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simland 10-12-2009 02:09 PM

DIY Under Mantel Solution
Hey all, I've searched to the ends of the internet and haven't truly found concise input on how to go about doing this. (Leads me to believe that I should give up.) I'm hoping someone can guide me in a good direction. Thanks!

I would like to construct some "efficient", reliable and low temp under mantle accent lighting.

Here are the objectives:
1)No exterior wires or cables.
2)Dimmable or at least 2 Power states and an off state.
3)Reliable. If a bulb/LED goes out the rest of the lights don't go out. Likewise, a single bulb outage won't cause a potentially dangerous circuit.
4)Low temp and heat resistant as it is near a fireplace.
5)Low profile as the interior is about 3 inches of clearance.
6)Preferably cheap. I have a big bag of super bright white LEDs from different project.

I've seen circuit diagrams that use full wave rectifiers, or a combination of LEDs in series that use a resistor and capacitor. These run straight off the house line. I'm concerned if an LED goes out that it would cause a complete failure of the circuit.

I've also seen that I can use a transformer and go the halogen route, but I would like to hard wire these and I'm not sure if I'm supposed to connect these in series or parallel to the transformer. (60w transformer, 20w puck lights.)

Do I need access to the transformer like I would need access to the junction box?

As you can tell, I don't know much when it comes to anything more complicated than wiring an outlet or switch.

oilseal 10-13-2009 06:44 AM

similand: Why series for lighting? Forget series. Xmas lights are not even series wired anymore. Bad design.
Transformers must have access.
Halogens are not LOW heat and surely not in series (where I'd be involved anyhow).
LEDs are cool and require a DC voltage from a simple power supply (of course line operated); half-wave, full-wave, it does not matter.

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