Home Building DIY LED lights
Hello Friends Everywhere you studies but have you ever stopped to wonder how they actually work, wishing you a bit more about them so that you could make your own custom lighting builds to light up all sorts of areas in your own life. Well, in this video we’re going to be taking a look at the fascinating way that led is actually emit light, and then we’re going to put this knowledge to good use. By making a custom mini led floodlight to the work of a USB type C battery bank. It’s be quite an interesting video. So, let’s get to it. led stands for light emitting diode and at a micro level they are at their core, a tiny piece of semiconductor material that just had two different types of impurities diffused or implanted into each side when electricity flows through this semiconductor material after proper polarity electrons are pushed from one side to the other. And due to the difference impurities in the semiconductor material, the electrons, end up stepping down to a lower energy state as they jump across the junction, this step down results in some excess energy, which is then emitted as light as this light is of a very narrow wavelength. The result is a single emitted color, which can be adjusted from red, all the way up to blue.
By using different materials in the semiconductor. It’s even possible to go outside of the visible spectrum of like infrared and ultraviolet LED, which useful for certain specific applications. It’s worth noting here though that despite what you might assume there are no truly white LED, because the emitted light band is too narrow of a wavelength. You see white light, like daylight is actually a combination of a whole sweep wavelength. While it is possible to get some much close to this by using a group of LEDs, all at different wavelengths. This is tricky to get right and can result in poor color accuracy. So instead to achieve light, we’d call white LED is typically use a single blue emitter, that’s been coated with a foster mix this phosphate gets excited by the powerful spike of blue light and convert some of it to a hump lower down in the visible color range. Similarly, these use really high quality phosphor as well, which stretches this on powered, resulting in a high CRI, or color rendering index. The white point can also be shifted by modifying this phosphor as well, which is why you can get warm white and cool white LED is usually marked in color temperature Kelvin.
5600 K is perfect if you want to mimic the soft white of a cloudy day for example, while 2700 k mimics old incandescent bulbs suitable for home lighting, thanks to its warmth and coziness. This use of Kelvin for color temperature by the way harks back to the days of incandescent light bulbs, as they literally had to heat a length of wire inside to a temperature that’s so high that it begins to glow. And almost 60 watt bulb like this for example heats the filament to around 2400 Celsius, which is about 4400 Fahrenheit or as you may have guessed already 2700 K or Kelvin. Most of the power that goes into this boat however is wasted in this heating process. Being radiated out as invisible thermal radiation and dissipated into the surrounding environment. This is why LEDs are just so efficient. They jump straight into emitting the visible light spectrum, without relying on heat to get better.
Despite this amazing efficiency though they aren’t perfect and heat generation can still be an issue, particularly with high power LED lights, but we’ll be looking into that later. For now though it’s important to note that led is can still emit a lot of light from a small single point, which makes it possible to use them with reflectors, and lenses for extremely long light through capabilities. The single super bright emitter coupled with a group reflector for example has the ability to light up objects and a mile away, which is pretty amazing. In addition to this for extra brightness individual emitters are often grouped together into what’s known as club LED, which stands for chip on board. These are usually much larger than individual emitters, which does harm their ability to be focused precisely, often requiring the use of larger lenses and reflectors, but they still strike a good balance between high brightness and light control and a huge popularity, more powerful clubs like this 300 watt you tend to be physically much larger, and the size goes up from here. This 1500 watt code for example outputs about 120,000 lumens, which is roughly the same as 3000 smartphone lights all crammed into a disk the size of your palm. Crazy. You can almost forget about long throw with these larger ones though, as they require massive reflectors and lenses. So they’re only suitable for really niche situations. Powering high power cops like this as well can be quite a challenge, but this is something important to consider with all LEDs no matter their power level, because they are current sensitive devices. This means that they’ll easily draw far more current from the design for if given the chance, which quickly results in them being pushed outside of their specified power range seriously reducing their lifespan.
If an LED is fairly low power, like this single SMD LED, it’s possible to use a resistor to limit access current draw, and you can find the required value by using a simple formula or an online calculator. The brightness achievable with this resistor method is still very good. So it’s often used in a race such as LED strips for example, thanks to its simplicity. When it comes to more powerful LEDs like copper ladies, however, they require more advanced circuitry to keep the current draw in check. As the resistor method, isn’t a particularly efficient. These extra circuits are called led drivers and are available in a wide variety of input voltages and power handling capabilities to match a whole range of LEDs. Now another common method of powering high power LEDs particularly for DIY projects, is to use a voltage regulator with constant current control. Now this is my personal favorite method because it allows you to reconfigure the regulator to power pretty much any LED, so long as it’s within the regulators power range, and it’s a great way of learning the relationship between current and voltage, when you’re starting out. Now in a minute we’re going to be using one to make a high power floodlight, that can work from pretty much any USB type C battery bank, and it’s got a high CRI led so it’s suitable for studio work as well.
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