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New DIY LED lighting for my room

djQUAN

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I ordered some COB LED strips from DX a while back and made high power LED drivers for them. I planned to use them at home since I already have an alternative power system (wind/solar) and off the shelf 12V LED lighting strips/bars aren't bright enough for me.

I used an 18" length of aluminum C channel and mounted the powersupply and two LED modules each and installed them on the ceiling. Turned out the two 16W LED strips from DX driven at only 1A was much brighter than the 40watt 4foot flouro tube in the ceiling. I had to turn it down to 550mA and it's still brighter. :D If interested, I can take Lux readings comparing the flouro tube and new LED lamp.

Check out the pics and here for details of the powersupply and lamp assembly.
 

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That is a great DIY project, dj! What a wonderful idea to save electricity AND give yourself a better light color than that ancient tech you're replacing!

If you're willing to share your circuit design, I'm sure some of the members here could really benefit from it!

Now, if I could just design an LED light replacement for our crappy low-V roud bulbs in our apartment! My SO would not go for a DIY "look", so I'd have to have a nice package.

Edit: stupid system still won't let me rep you again. Good job!
 
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djQUAN

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Thanks! :)

The circuit design and PCB layout can be seen in the link provided above but I'll repost the more direct link here: DC-DC Converter

you can also see the warm white version there too. I made a mistake on the DX order. I was supposed to order all to be cool white but didn't realize I ordered warm white on the smaller LED module.

The house residents are basically all male so there's no one to complain about the decor. :D
 
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That's awesome, dude.

I just have to DIY something clean enough for "OCD Jewish G/F" standards..
 

djQUAN

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hehe, let me know what you come up with or if you have issues I might be able to help :)

edit: Dad asked me to take out the LED lamp in the bedroom and put back the dim LED strip. He said it's too bright haha
He's using the LED strip as a night light and leaves it on till the morning.
 
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Cyparagon

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Disregarding driver/ballast efficiencies, your 40W fluoro has more light output. If the ballast was underdriving it or if the tube was leaking, then maybe. Your typical F40T12s usually have around 2000 lumens. And a modern F39T5 can have 3500lm. The LED is also a bit deceptive in the sense that the light is more directed, so it's brighter to look at, and the area directly under it will be brighter, but the total light output is not higher.

Of course if you plan on switching everything to 12V, fluorescent ballast efficiency goes out the window and LED is the way to go. :)
 

norbyx

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I am looking to put some led strips in my RV camper, I think that since many work with 12V than it would just be ideal.
 

djQUAN

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Cyp,

Yes it is not possible to have more total output than the flouro as the laws of physics dictate but as you mentioned, the directionality of the LED allows me to have more light "where I need it" and not just scatter all over the place. I did take lux readings and the LED had more than twice the flouro tube output below the fixture at 1A drive current. It was still above the flouro tube output even when I dropped drive current to 550mA. It's also a factor that the flouro tube is already quite old. :D

Norbyx,
There are a lot of 12V LED solutions available off the shelf but does not have that much light output. But since an RV is just a small area compared to a home, it will be enough.
 

norbyx

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Yeah that was what I was thinking. An rv is much smaller than a single room in a house so led lights should work quite well. Also was thinking in putting some under the rv to shine light on the side were the owing is. Oh well in any case you did a good job installing yours.
 

djQUAN

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I made a quick assembly from stuff I got from DX.

two of these 6W white LED modules, boost driver and some thick thermal interface material from FT.

Mounted the two LED panels on another piece of U channel


Wired the two LED panels in series and connected it to the driver. I stuffed the driver in the U channel as a convenient mounting spot.


and used the silicone cubes (cut to smaller pieces) and shimmed so the heat generating parts transfer heat to the U channel as heatsinking. Seems to work well.


The entire assembly gets a bit warm but I haven't done a long duration test to see if heatsinking is enough. It's pretty bright though but not as bright as the ones I installed in the rooms. I might use this as area lighting above my workbench.
 

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djQUAN

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bump. :)

It's been raining daily and the solar panels currently up the roof can't produce enough power for the new lights I installed last week.

I just found out that panel prices have dropped since we last bought the ones currently in use, so me and my dad went to get some more. We just bought 3 new 100watt panels, 12ga cable and hardware to mount them on the roof. I don't know how I'm going to get them up there though lol

 

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Lazerbeak

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Sweet djQ, Totally Green :) Sound like an awesome project. Good luck getting them up there Sir :beer:

~ LB
 

Things

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Nice work! I've been contemplating buying a few panels, can get them at a decent price now I work somewhere that sells them. How much did you pay for those 100W panels?
 

djQUAN

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We got the three for about US$180-190 each. Finished the frame, going to mount them probably next weekend. I'm still waiting for the MPPT charge controllers I ordered. I'm doubtful the one we're currently using could handle the three new 100w panels.

Currently, The old panels produce about 200wh per day. So I'm hoping this would do at least 600wh per day. That should provide enough output to power more stuff in the house.

The old panels (75w BP and 30w DIY) will be taken to the province for another solar power system there.
 

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djQUAN

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:bumpit: I hope I'm not straying too far off topic. It's still somewhat related though as this will power the lights in the OP :p

It's now up on the roof. Here are some pics that I took.

Old panels and wind generator:



Old 75W panel on left, New 100W panel on right:


New panels finally up on the roof. Had to carry them all one by one bucket brigade style with my uncle.


It's finally mounted.



Sun is about to set but still, each panel is producing 19.4V open circuit and 330mA short circuit. I won't know until tomorrow if the old controller can handle the current all three will push in full sun.
 

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BShanahan14rulz

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So, you gonna put your LED light in the fluorescent fixture and point LEDs up into the diffuser/reflector thing? Would cut down on brightness, which from what I understand, you already had to tone back a bit. But, might be less harsh to look at than bare emitter.

I really like your panels and wind generator :san:
 




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