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Posts: 17
Reply with quote  #1 
 I have been experimenting trying to find a 12 volt  to use for lighting in my 
 home. And I think I'm on to something here. The problem with the 12 volt light bulbs are that the more watts they are the bigger they are.


You can see the problem with it fitting.

So I decided to open up one of the lights and see if there was anything in there I could work with.
There was.

I found a flat round disc with the leds mounted on it.

If you go back up and look the part the bulb screws into you will see that's what I used for a base
to mount the round disc on it is made of something that looks sort of ceramic I wanted to have a
space under the disc to keep it cool. Leds don't give off much heat but better safe than sorry

I tried to get a picture to show you how bright this light is but my camera isn't working just right
and it does don'r respond well to anything that giving off a bright light.
The cover that came on the led light bulb held back some light but it mad it a soft comfortable light.
Without the cover the light is very very bright but harsh. But the glass that covers it now is
designed to brake up the light so it works out well.

I don't know why they call this a 12 watt bulb it only pulls 7 watts.
 This is really bright. The cover is a defuser  and it seems to hold back a lot of light.
 without the defuser the LEDs are really a harsh light but the glass cover has a pattern
that breaks the light up really nice -- Just a nice bright light. 

I have Lux meter that measures lumens I just got it and I'm not really sure to properly
use so I just used a old school 70 watt bulb I placed both the same distance from the meter and the LED light kicked it's butt --brighter-- 
 So for 21 watts I can run 3 of these and they are brighter than 3 70 watt bulbs? 

 So even if all you had was a 200 watt panel and 2 deep cycle batteries 
 you could light your house up at night. 
 I cost me about $17 to build this light.  If you like I will keep you posted
when I get a few made and installed. It will be nice to not need an inverter
to have lights. 


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Posts: 2,804
Reply with quote  #2 
Nice job! The big thing today seems to be to make "bulbs" that look and work like the old incandescents. If you are working with 12v you might save money getting automotive lights froam someone like superbrightleds.com.
Solar is like the wind. It may be free, but putting it to work isn't!
Willie, Tampa Bay

Posts: 557
Reply with quote  #3 
The base of an LED bulb is usually a heat sink (keeps the LEDs cool).  If that was the case on yours, the LEDs may not last as long in the new light fixture.

LEDs are more directional, so it is difficult to compare the brightness measurement with a non-directional incandescent.

Kevin H

Posts: 17
Reply with quote  #4 
 How so? the disc of LEDs were in a bulb not much bigger than a regular light bulb 
and it was air tight.

Now the LED disc is in a larger container that air can circulate through and The bottom of the
disc (now the top) is open not mounted flat on anything. 

What am I over looking? 

Posts: 17
Reply with quote  #5 
You might be right 
I went back and looked and the old bulb did have a way for the hot air to escape 
 you might be right, well know after I build one and run it full time. 

Posts: 557
Reply with quote  #6 
If the base of the original bulb was metal (probably aluminum), then it was acting as a heat sink to draw heat away from the LED circuit board.  Looking at the picture again, this bulb is using a lot of LEDs which spreads out the heat, so maybe it was relying on the openings in the base.  Some bulbs use smaller numbers of higher power LEDs which need cooling.

Kevin H

Posts: 17
Reply with quote  #7 
well I ran it for 4 days straight and no problems so maybe I'm ok 

Posts: 157
Reply with quote  #8 
LEDs do generate a lot of heat, and semiconductors drastically shorten their lifespan when cooking, so at least some air movement/vents through that light fitting would be wise!

Here is a link to an instructables.com page on making your own 12v LED bulbs from scratch.. http://www.instructables.com/id/12v-LED-lights-for-Car-Home-Boat/?ALLSTEPS

His english/spulling(!) isn't that great but his math works;-)

BTW if you don't know instructables.com it is great source of fun ideas, some practical, some complicated, and the occasional 'Wow, why didn't I think of that, it's neat' one.
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