Introduction: 30 Watt Led Worklight

Picture of 30 Watt Led Worklight

This is my try to replace the energy-hungry 150watt halogen floodlight I use for working on my lathe.
I think it went well..

Step 1: The Parts

Picture of The Parts

The basic components and electronics are from
 the led
the driver
the optics
  a PVC pipe, a pipe holder, a p4 heat sink and an old 24volt fan.

I suppose that connecting the led to the driver and mounting it on the heat sink with the optics is self explanatory so the photographs are enough.

Step 2: Test Fitting

Picture of Test Fitting

Mounting the heat sink in the pipe at the front and making sure everything else fits.

Step 3: The Holder

Picture of The Holder

I took the one piece of the pipe holder,the one with the bold on it, straightened the sides and found a screw for the bolt.
 I also made an L shaped bar to mount on the wall. Test fit everything using a rod passing through the pipe with a couple of spacers.

Step 4: Tidying and Painting

Picture of Tidying and Painting

Since everything fits fine, I made connectors for the fan and led, some heat shrink  for protection, some wire protection and of course some tape for isolation.
Then for some painting.Primer first and then black paint.

Step 5: Putting It Together

Picture of Putting It Together

After the paint has dried up, I cut the center rod to length and found 2 bolts to secure it on the pipe holder. 

Step 6: Comparison

Picture of Comparison
Installed both lights for a comparison.


frollard (author)2011-10-11

I've got the spare heatsink from my new i5 processor (got a much bigger one so I could overclock) and thought it would make a great heatsink for a 100watt led from dx. ...Just can't fathom for the life of my why I need 100 watts of led, except perhaps to replace my projector bulb when it dies.

GrumpyOldGoat (author)frollard2011-10-13

We NEED 100 Watt LEDs because they are available and WE CAN.

If we couldn't, then all advances in technology would die off and it would be such a dreary place....

Who wants to live in a hell-hole where nobody can do anything, much less think outside (or inside) the box and make fun stuff?

frollard (author)GrumpyOldGoat2011-10-15

Don't get me wrong, I'd love one, just I don't NEED one. On the grounds of 'just because', I have too much crap. I buy/build/mod everything, and now have literally thousands of projects that I have no use for.

GrumpyOldGoat (author)frollard2011-10-17

SO! You're the guy that filled my garage with all that stuff?

I have a belligerent drunk neighbor that forgets where the property line is on a regular basis so I build high power IR LED floodlights so the DA and Sheriff can go talk to him after they view the videos.
I saw a 3 million candlepower IR light on a chinese website, but I don't wanna blind the guy....

mrwolfe (author)GrumpyOldGoat2011-10-19

Actually, because it's IR, it would be more likely to fry him than blind him! Bwahaha!

GrumpyOldGoat (author)mrwolfe2011-10-20

Because it is dark, his pupils are wide open AND IR is a light wave and can cause damage to the retina.
Safety first... second, third, etc.... ;=}

mrwolfe (author)GrumpyOldGoat2011-10-26

Good thinking but no, your corneas are pretty much opaque to IR wavelengths longer than about 800nm. 3 million candlepower just might set fire to his house though :>

ac-dc (author)GrumpyOldGoat2011-10-13

The hell-hole would be never being satisfied, always thinking you have to do some difficult thing just to get by when others don't waste away their time on such things.

omgitschrislol (author)2011-10-14

For the LED controller why did you use tape? you can get 4 inch diamater heat shrink online that will fit over then shrink around it making a better "case" and it might look nicer.

mastelios (author)omgitschrislol2011-10-14

Because i wanted one side open so the draft from the fan could cool in some.Not that it needs it but since it was possible I did..

omgitschrislol (author)mastelios2011-10-14

OH!! man i totally didnt think of that.

janern (author)2011-10-14

This was a really elegant build. Great way to make the housing and make everything fit inside in a simple way. Two questions:
Is the LED driver fitted in the housing with everyting else?
How is the fan connected to the driver, is there an ekstra output for a fan (12V perhaps), if the driver voltage is not fit for the fan directly?
A bit clumsy sentance there maybe, but you probably catch my drift :-)

mastelios (author)janern2011-10-14

Thank you. yes everything is inside,you can see it in the pictures.the fan is 24volts and its connected at the driver just like the led.It produces about 17volts so its ok.No extra driver for the fan.

janern (author)janern2011-10-14

okay, the first question is answered by the pictures when looking again :-)

Mike Nelson (author)2011-10-10

do you have one of those kilowatt meters to look at the comparison? Not having the fan and only having passive cooling from the heat sync would help out with the efficiency...

great build!

I've got a 20W LED emitter myself, i just need a bigger heat sync for it, as I watched the temperature climb up to 165F before i got bored of watching it...

ac-dc (author)Mike Nelson2011-10-13

Getting rid of the fan will not "necessarily" help with efficiency.

First, the heatsink is undersized for 30W load without the fan. Second, at the great increase in temperature the LEDs not only put out less light but also permanently degrade, further reducing light output at the elevated temperature so you end up with a greater reduction in light output than the increase in power consumption from the fan... assuming you use a modest fan not some high current, high RPM model.

Yes you could just pick a huge heatsink, at great cost (unless it's scrap/salvage/etc), size and weight. For some uses that is a reasonable tradeoff, but for others it isn't.

mastelios (author)ac-dc2011-10-14

I will try to take some measurements with and without the fan and post them.

mastelios (author)Mike Nelson2011-10-10

well the heat sink I used is enough for the this led even without the fan.I tested it for some hours without the fan and it was only warm to the touch. After all, the fan is 24volts and the driver only gives it about 17volts so its just spinning, you don't even hear it.
about your led, cpu heat sinks with thermal paste work great! the pentium4 ones are the best,or from older amds since these got hot!

Nerdz (author)mastelios2011-10-10

Yea ANY older (socket A or more recent) heatsink is actually made to dissipate 90W or more of Thermal Energy (with a fan ofc). Im sure a 30W LED is nothing for these heatsinks.

ac-dc (author)Nerdz2011-10-13

No, they most definitely are not unless you only mean running near the max temperature of the led which reduces lifespan and light output.

There are some unscrupulous heatsink sellers which tried to claim otherwise and testing shows their errors, which is why people running 60W+ CPUs at full load (so it was near, but seldom actually at 60W) opted for mid to higher quality 'sinks instead of just "any ... skt A heatsink".

However you do have a valid point about looking at the era a heatsink comes from as CPUs, on average, climbed in power but even then, in each era you have to discriminate whether a heatsink is tailored towards performance, or low cost and size.

For example a product you can buy today as current generation - Sempron 140, socket AM3 retail packaged heatsink can't cope with more than about 60W, if that. They economized it because Sempron 140 has a max TDP of only 45W, and in actuality that's the per-family wattage for their faster model semprons too so the real max wattage is even lower.

The same is true on many modern heatsinks though there is great cooling potential:$ on today's multiple heatpipe sinks often on sale/rebate for about $20, those are generally good for about 140W or more and can cool a 30W LED array passively (w/o a fan).

Nerdz (author)ac-dc2011-10-13

Thats true. The Pure Copper Heatsinks could probably manage that from a good Heatsink maker. Currently I have a quad core CPU with a Heatsink (that Claims) it can Support up to 200W. Now 200W is A LOT of Heat. Could you imagine trying to fit 200W worth of LED's on a heatsink? You would have one hell of a spotlight.

ac-dc (author)mastelios2011-10-13

If that heatsink is only warm to the touch you either don't have a good thermal junction with the LED, or more likely you aren't putting 30W through it. That heatsink should be uncomfortably warm at 20W without a fan or equivalent passive airflow.

nbe (author)2011-10-13

Can this be used on 12V without the driver? Just wondering about making a dive light and some sort of heat pipe to transfer the heat to the outside water...Just the wonderings of a madman...

mastelios (author)nbe2011-10-14

No it can't. You should use a dc-dc driver/converter.

cyberkeeper1 (author)2011-10-13

you havent really specified in the video which light you were using. second, i think we would like to see a side by side comparison. :)

mastelios (author)cyberkeeper12011-10-14

In the video,the white light is the led and the yellowish is the halogen.They are side by side...

Gnutella (author)2011-10-11

That is one BIG LED.

vov35 (author)Gnutella2011-10-13

It's a large number of standard emmitter junctions in a single package, so technically it's not "one LED". :p

Nerdz (author)2011-10-09

That lathe Looks Familiar. Is it one from Harbor Freight?

Very Awesome Though. Ive been looking into doing something like this, But with Multiple LEDs. I do wonder how efficient that LED is though. Current efficiency's are in the 77 lumen per watt range (or higher)

That mounting system is quite ingenious....Hmm Never though of using Pipe Holders.

frollard (author)Nerdz2011-10-11

The only concern I have with these constant current drivers is they are smps based, which means without active correction, they have a TERRIBLE power factor which means despite them pulling much less power and being 95% efficient, at the meter they show as MUCH less efficient.

mastelios (author)Nerdz2011-10-10

Thanks! the lathe is a second hand I bought locally so no its not the one you are talking about.
About the efficiency, I have no way of measuring it so I can't tell you anything.
From what I have seen, multiple leds will probably work better because there will be less shadows when you work.

petergovaere (author)2011-10-10

Great job !

mastelios (author)petergovaere2011-10-11


carlos66ba (author)2011-10-10

Very nicely done!

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