Sky Lumen        
Results 1 to 8 of 8

Thread: Help me build a dental exam light

  1. #1

    Default Help me build a dental exam light

    Hey guys. Newbie here. I am a dentist looking to design a better exam light and was hoping to get some help from the experts here.

    I see mainly kids and they hate the $2500 exam light shining in their eyes. I am hoping to build an LED exam light with a focus nearly as tight as the dental headlamps so it doesn't get in the little kiddies eyes. I have looked around and the type of light I am searching for just doesn't exist --- yet.

    Another big bonus is that I'm thinking this isn't going to cost but a fraction of what the lights from the suppliers cost.

    Here's a rough drawing so you have an idea what I am looking for.

    The housing parts should be pretty cheap to come by from Home Depot. As long as I have a metal housing, I should have plenty of heatsink, right?

    Here is my initial parts list. These are all from

    LED: Luxeon K2 Star 100 lumens@1000mA -- 5027-PW14

    Lens: L2 3degree Spot Base module for Lux. K2 --OPK2-1-003

    Diffusers: I'll be trying a couple to see which is best - if I want one at all
    L2 6degree spot diffuser sublens --OPK2-1-DIF6
    L2 4degree x 24degree Oval sublens --OPK2-1-4275

    AC Driver: I will have the electrician hard wire these in so I don't have to worry about changing batteries all the time.

    Xitanium 120 VAC 25w, 1050 mA driver --LED120A0024V1OF
    One of these drivers should be enough to power two of these lights, right? Any way one driver could power 4?

    Do you guys see any compatibility issues or anything I might be missing?


  2. #2

    Default Re: Help me build a dental exam light

    I'll have to think about this some more, but my first thoughts are:
    Use a different LED, something like a Cree. You'll get much more light from the same current and voltage. Those dental lights you use are probably in the neighborhood of 500+ lumens, so the more light the better. For example, two Cree R2 bin leds would put out close to 480 lumens a 1A each vs the 200 lumens you'd get from the K2. I'd also get something thats a warmer tint, maybe WH bin for better color. That bin is pretty close to 5000k which is a nice mid-day white color.
    Also for the lenses, you might want to consider using an aspheric lens, slightly defocused to make a nice round tight spot. I'm not too good with those types of lenses, so maybe someone else can be of more assistance.
    For something home-made, you could use copper pipe and fittings for almost all of it. I'm not sure how much building you are capable of, but I was thinking you could use copper endcaps(two next to eachother) to fit the led stars into and mount the lenses in, then make a heatsink on the back of that, then use the flexible copper tube that holds its position when you twist it for the "neck" of the light, then another piece of copper or steel pipe for the drop down piece. The pieces would easily thread together, and the inside of the pipes would be a easy way to run wires without seeing them. Good luck!

  3. #3
    Flashaholic* nein166's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    New York

    Default Re: Help me build a dental exam light

    Tight Optics and Aspherical Lenses will have significant sidespill at close ranges. Check out what pepko built for his bike light here in the first link

    A shroud should keep the sidespill out of the kiddies eyes. 3 Cree XR-E Q5s should work fine at 700-1000ma drive.

    Then one Red Cree to give a better color rendition

    This Optic is tight focus and 4 of these drivers are a steal.

    Thats only about $45 in light parts, Some copper pipe the optic will fit in, a heatsink disk to mount the leds on, and mounting and adjustable joints should come in under $100. Just recess that optic and maybe paint the shroud tube black inside.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2003

    Default Re: Help me build a dental exam light

    welcome to cpf...

    seems this topic has been covered before ... only in a headlamp format vs fixed light fixture.

    one place to visit is the shoppe... wayne (dat2zip) has all sorts of goodies to help your project along. from optics to drivers

    here's a few fixed lighting parts

    be sure and visit Don's Sundrop project to find out advantages of using a high CRI light source.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Help me build a dental exam light

    Thanks for the help. I can't tell for sure from the specs on the website. Can those drivers be wired directly into a 110V junction box? It looks like it but I am very new to this.

    I wouldn't have thought to stick in the red LED. That's not going to tint things too much? I guess if we're wrong I can just take it out.

    Ambient, that is a great idea about the flexible gooseneck tubing. Much easier than trying to build an articulated ceiling mount. I'll have to find some nice tubing with white enamel paint. Has to look professional.

  6. #6
    Super Moderator
    DM51's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Borg cube #51

    Default Re: Help me build a dental exam light

    Here are some other threads you might find interesting:

    Dental Headlamp, Part Deux. A request.
    help needed with LED for dental loupes
    Dental headlamp
    Any decent headlamps for DENTAL use?

    Those threads all seem to be about headlamps, which is different from your requirement, but you will see that some of the members there are dentists themselves and it might be worth getting in touch with them by PM for advice.
    Resistance is futile...

  7. #7
    *Flashaholic* B@rt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Land of Tulips and Philips

    Thinking Re: Help me build a dental exam light

    These lights should be easy to convert to stationary use and might give you an idea...

  8. #8
    Flashaholic* nein166's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    New York

    Default Re: Help me build a dental exam light

    The Driver I provided a link to on Dealextreme is for 110v as commented on the site.

    Just got this in, works great, stays very cool temperature. 2 white wires are for the AC, Pink is LED+, white is LED- . Good and cheep too!
    I believe CPF member mds82 reviewed this here

    So to answer your question I believe all 4 will fit in a junction box wired in parrallel to 110v.

    Also take a look at these threads about the use of a RED led combined with white to raise the color rendition.
    Donn's X865.4 by Milkyspit
    A couple of Milkyspit's "Pinky" builds in this thread starting at POST 28

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts