For those of you who stumble upon this instructable, a bit of history is mandatory in order to better understand my goals with this LED projector lamp. Therefore I recommend you first read the LED Projector Lamp v.1.0 instructable I posted a while ago. Check back when you’re done for this second part of my adventure.
For this version of the projector lamp I knew I had to find a way to at least double the amount of light on the projection screen. As high-power LED’s are very expensive parts around here (I live in Sibiu, Romania) I wanted to try making my own LED array. I chose the NS6W183T LEDs from Nichia. For those of you who don’t know, Nichia is a Japanese company that produces high quality LEDs and were the first to invent the high power blue and white LEDs back in the 90’s. These LEDs were available around here and the light output was tempting.
This instructable is not yet finished. Also the timeframe on this project is unspecified. I'm publishing its progress because I need other user's opinion on some matters in order to finish it. If you think you have something truly valuable to add to this project, be my guest and share you opinion in comments. I'll try to answer them all.
Step 1: Bill of materials
My choice for the NS6W183T LEDs was based mainly on the light output & size. These are SMD components and for their size they put out an amazing 245 lumens each (when powered with If=700mA). I had to settle for an array of 9 LEDs, mainly because of the price involved. My hobby budget is very limited. Even so I paid about 55 Euro or 66 USD on these LEDs. Expensive for Romania, cheap for everyone else. The main goal is filling the entire projector condenser lens with light and the array does just that. There’s a problem though. The SMD LEDs I got have the light beam spread at 120 degrees. I had no choice but to go with that, in hoping that I’ll find a way to focus this light somehow.
The cooler selected (see the Cooling step) was 87 RON, that’s 24.5 Euro or 25.5 USD. I got this one because no matter the outcome of this lamp project I’ll still have a future use for it. The rest are scavenged parts, not really worth mentioning. People in the DIY community knows the importance of dumpster dives.
Final cost of materials so far is around 100 Euro, give or take. One more failed project and I’ll get to hear my wife saying “you know, you could have bought that original lamp already, given the already spent amounts”. Now that’s what I call painful irony.