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Old 12-20-10, 11:27 AM   #31
skyl4rk
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Here is a cheaper source for Star LEDs:

1W High Power LED Warm White Star Emitter 80-90LM [ST-1WWW] - US$0.98 : SatisLED Store, China LED wholesaler

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Old 01-24-11, 12:07 PM   #32
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I am making some cheap LED lights for a boat project. I purchased 1000 warm white 5mm LEDs for $65, taking advantage of a quantity discount.

This project will use an incredibly high tech and innovative system of voltage regulation: I am using old batteries that previously were used for an electric bicycle and are pretty much worn out. The batteries do not allow the voltage above about 12.8V. So a series of 4 LEDs needs no regulation at all. The batteries do not have the capacity that they used to have, but I am now pulling less than an amp where the electric bike used to pull close to 20 amps, maybe more on startup.

The 20 LED lights will pull about 0.1 amp, since each 4-series pulls 20 ma. The 32 LED light will pull about 0.16 amp. In practice, actual amperage changes quite a bit with voltage. This has the happy situation that as battery voltage drops, amperage drops so the battery will last longer. Yes, the light output drops but it is still usable even at lower voltages.

My battery system has a 10W solar panel with charge controller. I never expect to add an alternator to the system, which means it is fairly sure that that there will never be voltage spikes.

The LEDs are rated 3.0V to 3.4V. Four in series would be rated at 13.2V. I don't expect my old batteries to allow the voltage to rise above 13V, even under charge from the solar panel.
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Old 01-24-11, 12:35 PM   #33
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Very cool. Does that one panel put out much light?
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Old 01-24-11, 05:24 PM   #34
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For the small space in my decked sailing canoe, it is enough light, but the floor is only about 3 feet from the lights. In a larger room in a house, it would be a little more than a kerosene lamp, but less than a 40W bulb.


with flash, no light - batteries are up front, tied down under the boards

with flash, light on

without flash









Solar controller and positive buss bar



Negative buss bar and rats nest, needs to be cleaned up.
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Old 01-24-11, 05:34 PM   #35
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I got the LEDs for about $65 for 1000 pcs. There are 20 LEDs in each of the arrays, so one array costs about $1.30 for LEDs, plus some scrap plexiglass, some solder and a couple of pieces of wire.

To get the equivalent of a 40W bulb, my guess is that you would need an array with 40 LEDs, which would cost $2.60 and would use about 0.2 amps.

The strategy with LEDs is to put the lights so they shine right where you need them, and have enough different lights so there is always one light that lights up exactly what you want it to. That way you don't need to light all the lights, you can conserve power by lighting up that area you are using. And if you want to light up the whole house for some reason, you could do that too by turning them all on.

Last edited by skyl4rk; 01-24-11 at 05:38 PM..
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Old 01-24-11, 07:26 PM   #36
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Looks like plenty of light for the application.
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Old 02-01-11, 02:54 PM   #37
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Default Watch out for cheap LEDs

LEDs are easily damaged by overheating and the cheaper ones tend to fade much sooner than high quality name brand ones. So for long operating time lighting I would recommend using high quality LEDs. Good luck!
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Old 09-11-11, 12:04 PM   #38
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Haven't heard of them. Last I checked LEDs were slightly less efficient than fluorescent lights.
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Old 09-11-11, 12:07 PM   #39
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There are a lot of inefficient LEDs. But, there are some very efficient ones out there to the tune of 100 lumens per watt. CLFs are around 60-70 I believe. However, these LEDs aren't cheap at all, but they are being used for things like street lamps, parking structures, etc. Unfortunately, I don't know of any high end LEDs for home use.
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Old 09-12-11, 08:09 AM   #40
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Home LED's are getting lower prices, and some are close to 50-60 lumens per watt. Lumens though are not all the same -- LED's are focused light, and CFL's depend on the fixture for focus (or not). LED's last longer in general, at least theoretically, and some are now dimmable; as are a fair number of CFL's.

Color temperature is the big breakthrough on LED's (and for CFL's a while ago) -- look for 2700K to 3000K for light that is virtually indistinguishable from incandescent bulbs. Some incandescents are too red, in my opinion.

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