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Old 08-21-2021, 01:33 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Why aren't LED can lights more like USB devices?

I have seen many projects with USB LED tape. I might put some under my loft, especially for when my dear brother turns off my light while I am working. Some have proprietary connectors, but one can simply walk into Home Depot and buy 48' of this (for $75):

Do you see how thin this thing is?

$18 at Home Depot
I originally thought about my brother-in-law telling me about thin entertainment system wire that you glue to the wall and then paint. I figured that you would need to texture it. It seems like the company that made the stuff he mentioned went out of business, but there is Ghost Wire 2.0, although $63 for 50 feet and then needing to stucco, prime, and paint doesn't seem easier than routing wires through the wall with a junction box.

Why does an LED light need that big power brick? It is only 20w!

I would like to see something more like the LED tape, but with several lights in one circle, and then 6' of wire tape. If you want multiple lights you put the end under another light to fix them.

How bad would wire tape look on the ceiling?

I am sure that some people would say "Oh my gosh! That is so ugly! I just want to literally die!"

I don't care about them!

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Old 08-21-2021, 11:46 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Confined space is probably the main reason the power bricks can be so big. Think of what would happen if you wrapped even a 5W power brick in insulation and used it continuously for several hours or maybe even days.

I've seen flat can LED lights like the one in the picture still fail easily after just a few months, probably from overheating.
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Old 08-21-2021, 11:56 PM   #3 (permalink)
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My other question is: Why one power supply per light? Why not one brick to rule them all?

The same reason?
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Old 08-23-2021, 10:06 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Mostly. 100 watts doesn't sound like much unless you restrict the coolong then you can get to 600 degrees really fast. Think soldering iron. Teensy tip, low thermal transfer to air cooling.
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Old 08-23-2021, 02:02 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Thanks for the explanation.

I found a video by Ace where they cut out a strip of drywall to mount sconces. They stapled the power cord to the 2x4s and presumably filled in the trench, textured, primed, and painted, but they didn't show any of that. They didn't show other important parts, either. Someone complained that what they showed was illegal and dangerous--the wire needed to be run 1.5" into the wall or have a protective metal plate over it.

Honestly, I wouldn't recommend it, but if you covered the entire wire with protective metal, you could just spackle over it.

How else would you repair a 2" trench? Cut a piece of drywall?

Well, if it isn't safe or legal to bury wires where the drywall goes, is it safe and legal to bury wires on the surface of the drywall, under spackle and paint?

Can you imagine buying the house, not knowing the wires are there, going to put a poster on the wall, and putting holes in wires with thumbtacks?

I guess that is an unrealistic scenario. The seller might take the connectors and bury the ends instead of removing the wires, but then it wouldn't be plugged in.
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Old 08-23-2021, 02:22 PM   #6 (permalink)
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The 120v wire junction has to be inside a box. Not sure if 1 power supply can feed more than 1 light even with low voltage.
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Old 08-23-2021, 02:50 PM   #7 (permalink)
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How many LED can lights can you put on one wire?

That weirdo who made a video telling us he would show us how to really renovate an old house and then repeatedly had his workers perform this maneuver:
had a video about installing USB charging ports all over the house.

Are there any good wall plates with built-in USB ports? All the ones that I have seen don't last.

He made a big deal out of how easy it is to run low-voltage wire. Unless they are 65w it doesn't seem relevant, but I am positive that he mentioned charging his laptop.

That is the project that never ends, yes it goes on and on my friends. Some YouTuber started making it not knowing what it was...
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Old 08-23-2021, 04:36 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xist View Post
Thanks for the explanation.

I found a video by Ace where they cut out a strip of drywall to mount sconces. They stapled the power cord to the 2x4s and presumably filled in the trench, textured, primed, and painted, but they didn't show any of that. They didn't show other important parts, either. Someone complained that what they showed was illegal and dangerous--the wire needed to be run 1.5" into the wall or have a protective metal plate over it.

Honestly, I wouldn't recommend it, but if you covered the entire wire with protective metal, you could just spackle over it.

How else would you repair a 2" trench? Cut a piece of drywall?

Well, if it isn't safe or legal to bury wires where the drywall goes, is it safe and legal to bury wires on the surface of the drywall, under spackle and paint?

Can you imagine buying the house, not knowing the wires are there, going to put a poster on the wall, and putting holes in wires with thumbtacks?

I guess that is an unrealistic scenario. The seller might take the connectors and bury the ends instead of removing the wires, but then it wouldn't be plugged in.
I'm not sure what the code is for how deep wire should go, it might be different in different areas, but the general idea is that if it's far enough in the wall it doesn't need anything.

If it's close to the drywall or other surface material it needs a plate where it goes through studs since nailing or screwing on the drywall could put the nail or screw through the wire.

If the wire is outside of the wall (interior or exterior of the building) it needs a protective jacket or conduit of some kind so you can't easily damage the wires.
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Old 08-23-2021, 05:43 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Divide the light current into the power supply current will give you how many you can typically operate kind of.

The reason for the stud plates is keeping the wires from being penetrated. drywallers sometimes use other fasteners like 8 penny galvies because they are lying around in a 25# box. Drywall nails and screws are typically only 1 1/2" long so you dont penetrate the stud center. I've seen where a sheetrocker got his sheetrocked room ripped out looking for the nailed romex.
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Old 08-23-2021, 10:40 PM   #10 (permalink)
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A properly designed house will have a conduit at chair rail height.

This topic is suddenly relevant to my interests. I went to the recyclers and came home with a 'finished composite 4x4' eight feet long. It's a 1x4, a 2x2 and another 1x4 laminated together with a full 4x4 end.

This will be the header for my carport extension, mounted with the 2x2 trough facing down. I want to fill it with a string of RGBLEDs. I can run them white all year long and then change to waves of color a few nights before Christmas.

What do you recommend for an eight foot string of lights?

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