Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Automated hallway Skirtingboard Lighting

Here's a slightly more involved project of mine, finished today (almost) using a second box of the LED decking lights I bought for my kitchen plinth lighting project.

When I fitted my new kitchen I put new flooring in though the hall into the kitchen, and at the same time removed all the skirting to be replaced.

When I fitted the flooring I laid some connecting wiring under the floor, just for this reason.

So, skirting board bought, box of LED lights, and a day off, here we go again!

1. Measured and cut the skirting board

2. Marked out where I wanted all the lights to be, and drilled the holes for fixing to the wall and also the 12mm holes for the lights to fit into.

Now here is where a simple idea turned difficult.

3. The lights are deeper than the depth of the skirting board, meaning that the plaster behind needed to be channeled out behind, at the same time I channelled out grooves to accept the wiring behind. This took a huge amount of time and made me regret starting the project at times!

4. Now, the existing wiring for the lighting has separate plugs for each light, unfortunately there is not the room behind the skirting board for these plugs and the excess wiring, so all the plugs had to be cut off and the wiring trimmed to match the distance and channelling behind. Once I was happy with the wire placement etc, I proceeded to solder the connections for all the lights in series back to the plug transformer.

Throughout the process of modifying the wiring I kept checking that the lights were working.

5. Now the time consuming process of locating all the wiring into the channels in the wall, whilst attaching the skirting to the wall, and gently pushing the light units back into the hole in the wall behind it. Again all the time checking the lights worked.

If I was to do this again, I may be tempted to get a router and cut the channels into the back of the board for the wire instead.

6. Once all this has been completed the hard work is done, I can switch the lights on and off to my hearts content via the mains switch they are plugged into, but this is a bit too old fashioned for my liking, and in my quest for a more intelligent house I decided some automation is in order.

Now I already have a Home Easy switch on my front door that used to turn on my main hallway light, so pairing this with a spare home easy plug allows the lights to illuminate for a pre-set period of time when entering the house.

Pretty cool, but not quite enough yet, this plug-in module will be replaced but a contained double home easy mains socket, which will also allow our air freshener to be plugged in there and set to come on at timed intervals via my HE100 remote.

Enough yet? not quite, I have also ordered a Home Easy internal PIR sensor, this will be mounted on the wall at the other end of the hallway, which will pick up movement either coming down the stairs and leaving the living room, meaning the lighting will activate without human intervention.

Let me know what you think, I have only found one other similar project on google, so am guessing this has not been attempted much, meaning you can use this guide and join an elite group of madmen!

Overall I am really happy with the end result, the hallway still needs a bit of tidying up, but I will get to that at the weekend, the pictures dont really do the effect justice.

So there you have it, motion and entry sensing LED skirting board lighting!


  1. Fernando Kreutz1 July 2011 at 13:11

    Very nice project. Those led stripes are also very nice for this kind of project, specially if they're hidden, giving a indirect lightning effect. My lightning projects lays in back of my tv set, where I installed a regular fluorescent bulb, that is lighted up when the tv switch is turned on (yes, I hate those standby's wasting my money!). I not only gives it a charmy effect, but also makes more confortable to watch tv at night. Just keep in mind that this is for a regular tv, not a plasma or lcd, so for those, a led stripe would fit just nice.

    FYI, your Google Account log in is not working (at least on mac's safari)

    Congrats for your project.

  2. You are on hackaday dude!

  3. Where are you taking the power from? And what did you use to convert it if it's more than required for the led

  4. The power is coming from the transformer plugged in above one of the skirting boards, not ideal but it does the trick

  5. Cool lights :)

    Have you got much Home Easy stuff working? And do you wire it up to any server (via RFXCOM)? Am interested as it's soooo much cheaper than Rako.

    And, did you consider Z-Wave, Enocean or any other stuff?

  6. These looks good,An additional features specially when all lights are off.Great stuff very creative.

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  8. It is very beautiful light feel and safety

  9. It is nice to see such an in-depth article about how to do this sort of thing. It makes it easy for people to do it at home

  10. I found lots of interesting information here.Great work. The post was professionally written and I feel like the author has extensive knowledge in this subject. Nice

  11. Great job- if only you had used warm white LEDs this would have been perfect!

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