Quick canister light. Will this work?

Raftingtigger

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Nov 5, 2012
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This project started as a flashlight repair and has quickly gotten out-of-hand:rolleyes: and is evolving into a canister light project. I have the following parts on hand:

1. Dive light head, body, and tailcap:
2. Cree XL-M T6 emmitter on star
3. Heat sink for above
All from the original broken light http://www.linkdelight.com/DC080-200m-Underwater-Diving-CREE-XML-T6-LED-Torch-Flashlight.html
The driver board is toast. I have ordered a http://dx.com/p/18v-5w-cree-circuit-board-for-flashlights-16-8mm-5-5mm-26110 from DX, but understand it may take 2 months to arrive and I'm a bit impatient.

4. Ikelite 4-C dive light that the housing is in good condition
http://www.ikelite.com/web_pages/3mini_c.html

5. Four 4xAA dive lights (180LM) that I can steal a driver board from
http://www.linkdelight.com/DC079-20m-Underwater-Diving-CREE-Q3-LED-Torch-Flashlight.html

6. Three 3xAA flashlights (150LM) that I can steal a driver board from
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0051DSKSA/?tag=cpf0b6-20

Parts I would need:

1. Batteries. I'm looking at these for ease of use and recharging safety.
http://www.batteryspace.com/nimhrechargeablecellcsize12v5000mahbuttontop1pc.aspx

2. 16/2 cable

3. cable glands

Plan:

1. Replace the Ikelite lens with a high-density plastic disk drilled and fitted with a cable gland.
2. Solder the cable to the lamp terminals
3. Fabricate a tailcap for the light head, install a cable gland, and solder the cable to the driver board
OR
3a. install a cable gland into the existing tailcap and do the above. This may be easier, but definitely a less desirable solution.
4. Steal a driver board from either of the lights above. I'd prefer to dismantle the non-diving one (3xAAA), but the 4xAA might be a better choice. This is where I am lacking in knowledge.
5. Solder and assemble the driver board, heat sink, and XL-M emitter

My goal is to use this as my video light for my GoPro. Dives last at most 70 min. I can leave the reflector out of the light head for a flood pattern, and adjust the depth within the head for proper spread. The canister can clip to the bottom of my camera tray with the light head on a flexible arm.

If I'm ever so inclined I can replace the reflector and use it as a regular can light.

This whole things seems too simple. Am I missing anything important?
 
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Doc Ed

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You'd also want a driver that pumps out close to 3A to get the full brightness of the XML. Otherwise, I think with the DX driver you listed, you'd get less than 500lm from it at 1.25A.
 

Raftingtigger

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Plastic body lights make very poor heat sinks for high power LED's.
The light head is metal and what was designed for the emitter. Only the battery compartment is plastic. Additionally this light will only be used underwater.To rephrase my question: Would either of the drivers I have (from either the 3xAAA or the 4xAA light) work? Any danger in trying them? Clearly if there are not enough amps I won't get full brightness - but either my meter or my technique is flaky on measuring the output.
 
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DIWdiver

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What you're missing is that you won't get any more light from your X-ML than you do from the light you steal the driver from. Well, maybe a little, but not a lot. No matter the LED, the light is determined by the current, within the limits of the LED. You get around 200-330 lm per amp. Newer and better bin LEDs are near the upper end of that, older and poorer bins are at the lower end.

Plus, those drivers are sure to be crap, and hard to get into the other light.

You need a better driver, one meant for 3A or so.
 

Raftingtigger

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You need a better driver, one meant for 3A or so.

Thanks, that helps. Anyone know where I can get such a driver without waiting 2 months for delivery? I plan on running it with 4 NiMH (5000mAh) cells in series (1.2 x 4 = 4.8V). I really only want a single mode. The variety of drivers out there is daunting.
 

Packhorse

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Nov 29, 2007
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At that voltage you may be a bit limited.
I'd consider using a AMC7135 based driver and only 3 NiMh batteries.
Put 2 of these in parallel and you will limit current to 2.8amps. If you look around you can buy these individually and I do believe there is a 2.8 amp version.

The other option is to just use a resistor to limit current. That would work well with only 3 NiMh's

If you can get over 6 volt this is a great driver for the price... http://kaidomain.com/product/details.S010116
 
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