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Old 10-02-2010, 01:19 AM   #1
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Wink How to install neon lights...where to wire..

I just purchased some neon lights that will be mounted under the belly of the airstream, but wanted opinions on where to wire the switch to. I am not savvy at all when it come to wiring. I have an on/off switch I will mount somewhere inside the airstream but where would you wire the power to?

Maybe a silly question, but I'm just a young buck looking for some wisdom!

Lucy P

P.S. Will try and send some pics of what my lights came with for wiring..has anyone done this before?? Do they suck alot of power?
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Old 10-02-2010, 07:46 AM   #2
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I know a little about neon. When I was a teen, I would collect left over pieces of it from old signs, and would link them all together to make these crazy sculptures.
Real 'true neon' of course is gas filled of a certain type (I am no rocket scientist either)...
I am hoping yours is plastic wrapped to protect from breakage, like the kind you see installed under cars to make them look 'cool' - which it does!

You need to tell us more about that.
Most neon works on a lower voltage transformer, that gives enough power to 'fire-up' the gas inside to make it glow like it does.
So let's say the transformer box is sitting there on a work table for example.
There are two insulated posts on the top or side. And an electric plug going off some where else on it. You would use copper wrapped wire to connect from one post (does not matter which) to the first piece of neon at one end (does not matter which end).
Then you add another piece of copper wrapped wire and go to the next piece of neon...and so forth keep going until you have the amount of neon pieces you want to hook up.
In the order of completing a circle, you work your way around and back to the other post on the transformer and tie in there with another piece of copper wrapped wire.
Thats how 'real' neon works. The current of 12 volts or more passes through all the neon in a circular fashion. If there is too many pieces of neon it will 'flicker' because the current is trying to fill the space. Now you know know why you some times see old neon signs flickering, this, or either the transformer is wearing out.


If you have an outside plug on the Airstream you could just plug in there right?
But you want an indoor switch? So let the 'OTHERS' (thats what I call them) tell you what they think. But you need to say what kind of neon you have there becuase if it is not installed right you could burn something down. Got any pictures? Bill
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Old 10-02-2010, 08:23 AM   #3
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I think Lucy is talking about rope led's like the ones discussed in this thread:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f447...ial-66481.html

Take a look there, maybe you'll get some ideas!
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Old 10-02-2010, 09:33 AM   #4
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True neons,or Ropes

Quote:
Originally Posted by LucyPepper View Post
I just purchased some neon lights that will be mounted under the belly of the airstream, but wanted opinions on where to wire the switch to. I am not savvy at all when it come to wiring. I have an on/off switch I will mount somewhere inside the airstream but where would you wire the power to?

Maybe a silly question, but I'm just a young buck looking for some wisdom!

Lucy P

P.S. Will try and send some pics of what my lights came with for wiring..has anyone done this before?? Do they suck alot of power?
We need to know what you are putting under the trailer,true neons or led rope. Dave
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Old 10-02-2010, 09:37 AM   #5
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Just to muddy the waters further, cold cathode florescent bulbs work well for this as well.... very low power draw.

- Bart
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Old 10-02-2010, 10:07 AM   #6
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Lucy,
You mean like this?

I added a remote switch which I purchased
on eBay.

Young Buck or young Doe?
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Old 10-02-2010, 10:31 AM   #7
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If you get 12V automotive-type lighting, just pull 12V power from any available place- an extra hot wire for something no longer being used, the fuse block, or directly from the battery. Wire the switch between this hot source and the light(s). I bet if you search the Wiring and Electrical forums here, you'd find more info on this. Have fun! -tim
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Old 10-02-2010, 11:33 AM   #8
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A few years ago, another friend and I who have the same year Airstream, saw a street rod driving with neon lights under it and thought that was 'real sexy' so we installed under the trailer step an 18 inch 12 volt neon light purchased at Princess Auto.

It was a simple process just a few screws to hold it in place but I added some aluminum foil behind the light to help reflect it. A small hole in the floor (later chaulked) and fished to the interior light switches by the front door. Then I cut off the 12 volt cigarette adapter, put a couple of electrical clips on the two wires and connected to the outdoor light switch. Now each time I turn on that switch both the outdoor light and the 'sexy' neon light are on. It is subtle and not as large as some of the other lights like that used by 'ArtStream' but it works just fine and adds a little, I think, 'class' to the rig.

Here are two pictures - one showing it installed and the second the item itself - unfortunately I do not have a really nice picture taken at night. Finally, these neon lights are available in a wide variety of colours.
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Old 10-02-2010, 09:12 PM   #9
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Wink My lights are neons incased in plastic..see pics.

Hi Guys,

Thanks for all the responses thus far..

Ok, My lights are neons with a plastic casing.. like these, and their PINK! YIP YIP! This is everything the kit came with. So I am just a chica trying yo figure how to do this myself, as one downside to my current boyfriend, he is not crafty at all in the DIY area, and if I wanna make it happen, best do it myself! So..would I run the lines into that little black box, then run the box into?? Not sure what power supply would be safe, Then how do I wire the switch? I know, sorry if this is simple..but this is my first time wiring anything!!

Lucy P
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Old 10-02-2010, 09:15 PM   #10
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Wink pics of neon lights..

Hi Bill, just posted some pics..check them out, tell me what you think..

Lucy

Quote:
Originally Posted by redhawkerII View Post
I know a little about neon. When I was a teen, I would collect left over pieces of it from old signs, and would link them all together to make these crazy sculptures.
Real 'true neon' of course is gas filled of a certain type (I am no rocket scientist either)...
I am hoping yours is plastic wrapped to protect from breakage, like the kind you see installed under cars to make them look 'cool' - which it does!

You need to tell us more about that.
Most neon works on a lower voltage transformer, that gives enough power to 'fire-up' the gas inside to make it glow like it does.
So let's say the transformer box is sitting there on a work table for example.
There are two insulated posts on the top or side. And an electric plug going off some where else on it. You would use copper wrapped wire to connect from one post (does not matter which) to the first piece of neon at one end (does not matter which end).
Then you add another piece of copper wrapped wire and go to the next piece of neon...and so forth keep going until you have the amount of neon pieces you want to hook up.
In the order of completing a circle, you work your way around and back to the other post on the transformer and tie in there with another piece of copper wrapped wire.
Thats how 'real' neon works. The current of 12 volts or more passes through all the neon in a circular fashion. If there is too many pieces of neon it will 'flicker' because the current is trying to fill the space. Now you know know why you some times see old neon signs flickering, this, or either the transformer is wearing out.


If you have an outside plug on the Airstream you could just plug in there right?
But you want an indoor switch? So let the 'OTHERS' (thats what I call them) tell you what they think. But you need to say what kind of neon you have there becuase if it is not installed right you could burn something down. Got any pictures? Bill
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Old 10-02-2010, 09:17 PM   #11
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They are true neons..see pics I posted..thanks!
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Old 10-02-2010, 09:42 PM   #12
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Haha, I suppose since you asked, young doe
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Old 10-10-2010, 12:20 AM   #13
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Get someone local who can show you how to do it safely. I kinda stopped giving electrical advice on the forum, to people who are new to this, after somebody just about got burned.
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