I have a giant-ass collection that takes up an obscene amount of space. So displaying it all can be a problem. One of the biggest issues has been lighting. If you have covered cabinets and shelves like I do, you really can't get a good look at your collection. My remedy up to this point has been the Dioder line of LED strips from Ikea. The problems with these are numerous.
- Price: these things are expensive at $30 a set - $40 if you want another color (warm white). And my first run with these was when they were $10 higher!
- Color: the basic Dioder set is a soft white LED. Think fluorescent lighting. This really just doesn't look great in my opinion. It brings out all the imperfections, in my opinion.
- Capacity: the set comes with four LED bars, but the power supply can sustain six - I've been running them like this for years. But when compared to DIY alternatives, this is nothing. For about $40, I can get five times that, and have brighter lights.
I use two different LED tapes at the moment. Both are adhesive on one side, so mounting is a very simple task.
My favorite is this one: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00710K0DE/
It's high-density and has a brilliant color! Though if you were hoping to use some of the clip-on strip connectors, you can forget it. They will not fit. Just suck it up and use solder.
The one used in the bookcases is this: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002QQ48TK
This is not one I would recommend. Sure it's cheap, but the light is soft and the LEDs are fairly wide-spread. That's not to say you will get spotting, but the result is noticeably different from the previous product. The adhesive on this one doesn't seem to be as great as the other, either. I had to supplement it with some hot glue in spots.
For power, I use two different supplies depending on the size of the array.
To wire it up, just get some 18 gauge speaker wire from Lowes or something. As long as it's flexible, you'll be good.
Now what about a switch? How can you control all these LEDs without any electrical work? Well that one's on you. You can use switched extension cords, radio-controlled devices like those sold at Staples and home improvement stores, or go high-tech.
I use Insteon devices. So, the power supplies are plugged into one of two devices: ApplianceLincs or OutletLincs. I already have SwitchLincs installed in some rooms, and also have a SmartLinc which allows me to control it all through my phone (or any web browser).
In my office, for instance, there are a total of four switches. One SwitchLinc (at the office doorway) controls all the lights in the room: the can lights overhead, can lights over the Heisei display, an ApplianceLinc for the entertainment center displays (EC furniture make for great collection displays), and another ApplianceLinc for underneath the Heisei Display (another EC piece). A second SwitchLink controls only the overhead cans, while a third handles all the display lighting. The last is a normal switch for the closet - boring. I can control all the Insteon devices through my phone via the SmartLinc, which also allows me to set scenes or activate devices based on the time of day (or even sunrise/sunset).
So, that's kinda it. Just wanted to share some of my experience on this. Hope it helps someone. I'll post more pics as I complete the displays. I hope you all will also post pics and share your knowledge. And I'll also try to answer any questions you might have.