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Tips, Techniques, and Questions -- Technical questions or tips

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  #1  
Old 2015-10-25, 3:51pm
flowman flowman is offline
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Default DIY table lighting strips

I just finished my first "holiday season" show for the year yesterday, and one issue that I was a bit disappointed with was the lighting. We were indoors, in a building with natural lighting from a large skylit atrium, and additional overhead flourescent lighting, but since we were restricted to a single table the only additional lighting I had was two Ladybug clamp-on lights (caberlight.com, highly recommended!). The Ladybugs helped, but my specific frustration was the lack of sparkle in my dichroic stud earrings on my rotating earring stand.

After a bit of brainstorming today and a quick trip to our local home improvement center I think I have the solution. What I wanted was low profile lighting bars that could rest on the table, lighting the stand from slightly below, so the sparkle would be reflected from the jewelry to the viewer. I bought the following:

qty 1 Utliitech 18 in Tape Light Starter kit (#0406061)
qty 1 8' piece of pine base cap molding (you only need 19 to 38 inches) Basically any wooden molding that has an angled profile when resting on the table (see closeup photos) will work. I bought primed, since that's what they had.

The molding cost $7, and the light kit $30.

The light kit comes with two 18" LED tape strips, with adhesive backing, a transformer/controller with inline power switch, and two 4 pin connectors, one very short one to connect the two strips directly, and one flexible cable about 4" in length. I used the flexible connector, but you could just use one light tape if you only needed one light, or you could make a 36" long bar by connecting the two with the short connector.

Construction steps:
1) Cut the molding to length (about 19") mitering the ends if desired. I cut two identical pieces, mitering the ends.
2) Paint to match (or complement) your table drapes.
3) Peel off the adhesive backing on one LED tape and place it on the angled face of the molding, pressing it into place. (Repeat if making two strips.)
4) Connect the 4 pin power supply cable to the LED tape connector, and switch on. (Connect the two tapes with the short flexible cable if you're making two.) On this particular model of light tape the side of the cable connector marked with an arrow has to match up with the side of the tape marked +.
5) I then placed the two strips on the table in front of the two outer sides of my earring stand.

This will make more sense with the photos below. I'm very happy with the light bounced off the earrings now, and the strips are unobtrusive, take up very little room on the table, and aren't blinding when standing behind the table. Apologies for the photo of the "lit" display--my camera adjusted the exposure so that it's hard to see the improvement.

Steve

Lighting kit (I've already taken one LED tape out)


Profile of molding


Molding with light tape installed


Display without lights


Display with lights
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Old 2015-10-25, 3:52pm
flowman flowman is offline
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I forgot to mention that I added two small felt bumpers under the front edge of the wood trim (you can barely see them in the "unlit" photo) to angle the strips a bit more toward the earring stand.
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Old 2015-10-25, 4:03pm
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AmorphousDesigns AmorphousDesigns is offline
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sweet!! thanks for sharing
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Old 2015-10-26, 12:11am
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Nicely done!
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  #5  
Old 2015-10-28, 4:48pm
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Great idea! Thanks for sharing with us.

Georgia
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  #6  
Old 2015-10-29, 9:12pm
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SassyGlass9 SassyGlass9 is offline
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Awesome idea, and thank you so much for sharing!!! I am going to ask my DH to make me a couple of these for the upcoming BABE show in November!
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Old 2015-10-30, 6:56am
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Genius and generous!!! Thank you!
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  #8  
Old 2015-10-30, 11:19am
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I no longer do shows but that would have been great for my dichroic displays back in the day. Very nice!
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  #9  
Old 2015-11-02, 11:16am
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What a great solution. Thanks for sharing.
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  #10  
Old 2015-11-02, 11:55am
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I love this idea. Very inventive!
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  #11  
Old 2015-11-03, 1:00pm
flowman flowman is offline
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Thanks everyone, I hope they work for you!
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