At first phase completion, my first 78 LEDs are dissipating 5.8 watts while my resistors only dissipate 0.85 watts, and the array is already powerful enough to dwarf the two front marker lights, which draw 3 watts each. My final objective is installing, at the very least, 300 LEDs at a total energy expenditure of 21 watts at the LEDs and 3.2 watts at the resistors.
All comments welcome.
I Can pick the laser cutter up either in Florida or in a couple of addresses in Texas. I'm still on the run!
Here's an index:
Step One: Justification and Objectives
Step Two: Exploration and drawing the assembly goals. I decide here to go for two construction phases.
Step Three: I procure the stuff I'll need for phase one.
Steps Four, Five and Six: I build the LED modules, prepare the area to receive them and install them.
Step Seven: I put the first 78 LEDs to a road test.
Step Eight: I put finishing touches to Phase One and start drawing objectives for Phase Two.
Step Nine: Minor improvements.
Step Ten: Brake Lights
Step Eleven: What not to do
Step Twelve: How to do it right.
Step 1: Justification and Objectives
Lets explore why I decided my Atos required more light fixtures:
A) The low beam setting is dim. Not in the sense of 'Wow: that top-end race motorbike emits more light than my car'; no, it was in the sense of 'Man, I'm driving behind a scooter that sounds like a never-ending fart because its light lets me see the potholes 20m ahead.' Matter of fact, some older fellows have told me they can't even tell from the inside if the lights are on or off.
B) The 'high' beam setting legally is a normal low setting, as these are defined by Mexico's Federal Road Legislation: it allows me to see the road just over twenty meters ahead and doesn't bother drivers moving the opposite way.
So yeah, I do feel justified to add more lights to my car.
Now, let's draw some objectives for this project:
A) The new lights should improve my overall visibility; supplementing and eventually leaving my headlights as 'secondary lights' for those times I enter the somewhat more dangerous sectors of Cancun.
B) The new lights should not add further strain to my car's tiny battery, tiny engine and tiny alternator.
C) The new headlights should not draw criminal attention to themselves. This should be achieved through either making them invisible at a cursory glance or by making them obvious and ugly. Personally, I'd prefer not making my car ugly on purpose, so my primary focus should be stealthy design.
D) The lights need a separate control from the default headlights, thus deserving the name of fog lights. This keeps me from being caught with my pants down in case a police officer pulls me over and asks why I'm driving with my headlights off.
E) Whatever the light needs, I cannot modify the aerodynamic profile of the front end. This includes symmetrical work and not blocking enough of the front grid to make the radiator work more than it already does.
F) The arrays themselves have to be designed so they cool themselves on the air. Most people design LED arrays like they were light bulbs, forgetting that LED's are heat-sensitive microelectronics that have to stay below 85Celsius to work their best.