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Modifying an LED T8 light tube to fit my ant cabinets


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9 replies to this topic

#1 Offline dspdrew - Posted January 29 2017 - 10:01 PM

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So I got tired of having bulky clip on lights in my way all the time when working in my ant cabinets, or having to wear a head lamp in order to see what I'm doing. I started looking for under-cabinet lights that would fit under the shelves of the cabinets, but those are almost all at least $25, no matter how small, unless you want to get some crappy fixture that hardly gives off any light at all. I decided my best bet was to just get some of the 4 foot T8 light tubes I've been replacing all my fluorescent bulbs with. These things are only 10 dollars a tube, and give off about 2310 lumens each.
 
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Took off the ends and removed the prongs.
 
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All disassembled.
 
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Removed the protective covering on the rectifying circuit.
 
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Removed the stock power wires and soldered on a single long cord.
 
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Put the protective covering back on.
 
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Looking at the traces on the back of the LED strip, I could see they divided it up into 5 parallel sets of 24 series connected LED's. The rectifying circuit puts out about 100 VDC, so that's a little under 4 volts per LED. Based on the layout, I should be able to cut any multiple of 24 LED's off the strip and it should still work.
 
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Cut off 2/5's (48 LED's) of the strip, bringing it down to 28 inches. This will be the longest size that will still fit in the cabinet.
 
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Wrapped the end with electrical tape to keep the sharp aluminum from cutting into the wire's insulation.
 
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Put the ends back on after drilling and joining two holes on the side where the power cord is going to come out. I also drilled the hole that will be used to hold the magnet mounts on.
 
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Used pop rivets to attach the magnets.
 
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All done. :)
 
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Here they are mounted under the shelves and turned on.
 
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#2 Offline Loops117 - Posted January 30 2017 - 5:35 AM

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Whoa buddy. Now i see what you mean. Those lights couldn't have turned out any better, and your cabinet is starting to take a "professional" form. Really like it, and great idea for that foam. I would have never thought of that, and i have lots of it.


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#3 Offline sgheaton - Posted January 30 2017 - 6:26 AM

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I did the same thing but with blue LEDs underneath my entire computer desk because I like to geek out with electronics. 


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#4 Offline dspdrew - Posted January 30 2017 - 6:42 AM

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Whoa buddy. Now i see what you mean. Those lights couldnt have turned out any better, and your cabinet is starting to take a "professional" form. Really like it, and great idea for that foam. I would have never thought of that, and i have lots of it.

 

Thanks haha, I'm surprised you never saw my foam egg crate before. Whenever I give someone ants in a test tube I cut a strip of that stuff off and put the test tube on it.



#5 Offline T.C. - Posted January 30 2017 - 7:40 AM

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Wow, gotta hand it to you, that's pretty darn nice. Like Loops said, it has that professional look. I may give this a try in the future if that's ok? Here soon the place I am moving into I can't bring my ants. So I actually just want to hide them. ;)


Edited by T.C., January 30 2017 - 7:41 AM.


#6 Offline noebl1 - Posted January 30 2017 - 9:12 AM

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Wow, that looks really nice, and the price in bulk is *really* good.

 

I've used the older versions of these before around my office (and replacing the old FL under cabinets lighting in the kitchen as the ballasts go):

https://www.amazon.c...0?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

The older version had a daisy-chain option which was nice for linking them together, waiting on these updated ones to try.  However still can't beat the price on the ones you use.


Edited by noebl1, January 30 2017 - 9:16 AM.


#7 Offline Bracchymyrmex - Posted January 30 2017 - 5:00 PM

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That looks seamless. Love the foam test tube rack as well. Excellent job.



#8 Offline dspdrew - Posted January 30 2017 - 5:53 PM

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  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

Wow, that looks really nice, and the price in bulk is *really* good.

 

I've used the older versions of these before around my office (and replacing the old FL under cabinets lighting in the kitchen as the ballasts go):

https://www.amazon.c...0?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

The older version had a daisy-chain option which was nice for linking them together, waiting on these updated ones to try.  However still can't beat the price on the ones you use.

 

Yeah, I'm replacing every fluorescent light I have now with LED's. I did all the easy swapping throughout my apartment well over a year ago, but now I'm getting all the lights that don't have LED replacement bulbs by buying lots of these tubes and modifying them.



#9 Offline CrazyLegs - Posted January 30 2017 - 7:33 PM

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I never thought I would ever say this in a thousand lifetimes but " That's a nice cabinet " :D


Edited by CrazyLegs, January 30 2017 - 7:33 PM.

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#10 Offline StopSpazzing - Posted July 27 2017 - 10:42 AM

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So I got tired of having bulky clip on lights in my way all the time when working in my ant cabinets, or having to wear a head lamp in order to see what I'm doing. I started looking for under-cabinet lights that would fit under the shelves of the cabinets, but those are almost all at least $25, no matter how small, unless you want to get some crappy fixture that hardly gives off any light at all. I decided my best bet was to just get some of the 4 foot T8 light tubes I've been replacing all my fluorescent bulbs with. These things are only 10 dollars a tube, and give off about 2310 lumens each.

 

Don't you mean 2520 lumens? Lists that on product page at least. Fricken cheap. Nice cabinet! Gives me some ideas for my first setup.


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