12 volt LED light panels in long term use

paulstamserpaulstamser Solar Expert Posts: 86 ✭✭✭
The "cheap" 24 and 36-LED panels that I ordered from an eBay seller in Hong Kong arrived yesterday (24-LED $7.99/36-LED $9). It was dark by the time I got back from the mile long walk from the mailbox and right away I ripped open a 36 and installed it over my kitchen counter, stove, & sink area.

My setup is a 12 volt stand-alone PV/battery system and my previous experience with "cheap" LEDs was not good.

Here are my comments/findings about these new ones:

1) The units are smaller than I pictured them, but so what.

2) The wires on them are incredibly puny but I can cope with that.

3) The bayonet fitting is some kind of mini-plug that doesn't fit my 1156 type sockets. So I just cut the wires and taped them into the circuit.

4) The amount of light from the 36-LED is FANTASTIC! One 36-LED completely illuminates my entire counter-stove-sink area wonderfully! I am not used to regular 110 volt lighting and hate it because it's generally so bright when I visit normal peoples' houses that it hurts my eyes. But I would compare this 36-LED to about a 60-70 watt bulb, or so it seems to me.

5) From my amp-meter reading it appears that the 36-LED burns about 1/4 amp or just a tad more. I can easily live with that!

6) From the amount of light this 36-LED throws, I plan to mount a 24-LED over my kitchen table. That should be plently of light and why waste power with a 36-LED when you don't need to?

7) The BIG QUESTION now is how long this relatively "cheap" ($9) LED will last in daily useage. My previous LEDs started crapping out within a year or so and did not live up to the hype. While old time incandescent auto bulbs simply NEVER burned out in my 12 volt stand-alone solar electric & battery system (well, almost never).

QUESTION: One problem/question: Since the wire leads on these Hong Kong LEDs are so puny there is no good possibility of soldering them into the circuit like I typically like to do. I guess I can tape them on but here's a question:

Is there any kind of electrically conductive glue-cement-adhesive on the market you can use instead of solder to make a permanent electrical connection? This would seem to be a no-brainer since no melting heat or dripping solder would be involved. But does it exist? If it does I've never heard of it. But how cool would that be? Just wrap the wires together and coat them with the conductive adhesive and then tape it. Presto! A perfect permanent connection! Useful, but does it exist???

I plan to update this thread by-and-by with long-term results of these Hong Kong LEDs as their reliability and longevity is unknown. Please post your own thoughts and experiences with ("cheap") 12 volt LED lighting as this is new and exciting but still pioneer technology. But if you can find good ones that don't break the bank, they are the way to go.

Thanks!

Comments

  • SkiDoo55SkiDoo55 Solar Expert Posts: 414 ✭✭✭
    Re: 12 volt LED light panels in long term use

    You might try the conductive epoxy that you can get in the auto-parts store, for repairing the copper traces for auto window defrosting. May be available other places also.

    I have LED strip for my undercounter lighting, about 14 ft of strips, lights up the whole kitchen. Draws about 13 watt. 120 VAC powered thru 12 VDC transformers. Lot of light for 13 watts. They have been install for about 10 months so far and still very brite. Lighting of the future.
    GT3.8 w/4600W Trina 230W, TX5000 w/5000W ET-250W, XW4024 w/1500W ET-250W, 4 L16, 5500W Gen. (never had to use) Yet!!
  • paulstamserpaulstamser Solar Expert Posts: 86 ✭✭✭
    Re: 12 volt LED light panels in long term use
    SkiDoo55 wrote: »
    You might try the conductive epoxy that you can get in the auto-parts store, for repairing the copper traces for auto window defrosting. May be available other places also.

    Thanks for the tip. I never heard of "conductive epoxy" before, but it sounds like what I'm looking for.
    I have LED strip for my undercounter lighting, about 14 ft of strips, lights up the whole kitchen. Draws about 13 watt. 120 VAC powered thru 12 VDC transformers. Lot of light for 13 watts. They have been install for about 10 months so far and still very brite. Lighting of the future.

    Sounds like a nice setup. What is the advantage of using 120 VAC units vs. 12 volt?

    10 months sounds good. No flickering or burning out? How much did that 14 ft of strips cost?

    I agree LED is the lighting of the future. Some people complain about the color of LED light, but these seem pretty natural/normal to me -- if they last.

    Thanks
  • SkiDoo55SkiDoo55 Solar Expert Posts: 414 ✭✭✭
    Re: 12 volt LED light panels in long term use

    Could be more like a paint, for repair of the window defroster copper paths on car rear windows. Comes in a very small bottle and was $6-$8 dollars if I remember the last time I bought some.

    I am totally on the grid, so no batteries. They were n' cheap, about $300 for all of the light strips and power supplies. Can be run straight from clean 12 VDC source.

    I like the blue/white of the white LED's Have converted all of my Mag-Flashlights to LED, sure makes the batteries last a long time and provide a better light to see with.
    GT3.8 w/4600W Trina 230W, TX5000 w/5000W ET-250W, XW4024 w/1500W ET-250W, 4 L16, 5500W Gen. (never had to use) Yet!!
  • dwhdwh Solar Expert Posts: 1,341 ✭✭✭
    Re: 12 volt LED light panels in long term use

    Maybe wire glue?

    http://www.thinkgeek.com/gadgets/tools/b70c/
  • paulstamserpaulstamser Solar Expert Posts: 86 ✭✭✭
    Re: 12 volt LED light panels in long term use

    skidoo:

    No, $300 isn't cheap. That's why I'm anxious to test these $9 36-LEDs from Hong Kong. They certainly throw plenty of light. No complaint there. Plus they also have a 48-LED version.

    dwh:

    That WireGlue seems to be exactly what I'm looking for. A good way to connect puny tiny wires to larger ones. I'll have to order some ASAP.

    Thanks!
  • paulstamserpaulstamser Solar Expert Posts: 86 ✭✭✭
    Re: 12 volt LED light panels in long term use

    Although the reviews for "Wire Glue" aren't too good I ordered some anyway. They say it's too watery and not really glue like the name implies. Also takes too long to dry. But for my purpose of bonding a puny wire wrapped around a larger wire it might work okay. Worth a try.

    Cheapest I found was on eBay for $6.95 delivered.
  • SkiDoo55SkiDoo55 Solar Expert Posts: 414 ✭✭✭
    Re: 12 volt LED light panels in long term use

    Why don't you just solder them, quicker and better conductivity for the small current required.
    GT3.8 w/4600W Trina 230W, TX5000 w/5000W ET-250W, XW4024 w/1500W ET-250W, 4 L16, 5500W Gen. (never had to use) Yet!!
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 32,226 admin
    Re: 12 volt LED light panels in long term use

    Get a nice magnifying glass on a stand... I am not very good at soldering, but with a nice wide field large working distance binocular microscope--I was easily able to solder fine pitch surface mount components (remember to rest your hands as you manipulate the wire/solder/iron).

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • paulstamserpaulstamser Solar Expert Posts: 86 ✭✭✭
    Re: 12 volt LED light panels in long term use

    I usually do solder my wire joints. But these on the LEDs are are very small and tricky. Plus they are already hanging upside over my kitchen table and sink. I'll this the Wire Glue a try...
  • dgsloandgsloan Registered Users Posts: 22
    Re: 12 volt LED light panels in long term use

    I ordered a number of these last spring to install in my trailer. They got quite hot and eventually the LEDS started failing to the point that my the end of the summer I removed them. I will wait for the single LEDS to improve (1.5 watt) before I try this again. If you need any high conductivity (amps) glue then
    http://www.mgchemicals.com/products/8331.html was recommended on the Ebike forum - not sure of the cost.
  • paulstamserpaulstamser Solar Expert Posts: 86 ✭✭✭
    Re: 12 volt LED light panels in long term use
    dgsloan wrote: »
    I ordered a number of these last spring to install in my trailer. They got quite hot and eventually the LEDS started failing to the point that my the end of the summer I removed them. I will wait for the single LEDS to improve (1.5 watt) before I try this again. If you need any high conductivity (amps) glue then
    http://www.mgchemicals.com/products/8331.html was recommended on the Ebike forum - not sure of the cost.

    Just which LEDs did you order last spring? Were they similar to these? Blinking and failing is what happened to my last experiment with cheap LEDs. Maybe this go-round will be the same if my experience is like yours. Time will tell.

    http://cgi.ebay.com/High-Power-36-SMD-1210-LED-Car-Interior-Dome-Bulb-White-/400172208315?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item5d2c1f50bb
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