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LED lights inside espresso machine
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > LED lights...  
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rbh1515
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Joined: 15 Feb 2003
Posts: 1,283
Location: Milwaukee
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: LM GS3
Grinder: Mahlkonig/VersalabM3
Vac Pot: have one
Drip: no
Roaster: got that too/never use it
Posted Sat Jan 21, 2012, 9:39am
Subject: LED lights inside espresso machine
 

I've been wanting to put LED lights inside my GS3--I have glass side panels.
I figured I would get a system that is already put together that I can mount inside the machine and plug into an outlet.
Do you think this one from IKEA would work?
http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/80192378/

rbh1515: glass3.jpg
(Click for larger image)
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west77
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west77
Joined: 18 Aug 2010
Posts: 49
Location: Calgary AB
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: WEGA 2 group Airy, Rancilio...
Grinder: Carimali M1, Nuova Simonelli...
Vac Pot: Cory gasketless
Drip: What's drip?
Roaster: Fratello ;)
Posted Sat Jan 21, 2012, 3:00pm
Subject: Re: LED lights inside espresso machine
 

Ikea inside of that machine?!?

Leaving that thought aside, I would not do it for other reasons.  Look at the wiring that was used and see if it has a temperature rating (I would bet that it does not as it is meant for use at room temperature under cupboards and the like.)  If you are stuck on the idea of LED lighting inside of the machine I would contact somewhere who specializes in LED's or a large commercial electrical supplier for advice.  

As I recall, the enemy of LED's is heat (look at how people have to attach them to heat sinks if they are powerful.)  Wiring will need to be able to withstand the temperature if it should accidentally be touching pipes or the boiler and the housings should not melt or get soft when sitting in an enclosed, hot space.

I don't know what the answer is, but I would be cautious about introducing something electrical to an environment where you have heat and moisture.  Like any modification to an espresso maker, you have to consider if the rewards are worth the risks that you take.
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germantownrob
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germantownrob
Joined: 2 Dec 2007
Posts: 2,156
Location: Philadelphia
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Duetto 3, A Dead Oscar
Grinder: Vario-W, Preciso w/Esatto,...
Drip: Brazen
Roaster: Diedrich IR-1, HT B
Posted Sat Jan 21, 2012, 3:40pm
Subject: Re: LED lights inside espresso machine
 

Darn that sounds cool. A friend of mine in the lighting industry chatted me up on led and heat, he laughs at led flash lights and says all they need is airflow to make them efficient and long lasting but nobody makes them this way. BTW all my led flashlights eat batteries almost as fast as incandescent bulbs so I believe him. There are no problems only solutions to them, if the set you linked wont work then there is one that will.
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__________
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Joined: 12 Sep 2006
Posts: 924
Location: .
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: Machine now fixed ;o)
Grinder: None
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Posted Sat Jan 21, 2012, 4:04pm
Subject: Re: LED lights inside espresso machine
 

Not sure if the IKEA set you link to will give you the best effect or is the absolute best for the job.  However, provided you keep the wiring away from very hot parts (and the worst that is likely to happen if you don't is that it will melt and stick) you should be OK.  If the LED's fail because it's too hot in there, it hasn't been too expensive anyway.  My gut feeling is that if the inside is OK for the other electronics in the machine, they're likely to be happy.  Powerful LED's (which these aren't) do have hefty heatsinks, but they still get pretty hot anyway so can't be that fragile.

If I were doing this, I'd probably go more for multi LED strips - there are loads of them around if you search the web (at least, there are here). some you can even cut to length.

Another alternative is perhaps to look at cold cathode tubes - often used by PC modders to illuminate inside their custom cabinets.

FWIW - I have 2 single "warm white" LED lights on the outside of my machine, pointing down onto the brewing area.  They are attached to the stainless steel of the machine, which gets pretty warm but not finger burning hot.  Been there for ages without problem.  I did route the (low voltage) wiring inside very carefully, and the power supply is external to the machine.

They came from IKEA ;o)
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west77
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west77
Joined: 18 Aug 2010
Posts: 49
Location: Calgary AB
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: WEGA 2 group Airy, Rancilio...
Grinder: Carimali M1, Nuova Simonelli...
Vac Pot: Cory gasketless
Drip: What's drip?
Roaster: Fratello ;)
Posted Sat Jan 21, 2012, 4:27pm
Subject: Re: LED lights inside espresso machine
 

I suppose that I am approaching this as though I were at work.  I end up having to evaluate and decide on products and procedures taking into account what can go wrong and liability.  I know they are low voltage, but the transformer needs to be mounted somewhere- you have a machine where numerous things could go wrong and allow water to flow out of it.  Any time you do a modification to a machine which has met the criteria for approval in your country you are taking a risk. Unless I miss my guess, your picture shows the stickers and plates on the side that are proof of certification from places like the underwriters laboratory and others.  I do modify things- but I am aware that if the worst should happen, my insurance company might not like my mods.

All of the wiring and electronics that are in your machine have been approved for the environment they function in.  Somebody has paid a team of engineers a good deal of cash and paid for certification in several countries to ensure that all the components right down to the wire are rated for the environment they are expected to function in.  The reason that I suggest getting in touch with a commercial electrical wholesaler is because they can steer you in the right direction.  They can tell you what wire you would want, where you could mount the transformer, if you should put a small fuse somewhere for protection etc... (I would probably use EECOL if it were me as I have an account there and they are getting into some LED's.)

Again, it is your machine and likely the worst that would happen is melting the wires to the copper... but if something worse should happen are you prepared to explain to the insurance investigator that you did all that you could to ensure that you had the right equipment and had taken all reasonable precautions?  

Best of luck with whatever direction you decide to go on this mod.  It should look cool when it's done (the glass should really pull the colours out.)
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tedegreene
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tedegreene
Joined: 4 Oct 2005
Posts: 164
Location: JACKSONVILLE

Espresso: Bezzera BZ40
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Posted Sat Jan 21, 2012, 6:48pm
Subject: Re: LED lights inside espresso machine
 

I have some low voltage LED's mounted inside the cabinet of my machine.  They shine through the stainless steel plate that the group head exits from, illuminating the drip tray area where the cup sits during the pour.  I got them cheap on clearance at Lowe's.  I've been using them for a couple of years with no problem.  The area they are in gets pretty hot. The boiler is right behind them in the same shared space and the hot group head is right next to some of the lights as well.  As long as you get low voltage lights that plug into a transformer (like a cell phone charger) and keep the wires from direct contact with the boiler I can't imagine it being a hazard.  They typically draw milliamp currents at less than 5 volts. It will tell you the rating on the back of the transformer. I have insured similar circuits were working by sticking the plugs to my tongue to see if it caused a tingle; not very dangerous.  I saw some similar to the ones I have at Lowe's recently.  They are intended for under counter mounting but are easily adapted to other uses.
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dana_leighton
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dana_leighton
Joined: 11 Jan 2002
Posts: 1,998
Location: Fayetteville, AR
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Isomac Relax; Caferina...
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Roaster: Poppery I w/PID controller
Posted Sat Jan 21, 2012, 8:53pm
Subject: Re: LED lights inside espresso machine
 

rbh1515 Said:

Do you think this one from IKEA would work?

Posted January 21, 2012 link

I am quite certain it would. I used the same system (but with white not multicolor light) for my LED installation on my Isomac see this thread for details.

The issue i had was that the transformer became unstable after a while (likely form the high heat at the top of the case). I replaced the transformer, and placed it in a cooler area, and it's been fine. the LEDs handle the heat near the group head just fine.

The IKEA Dioder unit I had uses cord rated for 105C for AC power to the transformer. That is likely high enough for inside the case, even if it came into contact with hot pipes. I used cable ties to keep the cord away from such hazards. The wires coming out of the transformer are thin DC current wires, so wouldn't cause a huge issue if they melted and shorted. But again, just route them around the heat and you should be fine. Mine are bundled up in an area near the group head and have held up fine for 2.5 years.

Good luck!

 
Dana Leighton - Espresso hack and CoffeeGeek moderator
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calblacksmith
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calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,947
Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: ECM Vene. A1, La Cimbali M32
Grinder: Azkoyen Capriccio, Major
Vac Pot: 40s era Silex
Drip: Msl. Com. brewers
Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Sun Jan 22, 2012, 12:24am
Subject: Re: LED lights inside espresso machine
 

My ECM has a lighted back glass and LEDs do the job. I did a quick search with google for a pic of a lighted back glass on my machine as I did not want to take a pic myself. I was stunned at the result. Of the first 200 or so pictures that showed up on the first page of my search, 28 were MINE! and many had nothing to do with my search for an ECM machine, some were of my SHOP BUILDING, that was posted in general! Google may be using my equipment list on which I list ECM and tying it to the subject search, though it does link to the thread I posted them in when I click on my photos. I am half expecting to see my photo show up on an add or something someplace now, even though the law states that when the photo was taken, it is coppywrited  right then even without filing for it. I guess I should be putting in the CR symbol on every photo I post!

 
In real life, my name is
Wayne P.
Anything I post is personal opinion and is only worth as much as anyone else's personal opinion. YMMV!

Feed the newbs, starve the trolls and above all enjoy what you drink!
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rbh1515
Senior Member


Joined: 15 Feb 2003
Posts: 1,283
Location: Milwaukee
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: LM GS3
Grinder: Mahlkonig/VersalabM3
Vac Pot: have one
Drip: no
Roaster: got that too/never use it
Posted Sun Jan 22, 2012, 7:35am
Subject: Re: LED lights inside espresso machine
 

Thanks for the responses.  I would place the transformer outside and behind the machine.  I kind of like the idea of being able to change the color.  I'm going to do a bit more research, but it sounds like it will be safe and should work fine.  Here is another product I'm going to look at:
http://www.lightingfx.com/item--LED-Pod-Light--HIL-D
It states that it is fully water resistant.  Sounds good.
Rob
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__________
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Joined: 12 Sep 2006
Posts: 924
Location: .
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: Machine now fixed ;o)
Grinder: None
Vac Pot: None
Drip: None
Roaster: None
Posted Sun Jan 22, 2012, 7:46am
Subject: Re: LED lights inside espresso machine
 

I think a bit more research will pay dividends.  There are lots of kits on the market.  You won't be able to order this as it's a UK supplier and for use in Europe, but it might give you some ideas.

Click Here (www.ultraleds.co.uk)
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