The 2x4 I am using had air dried indoors here for a couple months and shows no warping or checking. Because of the small pieces, it was easy for me to cut three good looking pieces without major knot holes. The step joint at each end gives a bit of additional strength and was easy to make with my radial arm saw. A couple of screws hold each end in place with the block clamped in the center until the weatherproof glue dries. The recess and the slots were cut with a router and a 1/2" bit. In this version, I have given the interior two coats of white paint to help defuse the light from the ends of the block outward.
The glass block slides snugly into the U. It will be fastened in place permanently to help weather seal the LED. On the prototypes I will lock it in place with a removable method of some type so I can get them apart. The half size glass block that fits this frame costs about $25 here, the LED about $20 so there is some salvageable value to the prototypes until I get things worked out with the design. I will seal the final version.
This is one of six types of LED arrays that I have tried and which I will write about. This one is from Princess Auto, their product number 8381063, "5 x 2-3/16 in. Interior 10 LED Vehicle Light". It comes with a polycarbonate lens which I decided not to use, thinking that the glass block did a pretty good job of scattering the LED light.
Although the Princess Auto was not the brightest or most efficient LED I tested, it does provide a nice uniform light and is itself weather sealed. The first prototype which has been working outside for a month has one of these LEDs in it so I will be able to compare the orientation difference with the same source light. This one I plan to aim downward, rather than horizontally like the first.
This LED from Princess Auto uses 111 mA at 12 VDC (only .111x12=1.33 watts) to provide 22.2 foot-lamberts of light in my tests. From the prototype already outside, this amount of light lets me see the stairway very clearly and the lamp is brightly visible even from the street 60 feet away. I made measurements of light output versus voltage for six different types of LED lamps that were available to me.
Thank you for your interest.