Page 1 of 1

Installing low voltage lighting

Posted: Sat Feb 04, 2017 2:09 pm
by coppinpr
WARNING LOW VOLTAGE! purists on the site should not touch any exposed parts of this post

Yes this post will not be popular with the purists but I thought I'd write it up for a good reason. Not for the first time someone said to me last week how much he'd like to have the lights working on his two machines but won't risk it because his grandchildren love to play the machines and he doesn't like to risk 60+year old mains voltage in the machines. Problem is, the kids don't like playing the machines so much with the lights off!! This has also cropped up on the forum from time to time, so as I seem to be trying out new things on the Jennings Chinese front I'm working on AND it didn't have much in the way of lights from new despite having the see through plastic inserts in the lower case, I thought I'd give it a go.

First thing to note is LED lighting has improved no end since the early days. It's easy to use and very versatile. There was a lot of lighting to put in this machine to get the best out of the case so I chose to use a 4 by 60cm flex strip kit, which cost only £15 on line. The kit comes with mains cable/transformer, connectors for the strips, corner connectors and link cables to go between the strips if needed. What really makes these so versatile is the fact you can cut the strip to almost any length as long as you cut at the prescribed points (about every 4 inches). Although it wasn't needed on this job these cut lengths can have wires soldered on quite easily giving you whatever combinations and separations you need. I chose to use the harder bright white colour (in the photos this looks a little blue thanks to the way my phone takes photos) as it needs to show through the plastic inserts and covered window.
lighting kit.jpg

With self adhesive flex lighting you need to attach the strips firmly to avoid them peeling off later in life (this is actually not the problem it used to be - the 3M sticky is very good. I've installed this lighting in my Sauna and it's has stood up to 85c temps of a year now with no problems at all). Even so, I set out to give the strips the best seating I could. Using the screw holes already in use to hold the plastics and glasses in place I mounted small plastic angle to form rails to mount the lights on. This doesn't get in the way of any parts and doesn't cause any shadow on the light produced it's also the perfect base for the sticky adhesive.
lower case lights off.jpg
On the lower casting this gave me the chance to mount the lights on both sides of the rail so as to cover all of the plastics.
I then worked out the route the strips would take starting at the left lower case and ending at the small display window in the top casting. The first 60cm flex did both sides of the left side rail perfectly,I then used one of the link cables to move across to the right side where the second flex did the two side there, this left me with an open connection ready to link to the top casting. With the plastic rails providing a continues track I laid the third and fourth flex (linked as one) under the reel window, round the payout card window and on up to the top window and right round that. I then cut the excess flex (about 3 inches) off and taped the end to the rest to form a complete surround. I added tape to those areas where the flex moves from one area to the next as an extra protection against peeling. Plugged it in and works, better than expected in fact, with no heat to damage the paint on glass and low voltage for added safety.

I've left the one original tube in for the moment but might actually remove it as it's more trouble than it's worth.
lights on top 2.jpg
lower case lights on.jpg
all lights on inside1.jpg

I know it's not for everyone - it's not meant to be, but it does do the job, safely, cheaply and, to be honest in this case at least, effectively.
lights working 1.jpg

Re: Installing low voltage lighting

Posted: Sat Feb 04, 2017 7:52 pm
by ddstoys
Looks better than no lights that's for sure. There's also a warm white which gives off a more original glow than the super bright punch in the face white for those who prefer that.

Re: Installing low voltage lighting

Posted: Sat Feb 04, 2017 11:19 pm
by coppinpr
The warm white is too soft to penetrate the thick plastic inserts on the Jennings. Even the bright white shows as only soft glow once the mech is in the case.