Sunday, June 17, 2012

best light at least cost - about testing bright diy leds at home

This is a very bad picture of a remarkably bright LED (if you click, it enlarges). This LED is running at only one tenth of it's rated power, with only one watt of electrical input yet the light is blindingly bright to me. I am trying find the best LED to use for an DIY outdoor lighting project here.

LEDs like these currently light the walkways outside my house but mine are MUCH brighter than "consumer" solar/battery LED outdoor lights available at the home centers that die after a year, or even many LED wired types you can buy.

My outdoor lights cost almost nothing to operate. Home made, safe and reliable outdoor lights that I can make with a few tools and a bit of DIY (Do It Yourself) attitude. You can change the design to suit your own situation. Solar powered, run with batteries or line power (or any of these in combination) they are very bright but hard to take a picture of.

There are a couple things going on with the picture. I am learning how to use my new iPhone 4S which is a delight but at times a frustration, like any new tech I guess. Second, I am trying to show you a very bright light source in a dark room.

All the same, I thought you might get the idea - this LED is impressively bright. This is one of a batch of LEDs I am testing for my outdoor DIY lighting project.

I want to make a pleasing and durable DIY outdoor light which uses minimal electricity in my own home workshop at a (hopefully) reasonable cost. I will show you in this series what I did. Other projects are going on around here, stick around if you can.

The particular LED I am using in this picture was off Ebay but that's not important. I am not recommending a particular product. It's about how to do this. The technology and the vendors may have changed by the time you read this, but if you go about it this way, hopefully this information will be helpful to you.

Here is that particular LED I am testing in a MUCH better IPhone pic). You can see from the lighter how small it is.

There are many different types of LEDs available: DC/AC, voltage, mounting method, big and small at all level of cost.

This is about how I compared what I had available to me.

I used some inexpensive test equipment to help me and some simple science. Accuracy is important, but not super critical since we want to compare alternatives between LEDs. Stability and operator care might be more important.

I set up the key test/experiment on a tabletop in a few hours and I had very useable results to compare different LED light sources easily. Your mileage may vary of course.

Thank you for your interest.

George Plhak

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