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LED Rope Lights

Discussion in 'Habitat Lighting' started by Dragoness, May 21, 2014.

  1. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    I'm doing this as part of a re-vamp to a cage that is being modified for my BRB. I had a set of cable lights for another project, and never ended up using them for it. Instead, this is what I did with them. It should be noted that I am using the heavy duty indoor/outdoor ones with a sturdy plastic casing - this way they are weatherproof, and thus should not be bothered by the excessive humidity in the BRB cage. Most of these come with a 5 foot cord for plugging it in - obviously, that needs to run outside the cage. I put it through a very small cord-sized notch in the back panel of the cage, near the ceiling. It is kind of visible in one of the pictures.

    We are trying to make the reptile room more efficient, because the power bills have gotten ridiculous. The cable I used is 18 feet long, and uses only 12 watts (less than many compact fluorescent bulbs). It costs about $20-$30. They come in different colors. I prefer the bright white over the warmer off-white colors. Most stores will plug one in for you to see what color it actually is.

    In addition to the rope lights, You'll need these (or similar device) and some screws. The mounting hardware/kit that comes with the rope light is worthless for this project. Just make sure the screws you use are not so long they would poke out the other side of the wood (Top of the cage). These are about $1.50 for a pack of 12. I used 3 packs for this project.

    Cage Revamp 002.jpg . Cage Revamp 005.jpg

    This is how they attach.
    Cage Revamp 006.jpg

    Finished: It's hard to tell in the pictures, but it lights the cage really well. I'll try to get some pictures tonight when the ambient light in the room is a bit lower. The empty space on one end is reserved for a radiant heat panel.
    Cage Revamp 011.jpg . Cage Revamp 014.jpg
  2. Darkbird

    Darkbird Moderator Staff Member

    I'll be very interested to see how this works out. Not only will it cut energy costs, but heat generated as well. Thats a big issue for me this time of year.
  3. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    Yeah, hoping to cut energy costs. Had a few months this winter get over $500. While I can technically afford it, it doesn't mean I want to pay it, lol. I like having leftover $ at the end of the month to put towards projects!

    Generating too much heat also takes more energy to fix (Fans and AC to compensate...) so hoping to drag it down a bit. Going to see just how efficient we can get. It's an ongoing project, but so far, I really like the way it looks.
  4. kriminaal

    kriminaal HH Block Leader Staff Member Premium Member

    Not to question your intelligence. But are you sure it's not 12 watts per foot?
  5. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

  6. kriminaal

    kriminaal HH Block Leader Staff Member Premium Member

    Nope, you're correct.
    I was comparing with tape lighting we use at work. But probably because in the rope lighting the LED's are further apart.
  7. CryHavoc17

    CryHavoc17 Elite Member

    Do they work with a timer?
  8. Darkbird

    Darkbird Moderator Staff Member

    Wow, 12w per foot? Seems like a lot for LEDs, I'll have to figure what the stuff I have from my other hobby uses. I just know it's .4amps per meter at 12v. Time for some math, lol.

    Edit: OK, did the math, and now I want some of what your using Mike. Must be some crazy bright stuff. The stuff I use is less than 2w per foot.
    Last edited: May 21, 2014
  9. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    Yep, they work just fine with a timer.
  10. kriminaal

    kriminaal HH Block Leader Staff Member Premium Member

    Hey now, I didn't say it was 12 watts per foot, lol.
    I just thought 18ft of rope lighting would be more than 12 watts total. I thought they had larger bulbs.
    I was comparing it but according to the stats of something we use it's about 4 watts per foot. But dang they are bright and require a touch dimmer, or sunglasses.
  11. Darkbird

    Darkbird Moderator Staff Member

    That's still impressive. Wish I could get hold of some of that at a reasonable price.
  12. kriminaal

    kriminaal HH Block Leader Staff Member Premium Member

    It's not inexpensive. Probably fairly waterproof if run in a channel.
    We order from Hafele one of our suppliers. Not likely available on a retail level.
  13. Darkbird

    Darkbird Moderator Staff Member

    Yeah, I could probably just install twice the linear footage and get the same result, and a lot cheaper. Think I might try the rope lights in my boa cage when I get it finished. Might just do the job nicely.
  14. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    Aha: Pic taken after lights out.
    Roaches 002.jpg
  15. trappen

    trappen Elite Member

    Looks awesome
  16. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    Yesterday, I finally had all the necessary pieces to finish the work on that cage. Was waiting on a radiant heat panel and thermostat, and time off work to get it done.

    I think I'm in love with these lights. On a note about the rope lights - the clips that come with them are useless for mounting in a reptile cage, but they are however perfect for holding the thermometer probe for the thermostat I use (Zilla Temperature Controller)

    Anyhoo, here are some pics.

    That corner of the room, so you can see how bright it is compared to other cages. Bottom right has the LED rope light. The one directly above it is a single compact fluorescent bulb, and the tall one to the left is a single fluorescent tube.
    herp room 001.jpg

    The cage itself, now with an inhabitant, during daylight hours, picture taken with no flash.
    herp room 005.jpg

    the ceiling of the cage, with lights and radiant heat panel.
    herp room 006.jpg
  17. CTU2fan

    CTU2fan Elite Member

    Was going to make a thread about these, but instead I'll hijack yours :)

    I like how that looks. I was thinking about LEDs because I've seen them in aquaria and like them. Then I was at RBI buying a heat panel and saw their LED fixtures (not ropes). Considered them and came here to see if anyone used them, and saw your rope lights. I think I'm going to try them, I need something for the big Vision cages, especially the one for the python since it will be heated with a heat panel and no basking lights. And I didn't buy the cutout for a fluorescent fixture so I need something low profile inside. These seem perfect.

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