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Another DIY poster/marquee light-box - Page 12

post #331 of 395
I've read thru this thread twice and am impressed by the creativity and handywork by you guys. I am starting to purchase the parts to built my own poster light box, similar to the cuzed design. I can use a drill but not a saw, so I'll have my cuts done at the home improvement store.
I am still not clear on the power supply needed to run 4 LED strips in 2 "T" configurations. Can I use one of the laptop style ones like this:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/270895151649?ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1439.l2649#ht_852wt_952
Or do I need two since the LEDlands product description for the 5M strip says 18W. I don't want any overheating.

I think I will mount the power supply under the box and maybe add an outlet behind the box. With the spotlight frame extending outside the box this will not be visible. I want to keep the mini-connector if possible so if the supply goes bad it will be an easy swap out.
Should I use a female connector like this one:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/2-1mm-DC-12V-24V-Solar-Marine-Wire-connector-LED-light-Wire-MALE-FEMALE-adapter-/261135758655?pt=US_Lighting_Parts_and_Accessories&hash=item3ccce7753f

I found this neat LED junction box, but not sure I need it. It could be mounted in the box with a hole drilled below it for the male end of the power supply:
http://www.oznium.com/junction-box

I also want to incorporate a switch, which would need to go between the female connector to the power supply and the LED strips. Maybe something like this would work since it looks like an easy install and comes pre-wired.
http://www.oznium.com/rocker-switch
I may go with the insteon outletlinc like DaDeuce, since I am aready an insteon user.

Thank you,
Eric
post #332 of 395
Thread Starter 
Erich,

Thanks for the kind words. That PS you have linked to; the specs suggest that one will not be adequate. I like your idea of including a large frame overhang to hide your PS below the box and outside the wall.

Hopefully others here will chime in. Another person who claims to have found a good PS for 4 strips is Moggie. Maybe he can comment?
post #333 of 395
Eric - I have two frames, each powered by a 12V 5A 60W power supply, and these do get hot. I have some other RGB LEDs around my entrance; two strings powered by an 8A power supply, and this does not get warm. I realize that there is less load on the 8A supply and I haven't tried powering 4 strings with it, but I suggest an 8 - 15A power supply if you're trying to avoid heat buildup.

I just purchased an additional 8A supply yesterday on Amazon for ~$25 (probably not great quality). My guess is that a good quality 15A supply will keep heat to a minimum and should run you ~$75.
post #334 of 395
I am running 10a power supplies on each of my frames that has 4 strings of LEDs.

This was only way I could get the PS to not run hot or shutoff. The 10A ones are working great and have allowed us to enjoy our frames ... finally.

Greg
post #335 of 395
Quote:
Originally Posted by erichoya View Post

I found this neat LED junction box, but not sure I need it. It could be mounted in the box with a hole drilled below it for the male end of the power supply:
http://www.oznium.com/junction-box
I can see this junction box being very useful and looks small enough to keep out of the way. I'd mount the PS on top of the box, if possible, as heat rises and even with those that don't get too hot, there's still heat you don't want building up at the bottom.
post #336 of 395
Quote:
Originally Posted by erichoya View Post

I think I will mount the power supply under the box and maybe add an outlet behind the box. With the spotlight frame extending outside the box this will not be visible. I want to keep the mini-connector if possible so if the supply goes bad it will be an easy swap out.
Should I use a female connector like this one:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/2-1mm-DC-12V-24V-Solar-Marine-Wire-connector-LED-light-Wire-MALE-FEMALE-adapter-/261135758655?pt=US_Lighting_Parts_and_Accessories&hash=item3ccce7753f

If you are going to add an outlet behind the box anyway you might want to consider this: http://www.galesburgelectric.com/Carlon-SC300PRB-Recessed-Dual-Voltage-3-Gang-Old-Work-Plate.html. I've already bought these but haven't installed yet. I'm simply putting a solid/blank wall plate where they have installed the a/v connectors in the picture, and my ps will fit in this cavity behind the light box. But I'm making my boxes like cuzed2's in that the outer frame won't overhang the box, so hiding the ps with frame overhang is not an option for me.

Each PS I bought came with an adapter, but you can buy them separately for very little if needed, such as these: http://www.ebay.com/itm/5-pcs-Easy-Connectors-For-Led-Strip-Light-3528-5050-to-link-Adapter-Power-Supply-/151045145481?pt=US_Lighting_Parts_and_Accessories&hash=item232afe0389. Simply wire the LED strips to the end with the wire clamping screws and the PS round plug fits the other end.

The rocker switches you linked should work fine, but I wouldn't pick them solely because they come prewired with a 5" pigtail. In fact, I would remove that 5" pigtail if I needed a longer run to eliminate an extra splice. The fewer splices you have, the better. You can use most any cheap rocker, toggle, or push button switch. Just make sure it is rated for at least as many amps as the circuit (most will be, as this particular case isn't a very heavy load).
post #337 of 395
Thank you for all of the great responses. I ordered my frame last night from spolight.
Wade,
Did you decide on your light set up yet. Are you going with the 6 150 LEDs?

Greg,
Where did you get your power supply from? I'm glad this took care of your overheating problem.

I am considering just using three 5m strips.
If I cheat with the light box behind the frame then I should be able to hide the power supply behind it, maybe on top as suggested. My laptop power supply is 1 1/8" by 2".I may want to move the light box, so I don't want to cut the big hole for the in wall box.

Eric
post #338 of 395
Quote:
Originally Posted by erichoya View Post

Did you decide on your light set up yet. Are you going with the 6 150 LEDs?

I'm pretty sure I'll go with 6 of the 5M rolls with 150 LEDs/roll instead of using 3 of the 5M rolls with 300 LEDs/roll. Both options of course have the same 900 total LEDs per light box and thus the same power requirements. But the 6 roll option allows for more uniform distribution of the LEDs, and I'm thinking that will mean I can make the box thinner due to not needing as much distance for the light to diffuse. Since I'll have twice as many strips in the box which makes them much closer together, I'm also going to play with wiring every other strip together on a switch so that I can create a bright and dim option by turning every other strip off. The downside of the 6x 150/roll option is that it is a little more expensive and a little more work. But I like work... I can sit and look at it all day long. rolleyes.gif

I haven't gotten my diffuser sheets yet and I need them before I can experiment as I'd like to determine how thin I can make the boxes, if the dim option is viable, etc. I was going to get the material that cuzed2 pointed us to, but then got sidetracked by other posts in this thread leading me to consider an edge lit option with this material for a back panel: http://www.lucitelux.com/Lucite-Lux-Product?productID=10, which led me to consider this alternative diffuser material made by the same company: http://www.lucitelux.com/Lucite-Lux-Product?productID=11. I received some info from the manufacturer, which is headquartered about an hour or so from me. The bad news is that they won't sell a small quantity directly to individuals. I still need to shop for retail sources and prices. One interesting tidbit is that it comes in sheets measuring 51" x 108". I was expecting it to likely be 4' x 8' (48" x 96"). I think I may make a side lit box in addition to the back lit style and compare them side by side. Some of my boxes will be near wall corners such that traffic will be passing closely by the side of the box, so I want a thin box with a nice side finish.

I certainly understand not wanting to cut holes in the wall large enough for the recessed power outlet boxes I'm using. But in my case I'm planning on being in this house for near forever and always having the HT room where it is now. If the light boxes are not wanted in the future for some reason, the outlets might be able to be covered with plain framed picture/painting or some other wall art. And it's not the end of the world if the boxes need to be removed. A little sheet rock plug, mud, and paint is not a huge or expensive job. I bought a Hollywood Marquee in the "floating frame" style that I plan on recessing into the wall just above one of the light boxes, so I'll have some drywall work in the area to do anyway if we ever decide to sell the house or make major changes.
post #339 of 395
Quote:
Originally Posted by wadew59 View Post

I haven't gotten my diffuser sheets yet and I need them before I can experiment as I'd like to determine how thin I can make the boxes, if the dim option is viable, etc. I was going to get the material that cuzed2 pointed us to, but then got sidetracked by other posts in this thread leading me to consider an edge lit option with this material for a back panel: http://www.lucitelux.com/Lucite-Lux-Product?productID=10, which led me to consider this alternative diffuser material made by the same company: http://www.lucitelux.com/Lucite-Lux-Product?productID=11. I received some info from the manufacturer, which is headquartered about an hour or so from me. The bad news is that they won't sell a small quantity directly to individuals. I still need to shop for retail sources and prices.
Be sure to check out your local plastics distributors. I called around a couple places locally and was able to source my diffuser sheets for approx. $28 each. One of the places I called mentioned a sheet product that is similar to that Lucite Lux stuff, called Plexiglass ELIT, and it was only a few dollars more than the regular sheets.
Edited by blipszyc - 5/21/13 at 1:14pm
post #340 of 395
Thread Starter 
Makes me proud to see you guys raising the bar, and taking this thread to some new (edge-lit) designs !
post #341 of 395
I am going to Go with the moggie layout so I ordered 3 strips and interconnects so I can make 5 banks of 3, no soldering. What kind of wire should I use to hook everything up. 16 gauge seems to be the right size. Should I
Get some mono price speaker wire. Stranded is fine. I'll probably just use in line crimp connectors or nuts, plenty of electrical tape. Maybe shrink wrap.
I'll probably go with an 8 amp power supply.
If you guys are running power out the bottom then how do you get the cord to your recessed outlet with the box flat on the wall.
Thanks, E
post #342 of 395
Quote:
Originally Posted by erichoya View Post

I am going to Go with the moggie layout so I ordered 3 strips and interconnects so I can make 5 banks of 3, no soldering. What kind of wire should I use to hook everything up. 16 gauge seems to be the right size. Should I
Get some mono price speaker wire. Stranded is fine. I'll probably just use in line crimp connectors or nuts, plenty of electrical tape. Maybe shrink wrap.
I'll probably go with an 8 amp power supply.
If you guys are running power out the bottom then how do you get the cord to your recessed outlet with the box flat on the wall.
Thanks, E

Well, soldering is by far the best way to get a long lasting reliable connection. The other methods you mention will corrode over time. Best solutions are wire nuts and solid wiring, or the crimp type with teeth that bite into the metal.

Again, I can't believe how you folks are choosing power supplies on a hope and prayer. Measure the current draw, or just overkill with the 10A supply.

You don't bring the wire out the bottom. You bring it out the back where the junction box is.
post #343 of 395
Quote:
Originally Posted by jayn_j View Post

Well, soldering is by far the best way to get a long lasting reliable connection. The other methods you mention will corrode over time. Best solutions are wire nuts and solid wiring, or the crimp type with teeth that bite into the metal.

Again, I can't believe how you folks are choosing power supplies on a hope and prayer. Measure the current draw, or just overkill with the 10A supply.

You don't bring the wire out the bottom. You bring it out the back where the junction box is.

Thanks for the "advice". I'll probably put in a recessed outlet box behind the box, but it does not appear to me the everyone designs their box with room behind the box for the cord. Even with a recessed box you need some room behind the back panel. So I want to see how other people have set this up. Here is an example to illustrate what I am talking about:

Believe that I have read thru this thread, surfed to the end of the web, and calculated out the power requirements. I am seeing maybe 2Amps per strip so to give me a 25% cushion I think 8amps.
E
post #344 of 395
Sorry my advice didn't suit you. Did my best. Best of luck on your project.

if You look at my box back in response 6, you will see that I mounted the backer board behind the 1x2 pine strips. I then notched the board and let the cord hang down. Not a final solution, but it works where I have it currently hanging. The thing is that everyone's installation is a bit different and you need to do what works for you.
post #345 of 395
I have not received my poster frame yet, but wanted to get started. I used DaDeuce's measurements, minus an inch for the 40" frame and built my box a little while ago. I am still deciding what to use for the back. I think I may build a thin 2" deep box around the box to give me the space behind the backer that I want.
I looked for wire at HD, but not sure what to use to connect the 5 banks together and then that connection to my female power plug (I still am need to locate one, maybe radio shack has it). Undecided about the switch, but that could always be added later. My light strips will be here tomorrow.
E
post #346 of 395
Not sure if this will post or not:
Guess it didn't work. Here's a still:


Click here for the full version.
Edited by blipszyc - 5/22/13 at 6:30am
post #347 of 395
Thread Starter 
WOW!
That looks great! How many LEDs inside that beauty?
post #348 of 395
Quote:
Originally Posted by cuzed2 View Post

WOW!
That looks great! How many LEDs inside that beauty?
0! I used 2 36" fluorescents inside and G40 bulbs around the frame.
post #349 of 395
Thread Starter 
WHAT no LEDS !!
Just pokin at ya - still looks great - nice job
post #350 of 395
Thread Starter 
So I assume you are using a diffusor panel to even out the illumination?
Curious; what is the overall thickness?
post #351 of 395
My poster frame from spotlight arrived tonight. I did a test fit and my light box was an inch short of the Mounting holes. I was taking a chance just using DaDeuce's measurements and building before the frame arrived. I'll just have to add a top piece to the frame. Problem is there will be a small amount of the top of the box protruding at the top of the poster below the poster frame, maybe 1/2 inch. Well see if I need to file this down or if the diffuser just spreads the light there. Power supply, posters (casino royale and anchorman), wire, and mounting bracket for my switch are en route. I have to buy the diffuser still. Will be pretty busy the next couple of weeks so not sure when I'll have this finished.
post #352 of 395
Quote:
Originally Posted by erichoya View Post

My poster frame from spotlight arrived tonight. I did a test fit and my light box was an inch short of the Mounting holes. I was taking a chance just using DaDeuce's measurements and building before the frame arrived. I'll just have to add a top piece to the frame. Problem is there will be a small amount of the top of the box protruding at the top of the poster below the poster frame, maybe 1/2 inch. Well see if I need to file this down or if the diffuser just spreads the light there. Power supply, posters (casino royale and anchorman), wire, and mounting bracket for my switch are en route. I have to buy the diffuser still. Will be pretty busy the next couple of weeks so not sure when I'll have this finished.

Just a thought, but you might want to check and see if they sent you a frame for the older 27x41" posters instead of the newer 27x40" one. AFAIK, all double sided posters that are best in lightboxes are 27x40.
post #353 of 395
Quote:
Originally Posted by cuzed2 View Post

So I assume you are using a diffusor panel to even out the illumination?
Curious; what is the overall thickness?
I didn't have a chance to take exact measurements, but I'd guess they're just under 4 inches deep from wall to front of frame.

Here's what I did for my regular lightboxes:
Using "white wood" from HD, I cut lengths to the appropriate size and ripped them from 3.5" to 3":


I didn't care too much about the hardware so I just butted the ends together and used wood screws to secure. I then attached a 1/4" thick piece of backer board that I had HD cut to size for me.



I then mounted the fluorescent sockets, ballast and power cord into the box, covered it with foil, painted the outside black and mounted the snapframe (Wide) to the box...



For a diffuser, I used White Plexi #2447. Here are the first 2 - I made 6 total like this.



For my "Marquee" lightbox I basically followed the same premise as the others, but used a Narrow frame, added the outside trim and internal electronics (Elation T4 chasing controller) for the light effect:


Drilled 1/2" holes in the trim for the bulbs


Outer frame to hold and support the trim




Drilled 3/4" holes in the back of the trim to fit the socket


Cut the tops off of C7 christmas lights to fit in the back of the trim


Using 2 strings, alternated sockets for the "chasing" effect.


Animated Link
post #354 of 395
Thread Starter 
Very Nice !!!
Thanks for posting and sharing these ideas. Those chasing frame lights really are slick.

My only concern might be the amount of heat generated if forgotten and left on for long periods of time (although I'll bet you have already made sure of that worry)
post #355 of 395
Quote:
Originally Posted by cuzed2 View Post

My only concern might be the amount of heat generated if forgotten and left on for long periods of time (although I'll bet you have already made sure of that worry)
The chase lights should be fine as they are outside of the frame and are only 7W each. For the fluorescents, I drilled air holes in the top of the frame (that you can't see of course) that allow the lights to "breath." I can't imagine the lights give off any more heat than the power supplies for the LEDs, and since I would need to hide either inside the frame, I would need to ventilate it anyway. At my old house and theater I had purchased a lightbox that also used fluorescents and they basically did the same thing - ventilation holes on top. I had that one powered on for 5-6 hours straight with no issue and no apparent damage to the poster. Even so, I can't anticipate forgetting these are on as they are right outside my theater and my wife is a stickler for turning off lights. smile.gif
post #356 of 395
Quote:
Originally Posted by jayn_j View Post

Just a thought, but you might want to check and see if they sent you a frame for the older 27x41" posters instead of the newer 27x40" one. AFAIK, all double sided posters that are best in lightboxes are 27x40.

It says 27x40 on the frame. I'll just add a top piece and should be ok. I ordered the acrylite sheet and am thinking of buying some reflective tape to lay in between my led strips:
http://www.homedepot.com/p/3M-Tekk-Protection-2-in-x-36-in-Reflective-Tape-PN03440/202688506#.UaApBMu9KSM
I may not have time to finish this for a few weeks, but looking forward to getting it on the wall.
post #357 of 395
Blipszyc, Your light boxes look great. I'll have to think about just laying the foil tape down in between my strips rather than buying the reflective tape.
I started putting in my led strips which do not stick that well to the plywood. There are some areas of the strip that tend to bulge out and even though I pressed them down flat, the memory in the strips is lifting them off a bit. Using white electrical tape to hold a few areas down. Hopefully tomorrow I can get my top piece extension on and the leds wired up. E
post #358 of 395
Hi, I read this entire thread and was inspired to create something similar, I didn't want to go for a full poster though so I decided to create something different, and this is the end result (though the images don't do it justice)




There are more images as well as build images and places to get some of the materials in the UK at http://fanart.tv/2013/05/custom-made-doctor-who-lightbox-poster/ for anyone that is interested.
post #359 of 395
Kode,
Great job with your light box.
I got mine lit up tonight, finally. I still have to do a little wire management so I have not attached the spotlight frame yet. I need to cut off the connector from my power supply and hard wire it, right now I have a spliced in female connector. Notice the switch at the bottom right.
Thanks for looking. E
post #360 of 395
Thanks erichoya, I'm really pleased with it, the only slight annoyance is because it's only printed on 1 side and the 120 leds / metre are so bright, I might need to dim it a touch, though not sure if you can do that.
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