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You can also use a small plastic storage container ( a little bigger than a shoebox). Turn it over so that the lid is down and the bottom is up. Take the lid add some wood / plastic blocks as feet (5 or 6) you will need some support under or next to the power supply. These are to hold the container up off the ground these blocks are mounted to the lid top side which is touching the table with the box siting upside down. attach the power supply to the lid (double sided tape works) to the opposite side of the lid that you mounted the feet (the power supply will be inside the box). You can have the power supply fan vent out the bottom if you want (you will need to cut a circle for the fan and the power cord if you do that). Cut holes for your wires both power cord and out going wires. Add a few ventilation holes in the lid as well. Silicone the lid to the bottom of the container (make sure all power and wire connections are complete first)
Do you happen to have a picture of this by chance?
 

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I don't have a picture, but I used Hillshire Farms cold cuts containers. They're about 6" long and 3" high and come with a plastic snap-on lid.

I actually didn't get as fancy as hpropman suggested by using silicone caulk to seal the container, but I probably will next year. I drilled holes in either end of the container so that the power source line for the plug-n-play box comes in one side while all the lines going out to the LED spots come in the other side.

Because of the size of the container, though, I had to lay the PnP box on its side so that it and all the RCA jacks would fit (a deeper style container would negate having to do that). It obviously didn't affect performance at all.

Until Hurricane Sandy blew everything away, the system worked flawlessly and it really was so simple to hook up all the lights this year. Next year I'll be expanding the system and making things more uniform: I'm going to have the wires from each spotlight and box a uniform length (about 6-ft. I'm thinking) that way there should always be a connection within reach of a light and/or prop. This year I made the wires from the LEDs as long as I needed them (one was about 20-ft. long!).

Rich
 

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UPDATE: The resitor values below are the Closest available values available from Asia engineer that I found on thier site. The calculator says that these values are at the lower limit of acceptabe but the did just fine for mine.
100 Ohm resistors for White, blue, green and pink. (Free) These are also at the low end of what's acceptable, but they didn't have a closer match. Mine work fine at this value.
360 Ohm for Reds, and Ambers. Also at the lower limit, but they work fine for mine.

To help insure you get the correct resistors, At the bottom of the order page there is a space for a note. Specify the resistors you want for EACH COLOR that you order. Once you complete your order, Back up the request by sending another note to "Giorgio" through E-bays "Contact this seller" with the same information. REQUEST CONFIRMATION of your resistor values. Eg- "Please send 100 Ohm resistors for Whites. Please send 360 Ohm resistors for Reds. PLEASE CONFIRM RESISTOR ORDER", Etc. Remember you are ordering a product from Asia and thier english is a little limited, so use simple language, Be concise, and use common words.
I just ordered from Asia today - they only carry (right now) 390 Ohm resistors just as an FYI. I am assuming they will be fine because they are rated higher correct?

Other than that - so far great to deal with! Can't wait for the shipment and of course collecting bottle caps and other supplies!
 

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I've been saving bottle caps since I found this thread. Time to start using them! My lighting needs all the help it can get, so I need to muster the courage to face my LED virginity fears.
 

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Discussion Starter · #86 ·
I just ordered from Asia today - they only carry (right now) 390 Ohm resistors just as an FYI. I am assuming they will be fine because they are rated higher correct?

Other than that - so far great to deal with! Can't wait for the shipment and of course collecting bottle caps and other supplies!
Yes 390 Ohm resistors are fine. I have had some trouble with the pinks burning out so if you plan on using some from Asia Engineer, "Up" the value on your resistors a little .

Ok so here north of the board...thin wall PVC is a non existent...I am going to try and use
http://www.homedepot.ca/product/schedule-40-pvc-45186-bell-end-elbow-150-3-4-inch/954549

I am trying to find something to mount the light fixture as PVC caps are hard to find as well....

The 1" types fit bottle caps but are around 2.19 each

Any thoughts?
I would bet you can order those pipe caps Online by the case through Lowes or HD. Otherwise You still mighgt be able to order the pipe into your local store. Many times the Thinwall is accidentally placed in the "Thick" wall rack, so double check before you try to special order thinwall pipe. And check both "Big" stores

I've been saving bottle caps since I found this thread. Time to start using them! My lighting needs all the help it can get, so I need to muster the courage to face my LED virginity fears.
Oh yoiu'll be fine... The first few will be tentative.... and TEST TEST TEST till you feel confidant. Don't build a ton and find you you wired them backwards.

Now, with that said I am experimenting with a new supplier. MUCH Stronger LED's. If the Values work out I'll post my results and ordering info.
 

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Discussion Starter · #87 · (Edited)
I am very encouraged by the new generation of inexpensive LED's. I have been experimenting with the new disc type (1W 3W and I want to try some 10 Watts). With those you need to buy LED Drivers, but the light output might justify the extra expense and power savings.

I'm also doing a fresh comparison of the new generation 5mm VS the new generation 10mm's. It seems that the new stuff is exponentially brighter and something to continue experimenting with. I am VERY Encouraged by the results I am finding. I have to wait for some orders to arrive to experiment further, but I believe that LED's might finally be able to compete (A little) with incandescents. They are still lacking if you want to compare brightness to 150w floodlights... but Man they are quickly advancing in thier brightness. I'm PSYCHED!!

The downside is that I am now fighting heating issues with some configurations in our hacking universe... Seems that LED's are't exactly the Cool Gems they used to be... They still BLOW all other light forms away for brightness vs Power consumption though. So the Beat goes on.. I'll figure it all out and report as my winter hours allow me to tinker.
 

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Discussion Starter · #88 · (Edited)
Ok so here north of the boardEr...thin wall PVC is a non existent...I am going to try and use
http://www.homedepot.ca/product/schedule-40-pvc-45186-bell-end-elbow-150-3-4-inch/954549

I am trying to find something to mount the light fixture as PVC caps are hard to find as well....

The 1" types fit bottle caps but are around 2.19 each

Any thoughts?
Hi Again Nathan, I really didn't give your post enough thought when I first read it. The "Sport of Haunting" is a down and Dirty sport (hobby, Past-time, Passion, Whatever it is), You need to Do what you need to do to get 'er done. I no sooner completed this tutorial and I was creating new techniques to make these lights because the bottle caps that really worked well were becomming non-existant (Extinct). I'm still searching for something inexpensive.... but damn,.... those particular bottle caps were the bomb. Hopefully they are sill available. They were discontinued because they used a tinsey bit more plastic than the newer versions. and since Billions of caps are used, a 1 cent savings per 100 made a difference. Macro Econimics on a massive scale...Hopefully we can find a new version that is still inexpensive..
 

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Well I finally finished up my first few lights following this tutorial and thanks to niblique they have turned out amazingly well - I also incorporated the "plug and play" system.

For anyone having trouble finding thin wall pvc - I ended up using 45 degree 1" and 3/4" electrical conduit. When I first started I was able to find PVC caps that fit the 1"....and than I thought about grinding out the 3/4" with a dremel and being able to use all my bottle caps (Pepsi products). My cost is definitely a little higher (1.60$) per light but overall still what I was looking for and with some flexibility.
 

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I've been building my first set of these for the past week and a half, and found a way to make the newer bottle caps work better. I put a small dab of latex caulk on the inside of the thin wall PVC before I put the bottle caps in. This seals the fixture against rain, and also serves to glue the bottle cap into place. I use 3mm pre-wired LEDs from Lighthouse LED. I can get 9 LEDs into a bottle cap, and I seal them all in place with hot glue.

I am working on a slightly different Vampire clip design. If I decide to implement it, I will share here.
 

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Okay, I have encountered an interesting question with this. I currently have a landscaping lighting transformer that I was going to use with floodlights like these. My only thing slowing me up is that it's output is 12VAC, and I know you are supposed to use 12VDC. Is there any way to use this thing, or is the money wasted?
 

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Not sure what brand you have but I used my old Malibu transformers for power on my home made LED lights. Just have to connect the wires correctly and I had no issues with it.
 

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What an incredible thread! Thank you for this enlightening tutorial. I have always been about creating awesome effects for nearly free and this is about the best tutorial I've found so far! Can't wait to start making these!
 

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You can get all the wood you need for free by picking up a few pallets with 3/4 ot thicker boards. you can rip them apart with crow bars or just cut them out with a circular saw cutting parallel to the 2 x 4s that the boards are nailed to. This will normally get you two pieces 12-15 inches plus any overhang on the outside of the 2x4 if there is any. that should give you 5 to 6 bases per board times the number of boards salvaged from the pallet.
A note about dismantling pallets... Most are nailed together with screw shank nails and are impossible to pry apart (hence the reason they use them for durability). The best type of saw to use is a sawzall (or reciprocating saw) with a metal cutting blade. Trust me. You can break down a pallet in about a minute or two.
 

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This is an unreal how-to. Major props for taking the time to write such a detailed thread.

I have a few old wall warts lying around. One is a 24VDC 400mA, could I use this to run a system? Would I have to use different resistors?
 
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