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Posted by Rich K. 
March 26, 2015 08:30PM
I would like to light up the build area on my "sturdy", the better to see how things are doing. I'd like to use the one unused output ("transistor 2") on my Panelolu2 interface board for my Melzi to turn the lighting on and off ("transistor one" controls my bed cooling fan).

1) Can anyone recommend a fairly inexpensive, but bright, LED 12-volt light or lights that would suit my purposes - preferably a US seller, since overseas shipments can cost more in shipping (not to mention taking a fair amount of time to arrive unless I want to pay more for rapid shipping - which I don't)? I'd also prefer to not mount it on the X carriage or other moving parts, as I would prefer it remain stationary (albeit maybe able to be adjusted for best effect).

2) Which pin(s) do I need to call out in my g-code, and what commands, to turn the light on at startup and off when the print is done?
Re: lighting?
March 27, 2015 11:34AM
hmm... I can see the attraction of controlling the lighting via the controller ("because I can") but wouldn´t it be simpler to just use an ordinary switch? That´s how I am doing it.
Re: lighting?
March 27, 2015 11:50AM
Yeah, the "because I can" factor is part of what governs it. That, plus fewer parts required. Anyway, can you recommend a light that won't cost an arm and a leg?
Re: lighting?
March 27, 2015 01:48PM
Digikey, Amazon, or Ebay have a ton of different white LEDs that can be easily wired up. Just use a current limiting resistor of the correct value. Be aware that hooking them up directly to the controller likely will result in the lights plusing as the heated bed turns on and off. Some people find this annoying, others aren't really bothered by it.

If you want something "now", stop by a Harbor Freight, Walmart, or anywhere else that sells cheap LED junk flashlights and grab a few. You'll need to play around with the resistors but you probably can get close by presuming 2V forward voltage and 20ma forward current ratings. Just use one of the many LED resistor calculators to figure it out if you don't know how to compute it yourself.
Re: lighting?
March 27, 2015 01:49PM
These are cheap as chips from China [www.ebay.co.uk]

Re: lighting?
March 27, 2015 03:09PM
I´d recommend led strips, with those you won´t need to bother with resistors, because they are already included, I use strips with adhesive tape which makes mounting them very easy. Can be tricky to find the right ones though...

Don´t buy waterproof ones, they are difficult to work with. Usually you can cut those strips every 3 leds, which makes it quite convenient for different mounting scenarios

Check out Ebay, I had a look and there are tons of sellers in the US...

Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 03/27/2015 03:21PM by D4RK1.
Re: lighting?
March 27, 2015 03:51PM
The trick is going to be finding a way to light up the print area without the lights getting in the way, of course...
Re: lighting?
March 27, 2015 04:04PM
Maybe you should post a picture of your printer and tell from where you will be watching. In my case I have lights at the front of my printer for when I want to look at the print directly. And another set of lights in the back because thats where my webcam is situated. With the original Dibond Mendel90 the view from the back is better, because the fan duct isn´t in the way.
Re: lighting?
March 27, 2015 04:48PM
I won't be using a webcam so lighting for that isn't such a big deal. Ideally, any lights I had would be on flexible mounts so that I could aim them any way I want to.
Re: lighting?
March 28, 2015 09:09AM
dunno, flexible mounts are prone to getting in the way, I´d rather have something fixed at a position where there is no chance of it disturbing the print. I think a good position for the lights would be on either side of the bed, a little above bed height (if you are using strips you will have several LEDs anyway) and positioned away from the viewer. I have a chamber around my printer so I positioned the strips in the front corners. On a bare mendel I´d put them behind the gantry on either side using an assembly like in the picture.

this can be just clipped onto the dibond plates of my mendel, for your sturdy version you would have to find another method to attach it. When viewed from the front the lights are behind the gantry and the fixture, but due to the angled position they also light up part of the bed in front of the gantry.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/28/2015 09:15AM by D4RK1.
Re: lighting?
April 04, 2015 07:11AM
This is how one strip of a 17cm ebay daylight running lights looks like:

I have a rear cover installed (housing). On the top cover the strip can be attached with the incorporated double sided tape.
And yes, jitter while the bed heater is tuned is really annoying.
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