Kitchenette light

Kitchenette light

The kitchenette light in my apartment looked ugly, and I would have enjoyed a high CRI light in the room anyway, so I thought for a bit, ordered some parts and immediately stalled, overwhelmed by how involved it actually is.

Original state of despair

Parts and tools

Parts to make a new light fixture

The LED stripes need to be cut into two parts, as the power adaptor needs to be almost in the middle. The total maximum I could use is about 3 metres of LED stripes, which is about 30 W and well within abilities of the chosen adaptor.

In general what I ordered will work, but there are some caveats. The main one is that the power adaptor doesn’t fit well in the diffuser, though I should be able to adjust it.

Plan

Since there’s a risk of water splashes, I’ll want to do this quickly, so that I don’t have to protect everything. It can be done in two stages.

Stage 1

After having failed with a cheap that got instantly destroyed on another project, I have verified that the larger plasticy mitre box I had the foresight to buy is sufficiently strong for cutting. Imperfections can generally be filed away.

  • Shorten the heatsink to 159.5-159.6 cm and the diffuser to 160 cm, using a saw and a mittre box. Or rather also measure and subtract the length of the butts/stoppers from both of these lengths. Keep the cut-off parts, they will be useful later for colour matching and adjustment experiments.

  • Measure power cable hole placement and width, then drill the hole.

  • Fit the heatsink to the wall with screws.

    • It does not need to go deep. The board behind is 20 mm thick. Probably pre-drill holes for about M3x10 self-tapping stainless steel screws.

    • I can still connect the old fixture connected at this point. Or I can keep it disconnected and have it all covered by the diffuser.

Stage 2

  • Figure out switch placement and cabling.

    • The mains cable can have its insulation mostly stripped, it is also way too long and would be clearly visible through the diffuser, obstructing light.

  • Modify the diffuser to fit the power adaptor, as the base of the diffuser is too thick inside.

    • In general trying to cut stuff out in a straight manner. Can try it out on the extra 40 cm piece of the diffuser.

  • Remove the protective paper from the painted heatsink, and glue LED stripes to it in two rows. It might be a good idea to attach any necessary cables to them beforehand.

    • Some 12V cables need to go underneath the heatsink. It has convenient channels, seemingly for exactly this purpose.

    • The two stripes need to be connected together, perhaps near the butts/stoppers. It would, of course, be good to be able to select A/B/A+B, though

  • Connect everything up, mainly the high voltage part. Beware that the switch doesn’t like giving up wires once they’re in.

  • Perhaps paint part of the diffuser white or off-white. May colour match against the butts/stoppers, or against the heatsink.