LED Tape

LEDs, fiber optics, etc - everything needed to "Make it Glow"
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FatherRob
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LED Tape

Postby FatherRob » Wed Jun 11, 2014 1:44 pm

Okay, so I am giving consideration to the contest, and am thinking of the 18 inch AMT Enterprise modified to be my alternate universe's pre TOS-era cruiser. I am wanting to get some resin parts to modify her, and I then am thinking of lighting her up.

I have never lit a model before... well, not unless you count the piece of junk that was my 13 year old attempt to do the Lights and Sound Enterprise A back in the early 90's... that was a disaster!

Anyway, given that I have no electrical expereince, how easy is LED tape to work with? I need to keep my budget low, depending on what I get for Father's Day, so far I have $40 in resin add ons minimum to fit my vision, plus custom decals... I'd like to try to get away with no more than an additional $20 in lighting. Is LED tape the way to go?

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Moongrim
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Re: LED Tape

Postby Moongrim » Wed Jun 11, 2014 3:46 pm

My experience with it has so far been positive.

They're pre-sectioned out so you can cut them into individual sections, or keep it longer. They have the resistors already built into the tape- so all you have to do is some minor soldering, to attach to a 9V battery.

http://www.instructables.com/id/how-to- ... LED-strip/
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Cubey Terra
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Re: LED Tape

Postby Cubey Terra » Wed Jun 11, 2014 4:13 pm

I'm a massive fan of LED tape. After messing around with individual LEDs and resistors and working out Ohm's Law and all that, trying LED tape was a revelation. Just supply 12 volt power, cut to length, and you're done. They're bright, compact, and have a wide beam of light (as opposed to most super bright LEDs that have a narrow, focused beam).

The only tricky part is soldering the wires to the tiny contact points on the tape — they're very small and fragile. Sometimes the little copper doughnuts that the wires attach to fall off the tape, and then you have to get creative about how to reattach the wire. You can buy solderless connectors... pro: no soldering, strong connection; con: sometimes too chunky to fit inside a model.

The price is coming down too. Last year, I couldn't find LED tape for less than $25 per meter. Now the local shop has it for $15 per meter. Of course, the stuff varies in quality. The good stuff has three LEDs in 2.5 centimeter segments; the cheaper stuff has three LEDs in a 5 centimeter segments. I'd rather use short segments than long in a confined space.

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FatherRob
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Re: LED Tape

Postby FatherRob » Wed Jun 11, 2014 5:18 pm

Any suggestions on where to buy from?

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Steam235
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Re: LED Tape

Postby Steam235 » Wed Jun 11, 2014 7:53 pm

$6 Power source http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00452YFZU/
$21 LED tape http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005ST2I9O 16 feet.
$10 hook up wire. www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003N3HC7A/ and www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003N3HC7A/

Total cost about $40 to light a model. But the wire and LED tape can cover about 3 models so for the next two models all you need is the power source again. So if you light 3 models your cost is about $50 to $60 a model.

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Steam235
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Re: LED Tape

Postby Steam235 » Wed Jun 11, 2014 7:58 pm

I think I forgot a switch so add $3

But this is also expecting you to have some other tools, such as solder, soldering iron, wire stripers etc. either electrical tape or as I prefer brush on electrical tape.

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Cubey Terra
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Re: LED Tape

Postby Cubey Terra » Wed Jun 11, 2014 8:24 pm

Don't forget, you'll need to install a power jack in the model's stand: http://www.amazon.com/5-5mmx2-1mm-Power ... power+jack ($3.90)

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DeadHead
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Re: LED Tape

Postby DeadHead » Fri Jun 13, 2014 2:08 am

LED tape is awesome to work with. I had never done lighting before two months ago and this stuff is easy to work with. As a matter of fact, I even ordered some and put some RGB tape lighting in my 1/1 scale VW camper (complete with sound activator).

http://www.modelersbrand.com/ sells smooth and ultra smooth LED tape by the foot as well as other LED's such as clusters and towers.They also sell LED kits that include LED's, resistors, connectors, and switches, and more. They are more expensive than getting them on Amazon, though. As a matter of fact, I've saved Steam's links for next time I need to stock up.
If I remember correctly, it worked the last time we did this. Unless it didn't.

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Re: LED Tape

Postby spawndude » Sun Jun 29, 2014 4:19 am

If you are willing to wait 3-4 weeks you can get them from China much cheaper than locally.
About $8-$12 for 5m.


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