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Friday, December 9, 2011

Safe lighting experiment

So my curmudgeon at large wants to put some lights in his safe. I understand. I don't have any yet simply because after perusing the Interwebs, its all overpriced and requires another hole in the safe for the 110 VAC power cord. That's assuming you have an outlet close by and if power is available. Also if the power is out you are in the dark.  Another hole in the safe is another downside.

If you do bolt one to the floor and wall (you should), use the really expensive fire stop caulk around the holes! If you do not you have just thrown your fancy UL or other certifying fire rating out the window. 

So I thought I would see what these would do:

Designed for under cabinet use, these are powered by three AA batteries each and are motion activated with an auto shutoff feature. They come with a magnet with a 3M adhesive on one side. The idea is that you use the adhesive side for under the counter to attach the magnet to the counter. Then the mounting plate with the magnet. Once the mounting plate is in place you twist the actual light onto it allowing for battery replacement in the future. 

So intital testing was less than satisfactory:

The light is on the hinge side of the door. A very spotlight effect, not one we are going for. So time to hack the light! 

Top you can see the magnet. On the left you can see the focusing lens I removed from the LED. Let's try again:


Much better!

Depending on the interior surfaces of the safe instead of the included magnet you could use Velcro to attach to interior carpet or double sided tape.

After the removal of the lens I think this is a fine alternative to overpriced stuff marketed to safe owners.

This ends the redneck engineering lesson! 

FTC disclamer. I paid for everything here. So there. 


  1. That's a neat solution, in more ways than one!

  2. We've got several of those in our pantry and closet. My wife always complains about how narrow a place they light up.
    Thanks for the tip about pulling the lens out! I'll give it a try tomorrow.

  3. Nice post and thanks. I've been complaining and whining about safe lighting and doing nothing about it for months now.
    I'm the president of the local chapter of Procrastinators of America. Our motto?
    Ah, somebody will do it. Probably.

  4. That's pretty cool. I ought to try that.

  5. Hmmm. My LED lights for my fish tank has been unsatisfactory for having aquatic plants thrive. I'm going to try your Southern Engineering on them.

  6. That seems to work. I put a few lights in mine that had a high and low setting and turned on when you touched them. they worked great until the adhesive let go. Now I just leave them in the safe and use them like little flashlights.

  7. Nice job Kelly. Looking forward to the day when I have enough guns to need a safe that large. :)

  8. Brock and dirt- Thanks!

    drjim- Hope it works for ya!

    Six- I hear you.

    Andy- Thanks.

    Supi- Good luck!

    45er- That works too.

    John- Thanks!