And there was Light

Andrew came by last night, and I think it was the first time we have ever achieved what I’d hoped in the time available.

At first it didn’t look like we would achieve anything. We opened the container of contact cement that I’d bought on Sunday, and found it had gone off. Looking at my watch, I realized Rona was open for another half an hour, and so, we raced down there. They accepted it back without a receipt, despite their policy. Thank-you Rona on First in North Van. I’ll continue to spend my average $50/week with you!

What was with the contact cement, you ask? Well, several others (see Morris and following comments) have found that the tape on the back of these LED strips doesn’t stick all that well. Alan suggested clamping, but it is not a convenient spot to clamp. So, instead, we coated the surfaces where the lights should stick with two layers of contact cement. Then, once that was set, we pressed the lights into the cement. Time will tell if this is sufficient; it seems like most people find the failures start in a few days.

There are four strips:

  • a warm white and a cool white on a 45 degree profile board behind the fascia
  • a cool white on a 30 degree profile board about 5 inches in from the fascia
  • a cool white pointing straight down about three inches in from the backdrop

We installed the front strips first. With these in place, we played around with the rearmost strip until we were happy with the shadows on the backdrop; then we marked this location, masked for the contact cement and installed that one. Finally, we played with the middle strip until we were happy with the light, and mounted the 30 degree profile board, which had already been coated with contact cement, and then installed the strip.

I should thank Leo Starrenburg for the idea for the profile boards. Particularly on the front strips, they make a huge difference in the amount of light that actually gets into the layout space. I determined the angles by first checking the shape of the light cone emitted from the strips. Then, I worked up a quick diagram and predicted where the lights should go from that. Finally, there was a little bit of art in finalizing the exact locations, and that was done on the spot.

The four strips of LED lights are now up. Permanently. Well, at least I hope so. If you don’t see anything else on this topic, they’re still up!


2 thoughts on “And there was Light

  1. Hi Rene,

    Jjust wondering what type of LED strips did you use ie 3528 or 5050? Apparently the 5050 are 3x as bright as the 3528 ones. Just looking at some myself at the moment.



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