I have been wanting to upgrade my UV light source to something a bit larger and more powerful. The commercial made boxes are just to expensive to justify given the amount of alt process work I do and even used ones were more than I wanted to spend. The DIY boxes I saw were nice and I have several friends who have made them, but they seemed a bit complex and at around $500 that was even more than I could invest.
So, I set a goal of creating a good DIY UV box for under $150 if I could. Searching YouTube I ran across this video:
This seemed like a good solution and not overly complicated, which is good as I am NOT an electrician or handy with tools.
I did a search for UV LED lights and came up with these:
There are many others but these were powerful and affordable, I decided that I needed two rolls of them with each roll being 5 meters long.
Based on advise from a friend (who is active on this forum), we decided to use a simple power source and again use 2 so there is plenty of power for the number of light, I went with these:
These provide plenty of power and are easy to work with, no need for fans or ballast as the LED's run cool.
Also, we adapted these to wire the lights to the power:
They are cheap so I bought a few but only needed two, one for each set of lights.
For the box, I simply used plywood I had on hand but if you were to purchase, I think you would maybe spend $20. Also, I bought a hinge and a knob for $12 total so my net investment in materials was around $100 not including tax and shipping.
So far so good.
Using the ideas shown in the video, my friend and i created the light panel. Ours was a little different but as you can see in the pics, it works just fine. I won't go into construction details as you can piece that together based on the video but one thing learned is that the LED's measure 3/8" of an inch wide so we spaced them 1/2" inch apart. This provides a very smooth even light and there is space between the strips that would allow me to add lights if I wanted to.
The entire build took about 8 hours total spread over 4 days, so not a big deal at all.
The LED's are attractive to use as they are cheap, no ballast required, have a 50,000 hour lifetime, run cool, and quickly light when the timer is tripped (mine have a 2 second lag so not bad).
Now, on to testing!
I will report on the results later this weekend.
Here are the pics: