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I have always wanted to build decorative lamps with LEDs (application example: imagine a model boat with Xmas lights).

Is there a way (commercial, or custom-built) to power several LEDs, so that:

  • The power supply is compact, elegant, and wall-pluggable (not battery-powered)
  • There are simple and robust ways to wire the individual LEDs
  • The whole thing doesn't cost much ? (in the order of tens of USD for the power supply + LEDs + connectivity)

I know that I can buy plain LEDs from electronic manufacturers, build a power supply with my bare hands, recycle an AC/DC adapter from a phone charger, solder everything and have it running cheaply. I know (more or less) how to do this, but it would take me a long time and the result would be ugly and dirty. On the other hand, I know that there are now LED systems that can be screwed just like a light bulb, but this is not what I am after either.

Are there any intermediate solutions that would be adequate for the above needs ?

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what about solar? –  staticx Jan 21 '13 at 13:52

3 Answers 3

I'm not sure how you define elegant so I'll leave that parameter out.

You can buy LED power supply on ebay, the LED-strip or other LED-array on ebay and connect them. There is somewhat of a standard that doesn't require soldering for LED-strips.

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Thanks, that sounds like a good idea, I didn't know that they were so simple to use. –  calvin tiger Jan 7 '13 at 14:57

Yes, you can, using the same approach that commercial manufacturers use for LED holiday lights.

I did a project that did this recently; you can find directions here. Note that this approach connects directly to line current and there is the potential for injury.

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I tried this website when I was looking for some made to measure LED strip because I couldn't be bothered with all the hassle of soldering. All I did was email them with my spec and they got back to me with a great solution. Hope this helps you http://www.downlightsdirect.co.uk/led-strip.html

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Answers that rely on a URL don't work well on SE (links tend to go stale). See the faq for more details. –  BMitch Jan 9 '13 at 19:24

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