How to Install LED Strip Lights in Your Desk

How to Install LED Strip Lights in Your Desk

Mikey shows you how he installed a roll of LED Strip Lights on his desk for improved task light and general coolness.

Products used — note that I am not affiliated with the manufacturers or sellers in any way and this is not an endorsement of these products. This is just a list of the things I bought to complete my project, added after requests from viewers:

LED Strip Lights:

2-Conductor Wire (red and black):

LED Dimmer switch (not shown in this video, but installed later):

Power adapter:

To see my video in which I install the dimmer switch, check out:

Video transcript:

This is my home office. Or, my man cave, or whatever you want to call it. I really like working in here, but my task lighting is terrible. I get good window light during the day, but at night it’s really too dark. Sometimes I’ll move that clip-on desk light around but I really don’t like the harsh, direct light. I much prefer indirect light. So I decided to do something about that.

I bought this roll of cool white LED strip lights on eBay for less than 6 bucks. The shipping was free, and they were here less than 48 hours later. You can’t beat that. And it came with this little screw-on connector to plug it in to a 12v DC adapter.

So I attached the connector and plugged it in to make sure the strip worked before I got started. And it did. Which is a nice way to start a project in my opinion.

So my plan was to add lights to the underside of 4 surfaces of my desk. So I needed to cut the LED strip to several shorter lengths so that I could light those different areas, and then connect those lengths with some connecting wire. Which meant I had to dust off my soldering iron. And my soldering skills, because it’s been awhile. But it turned out ok. I was actually pretty happy with how my soldering turned out.

So here’s what two strips look like with the connecting wire attached.

And when I was done, I had a big pile of LEDs and connecting wires. And I was thrilled when I plugged it in and it still worked.

The LED strips are adhesive backed, so to install it you just pull the liner off, and stick the tape where you want it. This was tricky to do just because my arms and hands are big, and the spaces I was lighting were small. But I managed to get it done. Part of doing this project well was planning not only where the lights and connecting wires were going to go, but also the order in which I was going to install them. I had to be sure the power connector was in the right spot, and I had long enough connecting wires to go where I needed. And it all worked out well. In the end I only had about 6” of leftover LEDs that I didn’t use, and I used all of the connecting wire I had. It couldn’t have worked out better if I’d planned it that way. So I’ll just pretend that I did.

Even though the adhesive is surprisingly strong and seems to stick well, I thought there was a chance that the weight of the connecting wires could pull the tape down eventually. So I reinforced the end points with hot glue. I also covered the exposed connections with more hot glue as an insulator. And more hot glue tacked the wires in place under the desk.

And finally, here’s the before and after shot…

I’m really happy with it. I now have lots of task light and it’s a nice soft light which is comfortable to work in. I can even see my keyboard now.

And I just think it looks cool. It looks kinda like an Apple store now.

Thanks for watching!

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