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Thread: LED UV Light Box: Build Your Own for Under $150

  1. #11

    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Sydney
    Posts
    185

    Re: LED UV Light Box: Build Your Own for Under $150

    Looking at the photos it appears you did some soldering to link the strips? This type of homemade box is of interest to me but I've no idea how to solder. I'm wondering if this step is necessary. Had a look at the Amazon link to the strips and got the impression that the strips can link up if you line them up next to each other and use some type of connecting clips. Was the soldering used because you were spacing the strips wider apart?

  2. #12
    Eric Biggerstaff
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    1,322

    Re: LED UV Light Box: Build Your Own for Under $150

    I think you could use the connectors to chain link the strips, but you would need to purchase a bunch of them which would drive up the cost a bit. I had a link to the connectors in the first post. I am not a soldering expert as well, but my friend is good (not expert but you really don't need to be) and together we knocked out the soldering in about 15 minutes. With the low financial cost, it is possible to play with different ideas and find one that works for you.
    Eric Biggerstaff

    www.ericbiggerstaff.com

  3. #13
    Eric Biggerstaff
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    1,322

    Re: LED UV Light Box: Build Your Own for Under $150

    I was checking out Amazon the morning and found this (there are several similar) that powers the LED strips. This is still inexpensive and provides some features that my power packs do not so if you want to try building one of these, check this power supply out.

    http://www.amazon.com/Lemonbest-Powe...d+power+supply
    Eric Biggerstaff

    www.ericbiggerstaff.com

  4. #14

    Join Date
    Jan 1999
    Location
    Louisiana
    Posts
    287

    Re: LED UV Light Box: Build Your Own for Under $150

    That figures. I built mine a few months ago with tubes, but this would be much easier and cheaper. I'm going to explore supplementing my tubes with some LED strips.

  5. #15

    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Central TX
    Posts
    509

    Re: LED UV Light Box: Build Your Own for Under $150

    Maybe the UV LEDs in strips are a new thing. I made my UV exposure unit with bug zapper bulbs (6) and the tube sockets from topbulb.com and ballasts from Lowes or Home Depot, I'd have to look at the notes but I think it was well under $100. Wire nuts and press fit connections, no soldering, but I'm not afraid of soldering either. No idea which has more UV output. I finally made an in camera negative the other day that worked well with Dr. Ware's new cyanotype last night. With my six bulbs took 2 minutes to get the highlights right through the Pyrocat HD developer on Ektascan B/RA. Actually 1-2 bulbs would be enough for the 4x5 negative. Now we head to 5x7 and 8x10 and perhaps, someday, 14x17 Carbon prints.

    If I ever build another, it will likely be this sort of design. I don't like the fragility of the tubes.

  6. #16

    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Central TX
    Posts
    509

    Re: LED UV Light Box: Build Your Own for Under $150

    I forgot to say, I'd hoped to do a UV LED approach but it was not obvious how to get the right LED's etc and I sure didn't want to start with loose LED's and wire/solder an array to cover 14x17. T8 bug zapper bulbs and ballasts with wiring instructions is about as close to an electrical engineer as I want to get most of the time.

  7. #17

    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    UT, USA
    Posts
    40

    Re: LED UV Light Box: Build Your Own for Under $150

    Very clever, thanks for the ideas Eric.

  8. #18

    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Denver Metro
    Posts
    38

    Re: LED UV Light Box: Build Your Own for Under $150

    Eric,
    Great setup, especially since we are suffering from a lack of sunshine this month. It will be interesting to see your results.
    Dave

  9. #19

    Re: LED UV Light Box: Build Your Own for Under $150

    I built something very similar last year using the same approach - Almost 2.5 rolls of UV to make an 11x14 light source (I had a physical space constraint in that darkroom)... I used a large heatsink as the backing for all the LEDs and built a power supply in to the rear etc. In retrospect that may have been rather overkill as your setup shows. Mine doesn't even get warm to touch with the heatsink and fan setup I made. Print times for me are around 3-4 min typically. I can't imagine anything but LED for UV these days.

  10. #20

    Re: LED UV Light Box: Build Your Own for Under $150

    I've toyed with the idea of an LED light source, but haven't got farther than thought experiments. Thanks for sharing!

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