Fun With LED Strips (Part 2)

half hour of amusement for a few dollars!

I wanted to continue the fun with LED strips, but I don’t have anymore to play with, so rather than tear apart the “el-cheapo” light I made, I made a quick video to explain how I created the salad bowl light fixture. Sorry for the background noise….. Aquarium filter.

DIY Battery Pack Experiment

One of the coolest trends in modern transportation is the oldest!

The everyday bicycle has been around for well over a century now, allowing a simple mode of transportation that is both inexpensive and low maintenance. Most cities have some very scenic trails that entice the rider to savor the ride even more, leading to a market full of elaborate options for upgrading . It’s not Grandpa’s bicycle shop anymore! Even the tricycle has matured to an extremely useful low cost commuter.

A friend of mine recently bought a 3 wheeled bike he uses for his main transportation. What he was doing with it sparked my curiosity to the maximum! This bike was going to be a full fledged tricycle equipped with nearly a Kilowatt of power connected. The battery alone was an investment of nearly $300. This friend introduced me to some links about building your own E-Bike batteries, and I was hooked immediately!

I am not interested in building an E-Bike at this time, but I am interested in powering a recently purchased AC 110volt 30 Watt LED work light with Lithium Batteries. My hope is to power off the shelf work lights for extended periods directly from a small DC to AC inverter. There are a few products on the market already, but they are expensive and are only AC or Battery…. I want the best of both worlds.

Most of the Do-It-Yourself battery projects are for just a few categories: Solar, Electric Vehicles, Power Tools, and lighting. There are many others, but the above are the majority applications.

So after my friend gave me insight into battery packs, I was off to the races so to speak, to build something for my big spotlight. I will continue as time permits to keep full of information as I learn this stuff!…………………….Larry


Fun with LED Flexible Light Strips (Part 1)

I recently purchased a few rolls of those 12 volt DC flexible light strips from the Chinese website These LED strips have a flexible back tape and are about 5meters long. They come in several colors and cost around five dollars including snail mail shipment from China. The lights on the string are very bright and have many potential uses for decorative or serious custom lighting.

The individual lamps can be cut away into multiple strips and configured around corners or different angles to suit your project, as long as you solder the 12 volt leads to power your arrangement. Let the FUN begin!

My first custom project with these LEDs was to make a trouble light on a stick , or a bar lamp that would light a countertop. It was not important to make a full case to mount it, I just was curious how bright these things are. To power the strip, I located a 12 volt “wall wart” power supply from an old laptop computer. I powered the strip which was still on the reel it was stored on to verify it lighted up, and WOW! Beautiful bright whit lights ( Warning, do not stare at the beautiful bright lights, you will see them for another half hour even with eyes closed).

I had a lot of 1 inch PVC on hand, so I wrapped the lights around the outside of the 18 inch section I had cut. The backing tape was awkward, but 5 minutes later I had a full tube of LEDs ready to power. The result was as good as any light you may purchase in a much neater package at a retail store…..but for only 5 bucks!

To make a portable light, I was curious if a 9volt battery would work….. nope. I connected 2 in series for 18 volts and hoped the light would not burn out. Success! There is a downside, battery power is limited, I later found that 2 strings will use about an amp of power, so a large battery is needed, although it is a thing of bright beauty with 2- 9 volt batteries, but they get warm indicating a short battery life.

Next time,I will demonstrate a cool way to wrap these lights around a salad bowl to create a real conversation piece lamp. Hope you enjoy homewatts

Larry, the homewatts guy

Batteries Everywhere!

Did you ever think of how many batteries there are present in your everyday life?

It may surprise you that literally everyone has one or more batteries playing an essential role our daily routine. It might be a fun, if not totally ridiculous exercise to actually reflect on how many of these portable micro-kilowatt devices we depend on today and everyday to power our modern world.

Ask yourself if you have used, or will use any of these devices today, all powered by a battery of some shape or size.

Here are some that come to mind, you probably have even more!

Pacemaker or other medical device Vehicle Laptop Computer Cellphone

Watch Calculator Alarm Clock Flashlight Vaping Bluetooth Speaker

Audio Player Toothbrush Shaver Laser Pointer Computer Mouse Remotes

Pencil sharpener Power Tool Lawn Tool

All of these products may need to be plugged in for a while because within the device, is a wonder of the modern world…..a rechargeable battery. is a website dedicated to exploring the ever changing world of products that can improve our life and save us money, all while learning a little more about those things that consume power….aka WATTS.

More about electricity later. Rest assured, this is a site where COMMON SENSE is spoken.

More to come!

Larry, the Homewatts Guy