"Nothing is Ever Easy"
As mentioned in my previous post about LED Hall Lighting, my idea to put some LED lights up in the hall for Christmas ended up escalating somewhat. The hall was redecorated, woodwork sanded and varnished, walls and ceilings painted, a new picture rail was installed and 20m of LED lighting was ordered. Not only that but plans for underfloor heating and new laminate flooring were put in place.
The LED lights arrived and were more substantial than I was expecting.
There was no way they would sit on the little picture rail I had installed in the way I expected. They weren’t that big but would only bend around the corners in one plane which meant that they would have be be installed on their edge rather than lying flat.
This wasn’t a huge issue as they would of course fit on their sides but it did mean that they would be a little more visible than I had hoped, especially when not turned on. It would also mean that the light would shine out into the hall rather than up onto the coving and ceiling as I had hoped.
I soon hatched a plan that would probably end up being better than the original. 22m of white plastic trunking was ordered. This was just the right size for the LED light rope to fit into in its side. This was stuck to the picture rail I’d installed and the LED rope was fed into it. It fitted perfectly and meant that the LED rope itself wasn’t visible at all.
I did leave a little bit of a gap at the corners as I wasn’t sure how well the rope would bend into them. I did intend to cover these with little strips of the ‘lid’ of the trunking. However, now that it’s up it doesn’t look too bad, and I could have installed the trunking right up to the corners as the LED rope lights bends into them fine.
Not only does the trunking hide the LED rope light but it tend to direct the light upwards as initially intended, and also means that the rope itself isn’t glued onto anything. It just sits there inside the trunking so can easily be removed or replaced if necessary.
LED Rope Light Issues
I’m hoping that it won’t be necessary to remove or replace them but we did have a few issues with the lights themselves so at the moment I don’t have 100% confidence in them. First of all, one of the LEDs was illuminating a different colour to the others. The people I bought it from are supposed to be sending us an extra metre of rope along with some connectors so that we can replace this part of the rope. We probably won’t get around to that even if they ever do send us a replacement section.
Secondly, the control box only came with quite a short lead.
We didn’t want to use an extension lead as this would mean that there would be a socket and the control box itself visible at eye-level on the wall of the hall. I therefore tried extending the cable that led from the control box to the LED lights themselves. The first bit of cable I used to try this was too thick. This led to a voltage drop along its length and subsequently the lights would only illuminate very dimly. We couldn’t find any suitable 4-core cable so ended up soldering on two lengths of 2-core cable that was about the right gauge. This worked allowing us to extend the cable up to the picture rail fairly discreetly.
Next, once up on the wall in the hall, there was of course a slight issue with the length of the LED rope. We had enough but the rope could only be cut at certain locations along its length. These cut points were a metre apart. We would have been lucky beyond belief if the junction just so happened to end up up in exactly the right place. It didn’t, but it wasn’t too far out. With a little bit of re-jigging and a slight overlap we were able to make it work. Anna did get a slight electric shock in the process but she was OK.
It’s now all up and looking good, we finally have new LED hall lighting. It’s not that festive really but it does provide a nice glow in the hall.
We can change the colour whenever we want using the remote control. Although that does tend to also change the settings on the LEDs we have behind the fishtank! We can even control the settings of the lights from an app on our phones via Bluetooth. We could have them flash and such like if we wanted too but that’s unlikely!
On another note, the storm over the weekend knocked out the electricity here for a while and that seems to have broken the LED lights that Morgan had around his bed. For some reason they just won’t turn on now so my job today will be to find out why – nothing is ever easy!