Inexpensive reading lights.

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Inexpensive reading lights.

Postby KTM_Guy » Mon Mar 26, 2018 12:17 am

I was looking for some reading lights for my build and couldn't find anything in a decent price range. Didn't want to spend to much because my wife reads on an iPad, and I'm on my computer looking at photos that I shot from the day. But I wanted something for reading maps and things like that.

I was at Ikea and saw the perfect light so bought a few. Best part they are on sale till the end of the year (2018) for $4.99. Can't beat that. Most of the low voltage lights from Ikea are 12v DC so I thought I was good but when I looked at the wall-wart it had an output of 6V. :thumbdown: Not good. I tried a UBS at 5 volts and that wouldn't work.

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I cut the wires near the clamp and took the clamp off. The threads are 8X1 metric so picked up a few nuts from Ace Hardware and I had a DC Buck converter from Amazon that was from another project, about $13.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00C0 ... UTF8&psc=1

Before I remembered I had the one from Amazon I ordered one from AliExpress for about $1.25. And that includes shipping! :thinking: Does the same thing just not waterproof.

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/XL6009- ... 0.0.WkoV6x

These voltage converters are adjustable. In the photo below it was putting out 11.35v.

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By turning the screw on the pot you can change the voltage. I got it right on 6 volts.

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No problem running two lights. Note the nuts on the the lights 8X1M

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The thing I didn't like about the lights was the pattern was like a spot light with hard edges.

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This is and under exposed photo so you can see the pattern of light. the light is about 7' from the ceiling. Door opener on the left and 4' light right.

So easy fix, popped the lens out and sanded the plastic with some sand paper.

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More better.

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Here you can see sanded and not sanded.

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I took some 1/8" X 1.5" flat bar and drilled a 3/8" (I think that was the size) hole and two 1/8" holes for screws and painted it gloss black. (sorry no pictures) and installed it with two switches. I have a switch before the voltage converter and one at the lights. I wasn't sure if the converter would always draw some power even with the lights off so I wanted to switch the power before the converter.

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So for about $12 I got two reading lights, that work great. I did buy a third one to have as a backup.

Hope this might help some one out and save some money.

Todd
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Re: Inexpensive reading lights.

Postby John61CT » Mon Mar 26, 2018 8:40 am

Would putting 2 of those 6V in series allow them to work straight off 12V?
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Re: Inexpensive reading lights.

Postby KTM_Guy » Mon Mar 26, 2018 2:40 pm

Disclaimer...electronics is just a hobbie, I’ve no training just what I picked up online. This info is worth exactly what you paid for it. :lol:

Two lights? I would doubt it. The lights already have drivers in them to run off the 6v. If these light just had a LED in it you might have the right idea but a white LED is more like 3.5 volts, wouldn’t be 6v. And you would still need a way to limit the current. Another problem is I want to be able to have just one light on or both, each light have a switch. When you run LEDs in series all the LEDs are on or off.

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