Custom RED Lighting...LEDS, Neons, Cold Cathode etc - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


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Old 06-15-2005
Lumadar's Avatar
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Custom RED Lighting...LEDS, Neons, Cold Cathode etc

Hey guys. I'm doing some work on aesthetics on my box and I need some help with the lighting. I am going to be using some thin 1/8 inch smoked plexiglass and I want to illuminate it from behind as evenly as possible. The tricky part is I have minimal amount of thinckness to work with, so in most cases a cold cathode tube simply won't fit. I had a pack of RED Varad Level 4 LEDS and when I tested them today they didn't look like they would be bright enough.

On top of that, the were not very good for evenly spread lighting; instead they gave a very limited directional and uneven circular emition of light.

Any ideas on possible lighting? And/or places to get this stuff cheap? Thanks Guys!
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Old 06-15-2005
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one thing i found out with leds, if you use sandpaper on the top of them, they dispurce light alot better. dunno if it will help in answering your?
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Old 06-15-2005
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Actually, Barrman explained that today when we were working on it, but yeah thanks for the tip. That is one thing I will surely be using.
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Old 06-15-2005
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YAY, i gave succesfull(sp) tips!!
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Old 06-15-2005
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Hey, Mark!!! Long time no see! Good to see you on here!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lumadar
Hey guys. I'm doing some work on aesthetics on my box and I need some help with the lighting. I am going to be using some thin 1/8 inch smoked plexiglass and I want to illuminate it from behind as evenly as possible. The tricky part is I have minimal amount of thinckness to work with, so in most cases a cold cathode tube simply won't fit. I had a pack of RED Varad Level 4 LEDS and when I tested them today they didn't look like they would be bright enough.

On top of that, the were not very good for evenly spread lighting; instead they gave a very limited directional and uneven circular emition of light.

Any ideas on possible lighting? And/or places to get this stuff cheap? Thanks Guys!
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  #6  
Old 06-15-2005
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Hey John! We sure missed you on GE...I never heard the details on why you left, but I'm glad to see you back(On RF or not!). I sure missed your knowledge....and now between you and rwenzig I'm pretty sure RF could basically engineer our way into world domination.
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  #7  
Old 06-15-2005
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lol! I agree. So far, Bob is the only guy I've found that can give me a "run for my money". It's vastly reduced my "workload", lol!

Hey, great to see you. We had some arguments over some things as I recall, but I ALWAYS respected your drive and experimental nature and I'm looking forward to see what kind of stuff you've been up to. If you look at my avatar, you can see I've transformed the Edge quite a bit, and it keeps changing. It's a disease, I swear, lol...
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Old 06-15-2005
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Hey, Mark. Click the link in my sign to my Cardomain site for some LED tips as well. There's an index of the pages a little ways down the first page. I talk about dispersing the light in some of the LED topics.

One more trick: cut a pyramid shape in the dome of the LED. By playing with the angles and flats, and doing the "sandpaper" frosting trick (or with a file), you can tease quite a bit of dispersion out of them.
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Old 06-15-2005
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does anyone have any experience using those el-glo wires? mark swares theyll light up pink... anyone know of ones that definitely dont look pink?
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  #10  
Old 06-15-2005
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Thanks again John. I went to your tutorial and checked the link where you buy your LEDS. I noticed the brightest RED leds to have the following info: "
6000 mcd. Brighter than our ultrabright LEDs, this is the brightest 5mm red LED we've ever sold. Clear in the off-state. Standard T 1-3/4 package."
Now I currently have a 4-pack of Varad pre-resistored(lol, word?) LEDs that were a 4 out of 5 for brightest possible, $15+ shipping, and not very bright. I'm guessing I paid for the resistors already done and in a neat plastic case.

On that note, I saw some 8000mcd LEDs on ebay...would those be a lot brighter than the 6000mcd leds? From the reviews I read the 6kmcd are supposedly quite bright, but I need not take chances since they must penetrate smoked plexi.
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  #11  
Old 06-16-2005
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ebay is the best place ive seen for cheap leds, but i hear the failure rate on em is much higher than store-bought. i bought mine from radio shack... theyre more expensive, but better quality imo. they are about 3.99 for two, and about 1.99 - 2.99 for a pack of like 5 or 6 resistors...
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  #12  
Old 06-16-2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barrman
does anyone have any experience using those el-glo wires? mark swares theyll light up pink... anyone know of ones that definitely dont look pink?
I've used EL wire, and it has a pretty nice glow to it. Also comes in a variety of colors. I have info on my webpage, but the hosting company seems to be down at the moment (very annoying).

Anyway, they also make an EL film which is quite nice. It's the same stuff they use behind cockpit instruments in Learjets. It has a uniform glow across the whole area.
http://www.luminousfilm.com/

BTW
My website referances using a place called www.elwirecheap.com to get your EL supplies. DO NOT under any circumstances use them. I just haven't gotten around to changing my site, but their stuff is dangerous. I had one EL inverter go out, and the replacement one they sent MELTED itself. They sell off brand Chinese inverters with absolutely no markings or UL/CE approval stamps. The thing could have burned down my truck if I hadn't been testing it before install. When I emailed them about it, they ignored me.
Once again, EL stuff works great, but please do not use this company.
OK, I'm done ranting
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  #13  
Old 06-16-2005
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mark, an idea for using the cathodes... i know on the ones that i got you could slip them out of the plastic case they are in. since you are going to mount them behind some plexiglass, right?, then you wouldn't need that protective case for them
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  #14  
Old 06-16-2005
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http://www.plasmaglow.com/index.asp?...rch&pid=833062


I sell these in store for $15 for a box of 4. Have had great luck. Install these on boats. Pretty bright when aimed right.
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