Build a Light Board
To build a 2-channel light dimmer board, go to Canadian Tire (or equivalent) and buy:
You will also need:
- Length of electrical cord, about 6' (2 conductor works fine because you are only connecting lights, grounded cord also OK)
- Two rotary light dimmers (should come with dimmer box & post, knob, 2 marettes, be rated at least 600 W, mounting screws, less than $5) If you like, you can get the slider type, but they're usually a real rip ($20 or more)
- Two cover plates for dimmers (should have a little punch-out hole in the middle)
- Electrical outlet (less than a dollar)
- Cover plate for electrical outlet (should come with screw, be same colour as dimmer plates)
- Plug end for the length of cord
Here's how to make it:
- A circular saw and/or a jigsaw
- Hammer & nails
- Thin, smooth board for face and back, 1/8" thick perhaps. Look at photo below to get an idea of wood needed
- Board for sides (6" wide perhaps) 3/4" thick, see photo
- Cut out two equal-sized pieces of the thin, smooth board. The pieces are the front and back of the light board. They should be big enough to accomodate the outlet plate, and two dimmer plates next to each other, with a gap between each (see photos)
- Cut out four pieces of the other wood so that they can be placed upright in a rectangle, and the front plate can fit perfectly over top.
- Use jigsaw to cut holes in front for dimmers, and outlet
- Drill a hole big enough to accomodate your cord into the rear side piece.
- Nail the front to the side boards.
- Nail the side boards together.
- DO NOT attach the back yet.
- Sever the metal plate on ONE side of the outlet.
- Drop the components into place, and attach using supplied screws. Don't put the knobs on the dimmers yet.
- Flip it over, careful not to bump posts for dimmers. You will need to prop it up at the sides using something, so it can be level while you work on it, without stressing the dimmer posts.
- Cut and strip short lengths of the electrical cord as needed, below.
- Feed the power cord in through the hole. From now on, you will need to take pieces of cord from the other end.
- Use a marette to attach the two live cords from the dimmers to one of the incoming electrical lines. (Not green line!)
- Take the un-used line from each dimmer and attach to a screw on the outlet. You will need to use the severed side (we severed it in step 9). Make sure that the wires don't touch, but are firmly attached to the screws. Don't attach to the green screw!
- On the other side of the outlet, attach the unused power line. This side shouldn't be severed, and if it is, then attach two short lengths to each screw and use a marette to join them to the live wire.
- You may want to glue or tie a knot in the feed cord, so it can't be pulled. (If the cord were to be pulled, it would damage connections and make the lightboard not work, it may also spark and throw a breaker)
- Nail on the back of the light-board with 3 OR LESS nails so it is easily removed. Make sure there are no gaps where one could put their finger inside.
- Get an electrical plug end, and attach to the end of the feed cord.
- Plug it in and try it out.
Congratulations, you just built your own *very simple* light board. It supports 600W of incandescant lights in each outlet, 1200W total. It is very primitive compared to today's lighting systems, but will work fine for your Millionaire show.
If you arrived directly to this page, you can go read about how to make your own "Who Wants to be a Millionaire" TV show by Brendan Harris.
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