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Thread: Diy light from scratch

  1. #1

    Default Diy light from scratch

    modding lights is fun, but you tied to hosts that are in 99% are not designed for what I put into them, so I had to get around limitations of the hosts, new hosts were not an option since I live in app. and have no garage\machine shop or access to lathe, or milling machines.
    However, some time ago I acquired old heat sinks from old equipment, at first I didn't think much about them, kept them "just in case". But one day I thought, there is got to be the way to do a light from ground up, without machine shop, or serious equipment, if I didn't find the way, that means I was not looking hard enough, there is a will, there is a way.
    So I came up with simple construction that can be done with minimal tools, so far I only used miter saw, and cordless drill, the rest of tools were hand tools.
    I took some aluminum corners, and mated them to heat sinks, it gave me flat platform\heat sink for mounting leds, I build the head of the light around heat sink, first time I’m making something like this, neither I’ve seen anyone else do it, so first one was a test platform, I installed 2 xml, one with 26.5mm tir, other with 20mm tir, out of plywood I made a head cover and 3\16 polycarbonate over it, had to drill holes in heat sinks and cut the thread. Use 2 sb 8amc7135 drivers, the best results I get with using 4xnimh cells, on 1 18650 or 26650 the drivers do not put out more than 2 amps, with 4,8v I get 2.8a, but 4 eneloops can't drive both leds on high at the same time, so I will use 4 D NiMH cells.
    So far I only finished light head, I didn't get to make a body, it will have searchlight shape, with handle on top, just like Dolphin light has. I will try to build the body out of plywood as well.

    first tests showed that it is not a good idea to mount 2 leds on different height, it works fine and all but, beam shape has some rough edges due to being sunk, I could put some pad under the star but I already glued the lens holder, (carclo lenses\holders, from led supply), but besides that I’m happy how it performs, 26.5mm lens make some strange shape beam with square in the middle, but it is only visible when you shine at white wall, outside you don't see it.
    oh, the screws had 4 nut on them cuz they were too long, and I ran out of dremmel cut off discs, I already bought them and cut screws to right length, I left 1 nut on as a washer, it looks better than washer, imo.

    So this is just first experiment, next one i will make without mistakes that i've learned on first prototype. I’ll update as I get more done.











    Last edited by alpg88; 01-19-2012 at 01:50 PM.

  2. #2
    Flashaholic b-bassett's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    hertfordshire, uk
    Posts
    180

    Default Re: Diy light from scratch

    not bad at alll!

    a lick of paint, and that would make a nice lighting fixture

    those tirs look quite usable to me, got a link to them?

  3. #3

    Default Re: Diy light from scratch

    Great post, thanks!
    How about using JB Weld in place of plywood? You can make forms for it and then grind/drill/mill it, should be good for heat sinking too.
    The brighter the light, the darker the shadow.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Diy light from scratch

    Quote Originally Posted by b-bassett View Post
    not bad at alll!

    a lick of paint, and that would make a nice lighting fixture

    those tirs look quite usable to me, got a link to them?
    http://ledsupply.com/led-optics.php

  5. #5

    Default Re: Diy light from scratch

    Quote Originally Posted by eh4 View Post
    Great post, thanks!
    How about using JB Weld in place of plywood? You can make forms for it and then grind/drill/mill it, should be good for heat sinking too.
    thanks, but my idea is to make the light out of wood, something that is not common material flashlights are build from, but other materials are not out of the question, i just started, who knows where it'll end up.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Diy light from scratch

    for the aesthetics of wood that could be really cool, if the heatsinks were safely allowed for behind the board you could hide them in a knot!
    The brighter the light, the darker the shadow.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Diy light from scratch

    A 7x10 Mini-lathe should fit in an apartment no problem... just try not to get swarf in your carpet.

  8. #8
    Unenlightened
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    michigan, usa
    Posts
    9

    Default Re: Diy light from scratch

    hello, good attitude and a great job at finding a way to do your project. i'm a fellow DIYer. looks great

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