Online Community of Zenith Builders and Flyers
Over in the VHB Acrylic Foam tape discussion, I mentioned I was using an adhesive-backed LED strip under the edge of my panel for panel/instrument lighting. Joe Hopwood suggested others might be interested, and suggested I post a link.
I did so, but anyone looking for panel lighting is not likely to find it there. For anyone interested, the stuff comes in various lengths, starting at one foot, and various colors, such as red, white, green, etc. It has an adhesive backing, which may stick to an aluminum surface. The link for this product is:
But using this product raises the question of how one dims the leds, unless one wishes to leave them at full brightness at all times. LEDs can be dimmed like any other source of illumination, but it can be tricky. One must insure that the maximum current level of the LED is not exceeded.
I was thinking about whipping up a duty cycle regulator for this task. However, I spotted, and ordered, an LED dimmer that runs on 12 volts, from the same company. The link for it is:
I want to emphasize that this is an experiment. I haven't yet wired the LEDs to the dimmer, or anything else. I haven't fully tested the adhesive on the back of the LEDs, so I don't know how long it may adhere, under what temperatures, and so on.
I have some background in electronics, and a fall-back way of affixing the LEDs to the panel, so I am comfortable with the experiment. If it doesn't work correctly, I'll whip up a circuit that does make it work. But it is an experiment, and if any of you are interested in trying it, you are on unproven (as yet) ground.
There are some photos of my installation here:
Disclaimer: I own no stock in the company referenced, although I've bought stuff from them for years.
I'm using a 3 foot long Electroluminiscent strip for panel lighting from the same company.
I'm also using the same dimmer you have. I unsoldered one of the pots and mounted it to my panel. Then ran wires from the pot to the circuit board. It works.
To power the EL strip from 12v, you need a DC to AC inverter. I bought one made by Electro-Lumin X from AllElectronics when I got the light strip, but I don't see it offered now. The EL strips are often called "light tape".
I ran a check of the dimmer with one of the LED strips today. Everything worked satisfactorily. They may be a little brigher than I would like, but reducing the dimmer setting handles that.
The LED strips have been in place for a couple of weeks, and the adhesive is holding up OK.
Since the dimmer module has two separate dimmers within it, I plan to use the other dimmer to control the lamps in some of the instruments.
I posted an image of the LEDs in operation on my log site about 5 minutes ago, for those who may be interested: