Author Topic: Light Box Building & Construction  (Read 986 times)

Offline jayn_j

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Light Box Building & Construction
« on: March 01, 2018, 04:18:08 PM »
Thanks, Richard. Great information. I'd like to get a lightbox, so I'm trying to stay with DS posters.

Order placed with MPB for another Beckinsale!

Lightboxes are very easy to make.  I built one in less than a weekend.  The key is to use the spotlight display snap frame.  I used the wide frame as it provided more space for mounting
http://www.spotlightdisplays.com/27x40-movie-poster-frame.html

Here is a pointer to some pictures of the one I built
http://users.frii.com/cindy/lightbox/

I used commercially available rope light which cost me about $50 for 40 ft.  If I were to do this again, I would use the flat strip lighting and an external power wart.  Something like this:
https://smile.amazon.com/ABI-Density-Flexible-Adapter-Included/dp/B00XLQIILS/ref=sr_1_15?s=home-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1519938841&sr=1-15&keywords=led+strip+lighting&refinements=p_n_feature_keywords_four_browse-bin%3A7802635011

Cost would run about $100 for the snap frame, $20 for the LEDs, $10 for the wall wart, and about $25 for the 2" pine and sheet of white Masonite for the backing.  Total cost around $150
« Last Edit: March 02, 2018, 05:08:31 PM by erik1925 »
Jay

Offline Dr Bill

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Re: Light Box Building & Construction
« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2018, 10:20:01 PM »
Lightboxes are very easy to make.  I built one in less than a weekend.  The key is to use the spotlight display snap frame.  I used the wide frame as it provided more space for mounting
http://www.spotlightdisplays.com/27x40-movie-poster-frame.html

Here is a pointer to some pictures of the one I built
http://users.frii.com/cindy/lightbox/

I used commercially available rope light which cost me about $50 for 40 ft.  If I were to do this again, I would use the flat strip lighting and an external power wart.  Something like this:
https://smile.amazon.com/ABI-Density-Flexible-Adapter-Included/dp/B00XLQIILS/ref=sr_1_15?s=home-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1519938841&sr=1-15&keywords=led+strip+lighting&refinements=p_n_feature_keywords_four_browse-bin%3A7802635011

Cost would run about $100 for the snap frame, $20 for the LEDs, $10 for the wall wart, and about $25 for the 2" pine and sheet of white Masonite for the backing.  Total cost around $150

Very nice job. Does the interior of the box get very warm, as in any likely damage to the poster over time? I assume the plastic sheets from Spotlight block UV. I think I'd be tempted to swap posters in and out fairly often, which looks easy with that frame, and would be less likely to damage a poster from long-term heat or light. How did you decide how much light to put in it to get the brightness you wanted?

I'm trying to decide whether I'd want one 40" or 41" to make sure most posters would fit. I suppose I could make a matte to surround the poster if the frame was slightly oversized. I'd also want LEDs that were 6500K to display the colors accurately. My usual problem is that by the time I'm finished over-engineering it, the cost and time cancel the advantage of making one vs. buying it. Must do some research...thanks for the links.
« Last Edit: March 02, 2018, 05:08:58 PM by erik1925 »

Offline jayn_j

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Re: Light Box Building & Construction
« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2018, 10:35:54 PM »
Tjat's the point of using LED strip lighting.  Strip lights will do almost all of the heat dissipation in the power wart.

For the rope light in my unit, I would say the light itself has maybe a 5 degree rise.  The poster remains cool to the touch.  This is probably the least amount of heat damage you can have and still get light behind the poster.
« Last Edit: March 02, 2018, 05:09:11 PM by erik1925 »
Jay

Offline Dr Bill

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Re: Light Box Building & Construction
« Reply #3 on: March 01, 2018, 10:38:12 PM »
Great - and after a bit of quick research, it seems they can be put on a dimmer to control the brightness.
« Last Edit: March 02, 2018, 05:09:23 PM by erik1925 »

Offline jayn_j

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Re: Light Box Building & Construction
« Reply #4 on: April 12, 2018, 12:37:22 PM »
I am going to post the images of my first build here, along with a few notes.  I need to redo these for the redo using the led strip lights instead of the rope lighting.

Here is the assembled lightbox from the front.  It looks just like a standard spotlight displays frame here


Here it is from the side.  I used pine 1x2 lumber and painted the outside flat black.  The backing is a piece of masonite shower liner with a glossy white coating on one side


Here is a front view with the frame open.  That is 50 feet of led rope lighting, held in with cable clamps and clear packing tape.


A corner detail, showing how to mount the spotlight frame to the box.  I forget the exact dimensions of the frame, but they were chosen so that the side to side mounting holes were centered on the wood frame.  Note that the inside of the mounting box is not painted.


Another detail, showing the cable clamps and packing tape used to secure the rope light tightly against the back of the box.


Clamping the poster in place between the 2 layers of the PET-G of the spotlight frame


The box lit up in a dark room.  Note that the strips can be seen.  The effect is much less obvious in real life, but this is a reason to go with the strip lighting.  It can be held tighter against the back and is easier to control.  It also allows more leds to be placed inside, and the result can be dimmedto taste.

Some folks have reported success at eliminating the stripe effect by placing a frosted layer behind the frame, but that is at the cost of some brightness.

« Last Edit: April 12, 2018, 12:40:48 PM by jayn_j »
Jay

Offline Crazy Vick

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Re: Light Box Building & Construction
« Reply #5 on: April 12, 2018, 10:36:24 PM »
Impressive!  Nice work and poster.