LED Slim Light Mount Fail & Fix with 3D Printed Parts!

A little back story. I needed to upgrade the lights in my 3D printing/Laser/Storage room. The overhead lights built into the ceiling fan were not enough. I purchased a “shop light” from Sam’s Club and another very similar version at Home Depot. They helped but you had to pull the chain to turn them on/off and they were dropped from ceiling via a chain that took away from using the wall space around it. They also didn’t give enough light throughout the room, it was pretty focused just over the area immediately underneath, which is probably what they are supposed to do :-). But what I wanted was to illuminate the room entirely with ceiling mounted LED lights. After much research I stumbled upon a slim line and mountable LED light from LeeValley they had as a “special buy” and at $39 each they were a good deal. They could be daisy chained and hard wired.

However, I have a slight problem with these awesome new lights with them staying in place! I’ve installed these in two rooms, three in my 3D Printing and Laser room and 2 in my assembly area. These little lights are awesome! However the mount system they use is not very strong. Both sets of lights have fallen when the mounts gave way, without warning and as you can see in the video with very little force. Part of the problem is the limited clearance between the ceiling and the top of the light when mounted. If you ceiling isn’t perfectly flat, which most are not, it can push against the top of the light and cause an issue for it to snap into place. I found this out while installing the second set of lights in the assembly area. It would only snap into one of the two mounts. The fix for this is to use a spacer, we used a rubber seal you use for a garden hose. This gives you about 1/8″ gap and enough to snap it into place. However, that doesn’t fix the problem completely. From what I can see the mount just doesn’t have enough hold on the light to maintain its hold and takes very little pressure for it to be released. I think what happened with the assembly lights was the ceiling bowed or changed with the wind or temperature and it was just enough to release the light from the mount. And because the two lights are daisy chained together when one fell the other was going to follow.








Now the fun begins! 😀

The design idea actually came form my long time assistant Alex who suggested we 3D print a new mount that was a “loop” around the light. Excellent idea and that is just wh

at we did use. The process from idea to finished and printed part wasn’t too long but there were quite a few iterations. And that is the great thing with 3D printing, you can take something from the digital CAD model, print it, try it, and adjust over and over again until it’s perfect.

So what happened between the first one and last?

  • hole size changed (a few times)
  • dimensions for inside were tweaked to make it a perfect fit
  • inside dimensions were tweaked so it would fit over the light switch and top wiring mount area
  • the last was to make room for the screw which included extending the top of the mount and creating a countersink

The new 3D printed mounts have been in place for over a week and have worked great. I did have some reservations about using PLA but only because the metal around the LED light is used as a heatsink and gets warm. However that heat doesn’t appear to be transferred to the PLA printed mounts. [insert thermal image].

This is my first video and it has been a great learning experience. I’m using BlackMagic Design’s DaVinci Resolve 15 for video editing and Affinity Photo to crop/adjust photos.

3D Printable File https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2884517