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Discussion Starter #1
I am about to try and build an economical, low-profile, low power lighted display for use with movie posters or customized marquee artwork. I know at least one other AVS person is interested in the low-profile approach - so I thought I would post here, and see if others are interested in following along or contributing. For me low profile means less than 2.5" deep (preferably less than
 

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cuzed2,

You can save some expense by going with a thinner, flexible overlay for the front instead of a rigid piece of acrylic. It's what is included in some low profile LED Edge Lit Poster Frames, standard non-illuminated Snap Poster Frames as well as Back-Lit Illuminated Poster Cases. I believe the actual material used most often for the overlays is PETG. Good luck with your project.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
As promised I have some of my experimenting photos to share. I originally started this idea thinking it would be a smaller format 24" x 36" entrance marque, and have since decided that going with the flexibility of a larger poster format would be best.


The photos below are to show the "diffusor qualities" of different materials (this was with cheaper readily available 24 x 36 fluorescent light lenses). Keep in mind that many poster boxes utilize the more diffuse florescent lighting, which is very good but, requires more depth and 115volts. I want low profile and low voltage, therefore the LED strip light route. Seems getting good diffusion from the small high intensity LED bulbs is the bigger challenge.


Here is my test layout:



Here's the 3 materials I have checked out:

1) the far left is the thin cheap prismatic lens sheets that go into a fluorescent fixture

2) the far right is a similar thin sheet called cracked ice or crackle

3) the one in the center is what I will likely use, it is a piece of 1/8" white acryllic



And a few comparisons, in a dark room, with no flash.


Here's #1 the sample on the left - the thin prismatic lens material :



Here's #2, the one from the far right, "cracked ice":



And #3, the one I will be going with a thicker (1/8") white acrylic panel:



And one more; with the inside edges of the sidewalls were covered with shiny aluminum tape
 

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Discussion Starter #5
With my diffusor material nailed down - it is obvious that I will need to add one (or two) more lengths of strip lights to fully even out the illumination. These LED strip lights come 300 lights to a 5M strip. 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).


Just before ordering a power supply I checked my electronics drawer and found this; a "wallwart", 12 volt 3Amp switching PS - PERFECT it's free (destined to have been in the trash on the next cleanup)

 

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IMHO, not nearly enough lights. I used 50' of LED rope light in my box and it was barely enough. Note that many of the double sided posters are very dark, so they need more light.


I really will try to post the one I built using the Spotlight displays snap frame tonight. It really is a nice setup and very easy to construct. Also easy to swap out posters.


It uses the spotlight displays front loading frame from here http://www.spotlightdisplays.com/mm5...tlightdisplays
 

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Discussion Starter #7
jayn_j,


Thanks this is good to know. At this point I was hoping 3 strings 50' (900 LEDS) would be enough - maybe not? I have also ordered a pretty dark double-sided poster for test purposes.


Just checked out the spotlight link - looks promising. I'm thinking this is something that could be mounted in front of a lighted open box of my own design. I'll wait to see if you can find and post any more details showing what you did.
 

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Craig, this thread is going to be a big time saver for me
BTW I am using the spotlight display front loading frames that jayn_j mentioned (already have the posters mounted) -- I'm then building a frame and lightbox around that in walnut.


Quick question: what was the source for your LED strips. The ones I used in my columns were relatively expensive but are *way* brighter than the cheap ones I picked up from ebay. The easiest way to tell would be the current rating for any given length.
 

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OK, here is one I haven't mounted yet. It was my first try. I have since used black frames instead of the silver here. The frame is the Spotlight Display wide frame in 27x40" size



Here it is lit up. As you can see, I need to tape the rope lights to the back of the frame better



This is a detail from the side, showing the frame mounted to the 2" deep lightbox



I have opened the frame here and removed the poster. This shows the detail of the rope light stuffed into the box



This picture shows detail of the Spotlight frame construction and also how it mounts to the front of the lightbox with screws.



This shows the detail of how I mounted the LED rope light to the box. My first attempt was to use the clips that came with the rope light, but I found that they tended to break and let the rope fall to the bottom. The current mounting uses 3/8" cable clamps. These are big enough to let the rope slide through and even out tension.



This shows the poster sandwiched between the two layers of PETG material. Note that the PETG is thin and frosted. The frosting serves two purposes. First, with the frosted side out, it provides a non-glare surface. Second, it provides sufficient diffusion, as long as the rope light is kept at least an inch behond the back of the PETG



Here is the poster inserted in place. Note, it is placed in the innermost channel.



The outer rails are then clamped down over the poster and PETG, creating a frame that can easily be changed out without removing the frame from the wall
 

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Discussion Starter #10
jayn_j,

Excellent tutorial - Thanks much for digging these up and sharing!! I'm sold and am now shifting direction. I'll be ordering one of these in black. I will then be trying to mount and surround it in hardwood!
 

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Discussion Starter #12

Quote:
Originally Posted by Moggie /forum/post/21612354


Craig, this thread is going to be a big time saver for me
BTW I am using the spotlight display front loading frames that jayn_j mentioned (already have the posters mounted) -- I'm then building a frame and lightbox around that in walnut.


Quick question: what was the source for your LED strips. The ones I used in my columns were relatively expensive but are *way* brighter than the cheap ones I picked up from ebay. The easiest way to tell would be the current rating for any given length.

Moggie,

I will be ordering a spotlight frame soon, also planning to trim it in hardwood. But can't decide between the wide or narrow (black) option? Any thoughts, or experience from your side?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by cuzed2 /forum/post/21618225


Moggie,

I will be ordering a spotlight frame soon, also planning to trim it in hardwood. But can't decide between the wide or narrow (black) option? Any thoughts, or experience from your side?

I think the wide looks more like the commercial lightboxes. However, the narrow ones will allow the lightbox sides to be closer to the edges of the frame. If you look at my pictures, you will see that the frame extends out a fair amount from the lightbox.
 

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I like the wide look, too. Where do you guys buy your posters? May have to build one of these. My theater has a clean look, but these would look good in a theater entrance.


Thanks for the good pictures.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperTal /forum/post/21623060


I like the wide look, too. Where do you guys buy your posters? May have to build one of these. My theater has a clean look, but these would look good in a theater entrance.


Thanks for the good pictures.

Lots of places. For classic posters, I buy a lot from a couple of auction houses.
www.emovieposter.com
www.movieposterbid.com


Heritage auctions also has regular poster auctions. There stuff tends to be higher priced, but they also tend to have the stuff you drool over. For example, the hobby is all abuzz over a pile of posters from 1931 that were being used to insulate an attic. Included in the bunch was an original Dracula. Speculation says this one will go for over $300,000.
http://movieposters.ha.com/c/item.zx...5&lotIdNo=9034


But you are looking for modern stuff, I guess. A good honest dealer is dale dilts (ddilts) who sells on ebay. Ebay is probably the easiest source, but you see a lot on craigslist as well. Movie posters are generally not sold directly to the public, so the best source is people who work at the theaters. They get the posters as perks. You can sometimes go to the multiplex and ask the manager for posters, or to hook you up with someone there.


Be sure to only get double sided posters for modern stuff. The single sided stuff is almost always poor quality repros and the real stuff doesn't cost any more.
 

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I am building a light box but i do not have any double sided movie posters just single sided....Will the single sided ones work for the time being ? Also why are double sided one better for light boxes and how many feet of rope light will i need ? Thanks
 

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Hey Craig I have been looking at those same LED strips from a different Ebay supplier but havent been able to get a response from them. Do you know how many of those "5M" strips can be daisy-chained together on 1 single power supply?
 

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Discussion Starter #18

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lt.Aldo.Raine /forum/post/21625697


I am building a light box but i do not have any double sided movie posters just single sided....Will the single sided ones work for the time being ? Also why are double sided one better for light boxes and how many feet of rope light will i need ? Thanks

I have heard that you will find that with single sided posters they will likely look washed out. As for how many feet of ropelight? I have heard that 50' might be on the edge of "not enough". See post above
 

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Discussion Starter #19

Quote:
Originally Posted by Iusteve /forum/post/21627665


Hey Craig I have been looking at those same LED strips from a different Ebay supplier but havent been able to get a response from them. Do you know how many of those "5M" strips can be daisy-chained together on 1 single power supply?

I really don't think you will want to daisy chain these together (like Xmas lights). IMO they should be connected in parallel - in other words home run each strip to the power source. The question then becomes: 1) What is the actual current consumed per each string, 2) what is the current output of your 12 volt source?


Example: For the initial string I purchased; I measured it and determined it's actual current draw is .5 amp, if you have a power source that will put out 4 amps >> you should safely be able to power 6 strings, and in theory maybe a maximum of 8 ( 4 divided by .5, if you believe the PS rating).


A note on these LED strip ratings; For the one I purchased the ad said it consumed 1.2 amps, when I measured it > I found it actually draws .5 amps (was a nice surprise). I have 3 more on order, and will let you know how they measure up..
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Iusteve,


Quick note: My power supply "says" it will put out 3 amps (we'll see). When my LED order comes in I will have 4 strips total. If they all really do measure .5 amps >> I should be able to run all 4 strips, pulling only 2 amps from a 3 Amp supply. I'll stop now
 
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