Ice skating rink lights

I discovered, after making this outdoor ice rink, that the LED lights installed beneath the surface are much brighter than I prefer.  Just wondering if anyone has an idea how to tone down the brightness without tearing out the scene and starting over.  If the only option is to start over, I will opt to live with the bright lights.  The entire scene, sans figures, is glued including the fence.  Rink surface is clear plexiglass with a coat of matte spray.  The LED lights are embedded in the 4" thick foam board.  One option I thought of that I'm hesitant to do is drill a small hole over each  LED and inject a paint or some coloring media that would tone down the brightness.  If that turned out a mess, then I would have to redo the whole thing.  "The cure would be worse than the disease."

Any ideas will be greatly appreciated.  Photo attached


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The easiest would be to install a larger resistor in the circuit powering the LED lights. I use an online resistor calculator (available here) which will calculate the resistor based on the existing circuit. Using a resistor with more resistance will dim the LEDs.

Hope this helps!


Pete & John,

Thanks for the suggestions.  Great ideas had I known about them when I was wiring the rink.  Now, however, it would be a wiring nightmare for me to dig into the foam board and undo the wires.  There are 14 wires ganged in various configurations in order to reach the power source wire that also powers my village lights.   Once the lights worked I embedded the wires into the foam board using hot glue followed by sealing the area with duct tape.


Just an FYI:

Although you can get away with dimming LEDs by reducing voltage via a voltage controller or a voltage-dropping resistor, it isn't really good practice. LEDs require a constant current/constant voltage source, which you aren't going to get without special electronics. Among other things, changing the voltage will affect the chromaticity and color temperature in very noticeable ways. 

The correct way to dim LEDs is via "pulse width modulation", which turns the LEDs on and off at very high frequencies (too fast to see). Purpose-build LED dimmers will do this for you. 

Sorry for the geek-out.




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Avanti isnt wrong, the cheap & easy way is a variety pack of resitors, but driving them pwm should increase the life too. If these leds are "frozen" in place permanently, cheaply may not be the best route. (though pw shouldn't really be very costly either)

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