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FORUMS General Gear Talk DIY & Customizing 
Thread started 12 Mar 2017 (Sunday) 11:42
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DIY strip light

2,600 posts
Gallery: 20 photos
Likes: 503
Joined Apr 2012
Location: the farthest point east in michigan
Mar 12, 2017 11:42 |  #1

i remember reading on POTN about DIY strip lights and (as an electrician i know a little bit about this stuff) it was mentioned that fluorescent tubes fired by an electronic ballast (usually the newer T8 tubes) if you want any sort of consistent white balance...

has anyone experimented with the latest and greatest LED tubes? we're in the process of retrofitting one of our plants with these in place of the T8s we installed not 7 years ago. some of them you can purchase can be wired into any fixture by bypassing the ballast so those old 4' shop lights with T12 tubes can be used saving BIG Dollars. i think the LEDs were using are $10 a tube or less...

they also make them with a dimmable feature for under $30-35 so i think this could be the next big breakthrough in cheap lighting...

of course this is all dependent on the LEDs being consistent color temperature-wise...

3,061 posts
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Joined Mar 2012
Location: PEI, Canada
Mar 22, 2017 12:18 |  #2

A big thing to remember to look out for on Dimmable LEDs are frequency dimming by PWM (Pulse Width Modulation) - Some are decent and use a very high frequency pulse so that you get several cycles in any given shutter speed duration you might want to use, which means you get nice and even lighting. Others use weird and very low frequency to achieve dimming, which leads to excessive flicker. I've seen a few cheap ones that were so bad that you could clearly see the pulses with the naked eye.

As for the usage in photography, I have found that the few I've been around seem to suffer from issues of hot-spotting. I had seen one installation that used a board with this massively dense array of super tiny LEDs - like almost on a scale that you might expect an old character based LCD/LED displays, which made for something with fairly even lighting when behind a diffusion panel, but others were only a dozen or so big LEDs spaced out down the line, which made for big bright points that looked hard to diffuse properly.

Canon EOS 7D | EF 28 f/1.8 | EF 85 f/1.8 | EF 70-200 f/4L | EF-S 17-55 | Sigma 150-500
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DIY strip light
FORUMS General Gear Talk DIY & Customizing 
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