Halloween Forum banner

1 - 20 of 131 Posts

·
Disney Inspired
Joined
·
840 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Need some guidance on LED's. I have been making new LED spots today and when I turn them on, they create a circle within a circle (sorry, that's the best I can do for a description). I have read where people sand the LED to remove the inner circle, which I did. The problem is that by sanding the LED, I lost a lot of throw and brightness.

Couple of questions:

Does it matter the grit of sandpaper?
Is there a type of LED that I can buy that doesn't require sanding (and maintains brightness)?
Anything else that I am missing?

Thanks in advance!
 

·
Funeral Crasher
Joined
·
7,443 Posts
I don't know. If I ever had that problem, I guess I just didn't notice it. LOL

Could you glue some milk jug plastic over the end of the spot to diffuse the light? Or does that take away to much intensity?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,518 Posts
Don't sand the LED, as you have found out, it kills the intensity. What type of LED's, and what are you using for the lens and reflector?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
302 Posts
As JMan intimated, without a reflector and lens, that is how bare LEDs are. Personally I no longer try making my own when they are so cheap on the slow boat to china....

see these on ebay, I buy them in 12volt, and solder in a 2 pin waterproof connector. I power them with a waterproof 12v 20amp power supply. 1 is enough for the whole yard.
 

·
Disney Inspired
Joined
·
840 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Thanks Untillater. Definitely bookmarking that seller on eBay. Although, I will probably buy some, it's just not as fun as making your own...

As JMan intimated, without a reflector and lens, that is how bare LEDs are. Personally I no longer try making my own when they are so cheap on the slow boat to china....

see these on ebay, I buy them in 12volt, and solder in a 2 pin waterproof connector. I power them with a waterproof 12v 20amp power supply. 1 is enough for the whole yard.
 

·
Disney Inspired
Joined
·
840 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the reply J-Man. Here is what I made today:

IMG_0214.JPG

IMG_0215.JPG

IMG_0216.JPG

As you can see there is no real reflector other than the white of the PVC and no lens. Open for suggestions...
 

·
Disney Inspired
Joined
·
840 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Here is the LED. 5mm:

IMG_0220.JPG

Hooked up to 12vdc through these 2.1 mm x 5.5 mm Male / Female connectors.

IMG_0218.JPG

I added the male / female connectors to each light so that I can daisy chain them.
 

·
Disney Inspired
Joined
·
840 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Here is the light test. Here is what I was originally talking about how it creates an uneven circle of color within the light.

IMG_0211.JPG

Second, here is what the light looked like after sanding the LED. I lost a lot of intensity...

IMG_0212.JPG

Lastly, I had some "Frosted Glass" spray laying around from another project and sprayed it on the lens of the LED. Still pretty bright and it minimized the halo effect.

IMG_0221.jpg

IMG_0213.JPG

Thoughts?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,069 Posts
Z
As JMan intimated, without a reflector and lens, that is how bare LEDs are. Personally I no longer try making my own when they are so cheap on the slow boat to china....

see these on ebay, I buy them in 12volt, and solder in a 2 pin waterproof connector. I power them with a waterproof 12v 20amp power supply. 1 is enough for the whole yard.
I'm a little confused on what it is exactly you do with these. Can you elaborate on how one of these is enough for a whole yard? Are you taking this apart? Please forgive my ignorance.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
302 Posts
Z

I'm a little confused on what it is exactly you do with these. Can you elaborate on how one of these is enough for a whole yard? Are you taking this apart? Please forgive my ignorance.
1 power supply, not spotlight. 1 20amp 12v power supply will handle roughly 25 9watt spots. The seller also has 3w spots if you want something less bright.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
302 Posts
Thoughts?
Most of your halo is being caused by uneven light dispersion, IE the 3 LEDs overlap in the middle but not the outside.

To get rid of it, you can diffuse the light ( this is what sanding them does, or using a lens)

You could also try using a piece of plexi that you either sand to skuff up or with your spray. you can get an 10 x 17 sheet at home depot pretty cheap and use a hole saw bit without the center guide to make round clear lenses... I actually do this on the ebay spots when I want more of a flood effect than a spot. I use a drillpress and clamp the plexi to a piece of plywood / drill press bed to keep things in position. I wouldnt suggest it with a hand drill.

* slightly off topic. My bigger issue with these homemade lights is they didnt hold up to the weather for me. Water gets in and they only last a season or two. in particular with your design the recessed cup will allow water to collect inside and seep into the wiring.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,518 Posts
Standard LED's like you you have aren't gonna give you good results. I made my own LED spots a few years ago using 1W star LED's and lenses from ebay. I made the housings from 3/4" PVC male adapters and caps. Do a search on ebay for "1W LED's" and "LED lens". You'll find tons of options. You'll also need drivers for them, you can get those on ebay as well.
 

·
Disney Inspired
Joined
·
840 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Standard LED's like you you have aren't gonna give you good results. I made my own LED spots a few years ago using 1W star LED's and lenses from ebay. I made the housings from 3/4" PVC male adapters and caps. Do a search on ebay for "1W LED's" and "LED lens". You'll find tons of options. You'll also need drivers for them, you can get those on ebay as well.
J-Man - Thanks for your advice. I purchased the 1W Star LED's from Lighthouse LED. Much brighter and no blotchy color!

I'm not sure I understand how to incorporate or how to use an LED Driver.

  • Do they take the place of the resistor?
  • Do you need one for each light fixture?
  • Does this take the place of the 12VDC Wall Wart?
Here is an LED Driver that I found on eBay: Is this what I need?

http://www.ebay.com/itm/12V-10W-AC-DC-Voltage-Transformer-Tube-Light-Waterproof-LED-Driver-900mA-Power-/310924747774?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item48648f23fe
$_12.JPG

I found these resistors and used them:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/271459110438?_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT
$_12.JPG

Any other advice/resources would be greatly appreciated!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,518 Posts
The LED driver powers the LED (AC to DC with the correct voltage and wattage) It replaces the wall wart which may not output enough wattage for the 1W LED's. Something like this is what I used.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/New-85-265V-300MA-1-3x1W-Watt-High-Power-LED-Light-lamp-Driver-Power-Supply-/111344223557?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item19eca20545

If you get the correct driver for the number of 1W LED's you are powering, you won't need any resistors. The ones in this listing will power 1-3 1W LED's.
If your existing wall wart and resistors powers them OK then you don't need the drivers, just check to make sure the resistors don't get too hot.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
257 Posts
For made LED spots, definitely coat the metal bits (e.g., solder legs, connections) in silicone or (non-conductive) epoxy to waterproof them. They rust out very fast if left exposed to weather.
 

·
Disney Inspired
Joined
·
840 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
J-Man, you're a wealth of knowledge. Thanks for the help. I'm trying to envision exactly where this goes. I am interested because I am now researching how to build 10W RGB Floods and I think that I am going to need something like this in each unit.

The challenge is that I want them all to be 12V and daisy chain from one unit to the next (perhaps via Cat5 wire). Meaning, I want to power 4-6 of these off of one power source. This unit appears that it has to have 110VAC coming in to each unit. (I'm trying to eliminate extension cords:)).

Here is a link to the floods that I am trying to design...

http://www.hauntforum.com/showthread.php?t=41420


The LED driver powers the LED (AC to DC with the correct voltage and wattage) It replaces the wall wart which may not output enough wattage for the 1W LED's. Something like this is what I used.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/New-85-265V-300MA-1-3x1W-Watt-High-Power-LED-Light-lamp-Driver-Power-Supply-/111344223557?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item19eca20545

If you get the correct driver for the number of 1W LED's you are powering, you won't need any resistors. The ones in this listing will power 1-3 1W LED's.
If your existing wall wart and resistors powers them OK then you don't need the drivers, just check to make sure the resistors don't get too hot.
 

·
Disney Inspired
Joined
·
840 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
Thanks dpeterson. Great point. Three years in a row I ended up having to replace strings of LED christmas lights for that exact reason. The LED strings that the box stores sell are crap for that exact reason.

I ended up covering all of the contact points (except the LED bulb) with hot glue. I have found that if you get the hot glue hot enough, it will flow like epoxy and cover everything with a nice even coat.


For made LED spots, definitely coat the metal bits (e.g., solder legs, connections) in silicone or (non-conductive) epoxy to waterproof them. They rust out very fast if left exposed to weather.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,518 Posts
I am interested because I am now researching how to build 10W RGB Floods and I think that I am going to need something like this in each unit.

The challenge is that I want them all to be 12V and daisy chain from one unit to the next (perhaps via Cat5 wire). Meaning, I want to power 4-6 of these off of one power source. This unit appears that it has to have 110VAC coming in to each unit. (I'm trying to eliminate extension cords:)).

Here is a link to the floods that I am trying to design...

http://www.hauntforum.com/showthread.php?t=41420

Honestly, I love the enthusiasm but you really are better off just buying 10W RGB LED floodlights. You can get them on ebay pretty cheap, cheaper than trying to convert pieces and parts. As for the wiring, Cat5 would never be able to handle that amount of DC current, your gonna need 120VAC to each light. If you're looking to dive into DMX control, I'm no expert there but I think you need DMX compatible RGB's. There are others here with more knowledge on that subject.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
124 Posts
Honestly, I love the enthusiasm but you really are better off just buying 10W RGB LED floodlights. You can get them on ebay pretty cheap, cheaper than trying to convert pieces and parts. As for the wiring, Cat5 would never be able to handle that amount of DC current, your gonna need 120VAC to each light. If you're looking to dive into DMX control, I'm no expert there but I think you need DMX compatible RGB's. There are others here with more knowledge on that subject.
If you are up for a little soldering, you can build you own 12V WS2811-based 10W RGB floodlight. There is currently a group buy open for the boards here ($4.50/ea + shipping), additional info on the boards here. In addition to the driver board, you will need an enclosure ($6.80/ea) and an RGB LED ($12.06 for 10).

If you are not already familiar with the WS2811, it is an addressable LED driver IC that is commonly used with RGB pixels and is designed to be daisy-chained (much like DMX, but it uses a single data wire instead of RS-485). RobG does have another version of his RGB flood board that supports DMX, but only at logic level (you would need to add your own RS-485 driver circuit)

Since the flood enclosures are already IP66 rated, you could conceivably leave these outside all year (as long as your cable penetrations are water tight)

For our haunt this year, I have a few of the boards on the way from RobG's earlier group buy, but already have received the 10W white floods which will be used for their enclosures, and the RGB LEDs from eBay linked above.
 
1 - 20 of 131 Posts
Top