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Thread: Mini USB LED light- safe to use?

  1. #1

    Default Mini USB LED light- safe to use?

    today i have received from gearbeast these mini usb led lights...


    http://www.gearbest.com/led-flashlights/pp_453059.html

    they look cute and practical, and i have tried them in mine xiaomi powerbank and later at one of mine usb input on lcd tv to get some additional back light...work fine, but, after couple of hours i took them out and they were pretty hot! i can hold them, but they are hot...i put a pause right now of using them...

    my question is, are these lights safe to use at all? i wonder they will damage any usb port if i plugged them directly? is it better to use them with some kind of usb L adapter or such?

    or, do i worry too much? they might be hot but it's nothing to worry about?

    thanks...

  2. #2
    *Flashaholic* Illum's Avatar
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    Ooo Re: Mini USB LED light- safe to use?

    Forget it, I haven't found one that doesn't get so blazing hot that threatens to melt the solder holding the socket or the LED itself. The LEDs heatsink into the PCB, which seems to pass the heat straight to ground, which then interfaces with the socket.

    If there is a driver IC on board, at minimum the temperature protection feature inherent to logic ICS would cause thermal foldback that limits current going to the LEDs, without it its just a resistor that glows with no real way to cool off. The ones encased in a transparent plastic shell is even worse , after about 3 minutes the shell will start to smell, any longer it gets soft and warp.

    Only USB light I found satisfactory was UL1 made by Xtar, four modes with a hidden strobe and SOS. Xtar seems to have discontinued it


    I never actually bought these, but the ones I recieved with another more reputable light looked something like this: http://www.geekbuying.com/item/5CM-H...mp-338343.html

    It draws 400mA at 5V, which equates to about 2W... it melts very fast
    Last edited by Illum; 03-11-2017 at 08:46 PM.

  3. #3
    Flashaholic* ChrisGarrett's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mini USB LED light- safe to use?

    I have the Soshine 5w versions in cool white and they are the schnizzle.

    Don't know why yours are heating up? I got 5 of them and never felt them get blazing hot.

    Mine have the dimmer function, so that's even more awesomeness.

    Chris
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  4. #4

    Default Re: Mini USB LED light- safe to use?

    @ChrisGarrett

    well, i think they are hot enough to make some problems in usb ports during time...mine doesn't have dimmer and such...i don't think i am gonna use them anymore, i don't care about led itself, but i think it will melt any usb port i put them into...thing is, many people bought them and only a few complains about heat which this thing generates...people either don't care or didn't pay much attention...i think this thread should be safety warning as well, be extremely careful with those mini leds!!!

    i have xiaomi led light which looks like a long rubber stick, with 5 level of brightness and on/off switch and it's in another league...it's cool even on maximum brightness...

  5. #5
    Flashaholic* ChrisGarrett's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mini USB LED light- safe to use?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cekid View Post
    @ChrisGarrett

    well, i think they are hot enough to make some problems in usb ports during time...mine doesn't have dimmer and such...i don't think i am gonna use them anymore, i don't care about led itself, but i think it will melt any usb port i put them into...thing is, many people bought them and only a few complains about heat which this thing generates...people either don't care or didn't pay much attention...i think this thread should be safety warning as well, be extremely careful with those mini leds!!!

    i have xiaomi led light which looks like a long rubber stick, with 5 level of brightness and on/off switch and it's in another league...it's cool even on maximum brightness...
    I've got one of my LED sticks here and my Ruinovo power bank out and I'll see how hot it gets and post back.

    Mine have 6 individual CW LEDs on the board, touch the back, the lights dim, or brighten. Right now, after 20 minutes on high, with the ThermoWorks pointed at the black fiberboard back, up where the LEDs are, or at the base, I'm getting about 117*F/47*C, so not all that hot IMO, but I can't speak to your sticks.

    Chris
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  6. #6
    Flashaholic* Timothybil's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mini USB LED light- safe to use?

    These are available in many different configurations as far as output is concerned, and whether or not they are dimable. I bought a few of the medium powered ones from one of our favorite Chinese retailers, I don't remember which, and use one every night as a handy night light next to my bead. I use one of my power banks to power it, and they are sometimes on for several hours at a time. I have yet to have any problems or notice any heat issues. What I like about them is that they only need a touch to turn them on or off, and they are bright enough to let me find my slippers and glasses when I get up in the middle of the night. Also, they sip so little power that it sometimes takes more than a month to use up my power bank to the point I need to recharge it.

    Also, just for clarification, they are mini LED lights, and they use USB ports, but they are not Mini USB lights. I may be strange, but that is what I first thought the OP was referring to until I looked at the illustration.
    You don't NEED a parachute to skydive. You DO need a parachute to skydive twice.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Mini USB LED light- safe to use?

    I got more than 20 of them from GB's 11.11 sale, exactly the same items in the OP, and measured its consumption at .04A taken from my usb doctor.

    Now I use them to light my living room overnight and every night, it just gets fairly warm, but not hot.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Mini USB LED light- safe to use?

    I've used the USB LED sticks below for a couple years, They work great - with a wide range of dimming, and memory for the last brightness level (if power is not lost). Combined with the USB metal gooseneck extension they make nice gifts (great for a keyboard light). They use 5630 LEDs. They don't get hot (or warm), even at highest brightness (quite respectable). They also seem to be quite rugged - I've tossed them around without care with no damage. My only complaint is the brightness ramp speed is a bit too fast for precise adjustments. Beware that the OP linked-version doesn't have double-sided USB terminals, which may limit the directions you can shine it. Also beware that they may not work well with some powerbanks because they draw so little current that the powerbank triggers auto-shutdown.

    They're about $1 on eBay, and the usb extension is about $1.70. Both can be had for less in quantity (but, strangely, it seems harder to get a good deal on the extensions than on the lights). To find them on eBay search for USB led touch, and USB extension metal.

    Last edited by Gauss163; 03-10-2017 at 07:54 PM.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Mini USB LED light- safe to use?

    Quote Originally Posted by tatasal View Post
    I got more than 20 of them from GB's 11.11 sale, exactly the same items in the OP, and measured its consumption at .04A taken from my usb doctor.

    Now I use them to light my living room overnight and every night, it just gets fairly warm, but not hot.
    do you have by any chance temperature meter? it would be nice to know exact temperature...maybe i am a little bit paranoid about it, but it looks a little bit hotter than my imagined level of hotness maybe it's under normal parameters, but i don't know for sure...what is the normal temperature for usb parts in lights like this after several hours of use?

    yesterday i take out xiaomi usb led stick from xiaomi power bank after couple of hours use, and it is warm too at the usb part...so maybe it is normal for these things to generate some heat in the usb parts?

  10. #10

    Default Re: Mini USB LED light- safe to use?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cekid View Post
    do you have by any chance temperature meter? it would be nice to know exact temperature...maybe i am a little bit paranoid about it, but it looks a little bit hotter than my imagined level of hotness maybe it's under normal parameters, but i don't know for sure...what is the normal temperature for usb parts in lights like this after several hours of use?

    yesterday i take out xiaomi usb led stick from xiaomi power bank after couple of hours use, and it is warm too at the usb part...so maybe it is normal for these things to generate some heat in the usb parts?
    Sorry, I don't have any temperature measuring device. The only 'thermometer by hand' feel comparison is when I use my Zebralight SC600 Turbo mode (runs for exactly 5 minutes) before throttling down to High. My SC600 gets really uncomfortably burning hot in my hand, way hotter than these usb lights when held the early morning the next day, with an ambient room temperature ave. of 30deg C.

    Btw, before I left it overnight in my living room, I was also wary of temperature rise, so I observed it for about an hour at first, checking for any rapid or abnormal temperature rise, but it just "stayed the course" after it reached its running temp.

    Below is a photo of one powered by my iPhone's charger and another by my Xiaomi's powerstrip with 3 usb ports:

    [IMG][/IMG]
    Last edited by tatasal; 03-11-2017 at 05:16 PM.

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