I acquired some broken fluorescent fixtures used for aquariums, they are made of mostly aluminum, with metal reflectors, and are of high quality, too good to go to the scrapper. So I converted them to use white LED strip with daisy chainable connectors on both ends. A single salvaged PC power supply will be used to power a few sets. Standard screw-down terminal blocks were used to make the connections, as they are cheap, easy to to utilize, and are rated for 15A per position so that is approx 25 meters of LED strip, but that much won't be used. I chose to use 5050 type LED strip mixed with 3528 LED strip, to even out the light distribution but mostly to test out the different SMD LED types output's for future projects.
Step 1: Parts and Tools
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Step 2: Strip It Down and Prepare the Case
Strip It Down: Each type/brand of light will come apart differently, the model I used is fairly high quality and is mostly aluminum with some plastic ends.
Prepare the Case: I was going to use panel mount barrel jacks for power but, I wanted to be able to daisy chain the lights so I went with soldering two screw down terminal blocks together, rated for 15A per position. Skip ahead to Step 4 to see what I mean. To mount them to the end caps of the light, I drilled a 9/16" hole away from the edge and cut a slot in the plastic with a hacksaw. Later the terminals are slid up the slot and positioned in the hole and hot glued in place.
Step 3: Attach LED Strip
For the LEDs I went with 3 strips of 5050 sized LED strip and 2 strips of 3528 LED strip. The 5050's have 3 white LEDs in each one, and the 3528 are single LEDs. I was hoping mixing the different types would even out the light distribution a little bit, but I do not think it is necessary, I would have used all 5050 type if I had to choose.
Place the LED Strip:
Step 4: Power Connectors and LED Strip Wiring
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The power is connected to the device through two screw down terminals soldered together on the ends with a heavy gauge dual-strand wire(I used some 18AWG speaker wire) used to transfer the power from one end to the other. The power for the LED strips is connected to the screw down terminals, with some of the LED strips getting cross connections.
Step 5: Close It Up and Test
Test It: With it mostly unassembled it should be fine to power it up and test it out, look over all your connections and solder joints first, make sure everything is correct. Test the other end to make sure power is correctly transferred through the light.
If it is working correctly....
Close It Up:
I have a 4' version of the same light that will be made into a 8 Section RGB(24 Channels) DMX-512 Wash Light Utilizing my 24 Channel High Current LED Controller with DMX-512 to Serial Interace(Instructable and Kits available soon)
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Step 6: Extra Light
I also had a single, cheaper fluorescent fixture for aquariums, I did it pretty much the same thing, take a look at the images for details.