As mentioned in the last post, I wanted to get some better lighting in the garage. So I ordered some LED strip lighting.
I picked that for two reasons: Firstly, because it comes in a long strip it should be good for getting rid of shadows and having a bit more diffused lighting in there. Secondly, it’s pretty cheap, so if it turned out to be not much good then no big deal.
So I bought a few bits online the other day, and after a bit of messing around (I accidentally had them sent to my old work address, so I then had to get them to forward them on to me), it all arrived a couple of days ago.
Today I had a couple of hours spare, so I braved the cold (seriously, it was 0.6 degrees in there!) and set myself up in the garage.
Putting the strips themselves up was fairly easy, mainly because I bodged it a little – the strips come with a sticky backing, but trying to stick them to the old dusty wood would have been futile and the whole lot would have been on the floor again within a week. So I hunted through my box of bits and came up with a bunch of cable clips – just the thing for holding the strips in place. I ordered two 5m strips which turned out to be just the perfect length to go around the two front joists and along each side, giving a (square!) ring around the front of the car.
Wiring everything up took a little longer, mainly because there was a little bit of soldering involved – these LED strips come with their own connection system so technically you don’t need to do any soldering, but the cabling was too short for what I needed and I’m too tight to buy the premade extensions. My soldering skills are a little rusty and my cold numb fingers (did I mention it was 0.6 degrees in the garage?) didn’t help, but I got it all done in the end.
So now I have the LED controller:
Connected to a switch:
The wiring then splits off to the two LED strips:
Which then go round the beams:
I need to tidy up the wiring a little, but for the moment it’s tricky to get to everything I need to so that can wait a while.
I’m quite happy with it overall – it’s not quite enough light to be ideal, but I really like the spread of light. It’s now impossible to block the light out by standing in front of it when I’m working. If I need more direct light, I have a couple of work lights I can use. I may end up getting a couple more strips and doubling the lighting in there, but for now it will do the job.
To give you an idea, the above pics were taken with just the LED strips on and no other lighting. This one has another light on just off camera, but you can see how the shadows are minimised:
Happy with that now, next job is to do something with the power, but I think before that I’ll make a start with prepping that wing for welding – I’ve rubbed the old primer off the inside of the wing so the next step is to paint it properly.