Here's my write up (be warned there is a lot of pictures!!!) Let me know if anything is unclear.
Parts List (This is to make 1 frame setup):
- Your Favorite movie poster
- Spotlight Wide Boarder Frame
- 2 pcs 1x2 popular boards, 6' Long
- 1 sheet 4'x8' 5.0mm multipurpose plywood (This is enough for 3 frames)
- 3M Metal Duct Tape (3 wide)
- 1 Can of white spray paint
- 1 quart of black paint (optional, I had some left over from my screen)
- 1 & ¼ Wood Screws
- 20m of Led stripes (I purchased mine in 5m increments, again DO NOT solder together in series as you will see a voltage drop and dimming on the final 2 strips)
- 5V Power supply
- Power Supply Adapter
- Thin gauge wire (black & red) I used 22 ga
- Picture hanging wire and I-hooks
- MonkeyHangers (These things are slick!, but they are optional, any standard picture hangers should work, need 2 per frame)
- Insteon Controlled Power Outlets (optional)
- Wiremold paintable wire covers (optional)
- Table/Panel Saw (If you want to cut the wood for yourself, I had Lowes do it for me)
- Kreg Jig
- Paint brush
- Soldering Iron
Cut each 6' 1x2 into the following: One board 41.75 long and one board 27.25 long (I had Lowes cut these for me)2.
Assemble your basic frame with the boards you just cut. Place the shorter 27.25 boards on the insides of the of the 41.75 board. You want the 1 side all facing up or out as they would be in the frame. I used the kreg jig to do this (see pictures below) with just screws. You can do this however you want (nails, old fashion screws and glue, corner or angle braces, duct tape, etc.), however keep in mind that you will be inserting screws into both of the 1 faces to attach your spotlight frame and your ply wood backing.3.
Cut your plywood panel into sections that are 41.75 by 28.75. This should be sized perfectly to the frame you just built. (I had Lowes cut this for me as well, you should be able to get 3 of these panels + scrap out of the 4' x 8' sheet) Do not attach the back to the frame yet.4.
Spray paint one side of the plywood panel white (I did 2 coats). This helps with the reflectivity of the inside of your light box to make sure that you get as much light as possible through your poster.5.
While your back panel is drying take your 3M reflective tape and wrap the inside of the frame. Again this just helps with reflectivity. Be careful with this tape as it feels like tinfoil, but it is MUCH sharper. I got a good paper cut on one of my index fingers from this guy. I cut my tape slightly longer than the inside parts of the frame and just folder it over the sides.6.
Now it's time to marry the reflective frame that you have built to the spray painted white panel. Lay your frame on your work bench, floor, or whatever surface you are working on, then lay your rear panel (white side down) on top of it. Starting in one corner drill and screw the back panel to the frame working away from the first corner ensuring that you are removing and bows/light gaps between the 2 as you go. I ended up putting 5-6 screws down each long side and 4 across the top and bottom. Over kill for just screwing, but it helps eliminate any light gaps7.
This next step is optional. Depending on where you are hanging your finished product, your back frame might be visible from the sides. So to minimize the visual impact of seeing the frame, I painted both the sides and the top of the frame with a flat black paint. I did this after assembling the frame to ensure the edges of the plywood panels also got the black treatment as well.8.
After your black paint is dry, you'll want to either notch out your frame in one of the bottom corners, or drill a hole large enough for the cord for your power supply adapter to fit into. I went with the notch out route.9.
Now on to the fun part-> the LED's themselves! Remember that each LED string will need its own home run back to the power supply. Since we can no longer use the quick connect end of our power supply adapter, let's go ahead and clip it off. Set that aside for now. Our Spotlight frame is going to cover ~5/8 into each side of your light box, so you need to place your first string of lights just north of 5/8's from the long edge of the box. I used a tape measure and a pencil to keep my runs of led's straight. Run the Led strip the entire length of the box, and before looping against the side of the box, measure 1.25 from the edge of your first run to mark your second run. Continue this process until you get to the end of the 5M run.***Tip***
Just because you can't solder all the strips together does not mean that you cannot solder your home run to 2 strips of 5m runs. So it is important at your points where you have to change to a new strip that you position it correctly that you can solder your wire to the correct leads on the led. This will allow you to make 2 home runs instead of 4. This makes your final wiring back to the power supply adapter much easier (2 wires to 1 instead of 4 to 1)***Tip***
You'll want to ensure that when you make your curves that you make sure the led strip is all the way to the bottom of the box. This will give you plenty of room to run your home run wires over the leds on the bottom of the box without interfering with too much.10.
Continue running strips until you have used all 4 of your strips, should have ?? vertical strips. If you get to the end you can do like I did and start a run around the outside of the box.11.
Solder your home run wires between runs 1 & 2, and 3 & 4.12.
Run your home run wires back to the notch in your frame you made for the power supply adapter. Connect your home runs to the adapter cable (wire nuts, solder, quick connects, etc.). At this point plug your adapter into the power supply and ensure that all your Led's are working and appear to have the same brightness. Ensure that you wrap everything inside the cabinet in electrical tape.13.
Insert your power adapter into the notch. I put electrical tape over the notch to help keep it in place. I also used electrical tape to hold the home runs into place into the corner.14.
Using the holes that the Spotlight frame has for mounting to the wall, mount the frame to the spotlight frame. I again used 1 & ¼ wood screws. Ensure that you do not drill through any wiring.15.
Mount the power supply to the bottom of the frame. Allow enough cord to be loose so your able to reach a power outlet without stressing the frame/cord. I used small nailed cable clips and twist ties to roughly hold everything into place.16.
Mounting to the wall: I went with the Eye hooks and wire on the frame. I drilled one hole on each side of the frame (~8 from the top) and inserted eye bolts. Then I ran a steel wire between the 2 Eye-bolts . For the wall side I used (2) 35 lbs rated Monkey Hooks spaced approximately ¼ of the way from each outside edge. These Monkey Hooks are easy to install and move and leave little damage to the wall if you do end up needing to move them.17.
Insert you poster acrylics into the frame. Make sure the white piece is in the back, then the poster, then the spotlight supplied piece.***Tip***
Both the spotlight pieces and the acrylic have protective films on them. The spotlight piece only on one side, the acrylic on both. See attached picture but these need to be remove or you won't get the expected brightness out of them.18.
Plug your frame in. I am using Insteon controlled power outlets to control each frame. This allows me to program them so that I can have them turn off/on with my light switch (also insteon) at the bottom of my stair case (My theater is in a bonus room over my garage). It also allows me to control them through an insteon IR adapter so that when I push play or power on on my Harmony remote it turns all of my lights off (it's a bit too bright with all 4 of my frames on while trying to watch a movie).19.
To help hide the cords that are a ways away from my outlets I used some paintable wiremold wire covers. This gives it a final touch of clean to improve the WAF effect.20.
Enjoy and move on to your next theater project! (I think I am running out of things to do???? Suggestions?)