Friday, December 20, 2013

Genesis 1.3

As it was written, so let it be. In Genesis 1.3 it states "And God said, Let there be light: and there was light." In Genesis 1.4, it states "And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness."

This is the construction of an LED light panel that exhibits both Genesis 1.3 and Genesis 1.4 (somewhat bizarrely).
The original plan was to house the LED panel in a project box with a translucent white diffusing screen in front of them (which is why I painted the circuit board white). It transpired that the project took a long time to build during which period, the wiring was largely rectified. Thus the project was never truly brought to completion. My desires changed also. I had wanted to have two light boxes set up so that I could do bauble photos. My original idea had been to have a couple of flashlight bulbs in project boxes with the interiors painted white and diffusing screens in front. As always I fancied a more technological approach because I'd heard such great things about light panels. The result was a project that took so long to complete that really it was abandoned when a pair of project boxes and flashlight bulbs would have been half an afternoon's work. As always the KISS principle applies - keep it simple.

Building the board was pretty simple - I just soldered the LEDs on rows and then interconnected the rows with the cut-off ends from the LED wires. Then I just soldered a pair of C batteries to the board with a switch. It was time consuming and since the LEDs were mail-ordered via e-bay from China, they probably weren't by any means, the best LEDs available. My experience of things from China has been very varied. 

I have probably commented before that I bought an LED light bulb from China when they were brand new on the market and thus horribly expensive. I never really used it and in the end put it in my hallway here as a light. It wasn't all that bright but it worked to illuminate the stairwell, even if it did light everything in a deathly blue light. 6 months after I installed it, some of the LEDs went out. A week or so after that, they all went out. It was a shame but it was from China. A couple of times I've had things from China that weren't up to expectations. 
As you can see from the quick cell-phone photo, half the LEDs in the expensive Chinese LED bulb have gone out. When I had a good look at the thing, it was all glued together and impossible to disassemble to fix without destroying it. I now have a CFL in its place.

I am not the only person to have problems with LED lighting. Generally it seems the LEDs will last a long time, dimming to half their specified brightness over 40,000 hours. The circuitry behind them is what seems to fail first - after possibly 800 hours. There's more of a case for low-powered halogen lighting or even krypton lighting.

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