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Author Topic: Low power draw lighting  (Read 584 times)
NA0AA
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Posts: 1043




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« on: March 13, 2007, 12:50:21 AM »

Now available are 12 volt screw-in lamps that use LED's in larger arrays for lighting.

I purchased a 36 LED 12 volt bulb from a supplier and found that it draws a whopping 3 watts.  In a small desk lamp, it's quite nice for the radio desk.

Also would be dandy for a light you might leave on for long periods of time [available in 120 volt AC as well], or in my case, as the emergency shack lighting - safer than a kerosene lamp/candles, and does not strain the backup battery system.

They are NOT cheap, although it looks like e-bay has some at prices that are affordable.  Given you might only need one or two.

I happen to light the light quality as well, but don't expect them to be as bright as conventional or Compact fluoresent, not yet anyway.

These are going to be great when price goes down and output goes up.  almost no heat generated.
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K9KJM
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« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2007, 09:53:39 PM »

Yep, The new LED multi LED bulbs are great for 12 volt emergency, Or just low current consumption.
If you search around on the web, You can find suppliers who will sell direct without any Ebay fees involved.......    I bought some a few years ago that are meant for automotive applications. Standard automotive bulb base, With around 20 or so LEDs.
Then  I picked up a few of those old high intensity lamps that were popular years ago at garage sales for peanuts, And just removed the transformer in the base so I am just using the base, Gooseneck, and the little socket, Shade and reflector.
Works great in my hamshack that  run off a deep cycle battery!
I paid around 8 bucks each, And they produce a very nice white light with a slight blue tint....
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AB8XA
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« Reply #2 on: March 14, 2007, 04:38:30 AM »

That's going to be my next addition to the "shack" -- a 12 volt halogen desk lamp converted to much cooler LED and 12V operation off the power supply.  There are quite a few of the LED bulb replacements now available in "warm white" and some are even available in the G4 dual pin configuration.
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KG6OMK
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« Reply #3 on: March 14, 2007, 10:48:19 PM »

I recently sold a sail boat.  Sailors get good at conserving 12V power (and fresh water)  A very good place to buy these lights and other 12V equipment is from the outfits that sell to sailors.  West Marine is one of them.  The WM near me has a full two isles of stainless steel nuts and bolts and one isle of 12V electric parts that are designed to withstand saltwater environments.  They make things like crimp-on ring terminals with insulation made of shrink tub that has hot melt glue inside.  They also have an assortment of LED lights that are not all that expensive.  I have six batteries on my boat, a main breaker panel and a sub panel.  We could and did run basically a house and an HF and VHF (marine bands, not ham) radios all from a bunch of golf cart batteries.

The other type of 12V light that really conserves power is a "Cold Cathode Florescent".  A company called "Taylor" makes the best ones. Really nice work, power coated stainless steel construction.  and even RF filters on the ballast's too.  Cold Cathode is the same technology used to backlight the LCD screen on notebook computers.  Standard florescent tubes use a hot filiment.  CCF makes a lot more light than an LED can
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KC8RPD
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« Reply #4 on: March 23, 2007, 12:32:34 PM »

WRT West Marine, and sail, don't forget the low stretch double braid dacron rope makes perfect guy lines for antennas and towers.
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NA0AA
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« Reply #5 on: April 02, 2007, 07:32:08 PM »

Bumping this up to date:

A google search for "LED Strip lighting" turned up a bunch of stuff.  Everything from bare bones PCB sections with SMT emitters to fully finished and wired units for under your kitchen cabinets.  Most or all can be had for 12 volt operation.

Prices vary wildly [and none of it cheap, of course] as do beam widths and brightness.  As usual, your willingness to home-brew is the key to doing it cheaply.  These are often fabricated for large signs so prices must be heading in a downward direction at some point.
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