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Old 12-27-16, 09:56 AM   #4
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There are good reasons I am writing about the smaller chip LED's. First and foremost, they are more efficient than the higher wattage packages. The light intensity that is emitted for the 1 watt beads is comparable to that of a standard fluorescent lamp, and the 3 watt beads compare well to the T8 fluorescent tubes. The 5 and 10 watt chips are brighter than fluorescent fixtures, and are too bright for "soft lighting" in many applications without some sort of diffuser or dimmer.

The higher-wattage units are actually way too bright for many applications. They throw intense light like an arc discharge lamp. They also generate lots of heat and need a substantial heat sink and/or fan cooling. The 50 watt chips heat up like a soldering iron, and will self-destruct in no time if the heat sink is not sufficient.

This holiday weekend, I threw together a 10 watt chip and its driver. I replaced the burnt out dome light in my fullsize GMC truck with it. For now, it is just slapped in there, and it is running without a heat sink. I will be making a heat sink for it that will fit in the hole, hopefully before the chip kills itself. For now, I'm making sure not to leave the door open too long.

For the "pill light replacement" connector/insulator, I chopped off the end of a Bic Stic pen and cut a little slit on each end for the wires to slide into. I drilled a little hole into the center and slipped some speaker wire through it. The whole thing is just hanging by spring tension at the moment. The 10 watt emitter throws WAY more light than the stock incandescent bulb, and actually cost less than a factory replacement mini bulb. The zone has them for 3 bucks each or 2 for 5 bucks. The LED dome lights were 10 bucks each for a lower power, not as bright bulb, and they only had them in "ice white" 6000K color. I put in a "soft white" 3500K chip as I like the "yellowish" light better.
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