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Thread: Multicopter head lights

  1. #1

    Default Multicopter head lights

    Greetings. I check these forums now and then, but this is my first post!

    I'm currently designing and building a new multicopter, which I indent to mount a camera on to and fly with goggles. My plans currently include putting a string of red 5050SMD LEDs on the back of the rear arms so I can determine the direction the copter is flying, but I am also looking to put head lights on the front to light up in front of the copter, and I want them to be bright. The goal is to be able to fly at night, and I also like the idea of really bright LEDs on an RC aircraft.

    I've ordered a pad of 24 5050 White SMD leds to go on each of the front arms, but I'm not sure if that is my best option. I was originally looking at mounting P7 LEDs or equivelent on the front, but heat would be an issue, no? SST-90's would be ideal.

    My ask is. What is the best way to get the brightest LEDs on the front of this thing, with the least weight. This will only be flown outdoors. The frame is made of G10 (glass-reinforced epoxy laminate). The battery is a 12v lipo.

    Last edited by Exploding Fist; 06-13-2012 at 05:26 PM. Reason: Polished post

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Niagara Falls ON. Canada

    Default Re: Multicopter head lights

    I know where you are coming from as I used to fly RC heli's. Your problem as you already know is weight and heat. The SMD LEDs will work OK but won't really focus like a "headlight". The P7 arrangement that you also suggested would work, but you need an optic for the "headlight" effect and a heatsink as your frame will not act as a good heatsink. Perhaps if you could center mount a system on the bottom with a small heasink and optic maybe a Cree XM-L you might have something, but then again...the weight...

  3. #3

    Default Re: Multicopter head lights

    Didn't get the responses I hoped for, but maybe that means I was on the right track with my original thoughts?

    I figured I should follow-up with the result here.

    No where near the brightness I was going for, but it does light up my back yard fairly well. I added other LEDs around for orientation and visibility (for night flying).

    Here is what you see from below.

    Nothing too impressive, but I'm fairly pleased for my first custom LED job :V

    I still might try building stronger head lights eventually, but I didn't want it to hold back my project.

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