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LED How-To

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  • LED How-To

    I had to update a quick how-to video I had done on building your own LED lights. I thought it would be good way to start off the New Year doing what we love...

    building stuff!!!

    Alan Hopps did a video on LED lights that is also pretty good. His angle is a really inexpensive light and as always is well done. I needed to build a little more durable light on par with what is being commercially sold for a client when the commercially made one were not available in time.

    I also wanted to start incorporating the lights in my own show. I have trailer haunts and having a light that just uses a light gauge wire to hold it in place won't work. First time I move the attraction, all the lights will "refocus" themselves on walls and ceilings instead of the props and areas intended. I need to focus the light and have it stay there! I don't want movement of the trailers,customers or actors bumping lights out of focus.

    One of the problems I found with some of the lights available is the SMALL brackets. They are using a computer bracket and they are tiny!! I have large hands and I can't tighten the screws without knocking the light off it's intended spot!! Also they are not very "industrial" not intended for this type of use they are not very heavy duty.

    To remedy the situation I utilize the connection of the light on the barrel itself. though the use of a rivetnut. This allows you to use a normal readily available L-bracket which are not only bigger but a lot sturdier to mount your lights to.

    I also utilize a brass barrel. I tried aluminium, but the brass will hold up much better. The cost difference is not much and definitely worth the added strength. Same to be said with my style of connection. Sure a little more expense but well worth it in time needed to constantly check and refocus lights on a daily basis.

    So check out the video, get some material and start building!!! I built 30 lights from scratch while watching a movie in the shop!! Start now and you will have a TON of lights really for next season!!

    Here are a couple scenes lit with LED's By next season both attractions will be switched to LED!!! Enjoy!!!
    Attached Files
    Last edited by RJ Productions; 01-01-2012, 07:47 PM.
    R&J Productions
    Las Vegas, NV

  • #2
    Nice tutorial, Rich!
    Happy Haunting,

    Adam Drendel
    Webmaster of

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    • #3
      I wanted to say thank you for posting your tutorial. If there was a thank button I would be pushing that, but this works too.


      • #4
        Great tutorial Rich!
        Did you post where to get the LED's in your comments of the video? that would help some folks out.
        Allen H


        • #5
          Excellent tutorial.



          • #6
            I had looked at getting LEDs and wiring the resistors, but WAY too much work when you can get them prewired for $1.00 if you buy a bunch!!!

            I got mine through Golden Gadgets ;

            $1.15 each down to $1.00 for 24 or more.

            I've ordered several times, I get them quickly, so far no problems.

            Alan, did you have different distributor? What was his pricing? (never hurts to look for good deal!!)

            Like I said, I built lights for a client, did a couple rooms this past season, now I converting both attractions!!
            You can put MORE light in a area actually leaving it darker! Way more control and it just looks cooler!!
            R&J Productions
            Las Vegas, NV


            • #7
              Im glad you are sold on LEDs! I love them for all the reasons you mentioned. here is my supplier-
              I have also successfully ebay'd prewired LED superbright and ordered them from China at a great price- but lately I have been wanting to buy more american.
              Allen H


              • #8

                Have either of you ever tried taking 3 or 4 leds and putting them in a larger barrel to make more of a "flood" type light? I have some minis that work well on props pictures etc. but I need a few that show on a whole wall or put some ambient lighting in a graveyard etc. I was just wondering if that would be possible with these.


                • #9
                  That is surely an option, just find a tube that can handle the amount of lights you need. Only tricky thing I can see is making sure the lights all face the same way. Take a single LED, power it up and see how the lght performs. You will see that even as small as it is, it still has a focal point. If all the LED's in the bundle are not focused you will loose light. The single light has a tube that just fits the LED so it is focused for you.

                  An easier hack if you are looking for a large white flood is to hack a Harbor Freight light. I posed this eariler and Chad (VSneader2 on the Forum) provided a hack.

                  If I can find a few minutes I'll see about posting a video, but it's really quite simple. You get the lights from Harbor Freight

                  The issue is the switching. It's a 3 way switch, one push get a rapid flash, second push a slower flash third push you get constant on. If you lose power or shut it off, you have go through the sequence again. SO a hack was needed.

                  If you want a low cost LED strobe light, just solder across the contacts for the black & red wire (on the right side of the image below).
                  Add power and you get an instant on strobe effect.

                  If you want a constant flood light you need Chad's hack:

                  Cut the trace as shown in the picture (just need to remove at most 1/8"). Solder a jumper wire between points # 1 and # 2.
                  Power up and all LED's should be on.

                  The push button will not do anything to the LED's once this modification has been done.
                  If you want to be able to switch them you will have to interupt the power leads. I just lead them on. When the haunt is powered up, the light goes on!

                  A I said , I'll see if I have a couple lights and do a video, but it is pretty simple to follow the instructions with the picture of the hack. With an existing fixture
                  all the lights are already focused and in a cool package. A little flat black spray and you have LED Flood form about $5.00!!
                  Attached Files
                  R&J Productions
                  Las Vegas, NV


                  • #10
                    I buy my bulbs online with Ebay, here is a few to check out.






                    Hope this helps. I am sure there is more but this is who I used last year.