Well, if you have the money, 1/8" thick square corner angle aluminum is a better option than plate or sheet. Repurposing other types of aluminum extrusions would be the next best bet if you can find them for cheap and they’re rigid enough. I’ve seen people use tool wall extrusions and other neat things. This build ended up clean but, like you said, it’s basically a big dull blade if you were to drop it on anything.
That’s a good idea. Does it flex much? One of the most important things when using strips is keeping them rigid, especially these fiberglass strips, because if they flex the copper traces can go bad. Even deflection of 1/2" over the entire 44" length can cause issues, I’ve heard. Did you end up doing a lot of cross bracing to make your frame more rigid?
Also, yeah that’s way overkill. LOL 600w is probably plenty for the EB2 strips in a 4x4, and 500w is prolly enough of the EB3. 1000w is way too much.
Series vs. parallel is mostly about safety and insurance coverage if there’s a fire, as verified by certified electricians in the LED strip thread linked above. You probably can’t get hurt by our low voltage fixtures wired in parallel because there isn’t enough current flowing through them, but the high voltage series fixtures have the potential to kill somebody. Also, if you’re using high voltage fixtures without a permit and you have a fire, even if the lights aren’t the cause, you could be denied an insurance claim and could be fined by the county/locality. That’s not something I’m willing to risk just for some weed. Also, I’m a renter, so I would never do that to somebody else’s property. But I’m not going to judge somebody for disagreeing.
You’re less of a procrastinator than me! lol I’m just glad it’s working out well for you. Hopefully other folks find it easy as well! I think the angle aluminum builds are actually more complex, and I don’t like how they fit in a tent with negative pressure.
Thanks for the notes on laying it out and building it. I figured it out pretty well in the end. I didn’t need to brace anything, but I appreciate the helpful tips. I did use a center punch to drill all the holes.
Yeah, fucking useless tariffs. Aluminum is better for all the reasons you mentioned. Steel is possible but it’s just so not good as a heatsink and it’s fucking heavy. You don’t want much of any flex in your fixture.
That’s essentially what I did, but with fresh slabs of aluminum plate instead of street signs. I did think about “borrowing” some though! lol
It’s a cool build! Thanks for that. I considered not using a heatsink like your build, but in the end I decided that longevity of the strips was paramount, since I’m so poor, and want this to last at least 5 years. Not that bare strips necessarily will die or suffer failures before 5 years, but we just don’t know about that specific use case.
All electronics in general do better with heat dissipation, but I’m curious to see if there’s much reduction in PAR output of bare strips run at or below nominal after 5 years. I’d be curious how you ascertained that part about “Strips will be gently bolted directly to the bare ass naked 1” aluminum. Better cooling than with tape anyway." I don’t agree that bare strips are better cooled than strips mounted to a metal surface with a thermal interface. My understanding from years of building PCs, specifically with regards to the cooling of CPUs and GPUs, is that air cooled is never better than heatsinked even when using thermal interface material pads, and it’s not even close.