if that makes sense) . . . just pondering out loud. :)
     
  4. penguineer

    penguineer Full Time Elf

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    I can't claim any great experience, having only done one wireframe, but cable-ties worked for me to tie a BigW string along it.

    Each of the LEDs was tied in place using the smallest ties I had(100x2.5mm). It's not a quick job(what is?), but with a bit of care over spacing and making sure the LEDs are oriented the same way the results are quite good.

    I'll grab a photo of my star tomorrow.

    Cheers!
     
  5. penguineer

    penguineer Full Time Elf

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    Got two elemets that might be considered wireframes - a professionally made bethlehem star and a five-point star made from fencing wire.

    First, the bethlehem star:
    I measured the wireframe and discovered that all the LEDs on the BigW string I was using were enough to cover the wireframe if they were laid end to end. Each LED is cable tied into place - time consuming, but does deliver a good result.

    [​IMG]

    Detail of the LEDs cable-tied into place - note that the wire is looped out of the way(can't see it at night) and all the LEDs are tied flat to the front:
    [​IMG]

    Now my five-point tree-topper star.

    This star is made using fencing wire - take a look, it's one piece of wire, bent at the corners and cable tied into shape. As we're dealing with straight lines that return to the beginning, we can easily put a long LED string onto it.

    [​IMG]

    Pick a starting point and cable tie the string - lay the string out to the next corner and cable tie, lay the string to the next corner and tie, etc. Once back at the beginning, just repeat the process - on the second time around each corner has a second cable tie holding both runs of string in place. Keep going until you run out of LED string, then go back around the whole frame and cable tie every few inches to hold the LED strings to the frame.

    From the front:
    [​IMG]

    ....and the back showing the multiple cable ties holding each run of string in place at the corners:
    [​IMG]

    The bethlehem star is a much neater/defined shape as each LED is oriented in the same way and the lines are clearer, the five-point star is a bit fuzzier/twinkly. Both work in their own way.

    If I was doing multiple strings(eg red/green/blue) I would do the job in much the same way.

    With the bethlehem star I would put one string down at a time and finish it before starting on the next - the second and third LEDs would be laid alongside the first and tied into place.

    With the five point star I would probably work all three strings at the same time and treat them as one.

    Does that help?

    Cheers!
     
  6. OP
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    toodle_pipsky

    toodle_pipsky Minister of Silly Walks

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    That looks awesome, really neat. Hate to be a pain in the backside, any pics of either one lit?
     
  7. penguineer

    penguineer Full Time Elf

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    Not any good ones - this is from last years display:

    [​IMG]

    The bethlehem star on the top of the house appears much "crisper" than the tree topper on the left.

    Cheers!
     
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    toodle_pipsky

    toodle_pipsky Minister of Silly Walks

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    That looks really good. Thanks for sharing your pics and explanation. Looks tedious as heck, but doable. :)
     

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