Pimp My Laser

After working like mad for several days to release the 2.x Laser, I decided to take a break and have some fun.  I thought it would be fun to add some interior lighting to the laser.  It is not really necessary if the room is at all bright because the top is so big and clear, but I thought it would be fun.

I searched around some PC case mod sites for a while, but was not sure what would work right.  They fall into two categories: LED and Cold Cathode (CCFL) lights and virtually all of them run on 12V.  I use 24V, so I had to deal with that.

I had few negative issues with CCLF.  Most have a big power supply thing that is probably very noisy and I was not sure how happy they would be to run in series to deal with the 24V.  I decided LED were very flexible and very clean.

I was not happy with the stuff I found on line, so I ran off to Micro Center.  They only had one LED strip that was white.  Frys is just down the road, so I went there.  They did not have any white LED strips.  I decided to check their lighting section and found what looked to be a perfect solution.  It is made by Trend Sources Inc, but I could not find much on line about them.  I paid about $19.

This is a two pack 12V flexible LED strip.  It looks like a flex circuit with a molded silicone boot over it.  It just so happens that it can be pushed into a 20mm Misumi extrusion.  You need to gentry work it in, but it is not coming out on it’s own.

I fired up one strip, then 2 in series.  They worked perfectly and quite bright.  I pushed them into the extrusion the is located right behind the cover hinge.  I hid the wires using Misumi slot cover material and wired it over to the central 24V supply.

It looks great.  The LEDs stick out about 1/8″, but you really don’t see the individual LEDs until you look at a low angle.  The camera is actually held inside the laser, below the level of the cover here.   This only shows one of the strips.  I separated them by about 2.5 inches.

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