Ok, another little project of mine using LED strips from Amazon. I got this roll of waterproof LEDs with an AC transformer for $15. I chose 'warm white', because I figured the bright white would be too much under the awning. The goal was having less stuff to drag out (like lanterns) for a quicker camp set up.
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00JSH ... UTF8&psc=1
These LEDs turned out a lot brighter and whiter than the warm white looks in the ad, but they're acceptable I guess. I'm not sure how I could go dimmer without having a strange color, and I wanted useable but not blinding light.
First I rolled out my awning and cleaned the inside aluminum edge with alcohol. Then I measured, cut and installed the strip.
No good pic of this stage, but here's the whole strip lit up in daylight. At least it shows the placement of the whole strip.
Next I drilled two small holes on either end to affix tiny zip ties to lock the strip in place. This way if the adhesive ever starts to give out on the ends, which is where it usually gives out first, the strip won't sag or fall off.
Next is where I hope readers will disregard my work in progress. I'm not sure how I want to wire this permanently, so this is a little ugly. Lots of electric tape and pseudo-soldered bulb bases. I need to get some more heat shrink, and I cringe to see up close pics of another unfinished project, my LED porch light mod with a crooked LED board and now yellowing epoxy. This needs fixing but not today. Don't notice that ugliness, just take in the beauty of the awning strip.
My idea here is to only use this strip when I've set up camp for a few days, so in those circumstances I would rather have evenly spread full-awning light than my porch light, which doesn't spread out or light up by the side doors very well. I wired up to a 2nd bulb base where, for now, I can just pop the lens cover off, swap the bulb bases, and have either light I'm using on my inside switch. As a more permanent install I will probably install an additional toggle somewhere so I can just switch back and forth between either of these outdoor lights, without removing bulbs and lenses. Also, I have the AC transformer so I can just drop the wire to the outside AC receptacle if I'm on shore power at a campground. Like I said, this isn't a completed project yet. It's certainly not waterproof at this stage so I won't be able to use it in bad weather until completed.
And after dark is when I figured out that it's much better than I thought it would be!
These last 3 pics are with the flash off on my camera. This strip puts out a lot of light!
I'll update soon with the finished product. For now, I'm really glad I have $15 and 1 hour in this setup instead of the $50 LED lantern I was about to buy the other day. The cord unplugs and stows easily inside my awning case and of course the awning rolls right up with the strip in place, so very little to think about or store. Mission accomplished.