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Tip O' The Day

Alternative to Lightsheet

[Science!]

Category:

Lighting

Submitted By:

Joseph Suttie

Tip:

Update on the use of the 'indiglo' style light sheet found at Home Depot and other stores. Sold as a night light, this strip glows dim/soft. This is due to the frequency of the house AC line, not so much the voltage. To get the full brightness I used the 'driver' from a neon rope kit from Target. A pre-caution with regard to removing the light sheet from the plastic housing, it is fragile. I had two and one 'broke' in the process of removing it! There are two points of contact on the sheet: a dark area and a light gray area. The gray area scratches and cracks easily. It appears to be some thin epoxy like material plated on the plastic sheet. I was able to test the other sheet by simply clipping the drive output wires to the AC plugs on the night light (it was not plugged in just sitting on the work bench). Full brightness was achieved. These driver modules are available individually (allelectronics and others).

To attach the drive to the sheet I would try conductive nickel epoxy/varnish. Or if you have the silver epoxy for gluing down heat sinks to computer parts, that should work too. The epoxy instructions/specs/advertisements will note its conductive qualities since care would have to be taken not to short out the components around the application site. Nickel ‘varnish’ is used to repair circuit boards. I got it from an electronics store (not Radio Shack). The brand name on the bottle is GC Electronics if you’re looking for it in a catalog. http://www.gcwaldom.com/catalog.html look under Chemicals, printed circuit boards, they now have sliver paint; the nickel paint is what I got. Mix well before applying and allow to dry before testing conductivity. I have not tried this method yet; getting the sheet out of the plastic housing safely will be the real challenge.


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