Originally Posted by cuzed2
I measured and found that my first strip draws just a bit less than .5 amp. Therefore; my worst case should be 3 strips at a total of about 1.5 amps (18 watts).
After enjoying a functional HT room with a plain back wall and entrance way for 5 yrs, always meaning to get around to dressing it up "soon", I'm finally making efforts to git 'er done. As part of the improvements, I'm planning on trying to build light boxes based on this thread. I've already bought 3 Spotlight frames, have them hung temporarily without light boxes, and love them.
I bought 12 spools of the lights from the same ebay seller (3528 5M rolls with 300 LEDs
) intending to build 3 frames. They just arrived after 10 days in transit from China and I tested the amperage on one spool. At room temperature start up, they were pulling 1.32 amps. It would go up about 1/100 every few seconds as the strip warmed up until leveling off at 1.43 amps. This seems to fit reasonable well with the stated specs of them being 2 amps, both of which makes me question the "a bit less than .5 amp" report. Is it possible it should have been "a bit less than 1.5 amp" and the "1" somehow got truncated? If so it would match up perfectly with my test. It just seems highly unlikely to me that the the actual current draw would be less than 25% of stated specs, and that 2 rolls of the same product from the same supplier would vary so much. Something's just not adding up.
Another thing that makes me question the accuracy of the 0.5 amp report is the later report of the hot power supply when connected to 4 strips. If the strips are running nearly 1.5 amps each, he had almost a 6 amp load on a 5 amp PS, which could explain it getting so hot. I didn't see any follow up on the problem by the OP of the problem. Was the actual problem ever determined to be something other than excessive load?
As I've thought more about the project, I think I am going to buy and use 5M strips with 150 LEDs instead of these with 300 LEDs per 5M, and use up to 6 strips (5 might be enough?). This would give me 900 LEDs total, and I'm hoping the 6 strips of 150 per 5M will pull the same amps as 3 strips of the 300 per 5M (the specs indicate it should). I think this will allow for a much more uniform, grid like spacing of the individual LEDs, instead of having LEDs more vertically concentrated with wider horizontal spacing. I think this will achieve a similar but more uniform brightness with 25% less LEDs compared to using 4 strips of the 300 per 5M style. If anyone is interested in the 300 LED style please DM me as I am going to resell mine due to switching to the 150 LED style.
A financial downside is the 150 style is roughly same price per 5M roll as the 300 style, and it takes more 5M rolls of the 150 style. But on the other hand, it looks like the 5A PS can only handle 3 rolls of the 300 style, meaning either the the spacing between strips in the frame will be wider than desired, or one must buy a bigger or 2nd PS to run 4 rolls of the 300 style which would cost more. So there is some offset in comparing costs. But to me, even if I spend an extra ~$20 on LED strips I consider it reasonable if it leads to more uniform lighting, fewer total LEDs (less heat and smaller PS requirements), and the total project cost will still be well under a commercial built light box.
Here's one seller of 3528 5M rolls with 150 LEDs per roll as an example: 3528 5M rolls with 150 LEDs
. I haven't had time to extensively shop and compare yet, so I'm not sure that I'll buy from this seller.
A question for cuzed2 if you are still around... what did you cover the sides with to hide the MDF? In the picture showing the switch, you can clearly see the contrast of the seam between the nice looking outer trim and the MDF behind it that doesn't look as good. On the picture of the finished product, the side view looks great and uniform all the way from front to back. Did you cover the sides with a laminate, or do something else to cover the MDF? I also want to thank you for sharing your work and allowing others to copy your ideas, and thanks to the other contributors as well.Edited by wadew59 - 2/5/13 at 9:35am