# Embedding ceiling lights into a shelf

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#### Alicca

##### New Member
I have a project where I would like to illuminate a stationary liquid dispenser container from it's base as it is transparent all over and would create a nice internal effect. Situated inside a closed cupboard it would not need to be lit all the time, only when the door is opened to access the contents of the jar.

I first thought about placing the the drink dispenser jar on top of a thin LED circular light to illuminate it as much as possible by measuring the diameter of the light to match the base, but that style of light adds too much height to the jar, space I do not have to play with. Also, I am concerned about possible leakage from the tap, as well as the weight of a full (but ever demising) 5ltr container bearing down on the light.

Thinking about the tight confines of space, the heat from the light and possible interference from liquids, I came upon the idea of a smaller light that could be drill fitted into the shelf it would otherwise be sitting on top of, a task that feel confident I could probably do myself, with the right parts. I could then use some frosted vinyl adhesive film over the top of that whole area of the shelf to protect it from drips of liquid, with the bonus of dispersing a softer light through the frosting. On top of this I could roll out some nonslip mat, with holes cut for the light to stop the jars from sliding from a fixed position.

My next concern would be the type of light I would need, I have the following demands:

• No heat to be emitted
• Must be a flush design
• Light emitting directly upward (not at an angle)
• Must be dimmable
• Decent IP rating would be desirable
• Plugs into normal mains, likely via transformer

I would like to know what drill bit to use when cutting a hole into the wooden chip-board shelf that I have (it can easily be fully removed from the cupboard, so I would have complete freedom of control) and any advice on technique.

The underside will still be in use, so wiring exiting the base of the LED light unit should be taken into consideration, I won't be using liquids on that shelf, but I would also like to be as safe as possible. I do recognise these are ceiling lights and not designed for this purpose.

Many thanks!

#### ci139

##### Active Member
that could be drill fitted into the shelf it would otherwise be sitting on top of, a task that feel confident I could probably do myself, with the right parts. I could then use some frosted vinyl adhesive film over the top of that whole area of the shelf to protect it from drips of liquid, ...

#### Alicca

##### New Member
I could never do that with my existing self, but to drill a hole I could do. The advantage of the single light is that it only illuminates a specific area, not the entire cupboard, otherwise the effect is ruined.

##### Well-Known Member
I recently bought a RGB LED Strip from Amazon for some experimenting. The strip has a height of about 0.125 inch and a width of about 0.415 inch. You can cut sections off the strip and the strip has a peel off adhesive backing. If you can use or have access to a router these strips are easily mounted into any board, including a shelf. I had no use for the controller and had my own 12 VDC power supply but you could likely get some pretty cool effects with the stuff they sell with the basic LED strip. When powering Red, Green and Blue at 100% you get white light and pretty bright at that.

Would involve a little more than drilling a hole but really not difficult, all you need is a friend with a simple router.

Ron

#### Alicca

##### New Member
I thought about that route, but here's the thing, I need two of these containers side by side and these strip lights, once cut, won't function, and I'd need 11" between each container, which would require two. Then there's the waste of hundreds of LEDs not needed. On top of that I only need white ones, nothing fancy, but I do need dimming. However, I feel that the ceiling lights would disperse light a lot better than a small group of LEDs?

It would be easier to install them, especially under tactile matting, and I'm not completely set on the idea of ceiling lights, but will explore it until it becomes unfeasible.

thanks for the suggestion!

##### Well-Known Member
I thought about that route, but here's the thing, I need two of these containers side by side and these strip lights, once cut, won't function, and I'd need 11" between each container, which would require two. Then there's the waste of hundreds of LEDs not needed. On top of that I only need white ones, nothing fancy, but I do need dimming. However, I feel that the ceiling lights would disperse light a lot better than a small group of LEDs?

It would be easier to install them, especially under tactile matting, and I'm not completely set on the idea of ceiling lights, but will explore it until it becomes unfeasible.

thanks for the suggestion!
Uh, no the strip lights I linked to can be cut. That is the whole idea. They can be cut in as small as 2.0 inch sections. Why would you think they can't be cut? I have a cut section of 18 inches I have been playing around with and the rest of the reel is perfectly good. You cut what you want along small copper tabs and then you can solder small wires to the tabs which are labeled. White with a RGB strip is just a matter of using all three colors. Each LED in the strip is a RGB LED and R + G + B = White. There are 3 each of tri color LEDs in each two inch segment and that includes the current limiting resistors. All that is needed is to apply 12 VDC and that's it.

Ron

#### Alicca

##### New Member
I was not clear in my initial response I see, I meant that as I plan to use a lighting system for two separate containers I would have to use two LED strip systems because they could not be cut and joined (easily, or cleanly) and so it would be a mess of wires. However, looking into an LED strip system it seems that I could run a single strip and just tape over the middle part between the dispensers to prevent the light shining through.

Since looking at what is available I have warmed to the idea as the backs are adhesive (i.e. can be easily removed), only a fraction of an inch in height, low amount of heat dissipation, can be dimmed and suitable for a worst case scenario at IP67.

I may well go with them as is seems like less work to install, but am still looking through all options available.

#### Pommie

You can also get strips that are just white LEDs with just 2 connections, Note, if you get the IP67 ones you have to very carefully cut off the silicon in order to solder them. I bought a 5M strip with 300 LEDs for US$6. Also be aware that to dim them you need PWM. Mike. #### Alicca ##### New Member At the moment I really like this tidy system for a sewing machine, however it's a little too short for me and looking around I believe I would need an IP67 rated strip of LEDs. I like the dimmer option, but wouldn't use it as it would only need to be set once, I found a similar stand alone solution here, but it may be better to have something less obtrusive. In any event I need to attach a PIR on to it, so I would like to put together my own custom system but am not sure how to measure what power I need. Basically I like the slimline Apple style plug from the tidy system, that only uses 5V for a 30cm strip, I am looking at around 20"/50cm for myself, I don't need some clunking transformer around. The connectors seem to favour barrel for the dimmer and PIR options, so I would best stick to those, but then comes the issue of having a water resistant connection to the LED to match the IP67 rating. I am looking into putting a system like that together now, so any advice would be welcome. Pommie: what is PWM, I have not seen this, I looked it up, but could you point to something on Amazon that is compatible please. Last edited: #### Reloadron ##### Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member They are easily cut to size using a pair of scissors. They are also easily joined together. For example you have a circular base on this container. I would draw out the circle on some quality wood. a nice board. Then using a router cut slots starting slightly inboard and cut several slots. The longest slot would be down the center line of the circle. Space the slots however you feel it would be visually appealing. A single roll yields 16.4 feet of lights. Each section is easily wired to the next and done neatly using a channel cut between the miter slots. Ten Meters, over 30 feet of four conductor flat ribbon cable cost about$8.00 USD. With a little creativity there are some really cool possibilities as to illuminating for example the bottom of a liquid filled glass jar or container. All layout using these things is relatively easy,

My involvement with these things has to do with dressing up Motorcycles using RGB LED lighting, We get some pretty cool effects on bikes as well as RVs. Guy named Joe Florida started the business and a guy bought it ans now it runs out of Tenn but everything is made in China to the original specifications. Big dollar stuff.

Ron

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