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Old 07-04-2015, 04:37 PM   #1
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LED Awning Lights - Installation

I'm going to be installing an LED light strip under the awning and will document the process here.

I've seen several types, and some with remotes, but to be honest I wasn't happy with the keychain IR remotes and the fact that the lights only produced one color. So, after a bit of research, I decided to go with a waterproof 5M string of RGBW, and a LedeNet Remote and controller. My trailer has 12V drops in all the overhead cabinets, so no need to worry about a power supply or wiring to the controller location.

I have all the parts except for one - a roll of 3M double-sided waterproof tape, which arrives next Monday. So, I won't be able to install until then.

Now for the parts I chose:

LED Strip
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...ilpage_o02_s00

This a waterproof (IP65) 5050 RGBW strip, 5 meters long. Like other 5050's, it can be cut every third LED. The particular one I chose had good reviews on color clarity and trueness. If you cut it, you should put some waterproof caulk on the cut edge to maintain it's waterproof properties.

LED Controller and Remote
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...ilpage_o02_s00

This is a very nice looking unit with a color wheel to vary the color output. It's RF, not IR, so no need to aim it at a sensor to operate the lights. It should be good out to about 30 meters. The controller has screw terminals for both the LED side and the DC side which I really like. That way, the hole I drill into the overhead cabinet will be very small and easily sealed, because I can cut the terminal off the end and just pass the wires through. It's an RGBW controller of course, so it can operate this particular string properly. The controller is also very small, so it won't affect space in the overhead cabinet.

LED Tape
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...ilpage_o01_s00

Reading and researching the different LED strings, there were many warning that the tape on the back of the strip is essentially useless for an outdoor application, and of poor quality. So, I ordered a roll of 3M clear double sided exterior tape made specifically for the 5050 LEDs. It's way more tape than I needed, but it was the smallest quantity I could find. In any case, far less expensive than VHB and it will do the job.

When I checked the tape on the LEDs, the comments I'd read were right - the tape is really bad. Good news is it can be peeled right off and the 3M tape added.

I'll post installation photos once I get to it, but for now here are some photos of the parts.
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File Type: jpg IMG_1394.jpg (163.0 KB, 41 views)
File Type: jpg LED Tape.jpg (29.8 KB, 44 views)
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Old 07-04-2015, 05:47 PM   #2
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Hanging a disco ball too?
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Old 07-04-2015, 06:05 PM   #3
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Hanging a disco ball too?

Don't worry, I won't set them to flash or strobe, I just like being able to change the color and brightness. They can also run just pure white.
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Old 07-05-2015, 05:11 AM   #4
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Hey RB


Amazon links are broken so good that you took pictures. Where are you pulling power from ?


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Old 07-05-2015, 10:30 AM   #5
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Hey RB


Amazon links are broken so good that you took pictures. Where are you pulling power from ?


Cypher
Thanks for the heads up Cypher. The links didn't paste properly I guess. I have drops in all the overhead cabinets. I'll just run one of the drops into the controller.

Here are the links:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...ilpage_o02_s00

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...ilpage_o02_s00

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...ilpage_o01_s00
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Old 07-05-2015, 11:10 AM   #6
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Robert,
Have u considered placing the strip light in Anodized Aluminum TAMI Channel
For LED Tape Light - Klus B5390ANODA amazon to protect the light strip from weather.

Tonny
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Old 07-05-2015, 11:14 AM   #7
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LED Awning Lights - Installation

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tonny LR View Post
Robert,
Have u considered placing the strip light in Anodized Aluminum TAMI Channel
For LED Tape Light - Klus B5390ANODA amazon to protect the light strip from weather.

Tonny

Yes, I thought about a channel, but went with an IP 65 rated waterproof strip instead. It needs no weather protection, provides a less visible install (the channel you mentioned is 16mm wide while the tape itself is only 10mm wide), and can be adhered to the fiberglass itself. Easier to install or remove as well.

They do make waterproof strips with up to IP 68 waterproof ratings, but those are submersible, for use in underwater applications like a pool. Not needed here.

I figure if the strip ever does stop working due to deterioration or water, it was relatively cheap and can be easily replaced.
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Old 07-05-2015, 04:54 PM   #8
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Robert,
See here for some pictures Planned modifications to BlackJack….
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Old 07-05-2015, 04:58 PM   #9
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Robert,
See here for some pictures Planned modifications to BlackJack….
Thanks Jim. I think I saw that section of your thread before. Nice tidy install.
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Old 08-04-2015, 03:08 PM   #10
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Installed the strip on Sunday, but I haven't hooked it up to the controller or the 12V drop yet. Reason is I didn't have additional wire to splice on to the ends of the LED Strip wires as they came into the trailer. The wires on the Strip end only come into the trailer about 2 1/2". The wires are very thin. I'll be headed back out this weekend to finish up. I'll add additional length to the wires so the controller can lay flat in the bottom of the cabinet. Also (note to self) make sure to take a couple AAA batteries for the remote. Will post photos once it's all done.

Oh, and an edit to my original post: you don't need to seal anything when you cut this strip to length. The strip is not covered, but completely encased in waterproof acrylic. The end is completely sealed when you cut it.
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Old 08-23-2015, 03:45 PM   #11
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OK, finally had an actual day off so I could go hook up the wiring. Works well. First, spliced/soldered/shrink wrapped 5 pieces of wire of the same gauge and color as the led wires coming into the trailer. Then, just pushed them into the corresponding screw pots on the controller and tightened them down. Then, loosened the 12V drop in the corner of the cabinet, cut off the butt connectors, and pushed the wires into the power terminals on the controller, and tightened them down. Easy, but the 100 degree heat inside the trailer made it tedious. At least the next time we camp we'll have the lights.
Attached Images
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File Type: jpg IMG_1443.jpg (174.6 KB, 40 views)
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Old 08-23-2015, 04:47 PM   #12
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That's why I don't do customer installations on a trailer if they don't have A/C; too dang hot to work!
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Old 09-12-2015, 03:02 PM   #13
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LED Awning Lights - Installation

Follow up:

Haven't had a chance to post photos yet because I've been in Europe and elsewhere on business. The strip works perfectly, but the remote doesn't. Could not get it to pair. Good news is I contacted the seller and they sent a new remote and controller and its waiting for me when I get home tonight. They didn't even ask for the old controller/remote back.

As I mentioned before, I decided to solve the cheap tape mounting problem by removing it and using some 3m tape designed for 10mm strips. Turns out it's not all that great either. Rather than remove it and use a thicker tape like VHB, I used a quicker fix - just ran a bead of clear lexel on either side of the strip and smoothed it down with a finger. That strip is now stuck and not going anywhere - and completely weatherproof.

I'll post a follow up pic or two once I have a controller that can actually change the brightness and color of the strip.
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Old 12-19-2015, 03:52 PM   #14
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I don't have any follow up photos yet (forgot to take some when we camped last) but the LED strip works very well now that they sent me a working remote. You can turn on the strip basically anywhere within about 50 feet of the trailer and it's RF instead of IR, so you dont have to point it at anything.

We had the lights on just white the first night at Matagorda Bay, but that resulted in about a thousand mosquitos deciding to camp along the strip. The next night I turned the color wheel down to a nice amber and the bugs were gone. Still puts out a good amount of light. Overall I'm very happy with the install and my total cost was about $35.
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Old 03-08-2016, 01:55 AM   #15
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nice job, and amazing you could do it for about $35

The ETI installed one would be much easier for me, of course... but is $170 CAD.... so that is currently $127 USD.....

and i dont think the ETI one is variable color.... or is it?
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Old 03-08-2016, 12:33 PM   #16
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Nope, the factory installed one is white lights, with an IR remote.
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Old 03-08-2016, 01:09 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rbryan4 View Post
Follow up:

Haven't had a chance to post photos yet because I've been in Europe and elsewhere on business. The strip works perfectly, but the remote doesn't. Could not get it to pair. Good news is I contacted the seller and they sent a new remote and controller and its waiting for me when I get home tonight. They didn't even ask for the old controller/remote back.
Hello rbryan4,
I bought the same LED strip light and controller following your forum post from LEDENET throught Amazon . Now I shared the same remote /controller problem. Would you please share how you contact with the seller in USA . I searched the web and found that this is a Chinese company located in China. Thanks.

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Old 03-08-2016, 03:34 PM   #18
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LED Awning Lights - Installation

Hi Tonny,

I bought the strip on Amazon so I just used the Amazon link to contact the seller. They got back to me quickly. By the way, you'll know if it is going to pair by the red light that comes on when you insert the batteries. No light - no pair. If you see the light, follow the pairing instructions and it should work.
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Old 03-08-2016, 03:48 PM   #19
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Robert,
Thanks for the info. We will give it a try. If it does not work, we will contact Amazon.

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Old 05-29-2016, 02:35 AM   #20
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this is a great thread

however this wiring and trouble shooting may be above my "pay grade"

however i'm sad that ETI only install a led light strip that does white.

i'd love to be able to do white, or red (night vision preservation) or yellow (maybe attract fewer bugs?)

are there any other options for putting up an led light strip, under the awning, once we get our 2017 21' ?

i'll get a 12v drop in the right place.
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