Solar powered “nuclear power” look for the front end of the BUS!

Well, it’s been weeks in the making, mostly waiting for time BUT – the LED strips have been secured into the grill. I like the effect, we wanted it to glow from the inside so it appeared to be powered by something very scientific. I like the steampunk theme but am always interested into expanding steampunk looks with electric too and no matter if it fits or not I like to think of it as electropunk.

Below, I will include some pictures of my process of installation. Who knows how “professional” it is but I’ve been building things for quite some time and pretty much, never twice so – here ya go!

Left over quarter round fit perfectly in the slots of the International grill to give me a flat and parallel (or perpendicular, depending on how you look at it) surface to glue the strips on so they would be invisible from the front but shine flatly on the radiator I painted silver to reflect the color of the strips at the time.

Measure twice…

Cut once.

Waterproof 16M RGB LED strips you can get on eBay for $15-$20…

PL Adhesive, glues pretty much anything to anything else…

Just squish it right in there…

Cut strips to length on each trim area located every 3″ down the strip…

Use a razor to trim off the waterproofing rubber but be careful to not cut through the strip!!

I glue the strips down after taking off the adhesive backing because the adhesive that comes on the strips never holds to anything very long…

…didn’t take any pictures of the soldering process but – all the R G and Bs get connected and the 12v ground is connected basically in parallel on each strand. It takes a lot of time and patience and sometimes those little copper tabs burn off and you have to replace the strip and almost go insane but it’s worth it if you like pretty colored LEDs in everything!

All the extra lights we have put on are color changing LEDs powered from our solar system built on the bus. 400 amp hours deep cycle batteries will drive these lights, pretty much perpetually with a little sun on the panels every few days.

See ya next time!

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