Conductor sizing, and stranded vs solid

Your rails were bigger and heftier I expect. This is these dinky things, which in my hand are actually pretty small and I worry won’t be stiff enough to get a clean cut from a reciprocating saw, even at lower speeds.

Hm, now that I remember, I do have a reciprocating saw adapter to make it a hand-blade. That’ll probably work pretty well with one of the metal blades, as long as I’m careful. Get some good notches to start the cut and go from there.

Whatever saw you go with spraying on some WD-40 will lubricate the cut nicely and help prevent a fine-tooth blade from clogging up.

WD-40: awful lubricant, great cutting fluid for aluminum.

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I have no clue why WD40 worked great for that, but it was very helpful, thanks! And little bit of work with a small file to clean off the burrs, and good to go! At least, I’m pretty sure it’ll be just what I want. I’ll get back to you on that.

Also decided, since the other end of the wire bundle I’m creating is 27 LEDs, bit under 0.5m, that’s approximate peak of 13.5W, I’m going to use the 18awg for the +12V common, and 22awg for each of the rest. My reasoning is the +12V common is going to carry potentially the full load along of up to all 5 LEDs at once, while the rest only have their single color turned on which will be substantially lower. Also the fact that the solde pads are on the small side, and 18AWG stranded is a bit wider/messier in terms of positioning without shorting out. Even pre-tinned both the pads and the wiring.

EDIT: There, part 1 is done, got the first section ended with the wires, still on the spool, so I can test run it all before cutting, fitting shrink tube over, and then soldering onto the other length of LEDs.

Also using some E6000 on the wires on the strip end, help keep them in place, as well as prevent them from touching on accident, once dried up.

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UGH. It’s impossible to get the wires through the long heatshrink tube (with the heatshrink glue), it’s just too long, for the full routing. Just ordered a fish tape. Should have one around anyway, just useful things.

Yay Amazon, it’ll be to me by tomorrow.

Got it all working! It’s awesome! Here’s with the mostly warm white (slight mix of cool), and a purplish multi RGB mix. Works great! I’m strongly considering adding some edging around the ceiling along one or two sides, and using similar LED strip & controller angled up onto the ceiling, to provide bounce/indirect lighting around the rest of the kitchen/dining area. Hell, might try and figure something out for most of the rest of the rooms. Just not use the overhead lighting really at all. Using some aluminum conduit embedded into some wood that I make look nicer, with a routed out bit to embed the conduit. Using the conduit to help provide a heatsink.


Nice work! Could you show a closeup of the aluminium/wood assembly?

There exists some angle iron channel you can slide LED strips into - I looked at it a while back for a similar project and never got it done.

This sort of stuff: Aluminum Track for 12V LED Strip

However, in related news, I need to update my office lighting. My cheap LED strips are starting to fail after 5 years. I should look into some of the RGB stuff… could be fun!

I, too, am interested in affordable, easily controllable RGB LEDs, especially with a quality warm white - I’m blue-sensitive and a lot of times the white (even warm white) LEDs contain too much peaky blue in specific frequencies to work for me. Philips Hue work fine, but their LED strips are stupidly expensive.

@Vertiginous the wood bit I was talking about is future work, something I’m considering.

Do you know if there’s a way to easily do wavelength analysis at home, without having to buy too much? I’d happily test out this strips CW and WW actual peaks for you.

@Syonyk Sure, there’s the corner angle, but A) they don’t really seem to have any that will properly fit 12mm wide strips (RGBW/RGBCW/RGBWW 4in1 RGBWCCT 5in1 5050 Led Flexible Strip Lights 60le — BTF-LIGHTING), and B) if I have it pointed towards the ceiling it’ll leave a bare aluminum bottom exposed. Although I suppose I could put wood underneath it. I was actually thinking about a much more shallow angle compared to the ceiling, 10-15 deg so it’d spread out and have less of a hotspot effect from the ceiling.

I tried one of these a while ago: EISCO Spectroscope

It’s interesting to point at bulbs and see what frequencies they’re made up of. What it doesn’t do hardly at all is intensity. I can see my cool white LED tape is a bit shifted towards the blue spectrum, more than a nearby incandescent. But both look very similar because both do contain red and blue elements, regardless of dramatic difference in intensity. So really all you get is a slight shift in the wavelengths the bulb emits.

What is more interesting is to point it at florescent bulbs. It’s not a full range of color from say, ~450 to 650nm, but several vary narrow bands of color frequency with space in between.

So not all that helpful for comparing different color temperatures of white LEDs, but thought I’d mention my experience with it

That’s a cool, cheap little gadget.

Hmmm… Adafruit AS7341 10-Channel Light / Color Sensor. Looks like it gives different center wavelength with intensity. Innnnteresting.

Or maybe SparkFun Triad Spectroscopy Sensor, which uses 3 different sensors from the same sensor lines to give 18 different wavelengths from UV (410nm) to IR (940nm). Has a handy chart in the details showing what spectral peaks and sidebands it support, and from which sensors. Looks like it has a good overlap. Full guide. Maybe I should get this guy. Obviously quite a bit more expensive than the Adafruit, but might be worth it to eventually put it together with a little OLED screen and a mSD card and some buttons to function as a portable, arduino based wavelength sensor with option to data-log. Add a cheap RTC and I can add a timestamp to the data, which would be handy.

Ok, so search for 12mm LED conduit. :slight_smile: I found some without too much effort - they come in various sizes. As for the bare aluminum… so? But, I’ve not considered room lighting with them.

Whatever you do, you’ll want some sort of heatsinking on the strips. I can tell where my office LED strips have pulled away from the backing angle aluminum because they’re far more yellowed and the LEDs are failing in those sections.

I did use, so I did find the 12mm channel, but NOT the 45-deg angle channel like what you were talking about. Or rather, I found 1 or 2 but it appeared that the width of the spot for the strip was dead on 12mm, which given tolerances might not have been quite enough to get a good stick onto it without being very finicky.

I was thinking of just using the regular flat channel, like what I found, and embedding that into wood that I route out wide enough for the channel. Or something similar to that.