Making my "Neon" signs

Making my "Neon" signs

I was redoing my room and I needed something to put on the (now) empty walls. I basically had a completely blank canvas. Well, I looked for ideas online and found these "neon" signs, basically just LED strips wrapped in a fancy silicone channel to give it an even glow.

of course, I use Pinterest :p

Well, what would it cost me to buy a custom sign?

oh. guess I'm not doing that!

I looked around and I had some spare WS2812 strip cuttings that I decided I could put to use in this project. I looked around on Amazon and found a 16.4ft roll of the same silicone tubing for just $26.

I also needed a way to mount these to the wall. I thought about laser cutting a piece of acrylic using the laser cutter at my school's engineering lab, but it turns out, a laser cutter doesn't cut things that are 90" long. Well, they also had a CNC router, so I whipped something up in Fusion 360 and went in to cut it myself.

I got them cut out the next day and came home and tried to feed the LED strips through the tubing. I had no luck. Apparently, I wasn't the only one.

Turns out, I only needed lengths up to 6 or so inches. I split the tubing down the middle and pushed in the LEDs from the back.

I cut the strips into the lengths that I needed and started making a mockup of where the strips were going to go. Some of the strips needed to cross over each other, so I started cutting short wires that would run under one of the strips and join the other.

the cross in the "t" has wires running under it.

It took around 3 days (off and on) for me to complete both of my "neon" signs, but I'm happy with the results. To run the LEDs, I just used a Wemos D1 with the WLED firmware. I also have them synced to Home Assistant so I can control them with the Hue remote in my room.