LED Home Lighting

BrluxBrlux Solar Expert Posts: 73 ✭✭✭
Hi I am kinda new to this forum but have been playing with PV and power conservation for a while. I have made some LED lights for my home which run of my 12V PV system. I did a write up on it a while ago over on Candlopowerforums so maybe it would be easier to just give a link it rather than try to re create it.
http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/showthread.php?t=153728

Anyway this is a great forum with lots of fun reading
Enjoy
Brlux

Comments

  • lamplightlamplight Solar Expert Posts: 368 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: LED Home Lighting

    way cool! i do the same thing but not with the detailed electrical knowledge you have, i have bought a bunch of fixtures.. i recently just bought a 5 luxeon fixture with a remote control for under cabinet lighting thats on my solar. one half of the kitchen is 1w luxeons, and this bar stip one is bright enough to replace the 15w CFL task light that was there (Thus i have one for sale)
  • lamplightlamplight Solar Expert Posts: 368 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: LED Home Lighting

    hey, would this have the appropriate type of electronics to regulate homemade led projects if you werent into soldering resistors?
    http://www.theledlight.com/led_drivers.html

    that might be a nice in between for someone like myself who likes to diy but with limited time and patience for yet more hobbies :)
    ive done some standard led nightlights with resistors (thanks neil!) in the past - that was fun but have less time now.

    buying the fixtures is so expensive!!
  • BrockBrock Solar Expert Posts: 633 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: LED Home Lighting

    Hi Brlux, BB and I are both over here as well (from CPF). We should get Don (McGizmo) over here, he has all sorts of crazy in home LED lighting.
    3kw solar PV, 8 L16's, xw 5548, Honda eu2000i, iota DLS-54-13, Leaf EV, 4 ton horizontal geothermal, grid tied - Green Bay, WI
  • TelcoTelco Solar Expert Posts: 201 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: LED Home Lighting

    Hi, I read through your page and have some questions. I think that a very nice lighting setup would be a bunch of LEDs mounted in a 1 foot by 1 foot grid across the entire ceiling. You could either have them on 100 percent power and have a well-lit room or turn it down for mood lighting since LEDs will work fine with a non-lit dimmer switch.

    First question concerns the resistors. Does it matter if you have the resistors in one place or does the circuit require a resistor between each LED? I'm assuming here that what you are looking for is a 12V drop across each individual series circuit (power, then resistors and LEDs, then ground), which I understand the concept of, but my understanding comes from a basic electronics course I took in 1988.


    Second, would such a lighting installation as I've just described actually be able to light a room up to the same usable intensity as a few well-placed CFL bulbs? I like the idea of LEDs but to me they are useless if they only work as spotlights, except in places where just a spotlight might be needed, like perhaps as emergency lighting near doors and hallways, at least for me.

    Third, is there a 120V option? I'd prefer to have just one electrical wiring network in my house when I build.

    LEDs is one of the things I wanted to get nailed down, so your post was rather timely :cool:.
  • BrluxBrlux Solar Expert Posts: 73 ✭✭✭
    Re: LED Home Lighting

    I think LED's are easier to run from a low voltage DC source. You need fairly expensive AC power supply drivers for running of AC. It doesn't matter where you put the resistor in the circuit. I used 2 resistors each being about 1/2 the needed resistance and used them to connect the LED's in series.

    The Power LED's I am using are not focused and provide a very even light distribution. The little 5mm ones are probably what you were referencing when talking about the spot beam and I would recommend staying away from them if you want to do any kind of serious home lighting.

    My controllers I built are nice and take advantage of the LED's best feature, high efficiency dimability. When I set the system on low power it provides a night light for the whole house which allows you to get up in the night to go to the bathroom or kitchen without needing to turn on any additional lights and it consumes less than 1W. The LED's I am using are a bit older technology but they are a nice warmer color, not blue at all and they have shown no signs of degradation in color or brightness over the past year of use. I drive them very conservatively even on high and they have more than adequate heat sinking. My budget at the time did not allow for using the cutting edge LED technology and I am quite happy with how they have turned out.
    I have actually actually designed and prototyped the next generation of my system using some of the newest and most efficient LED's and switching power supplies which would allow them to work on 10-30V DC. Unfortunately my current system is working so well I am finding it hard to justify the effort and expense of switching everything over to the newest design.

    LampLight: those LED drivers probably could work for a project, I know many like them I just have no personal experience with any of them.

    Brock: We need to get more people working on LED home lighting especially for the Alt Energy community. There are really no good options out on the market. I agree McGismo makes some incredible creations and he has a gift of actually being able to make them attractive looking which is something that I struggle with.
  • lamplightlamplight Solar Expert Posts: 368 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: LED Home Lighting

    telco, heres photo i took today of the light output from the 5 light under cabinet light i recently put in http://florenceit.net/files/leds/leds.html (bottom of the page), its the lf-wlx6 on this page http://www.superbrightleds.com/fit.htm (some of this you saw before i think, except the new light) . i also have the remote control/dimmer which is very cool.

    as you can see its warm bright and has a wide dispersion. it replaced a 14w florescent to no complaints from my wife (its the main food prep area in the kitchen). i can totally see how a fixture could light a room. these are all 1w luxeons.

    thanks to brlux im seeing theres some even brighter types out, cree i think it is (?).. i would love to get a place together to discuss led lighting. currently i have the following stuff which was probably a lot more expensive but certainly easier to deal with than doing your own electronics:

    1 led 1w LUXEON screw in AC: good for single task, narrow defined beam
    (pictured here)

    3 led 3.6w NICHIA screw in AC: task lighting with a narrow defined beam. too bright to look into!
    15 led old fashioned screw in AC (pre luxeon brightness), a dim task light, (using it now)

    a couple single 1w led 12v very wide dispersion luxeon under cab lights (pictured,theyre the UC undercabinet lights on superbright page above)). i have 2 cool whites installed and another warm white with less lumens to still install)

    a pair of 3 led DC screw in led bulbs that use about 1/3w each, old fashioned low output leds for a separate little solar night light system in the kitchen (run off a pair of SLA's from radio shack and a 10w solar panel with a c12 lighting controller)


    -Matt
  • TelcoTelco Solar Expert Posts: 201 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: LED Home Lighting

    Thanks for the pics and answers. Don't know if that'll cut it though, still seemed kinda spotlightish more than fill the room and we like bright, well-lit rooms. It may be just the pics, since it looks like your pics are showing what individual lights will do instead of what the whole room would look like with all of them on. Is this the case, and if so would you be able to put up a pic showing the room with all the lights normally used in the room on?
  • BrluxBrlux Solar Expert Posts: 73 ✭✭✭
    Re: LED Home Lighting

    You guys are getting me excited about this stuff again. I just started to dig out the leftovers form past projects. There are a lot of things I want to try and still need to figure out.

    Some of my ideas are to make a small standalone lighting system with the charge controller and LED driver all in one package. It could run on a small panel <10 watts and something like one of those small 7Ah AGM batteries. It would have several output levels and could drive several panels similar to what I am using in my home.

    I have been playing with making a very small system that would use a <1 watt panel to charge a Li-Ion probably 18650 and would run a couple of the best Nichia 5mm's to make a very low cost but reliable lighting system you know like something that would be good for 3-worldish situations.
  • lamplightlamplight Solar Expert Posts: 368 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: LED Home Lighting
    Brlux wrote: »
    Some of my ideas are to make a small standalone lighting system with the charge controller and LED driver all in one package. It could run on a small panel <10 watts and something like one of those small 7Ah AGM batteries. It would have several output levels and could drive several panels similar to what I am using in my home.
    would you design your own charge controller or appropriate something? i wonder how small the box could be. this sounds similar to lawn lighting systems out, would this be designed more residential for developing countries?
    as my nightlite system goes i have 2 12v agms from the shack in parallel, witha xantrex C12, and as yet theyre still sitting on top of the kitchen cabinets, unsightly and not very compact, heck youve given me an idea to put them in a box ;)
    Brlux wrote: »
    I have been playing with making a very small system that would use a <1 watt panel to charge a Li-Ion probably 18650 and would run a couple of the best Nichia 5mm's to make a very low cost but reliable lighting system you know like something that would be good for 3-worldish situations.
    basically a flashlight setup? but more like a lantern for 3rd word? i see they have led camping lanterns already. one thing i have thats similar to your idea here is the everlite, not sure if youve seen them but unfortunately it sounds like your idea. they work great though the construction quality is not so hot. if you used these better leds you might have something, are you in a position to take something to production?

    telco: the 6 light undercabinet uses 6 watts and puts out 270 lumens in 110 degrees! as a comparison the other picured led 1 watt undercabinets are 40-45 lumens. they are all luxeons.
    --
    I have been reading and found this 2006 article mentioning North Carolina's CREE creating an led with 131 lumens per watt (wow!) i havent been able to find ready to use fixtures at these levels (anyone?) BUT- i did just order my first CREE AC/edison bulb which i hope to use over the kitchen table: 3 CREE led's, 6 watts and 240 lumens, 60 degree beam. the led over the kitchen table in my photos was a nichia with the same beam but only 100 lumens. there are alot out now with wide beams like my new remote control unit which is as pleasant as an incandecent (about equiv to a 40w bulb)
  • BrluxBrlux Solar Expert Posts: 73 ✭✭✭
    Re: LED Home Lighting
    lamplight wrote: »
    would you design your own charge controller or appropriate something? i wonder how small the box could be. this sounds similar to lawn lighting systems out, would this be designed more residential for developing countries?

    It would be more of a scaled down and ore efficient version of what I have in my house now.
    It would be designed primarily for running only the LED lights but perhaps the charge controller could be built with a higher capacity for adding additional wattage if desired. Yes I would design the charge controller. The project would already have a micro controller with AD converters for measuring the battery voltage so that will not be hard, It will just switch a fet on or off when certain voltages are reached.
    lamplight wrote: »
    basically a flashlight setup? but more like a lantern for 3rd word? i see they have led camping lanterns already. one thing i have thats similar to your idea here is the everlite, not sure if youve seen them but unfortunately it sounds like your idea. they work great though the construction quality is not so hot. if you used these better leds you might have something, are you in a position to take something to production?

    Actually I see this system as a souped-up yard lighting system intended for permanent setup in a home. I am still unsure about the fulscale manufacturing process. It will be quite expensive. If I get it to a point I like I will probably start of doing it myself as a cottage type industry and once the demand is up I would look at other options.

    I sent one of the lighting panels I have up in my home and the simplified PWM dimmer that uses a pot for control to Northern AZ Wind & Sun for evaluation about a year ago. Unfortunately it must have been a bad/busy time for them and they never got back with me about doing anything with it. When I did contact them a month or sow later they said the were impressed with it but nothing else has happenend on that front.

    My current panels are 3 1W Luxeons and putout about 140 lumens at a little under 4W input power.

    The newer ones I designed use 3 of the new Luxeon Rebels with a dedicated step down switching power supply on each lighting panel which allowed the panels work on 11-30V.
    They were adjustable in output from about .5-8watts with nearly 400 lumens at full power. The Rebel LED's were the neutral white which I think it the perfect shade of white, there is no hint of blue. The only down side it the lowest setting they would go to is still a bit brighter than I would want from a night light mode. I just kinda lost interest in persuing the manufacturing mainly due to the initial start up cost and time it would take from my school schedule. Just recently Lumaleds recalled the Rebels I would have been using due to a manufacturing defect and requested all parts in the field shipped back. Man I would have lost my shirt in that deal so it is a good thing I lost interest when I did.

    I have personally put out thousands of $ in R&D form my pocket but it is also a hobby. I have sold a few of the types of panels I am currently using in my house on eBay. I just need to find more time and money, don't we all. Atleast talking about it has got me thinking about it again.
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