Another DIY poster/marquee light-box - Page 4 - AVS Forum
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post #91 of 401 Old 03-28-2012, 03:06 PM - Thread Starter
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One more tip :

Looks like you are both going with 4 strips (1200 LEDs). If so: I suggest you run them in vertical rows spaced 1.25" apart. Start in the center and work to the outside edges. You may have more than 1.5" on the far left and far right edges. However that 1.25" spacing should give you nice even light density thru the acrylic

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post #92 of 401 Old 03-28-2012, 03:29 PM - Thread Starter
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Clarification , I meant to say:
- find your vertical center line
- place one row 5/8" to the left of the centerline , and another row 5/8" to the right of the centerline then continue to the left and right on 1.25" centers. You may end up with a larger gap near the left and right edges, but that should not be noticeable . The 1.25" spacing will give the center 90 percent nice even illumination.

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post #93 of 401 Old 03-28-2012, 03:39 PM
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Thanks for that!

BTW anyone know how bad a single sided poster will look in these? There are some posters I would like to put in (Jaws, Star Wars) that I cannot seem to locate that are double sided. A few SW ones are out there but I am not paying hundreds of dollars for a poster.

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post #94 of 401 Old 03-28-2012, 04:13 PM - Thread Starter
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I tried a single- sided reproduction and it was washed out, so I ordered another and doubled them up. Was a bit tricky to get them aligned - but in the end worked out fine and still a lot cheaper than the more expensive double-sided original

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post #95 of 401 Old 03-28-2012, 04:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cuzed2 View Post

I tried a single- sided reproduction and it was washed out, so I ordered another and doubled them up. Was a bit tricky to get them aligned - but in the end worked out fine and still a lot cheaper than the more expensive double-sided original

So you bought 2 of the same and flipped one over?


BTW anyone ever thought of or tried making a "moving" LED style backlit poster.

What I was thinking was if this is possible is it might be cool to do it and have the green Matrix style poster in there and give it the appearance of it moving like in the movie.

No idea how to do it or if its possible, just kind of thinking out loud you know.

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post #96 of 401 Old 03-28-2012, 06:59 PM - Thread Starter
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Just stacked them - double thickness

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post #97 of 401 Old 03-29-2012, 10:11 AM
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Robert @ spotlight displays just told me he set up special for AVS members -- 10% coupon - AVSGUYS

So if you are on the hook now is a great time to order.

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post #98 of 401 Old 03-29-2012, 11:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GCS View Post

Robert @ spotlight displays just told me he set up special for AVS members -- 10% coupon - AVSGUYS

So if you are on the hook now is a great time to order.

Greg

That's great. Closing on my new home in 30 mins and will be heading over to take measurements so I know how many to order. Had 5 in my last theater and would like to maybe fit one more of I can.

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post #99 of 401 Old 03-29-2012, 01:38 PM
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Craig, did you just fold the strips at the ends? Can they handle being folded? Do you have a detail photo there?

Thinking about converting from the rope lights.
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post #100 of 401 Old 03-29-2012, 04:48 PM - Thread Starter
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Not so sure they can handle folding. I curved mine up onto the end-wall. Kind of a u-turn. There should be a photo in one of my earlier posts. Traveling now, but can send a fresh photo when I return next week, of needed. Let me know .

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post #101 of 401 Old 03-29-2012, 04:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cuzed2 View Post

Not so sure they can handle folding. I curved mine up onto the end-wall. Kind of a u-turn. There should be a photo in one of my earlier posts. Traveling now, but can send a fresh photo when I return next week, of needed. Let me know .

Thanks. Looked at the earlier picture, but couldn't decide if it was folded or bent up around the edge.
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post #102 of 401 Old 03-30-2012, 09:21 AM
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I have a question for you guys. I'm considering making a light box. I'm not a huge DIY'er, but I think I can tackle this.

What temperature LED would you recommend? As I understand 6500k is widely accepted as neutral white, but at the same time anything much over 3000k in a lamp in my house feels cold. Is 6000k fine for poster back lighting or is 3500k more acceptable... or does it make little to no difference at all considering a diffuser will be sandwiched in and the poster will create its own color?

Also, anyone ever put a dimmer in a light box? Maybe it's overkill, but I wonder if that would give any desired control when switching from a dark poster to a light or from a double sided to a single sided.

Cheers for all the light box information. Much appreciated.
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post #103 of 401 Old 03-30-2012, 04:02 PM - Thread Starter
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Not sure of the specific temperature involved; but I tried 2 different temp. LEDs
One was called warm, and the other "brite white". I preferred the brite white variation. I don't think these LED strips are dimmable.

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post #104 of 401 Old 03-30-2012, 05:49 PM
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Thanks, cuzed. The bright white is 6000k, I think, and I guess that would keep any given poster more neutral.

And I was thinking about this dimmer. I have no idea if it would benefit, but I thought about trying.
http://www.amazon.com/Dimming-Contro..._bxgy_hi_img_c

I just took my magnifying glass to the small print and this strip says dimmable!
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...cm_cr_asin_lnk

BTW, I saw your light box in another thread and I love your approach with the led lighting. I will try to emulate that. I think it's great.
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post #105 of 401 Old 03-31-2012, 11:20 AM - Thread Starter
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Adam,
Just looked at those links - interesting. let us know if this works as advertised?

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post #106 of 401 Old 04-03-2012, 07:41 AM
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My experience says that dimmable is not really an option as you need as much light as you can get in a well lit room.

Since Craig used 4 strips, you could construct the lightbox so that the individual strips interleaved and then simply have a switch to turn off half of them for instant dimming.
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post #107 of 401 Old 04-03-2012, 08:09 AM
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Thanks for the input, Jay. I'll be sure to let you guys know how this works out when I complete it.

I do have one other question. I think I want to get UV plexi for the box. I want to protect whatever is in there. Where would one recommend buying UV plexi? I was looking here.
http://www.professionalplastics.com/...SHEET-EXTRUDED

I saw another person (in another thread) use this place and he was happy, but I cannot find any documentation on the site if this is UV protected.
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post #108 of 401 Old 04-03-2012, 09:56 AM
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Hi
I've seen that almost all the posters have some sort of glass to protect them. Isnt that bad for acoustics?

I've been thinking of putting some (btw great job with that one).. but i dont know if it will mees up the acoustics
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post #109 of 401 Old 04-03-2012, 12:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oligorio View Post

Hi
I've seen that almost all the posters have some sort of glass to protect them. Isnt that bad for acoustics?

I've been thinking of putting some (btw great job with that one).. but i dont know if it will mees up the acoustics

Hi Oligoro,

You just opened a can of snakes, and will get lots of conflicting opinions on this one. It is basically one of those items where you trade off decor for performance.

First, dont place the poster at the first reflection point. You definitely want some damping there. In addition to the audio effects, you would see visual reflections from the screen off the poster glass from your seating position. If it is a lightbox, you will also see reflections from the lightbox on the screen.

I generally keep them further back. I also do not mount my lightboxes in the theater itself, but rather out in the lobby or entryway. If you keep them further back, it really is no worse than using untreated wall board.
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post #110 of 401 Old 04-04-2012, 10:11 AM - Thread Starter
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GCS / DaDeuce / All,

Anyone's parts come in yet, any progress photos; or better yet, any finished photos to share?

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post #111 of 401 Old 04-04-2012, 10:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cuzed2 View Post

GCS / DaDeuce / All,

Anyone's parts come in yet, any progress photos; or better yet, any finished photos to share?

Acrylic came yesterday.
Frames shipped today.
Posters are here.
LEDs and Power Supplies -- in La La Land -- seller says shipped, tracking shows nothing ... who knows.

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post #112 of 401 Old 04-04-2012, 11:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cuzed2 View Post

GCS / DaDeuce / All,

Anyone's parts come in yet, any progress photos; or better yet, any finished photos to share?

Got everything to begin building mine. I have my frames assembled already, going to pick up my melamine board tonight (Lowes by my work doesn't carry the 4x8' sheets), LEDs & Acrylic came in last week, and hopefully make some progress over the next few nights and will have 2 completed by the end of the weekend!

Probably would have finished this this weekend but I was in New Blue Orleans for the Final Four! (Go CATS!)

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post #113 of 401 Old 04-04-2012, 12:04 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaDeuce View Post

Got everything to begin building mine. I have my frames assembled already, going to pick up my melamine board tonight (Lowes by my work doesn't carry the 4x8' sheets), LEDs & Acrylic came in last week, and hopefully make some progress over the next few nights and will have 2 completed by the end of the weekend!

Probably would have finished this this weekend but I was in New Blue Orleans for the Final Four! (Go CATS!)

Sounds good - I mean your frames progress!

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post #114 of 401 Old 04-09-2012, 07:35 AM
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So I had a pretty busy weekend. We decided to paint the theater room before I started hanging more pictures and stuff. So my Saturday morning and afternoon was spent prepping and painting (I'll have before and after pictures of this later, haven't gotten around to taking any after pictures yet).

I was planning on buying Melamine for my backing, but my local HD only had it in ¾ thickness. That was going to be much too heavy, so I elected to go with ¼ plywood spray painted with a few coats of white instead of waiting 7-10 days to order 1/4 thick melamine. I wrapped the edges of the frame in reflective metal tape that you would use for duct work (be careful when using this stuff, I got a wicked paper cut from it!), attached my spray painted backings and then went to work on my LED strips. I soldered four 5m strips together to get the same effect that Cuzed did and proceeded to lay them out in a similar fashion. Once I plugged them in though I saw a noticeable problem: Strips number 3 and 4 in the chain showed a noticeable difference in light output as opposed to the first 2, they were much dimmer. Thinking this was odd, I took a piece of wire and jumpered the first solder point on strip #1 (the solder that was on the strip, not the point where I soldered 2 strips together) to my solder point between strips 3 & 4. Viola! All equally bright, so the power supply was definitely outputting enough juice. So I guess the lesson is that you can solder the strips together, but you will see a power drop across multiple strips. So I am going to spend the evening tonight de-soldering the connections between the 5m strips and inserting wires that all run back to the power supply.

Here is some pictures of the progress:

1. Picture with acrylic half over the light strips in the frame (you can see how the left is much brighter than the right, there are no lines on the left hand side, but on the right you can see some lines. The camera appears to embellish this, but there are no lines on the bright portion when you are looking at it.)

2. Picture with nothing over the light strips (again you can see the right is much darker than the left)

3. Teaser picture with The Dark Knight Rises Poster (again with the acrylic only half on the top):


Hopefully I will get both of these finished tonight or tomorrow and mounted by Wed/Thursday time frame.

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post #115 of 401 Old 04-09-2012, 08:23 AM
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DaDeuce,

Are you going to post the build pictures as well?
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post #116 of 401 Old 04-09-2012, 08:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rsmclay View Post

DaDeuce,

Are you going to post the build pictures as well?

I can, my layout is pretty similar to Cuzed's build. Is there something specific you want info or pictures of?

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post #117 of 401 Old 04-09-2012, 09:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaDeuce View Post

So I had a pretty busy weekend. We decided to paint the theater room before I started hanging more pictures and stuff. So my Saturday morning and afternoon was spent prepping and painting (I'll have before and after pictures of this later, haven't gotten around to taking any after pictures yet).

I was planning on buying Melamine for my backing, but my local HD only had it in ¾ thickness. That was going to be much too heavy, so I elected to go with ¼ plywood spray painted with a few coats of white instead of waiting 7-10 days to order 1/4 thick melamine. I wrapped the edges of the frame in reflective metal tape that you would use for duct work (be careful when using this stuff, I got a wicked paper cut from it!), attached my spray painted backings and then went to work on my LED strips. I soldered four 5m strips together to get the same effect that Cuzed did and proceeded to lay them out in a similar fashion. Once I plugged them in though I saw a noticeable problem: Strips number 3 and 4 in the chain showed a noticeable difference in light output as opposed to the first 2, they were much dimmer. Thinking this was odd, I took a piece of wire and jumpered the first solder point on strip #1 (the solder that was on the strip, not the point where I soldered 2 strips together) to my solder point between strips 3 & 4. Viola! All equally bright, so the power supply was definitely outputting enough juice. So I guess the lesson is that you can solder the strips together, but you will see a power drop across multiple strips. So I am going to spend the evening tonight de-soldering the connections between the 5m strips and inserting wires that all run back to the power supply.

Here is some pictures of the progress:

1. Picture with acrylic half over the light strips in the frame (you can see how the left is much brighter than the right, there are no lines on the left hand side, but on the right you can see some lines. The camera appears to embellish this, but there are no lines on the bright portion when you are looking at it.)

2. Picture with nothing over the light strips (again you can see the right is much darker than the left)

3. Teaser picture with The Dark Knight Rises Poster (again with the acrylic only half on the top):


Hopefully I will get both of these finished tonight or tomorrow and mounted by Wed/Thursday time frame.


Well what do you know!

Deuce I had the EXACT same experience. I built one this w/e as well -- let's call it a "prototype" since I made several mistakes and I was not super thrilled with the end result and will either put this one in a "hideaway" spot or redo it.

BUT .... I had the exact same results with the LED strips. Strands 1 and 2 - nice and bright, strands 3 and 4 -- dimmer and dimmerer. I was rather annoyed. The next 4 frames will be done with "home run" lines back to the main connector same as you. Lesson learned.


I am not sure if I will post "build progress" pics or not but I can tell you that I was pretty happy with the results and will list how my frames were made as well. Mine are tad different than the rest and probably done with slight overkill but so be it.

1 - Build a frame box of 1x3s - exact size of the Spotlight frame (roughly 30.5 x 43.5). Screwed these pieces together at the corners (be sure to drill first or the wood will crack for sure). Frame should be done with the "3" side being up vertically so that your box is roughly 3" deep.

2 - Build an inner box of 1x2s with the 2" side laying flat and facing you. These 1x2s simply attach to the 1x3s you already have in place BUT these attach at the "front" of the frame. These will provide you with a nice wide surface area to attach the spotlight frame to. This is probable overkill as the original 1x3 box could have been shrunk down to line up with the mounting holes in the frame but I just didn't like the look/support.

3 - I am choosing to use 1/2" plywood on the backs painted white on the inside as my back board from now on instead of the white board. I decided to do this as I need a good way to mount the box to the wall and felt the white board was too flimsly to put a screw through and then into stud. Rough dimensions would be the same as the main box 30.5" x 43.5".

4 - Paint the inside of the box gloss white.

5 - Paint the outside of the box flat black.

6 - Mount LEDs making "home run" wiring back to the actual power supply connection ... do not chain them together even though you can! Be sure to drill a hole in the side of the box to feed your connector wire through to the outside. I did not put in a switch since I will just have all of these plugged into the same power strip and will simply turn the strip on and off on its own.

7 - Assemble and attach the spotlight frame. The frame has holes in its 4 corners for mounting but I can tell you this it really needs a hole or 2 drilled in the middle for mounting as well. This only needs to be done IMHO due to light leakage. I had no leakage at the attachment points but in the middle where there wasn't anything screwed down I had leakage - simple thing to fix.

Frame assembly sucked as it took some time to get the frame edges aligned such that they didn't scrape or hang on each other. I am still not 100% pleased with it but I guess thats the way it is. I should mention this is not an issue with my box but more of the way the frame is assembled.

8 - Mount to studs on wall.

9 - Lay in white acrylic (a must IMHO opinion as it really spreads out the light evenly). Add poster, add clear MATTE side finish of spotlight frame to the top of the poster. Close up the edges.

10 - Turn it on, crack a beer (if you haven't already done so) and marvel and your accomplishment.


This list may change (i.e. refine itself) as I do my second one and correct my issues from my first build.

Tools used:

Drill and drill bits
Miter Saw
Table Saw or circular saw to cut large plywood pieces (or white board if you choose)
Hammer
Soldering Iron


Materials

1x3s
1x2s
1/2" plywood
Wood screws (mainly 1" #8 and 3/4" #8)
Wire
4 strips of LEDs per frame
5A Power supply
Spotlight wide frame in black
Flat Black Spray paint
Gloss White Spray paint
White Acrylic
Poster of your choosing


I would say my cost per frame will be around $250-$265 I think. I have to look at the #s again as I can't be 100% sure.

Time to build ... probably about 4-5 hours for my prototype since I wasn't 100% sure how I wanted to do it. Now that I have a plan I would say maybe 2-3 hours is more realistic. Plus I will cut all my wood first and then just make an assembly for the rest. Then paint all at once, then final assmebly.

If I can remember to take pics when assembling I most certainly will post them.

Hope this helps someone out.

Greg

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post #118 of 401 Old 04-09-2012, 03:52 PM - Thread Starter
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Gentlemen,

Good work & nice updates. Especially the info about NOT connecting the strips end-to-end in series. I did home-runs just to play it safe. You have both confirmed that home-run PS connections are a must. Looking forward to even more photos.

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post #119 of 401 Old 04-11-2012, 07:01 AM - Thread Starter
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I just realized I have my poster box documentation spread between two threads. So in the next post I will attempt to wrap up my effort by bringing the project summary together in one location, stay tuned..

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post #120 of 401 Old 04-11-2012, 07:16 AM - Thread Starter
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Two out of Three goals, isn't bad (like most things in life came in over budget)

Materials list & APPROXIMATE costs
(incl. shipping, your mileage and e-bay prices vary):

Spotlight poster frame
(I am told AVS members can now get a 10% discount)
$90.00

4 rolls LED strips
, pure-white #3528 (NON-waterproof, 5 meters/300 Led's ea) Just one of many ebay sources, ebay name: pitalm
item description: Pure White 5M 300LED 3528 SMD Flexible LED Light Strip
$50.00

12 volt, 3amp, switching PS (5 amp is better), I bought a 5amp unit on ebay. (you may already have one laying around)
$30.00

27 x 40 x .06 thick, pre-cut white acrylic diffuser material.

Evonik Industries, Acrylite, Satin Ice - white (or equivalent)
http://www.acrylite-shop.com/US/us/cutter.htm?$product=o5xxd6hw7og~p&comeFrom=detail
$44.00

1.5 thick particle board, 16'' x96, sold as stair riser (or MDF, or plywood). 1/8 (or ¼) white melamine (I bought a 4x8 sheet, enough for 3 frames)
$12.00

Optional; Oak trim for a surround
, for a formal frame look
$ 25.00

Switch and switch hardware
(optional)
$10.00

Total (w/switch and Oak trim) = $270.00


Construction basics:
The Spotlight frame http://www.spotlightdisplays.com/
is sold as a complete wall mountable, non-lighted frame. It is constructed in such a way that the frame rails snap open to allow easy poster exchange. These come in narrow (1.25), and wide (2.5) frame borders, and different finishes. I went with narrow / black because I would be making mine substantially wider by adding an Oak-frame surround. If you want a contemporary look; go with the wide version and skip the wood surround. These also come with two sheets of protective clear plastic overlays to protect the front and back surfaces of the poster. It will be necessary to exchange the back sheet with a 1/16 thick sheet of white acrylic diffuser material (see materials list), this is needed to spread out and diffuse the intense points-of-light from the LEDs.

The first step is to construct a light box
, we'll call it a spacer frame (with a white melamine back). This will position the LEDs a minimum of 1.25 back from the poster surface. My spacer frame was constructed from 1.5 thick particle board. You could also glue up 2 thicknesses of ¾ plywood (or mdf, or..)? This 1.5 stock is then cut to the appropriate width, and into 4 lengths that will be glued and brad nailed together to create a 1.5 thick spacer frame under the spotlight frames.

Then one needs to add a back:

I then used a dado blade to cut a ½ wide x 1/4 deep channel around the perimeter of the inside back edge of my particle board spacer frame. This allowed me to drop in the melamine back panel.

Illumination:

The 4 LED strips should be arranged in 17, 18, or 19 vertical stripes running the 40 height inside this spacer-frame-box you have just made. I went with 17 vertical stripes on 1.5 centers. If I were to do it over; I would go with 19 vertical stripes on 1.25 centers. The tighter spacing should make for a VERY EVEN lighted surface. The strip lights are made with a 3M adhesive tape backing that seems to bond very well to the white melamine surface. You will need to drill a hole for the power feed, and wire up your strip lights (and a switch if you prefer). NOTE: As others have discovered, it is better to home-run the power feed to each of these lighting strips. You can solder them together End-End (in series), HOWEVER it seems more than 2 strips in series results in a drop in brightness.

Next Marry the Spotlight frame to your spacer frame and make it pretty:

If you allowed the extra dimensions - now is to trim this up with hardwood trim of your choice. Or; if you had already chose to go thin & contemporary, simply finish the outside edges of your homemade spacer frame (black paint?). Then attach the spotlight frame to the front of your spacer frame.

Mounting:
I wall mounted mine by locating the frame to the wall, locating the studs, and after drilling pilot holes thru the frame assembly, ran 3 screws thru the whole affair, and into the wall studs.

Hopefully these photos will tell the rest of the story.
Good Luck and have fun - Please share photos of your variations!

Cuzed2
Check out a video of my theater here
CuznEddy Cinema
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