November 20, 2012

MIP backlighting: Poor man's IBL.  :)

I started to work on MIP. Since I have non-IBL version, first thing  to add is the  backlighting. I reworked the design on one panel backlighted by Jack and here is the result.

The backlighting sub-panels are made from white Coroplast sheet  and fixed in place with Velcro. The backlighting sub-panels are completely removable in a snap.

Depending on actual panel, there may be the stand-offs installed (small pieces made  from balsa wood that have Velcro pieces on both sides), or just Velcro attached to the back of the pot. I keep the distance between panels ~1/2 inch

The LEDS are warm white (the kind  that are sold in 300 LED strip rolls). I will add the  color acetate film filters to match IBL color later - right now only one panel has the filter installed.

One panel typically could be backlighted in just 1 hour.

March 3, 2015

Overhead backlighting

Overhead backlighting is done pretty much the same way as MIP backlighting.
I used warm white LED strips with filters made from amber transparencies to match FDS IBL backlighting color. Could probably use amber LED strips, but I already had more that enough LED strips. 

However, my other LED strip reels, while coming from the same eBay supplier,  turned out to be more "white". To have the same backlight color I had to use two layers of amber transparencies. This somewhat reduced LED brightness, but still was acceptable. The transparencies are cut to desired size and attached with double-sided Scotch tape.

Here are detailed pictures for all overhead panels.

As with MIP backlighting most of it done with Coroplast subpanels that just "hang" tight on switches. So, the panel can be just pulled off.

Just a few panels I did differently, because big switches would block some light to the signs partially located almost under switches.

For such cases I used additional washers (made from copper wire) for switches so it was possible to shove LED strips close to the switch, and just fix them with sticky tape to the panel.

On this panel I used the temperature indicator imitation so far. Other overhead instruments are real ones. They are not interfaced yet - I will decide what to do later.

Pre-arranging LED strips to cover all required backlighting area.

On this panel it was more convenient to have two separate backlighting sub-panels. They are not connected together - every sub-panel has its own power wires.

Final result:

Next panel (also with two-sub-panels)

Next Panel:

Next panel:

Next Panel:

Next panel:

Next panel:

And final results:

Backside of the overhead:

Note, that lower bottom panel across the overhead (where the start switches are)  has slightly different color on the picture. It is actual FDS IBL panel. However, it's mostly the camera that picks up the color difference. For the eye the colors are almost identical.

Also you can notice that the brightness on some panels is also slightly different. The difference is because of using on them LED strips on sub-panels or LED strips shoved under the switches practically on the surface on actual panel.


  1. Hi.
    Nice backlight. Do you have a link for where you buy your ledstrips ??

    Regards Henrik

  2. Hi Henrik,
    Lots of sellers on eBay have them. For example:
    I recommend to buy all of needed strips at once, since sometimes the strips bought a few month apart even from the same supplier may differ in color. Because of this I had to use double orange filters on overhead backlighting to get closer the same color as on MIP.

    However you might try to use amber strips instead of using the orange filters with warm white strips.

  3. I was a bit nervous at that point, because I've never actually rolled coroplast before. I really didn't want to crimp it. coroplast sheets suppliers

  4. Hi Nick
    Just a question: For the backlight filter sheets what is the exact Color? I know it is amber but I noticed there are different shades (darker or brighter /different Color intensitiy). I am converting the backlight of my pedestal right now but coloring the LEDS since the Panels are already finished (I would have to take everything apart if I would use sheets). I hope to start next week with the MIP - well maybe not; I soon have Holidays and I am gone for a week.....
    Kind Regards from Switzerland

    1. Hi Daniel,
      You probably just have to try different versions. I've seen only one shade of amber sheets in our store, so there was not much choice. Also it depends of the LED color that may be different - I had to use double sheets for overhead because of that.

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