Close scrapes with undercupboard lighting

This week the mini fluorescent tube of our under cupboard lighting failed. The tubes have been tricky to replace so each time they popped I’ve been replacing them with LED strips. As mentioned on twitter the kitchen is a harsh environment and we have had some issues with the glue for the one above the kettle. So I decided to use some mini trunking I had left over along with some acrylic to make a housing for the lights.

Scraper

I had been planning to make a scraper anyway as I had bought the acrylic for a different project. A scraper allows you to smooth out the saw marks from the cut acrylic and can also remove any bumps or lumps. At school we used steel rules for this but I had some stainless steel sheet (from the stainless steel unicorn) which I thought would work well. So I cut a rectangle and added a couple of wooden battens to make a handle.

I drilled two holes and added some low profile fasteners to hold the whole thing together.

Cutting Acrylic

The trunk was cut to length using a Jr Hacksaw and the 2mm clear acrylic sheet was marked off using a steel bar and knife. I did try to see if I could snap off the strip but I ended up with a load of fragments…

So I scrapped the edge smooth and started again. This time I used a saw to cut the strip. Because it was a pull saw I clamped the steel bar across the board (after taking the photo) to stop the material lifting up.

I used the new scraper to smooth off the edges and to ensure it fitted into the trunking.

Building the lights

The assembly of the lights was pretty straight forward, I simply posted the LEDs and acrylic strip into the end and they were held there by friction.

I then wired them up to the 12v constant voltage supply. This was wired up to the original cable put in by the electrician. The trunking was stuck to the underside of the cupboard using some silicone sealant.

It was interesting to see from the shot that the acrylic has acted as a diffuser despite being clear. The colour of the LEDs is a bit bluish so I’ll likely swap them out for some warm lights at some point. But the results look smart and I’ll likely use that for the other set of cupboards too.

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