Hey everyone, Adam with Droi Media here, and
today we’re going to be making one of these awesome LED tube lights. LED tube lights are
all the rage right now and today we’re going to be making our very own just like this one.
Now these come out to about $25 per foot if you follow the instructions I’ve made. The
nice thing is though you can use whatever materials fit your budget, and you can make
them in whatever length you want – here I’ve got an 18” one. I just made a bunch of these
because they fit into my light kit a little easier than the 3’ ones I initially made.
Without any further ado let’s go ahead and jump right into this build. First let’s talk about the materials you’re
going to need…. I bought two of these 1 ½” frosted acrylic round tubes from Canal
Plastics, then you’ll need a thin wooden dowel rod, I believe I used a ½ “ one that
I picked up from my local hardware store. You’ll want a 12 volt DC adapter, two end
caps per tube, and then you’ll need your LED strip light. I recommend these 5m strips
from LightingWill which are about $30 per strip – these have a 90 CRI so the light is
a fairly good quality. These strips also come with a solderless connector so it’s going
to be way easier for us to build the lights. I went with a daylight balanced one here to
match my other lights – you can get whatever you want though including RGBs or Tungsten
or whatever. I found that a 5m strip will give you just enough to fill a 3’ tube.
My strips have two bare wires on the end for us to connect to our power supply. You’ll
also want some extra wire, and then you’ll need a few tools like a screwdriver, wire
cutters, a hot glue gun and a soldering iron. All of this stuff will be linked below.
I actually cut my tubes down to make 18” lights so they would fit in my pelican cases,
but you can literally make whatever length you’d like – if you do decide to cut them
just use a hacksaw and then sand or file the ends down so they’re smooth.
Cut down your dowel to the length of your tube and then we want to drill two small pilot
holes in both ends. Take your extra cord and cut a length several
inches longer than your dowel rod, and tape one end to your dowel with a few extra inches
of excess wire hanging out – I just used some masking tape I had nearby. Make sure the wire
is flat against the dowel, it’s tight, and then go ahead and tape the other end down
too. Grab your LED strip, take the adhesive off
the back, and leaving about ½“ of the dowel exposed we want to stick it to the rod, and
make sure this is done at an angle. Peeling the adhesive off as you go wind it all the
way down the rod. We want the LED strips touching but not overlapping. When you get to the other
end be sure to leave another ½“ or so of the dowel out, and then if you need to cut
your light strip be sure to cut along one of the pre-determined areas – mine have a
small cut icon and a couple copper areas where I can cut them. We need these to solder the
wires to, so just cut them carefully with a wire cutter.
Then strip the ends of your extra wire on the end we just cut, and we want to solder
the black to the negative, and the red to the positive. These should be labeled somewhere
on your LED strip. IF you’ve never soldered before I recommend you practice on a few chunks
of excess wire before doing it here, or watch one of thousands of YouTube videos before
doing it. Honestly, it’s super easy, just be careful and go slow. And just so you know,
this is the hardest part of the project, after this it’s smooth sailing.
After those are soldered let’s go back to the other end. Strip the excess wire here,
and then if you need to cut and strip the wires coming from your LED strip. You’ll
want just under 2 inches of wire for each of these. Make sure your solderless power
adapter is nearby, and then twist the two bare black or negative wires together, and
then slip those into the negative side of that power adapter and screw them down. Simply
repeat this step with the two bare red or positive wires. You should now have a dowel
covered in LED lights with one end soldered and the other end ready to get plugged in.
At this point in time it probably looks bare and ugly but we’re going to add the frosted
tubes in just a moment and make everything look real sexy. Before you go any further
make sure your connections are solid by plugging it in.
For this last bit grab a couple tiny screws, I just used a handful of small ones I had
laying around, get your end caps, your acrylic tube, and that uggo LED stick we just made.
In the end caps you’ll want to drill two very small holes directly in the center, and
then drill a larger hole on the outer edge of ONE of the caps. I believe I used a ¼”
bit for this one. Slide your LED stick into the acrylic tube, and then start one of the
screws through the end cap without the larger hole in it. Finish screwing it into the far
end of the LED stick, and then slide that onto your tube – it should fit nice and snug.
Then disconnect the solderless adapter at the other end, and using some hot glue, or
sturdy adhesive of your choice, connect it to the other end cap with the power adapter
on the outside and the wire connections on the inside. This one that you see here was
the first one I made, and it is ugly as [bleep]. If you make more than one they’ll come out
prettier each time. Reconnect your wires like we did earlier, and snap that end onto the
tube to seal everything up. Now plug that super sexy super kickass LED light tube in
and bask in all of its wonderful glory. These lights are super easy to use, just grab
a clamp and put them to work in your next project! Be sure to subscribe for our next
video because I’m going to show you how to make a bank like this where you can attach
different lights to it, this is going to have an adapter on the back so it can attach directly
to a light stand, and then it’s also going to have a little dimmer here as well. Also,
I’m going to be joined by my very adorable very needy production assistant. So if you’ve
got any questions about this build please leave those down in the comments section below,
if you’ve got any questions about this video or this project leave those down in the comments
section below. Thanks so much for taking the time to watch this video, and I will see you
guys next time.