Hi all. I joined the forum to learn about making my own set of lights for the eaves around my house. I read MikeM's, Asimba2's, and now Idleprocess's threads on their designs for a DIY.
After asking lots of questions from people here and people who sell the LEDs, I've started to get my materials together and assembled. Not complete yet, though.
First a little background about myself. I've never really soldered before and don't have much knowledge of electrical stuff. So I had to do a lot of reading and ask lots of questions. I THINK I've got enough to get these lights to work and without be a safety hazard. Don't be afraid to tell me if I'm doing something awkward or wrong.
I've already observed my house's eaves/soffits really closely. To set up the wiring would be simple. I'll get the drivers and dimmers located inside the house just to keep them from getting hot in the summers and for easy access.
As for the fixture, that's what I focused on a lot. My soffits are vinyl. I don't know exactly what temperature they'll start to deform and burn so I've used some PVC caps between my heat sink and the soffit surface to possibly keep some of the heat off the soffits (Would that help?). I think the PVC makes it look more like a regular light fixture you'd find at the store.
I just noticed that I don't the screws holding the PCB star to the heatsink in the photo. Presently, I do have two screws in at the two threaded spots on the heatsink. I have the solder joints and the screws planned in that layout to help keep the lights from charging. I'm thinking about spreading some liquid electrical tape on the joints and maybe the screwheads too to be safe (Good or bad idea?).
(The fixture shown above was one of the first ones I soldered so if it's a bad job, it's about my second time soldering anything ever. The other ones should be better.)
In between the PCB star and the heatsink, I laid a thin layer of thermal grease. I'm thinking about getting small glass jars about 1.5 oz to enclose some of my fixtures for comparison. Would it be okay to place the tin lid between the star and the heat sink? or would the tin disrupt the conduction of heat from the PCB star to the aluminum?
So waddaya think? Good idea? Bad idea? Let me know if you can help.