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#1 2021-03-22 00:51:27

Zippypilot
Member
From: Sussex
Registered: 2019-06-25
Posts: 93

LED strip lighting - What is it and what's needed to install it

Hi all,

I am intending to put LED lights in the back of the van as the interior light is rubbish. I wonder if anyone has experience of this tape like LED reels, and if a driver/ballast or whatever is need to power it.

I am gathering together a kit for the back of the van to provide a sort of 'hot batt bus' unit to provide for lights, usb outlets and 12v cigar lighter sockets, 12v positive and neg terminals to power anything with convenience. ie phone charging, interior lights, plugging in a tyre inflator and such like, inspection lamp. or any other gadget that needs a socket, maybe a fridge when going camping (only for the journey as I will install a 240v hook-up at a later stage)

Its the LED tape I need more info on.

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#2 2021-03-22 23:42:11

JohnDragonMan
Member
From: Derby, East Midlands, UK
Registered: 2020-06-02
Posts: 178
Website

Re: LED strip lighting - What is it and what's needed to install it

LED tape stuff is good.. some is direct 12v, some needs a controller.. its up to you wat you want to go for..

when mine is done i will have LED strip/tape light in some recessed LED channel with the tape inside it. i have got some multi colour temperature stuff myself warm white for the night and more blue for during the day.
i recommend it to be on some kind of dimmer as it can be pretty intense.

when sticking it up, make sure you clean any surface with meths.. its naff when the sticky fails and you end up with a droopy strip heh you can fix it with a dab of super glue and a magnet to hold it while the glue dries.
not got mine setup yet..  but i am looking forward to when i have.


- JohnDragonMan
Notice: I have the tendency to void warranties, blow fuses, cause fires, and other fun stuff.
Words of wisdom: Internally rust proof the sills! both skins!!. There's always user serviceable parts inside. "Oh that shouldn't have happened".
My Crazy Mk2 2005 Dispatch Camper Project big_smile

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#3 2021-03-23 00:17:42

OAT
Member
From: Borders/Dales
Registered: 2017-01-03
Posts: 613

Re: LED strip lighting - What is it and what's needed to install it

I nave tried many different types of LED lights in my van.  None have been perfect.

There may be good ones out there but most if not all of the cheap Chinese stuff is rubbish.  But it is cheap enough to use as disposable.  Much of it now comes with the required circuity, ready to plug into USB and light up.  In various lengths and often sold as TV backlighting.  You can also get tape that you can cut to any length

The only tape one I tried didn't last long at all with individual LED's failing after only a week or so.  Another thing I wasn't keen on was that the light was very spread out.  Most often when I need light I want it stronger and more localized.  The tape seems more suited to background light than one to do any work by.

You can find very cheap LED panels or strips for most of the older 12v tube or bulb units (including standard interior lights) with connections that match the old tubes or bulbs.  Another advantage of using proper light units is the diffuser takes the edge of the LED glare.  Again though they vary in durability from poor to very good, but all are very cheap.

I have recently started using these :-

https://tinyurl.com/5334eph5

I have 7 and a 26 LED ones. Lasting well so far.  The 26 LED one is rarely used.  The seven LED one illuminates whichever end of the van it's pointing towards good enough for reading. The 26 LED one illuminates the whole van very brightly.  Rarely needed by me.  Like most LED's though they are not comfortable to look directly into so thought is required as to location and direction of the sockets.

As USB charging is available all round the van anyway these will make a cheap  flexible lighting system with no extra wiring required.  Even available when on hookup if you use a battery charger

Last edited by OAT (2021-03-23 01:49:31)

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#4 2021-03-23 01:00:13

Casper
Member
From: East Lothian
Registered: 2015-12-20
Posts: 1,824

Re: LED strip lighting - What is it and what's needed to install it

Them strips on a roll i think look cheap and nasty. I always bought small LED strip lights in a cover. They seem to have upgraded them to 72LED's inside since i last bought mine but they look neater and if you shop around you can get the soft white as well as the in your face white and they work with 12v Dimmers. The strips have an advantage. You can make inside you van look like a Whore house at the flick of a switch.   

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/4X-72LED-12V … SwNkhfgC5W

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#5 2021-03-23 02:43:09

Zippypilot
Member
From: Sussex
Registered: 2019-06-25
Posts: 93

Re: LED strip lighting - What is it and what's needed to install it

Hi all, great ideas thanks,

DragonMan, like the idea of colour temp and dimmer etc, (I better not get too carried away as I mainly need the lights to load/unload the van smile ) I'd prefer direct 12v rather than a controller, but then again it's worth looking into. Yeah the stickiness was a thought too how it holds up.

OAT,  I saw that some have 'chips' for each LED and you can cut them and use the rest of the tape, primary is to light the van practically (I know I am going to get carried away with this and probably fit multi colour if I am not careful)  Reliability is one thing, but they won't be used for continuous lighting. I also thought about sealed diffuser units to fit but went away from that due to knocking them loading furniture etc, strips would be right for the job as flush (ish) to the roof beams and unlikely to hit?

Casper, Yep, I looked at the link and they look good, just know I would break them loading, I have some research to do on the ones you linked to (whore houses, never thought to ask them, good excuse there for further ideas)

Good stuff guys, any more info great, this is now eliminating my wide initial questions

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#6 2021-03-23 08:09:20

Casper
Member
From: East Lothian
Registered: 2015-12-20
Posts: 1,824

Re: LED strip lighting - What is it and what's needed to install it

Zippypilot wrote:

Casper, Yep, I looked at the link and they look good, just know I would break them loading, I have some research to do on the ones you linked to (whore houses, never thought to ask them, good excuse there for further ideas)

You filling your can to the ceiling. I have a long one running along the middle beam and never broke it yet. I use my van for a gardening business so tools in and out all day. Did a few small removals and twice a motorbike.

I have these in my Convoy https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/6x-12V-Inter … SwdzhcEi0p They work quite well but the dimmer is poor. You dont need to have them in the controller. I cut the connection off two and just use them on a switch over my kitchen area. They are quite a low profile and again can work with other 12v dimmers if needed.

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#7 2021-03-24 00:03:57

Zippypilot
Member
From: Sussex
Registered: 2019-06-25
Posts: 93

Re: LED strip lighting - What is it and what's needed to install it

Hi Casper,
Yes I have been known to use every inch of the back, I transport furniture mainly and do cram sometimes, putting drawers on top of units to the celling.

I checked out the link you posted, I think these might be a practical option to the tape stuff, the look low enough profile not to risk knocking them. Dimmer isn't much of a worry, thanks for posting, I will be ordering a set as at that price worth a shot!!

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#8 2021-03-27 20:58:30

vaz2121
Member
From: Glasgow Living:~ SW. Scotland
Registered: 2015-08-31
Posts: 1,103

Re: LED strip lighting - What is it and what's needed to install it

Casper wrote:

Them strips on a roll i think look cheap and nasty. I always bought small LED strip lights in a cover. They seem to have upgraded them to 72LED's inside since i last bought mine but they look neater and if you shop around you can get the soft white as well as the in your face white and they work with 12v Dimmers. The strips have an advantage. You can make inside you van look like a Whore house at the flick of a switch.   

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/4X-72LED-12V … SwNkhfgC5W

I bought a couple of those interior led light bar strip lights quite some time ago and then never used them ............

Then it'll be a couple years ago now the neon strip light above the N/S sliding door had an issue again and I replaced it with one of the LED strip light I had kicking about..........
Although not a perfect fit in the neon's screw holes...... It can slide about a bit on it's mountings if your a bit rough in operation........
It's now my default light out of the 3 in the back of the Van and it's Fu***** bright .......... still.....
[I tend to use it on it's own ........]

Looking at using something like OAT's link  but say 1 led something none to bright.......
For when my partner is up through night.......[it's her request]
For a coffee...and wants a little bit of light But not disturb me...........

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#9 2021-03-30 22:24:40

Zippypilot
Member
From: Sussex
Registered: 2019-06-25
Posts: 93

Re: LED strip lighting - What is it and what's needed to install it

IMG_20210330_215613.jpegTotal cop out I know, I had to have lights in the back so a good stop gap cheapy fix for now...

Poundland, yep and guess how much? (nope £5) and they take exactly 147 AA batteries (11 really). Got to say I am quite impressed with the result!
For £7 for the set of 3 lights and batteries, the back lights up like daylight. There is also a dim setting and a 30min button for forgetting to turn them off when just needing light for a while.

Added bonus is it came with a little remote control keypad that I have stuck to the left rear door, this is in a holder so you can take the remote with
you to any door (or shine it through the window in the bulkhead from the cab to see what you have destroyed by not driving like a sensible person)

Might just take out the battery side of things and hard wire them from a regulated 4.5 v dc supply source from my planned hot batt bus. Oh yeah, you can switch them on individually if you like with the buttons on them.

https://dispatchexpertscudo.org.uk/forum/img/members/895/IMG_20210330_215613.jpegIMG_20210330_215521.jpegIMG_20210330_215603.jpegIMG_20210330_215636.jpeg

Last edited by Zippypilot (2021-03-31 00:08:08)

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#10 2021-03-31 11:38:36

tee_cee
Member
Registered: 2016-03-18
Posts: 386

Re: LED strip lighting - What is it and what's needed to install it

Nice.
bigclive has done a teardown similar ones from Poundland https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PYPk-60-MfQ

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#11 2021-03-31 11:54:20

tee_cee
Member
Registered: 2016-03-18
Posts: 386

Re: LED strip lighting - What is it and what's needed to install it

btw regarding 12V sockets - the cigar sockets are really not fit for purpose. Hella sockets are marginally better.
In the end I installed 3 pin XLR sockets which are meant for professional audio equipment ,but crucially, are rated at 16A.

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#12 2021-04-01 00:39:41

Zippypilot
Member
From: Sussex
Registered: 2019-06-25
Posts: 93

Re: LED strip lighting - What is it and what's needed to install it

Good vid Tee_Cee, think I can do the hard wire. Yeah I know what you mean about the cigar lighter units, had rubbish ones before. but will find a quality one as it's purely for ready made things that need that, a hoover/tyre inflator/ inspection lamp etc. the USB socket I need to research.

PS buying another set of poundland lights just so I can have two remotes (one in the cab also)

I will have to be practical as this a working van as much as I would love it to be a camper too lol

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