Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Rope Lights

We wanted low-level ambiance lighting in the rear lounge, primarily for the times when we are chatting with another couple in the evening. The puck lights have a glare and the fluorescents are too bright. We wanted just enough light to be able see to pour another glass. The lights are great for TV watching or even short reading.

We had some rope lights and tried them out by taping them behind the cornices. This gave the effect we wanted - indirect low level lighting. All the strands of rope lights we had on hand had one or more sections burned out. I went online and found that this is common, but LED rope lights last a lot longer. Since I was going to have to remove the cornices to install them, I sure did not want to be doing it again to replace a burned out section. So I bit the bullet and bought 12volt LED rope lights that cost about 10x more than what you will pay in the big box stores for regular rope lights.

Taking the cornices down to affix the rope to the “ledge” of the cornice is a real pain. So is putting them back up. But you will only do it once in life.

I tied into DC behind the TV in the Remote Control Storage bin. See picture. To get the power cord into the bin you have to drill a hole in the back of the bin. You will also have to lower at least the front end of the cornice to pass the cord to the bin. The switch for the lights is the rotary switch in the center of the picture. The power cord is the fatter white wire. While I was at it, I added a 12v output to the underside of the bin. You can see the wires to it at the back of the picture.

Bonus: The 18-foot strand uses less than 1ah.

Another couple put them in, but affixed them to the underside of the bin. The lights can be seen if you lie down and look up. Your choice direct or indirect. The light output in probably double ours. With the shades down, all the folds in the shade are illuminated, which is pleasing to the eye. Our shades are lit for the only first three folds.



Source: Sailor Sams

12 Volt LED ROPE Light, WARM White
Order 18 feet for the rear lounge of a MB
Current Price: $5.70 / foot [12/2008]

6' Power Cord Kit
Part Number: IMT-ILMDL-CONKIT-6x12/24
Order 1 - $5.70 each

End Cap The End Cap protects the far end of the wires that are embedded in the rope light from touching anything they shouldn't.
Part Number: IMT-ILMDL-END
Order 1 - $0.29 each

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