Under-Mill Lighting

I shot some GoPro video a week or two back on my mill.  It was tough to get enough lighting over there.  That area of my shop just isn’t really well lit.  I could crawl up in the attic and try to wire another light, but I will probably move the mill before too long.  In comes LED light strips.  I picked some up to play with a while back and hadn’t gotten around to using them.  They are strips that are largely made of copper foil, the resisters are already installed, and you can cut it every few inches to the length you want.

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These narrow strips will fit perfectly under the rails used in my mill’s gantry system.  You can little double headed clip-on connectors to link multiple segments together or make turns.  I cut the one end off and used them to splice in power.  They have springy tabs that are supposed to connect to the round pads.  I found their connectivity wasn’t very solid, so I shored it up with solder.  Now vibration and movement shouldn’t be a problem.

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With all the connectors soldered and everything cut to length I pulled the backing off and carefully applied it to the underside of all my rail sections.  For the connector end I wrapped a zip tie around them so that any tugs on the cable wouldn’t rip the lighting off.  Everything got wired up in parallel to a 12V supply I bought from a similar amazon vendor.  The results are pretty good.

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My camera was in full manual mode, so what you see is what you get.  One strip went under each Y rail (front to back) and I was able to sneak two under the X rail (left to right).  This doesn’t completely fix my lighting problems, but it feels a lot better work around the mill.  I will probably come up with some kind of ring light to give really good direct lighting lighting on the bit.

The total cost was about 25 bucks.  I bought a lot bigger power supply than I needed so I can add as many lights as I want.  About half the reel and a pile of connectors are left over.  If I ever make an enclosure It will probably get gobs of this strip lighting.

2 thoughts on “Under-Mill Lighting

  1. Pingback: CNC Mill Ring Light | Kilted Craft Works

  2. Pingback: Illuminated Wall | Kilted Craft Works

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