After the great success of upgrading the floor neons to LED, I set my sights on something more bothersome, the marquee and halogen spotlights.
EDIT: Put the transformer in the header case, not the lower cabinet as I have done. This ensures that you can swap out a header and not nuke the planet or anything. Instead of wiring in the transformer in the cab, just disconnect the 2 wires directly from the the light bulb fixture and do it there.
Lets highlight (pun intended) the problem. This marquee is so warm its crazy.
The halogen spotlights probably aren’t a big deal, with the notable issue that they get HOT! So, at $8 a piece, we can lower the overall temperature of the room a degree or two, and they are basically a drop-in replacement for the stock bulbs.
- 4 of these Halogen Bulb replacements ($32)
- 1 of this DC inverter ($20)
- 4 of these familiar LED panels ($14)
- 2 of these acrylic sheets ($3)
- 2 packs of these guys ($3)
- Wire Strippers
- Quick Disconnects
- Electrical Tape
- Phillips Screwdriver
So, we take the marquee assembly off, and clean it really well, and put it aside. Next, we unscrew the mario-kart steering wheel fluorescent bulb.
We are going to place the inverter in the bottom cab, and use the existing wiring to run the DC power up to the marquee lights. In the back of your cab, there are three AC power cords coming off of the main power supply, one goes to your cabinet fans, and the other goes up to the marquee. Cut the wires and mount the inverter right on the wood paneling (Though I’d go a bit below the opening, just to keep everything out of the way).
Here’s a handy guide. The one you need is in the in the bundle, not hanging out. You have 3 120s, one for the fans in the back of the cabinet, one for the monitor board, and one that goes to the header. I did not know that the one in the bundle was there. I blew out LED panels. Don’t make the same mistake I did!
Heres what a blown LED panel looks like!
Use an appropriate drill bit to drill holes in your plexiglass. This should be very slightly larger than your screws. I used a 7/64th bit. Mount the plexiglass in your marquee header.
For those keeping track, yes, I’m missing a marquee holder. Additionally, we’re sticking the plexiglass in there because its going to create a better surface for the LEDs to stick to, as opposed to the bare wood.
Next, we’re going to remove the AC line (well, its a DC line now, but never mind) from the lightbulb socket, and put some quick disconnects on there. I had to play around with some wiring in series because I used cheap chinese LED panels since I blew mine out! But here they are.
So once we remount those boards, and make sure it works… You can see how awesome this upgrade is!
After that, we’re going to take off the halogen spot lights (and the picture above includes one LED light that I used to test!). Clean everything out really well, because the dust there is REAL. The lights are held in with a silicone adhesive that is wholly unnecessary, so after you disconnect everything, just use a small flathead to sort of pick that junk off. Its a drop in replacement. I took the time to line the wire passthrough with electrical tape and and wrapped the wires, since they were a bit worn out. You can see the result below. Its a lot brighter!
Anyhow, its great! And my marquee stand is coming….