August 14 — LED light prototype

I prototyped an LED light that would

  1. use less power (50W instead of the combined 100W of my original CFL setup)
  2. be relatively cheap (use mass manufactured white LED panels instead of many expensive individual high throughput LEDs with different colors for spectrum)

I didn’t get far enough to test if it was safe to run for long periods of time.

The idea here was to wire it up so that both the fan and the LED panel were powered by the same source. Lucky for me it turns out I didn’t have to use the power supply I bought as the LED driver can take in current from the wall directly. I had been worried that there was no way I would be able to find a cheap high quality power supply (mine cost $50) but now it’s no problem.

THE PLAN
the parts
Using arctic silver thermal adhesive to attach the LED panels to the heat sinks
First solder connections to add wire to the LED panel
first light test

I laser cut a wooden thing to hold the LED light up in the bucket (the original hole I cut for it was too big. The square piece of wood is to prevent the hot wires from touching the heatsink, which would cause a dangerous short circuit. The wood was recommended by Nick. I thought wood was flammable, but it actually has a spontaneous combustion point of something like 300 degrees Celcius so this should be safe.

Chris, who works at OSH Park, came by to show off his crazy bright LED panel, and he gave me a shirt!!

Everything had to be tested with a multimeter before trying to run any real power through. Also I kept forgetting to put heat shrink tubing on before doing the soldering and had to resolder some things.

Lady Red teaching me how to use the heat gun to shrink the heat shrink tubing that protects my wire solder connections: “350 like a turkey!”

Soldered everything and brought it home to test, only to realize that I forgot to add a cord to plug it in.

Bonus clone update