Peace, Love & Little Donuts – Grid Light

A new Peace, Love and Little Donuts is opening in Worthington, Ohio. It offers the ultimate custom made, fresh donuts.

I was challenged by the shop’s architect to provide hidden lighting on the upper side of a suspended grid. It is made of 1×4 wood on 21″ centers. The idea is to provide light that reflects off the ceiling that complements the hanging bulbs on the below. The original concept called for slowly morphing color but was over budget. Instead, dimmable warm white was selected. The ambiance it created is very attractive. Both the owner and architect were pleased. The view below is looking up at the grid. You see the hanging lights, but nothing related to the LED strip.

Grid looking up

This lighting will operate at full capacity 14 hours per day, and the rest of the time at 50%. So the installation needed to be robust. Wood doesn’t conduct heat well so first I installed metal strip on top of the grid. It’s hard to know, but this extra heat dissipation should improve the life of the LEDs by 20%. Shoplight Solutions LED strip

I applied the six 12-foot LED strips directly to the metal, extended the leads and tied them to a central terminal block to make things easy to repair.

The power supply had to be mounted high up, rated for continuous duty, and remotely dimmable. For that I chose a 320 W power supply rated for 7 years. Note: This power supply cost $140. Contrast that to our 150W, open frame, DYI, 2-yr, 30,000 hour, non-dimmable power supply we sell for $26 which at 4 hours per day will last a long long time. The remote dimmer was also an industrial unit from Lutron.

Shoplight Solutions Power Supply

The six 12-foot strips can produce 32,000 lumens but the light is so evenly spaced, you hardly notice it.

Would I do anything different? For sure. This was a rush installation and the grid was already suspended. We made a several hundred trips up a 14′ ladder. I should have insisted that the grid be lowered. Also because of the rush, we compromised the metal strip instead of ordering the more ideal aluminum product. The installation of this coiled metal strip took an inordinate amount of labor and trips up the ladder.

This “cool lighting” installation shows the flexibility of LED strip to make a space unique, bright but cozy.

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