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Ultimate 500+ Headlamp, DANs work with my design

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In pursuit of a really good headlamp, without the need of paying a pile of money large enough to fill my apartment for it, I stumbled on dan´s idea for a headlamp and I liked it from beginning.
so I sketched my plans, invested and cashed in some friend-checks, and now it it is built.
This is what I use today when traveling down to the really big caves with the heighest ceilings :) and it works perfectly!
on request I made my own small instructable to take interested people through the process.

looking back on the costs of making this lamp, I managed (hand on heart) to get it down to:
LED´s  - 25$
Buckpuck driver - 30$ (shipping included)
Battery case - 3$
Some new batteries, 4 of them - 28$
The casing was for free - YES! YES! YES! - thx Robin!!!

which bring the cost down to 86$. I would say a GIGANTIC leap from the 300-400$ pricerange of a more serious headlamp from for example Petzl, Silva or Black Diamond.
And it really really REALLY does deliver the same amount of light as they do.

The only drawback might be that the batterylife for the expensive ones is longer, but if you switch up from standard AA to LIthium batteries ( as I will do ) you should get even more for the small amount of money you put into it.

 
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-max-3 years ago
try the t6 led in it
shock0033 years ago
Great lamp. I am completing my third headlamp using two Rebel Tri-Stars. I ended up building my own Aluminum housing out of basic items for a hardware store and using Arctic Adhesive to 'glue' heat fins. I would however LOVE to buy one of your casings! Do you have a spec sheet any chance? like a CAD drawing?

Also, I plan to use 18650 batteries (two per LED). Do you use any protection circuits? Someone mentioned using these: http://www.all-battery.com/protectivepcbsforli-ionandli-polymerbatterypacks.aspx
not sure which one to use though. I could always use CR123 batteries (4 batteries total to make 12volts) worked perfect on my previous lamp using one Rebel Tri-Star.

Let me know how to order one of your casings! Love it!
LardaLot (author)  shock0033 years ago
hi again! I have here a basic cad drawing as requested, so let me know what you think and get back to me :) If you like, email me at escan@gmail.com
Rise_of_pannlampa_2.bmp
LardaLot (author)  shock0033 years ago
im out hiking today, but I will get back to you as soon as I get home again :) sometime tomorrow I guess...
It should not be aproblem if you want to buy one from us.
will check then for a cad drawing.... its solidworks, just so you know. :)
we will have to specify some thing about it, like holes in it, the backside etc.
see you later then!

carlos66ba4 years ago
Good instructable, and very nice construction.  It is also a nicely done DIY thing.  But for lazier people...  http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.29489 (900 lumens--claimed!) for $80...
OR EVEN MORE LAZY. 4100 LUMENS it has the world record. and only 99dollars. my key board dont have a dollar sign...

http://www.wickedlasers.com/lasers/The_Torch-74-41.html

enjoy.. lol
crobson crobson3 years ago
and a battery life of 5 mins..

HA HA HA
LardaLot (author)  carlos66ba4 years ago
thx for the comment, much appreciated.  :)
but a bonus for having a lamp with 4 leds instead of one, is that I can have multiple lenses and therefore if I choose, a wider beam of light or a comnbination of wide´s and spot´s. generally you get a larger, wider and (not always, sure) better beam.
Good point!  (beam patterns for each led).
Cons of getting what you are suggesting.
Bad battery, will die.  Isn't water proof.
Beam isn't adjustable
hard to find in stock

Pros
bright for 1 led
great mount.
Hi/low/flash option

Yes that would be good for people that don't want to spend time building there own
Pros of doing it yourself
Different led options
Different beam patterns
Upgrade leds when you want. Or as prices drop
Different colors for each led

Cons
more expensive then above suggestion
Time consuming


Okay notes to add to your next version. 
Maybe add some fins to keep weight/heat under control.
Add a signal coiled wire at the end, instead of 2 wires so its easier to glue.
Or maybe a 3mm or 5mm female end so you can be sure nothing gets in, and incase you drop it wires won't be pulled from led.  It will just get unplugged if you use a female to maie plug.

You can think about some 18650 tab rechargeable (3.6v or 3.7v)
place them in parallel to extend time. Plus have 2 or so in series to meet the voltage requirements.  This is perfect for you as a head lamp but I am seeing it as a bike light. Especially the smaller one you have in the picture.  I think for what your using it for a blue or cyan color would be brighter.  Not sure

Thanks for posting it to give me a better idea.  Most of the money should and will always go to batteries. 
LardaLot (author)  bronxbomber4 years ago
yes, the heatsink design is next on my list. for the smaller case with 2 leds which will be with rebel tri-stars I will attempt something new.
a good thing is that the tri-stars have about half the height  of normal luxeons with their lensholders and lenses, which gives extra room for heatsinks without compromising too much, the size and functionality...
thx for helping me out with the lithiums btw :)
With battery's do some research, like how cold they can go and stuff like that. But here are a few links to help you out.
http://www.batteryuniversity.com/partone-24.htm
http://www.batteryspace.com/

These could be good also for the smaller unit, that way you can figure out a heatsink for it since there only 10mm
http://www.luxeonstar.com/premounted-rebel-cool-white-led-on-a-10mm-square-base-180-lm-p-575.php
meydom3 years ago
Hey
I just found your lamp and I am just amazed by your skill and use of technology!
I need 2 lamps: one for ski mountaineering racing and second for downhill biking.
Basically I am looking for as much light but for little weight and price. Can I fit 2 http://www.luxeonstar.com/Neutral-White-4100K-20mm-Tri-Star-Rebel-660-lm-p/mr-wn120-20t.htm on it? If so what type of battery do I need? Would the buckpuck http://www.luxeonstar.com/700mA-Ext-Dimmable-BuckPuck-Driver-PCB-Mount-p/3021-d-e-700.htm work?
Do you sell these Al casings?

Thanks in advance
Meydom
LardaLot (author)  meydom3 years ago
hi and sorry for not being home to answer your questions, have been traveling for a couple of weeks.... :)
for the buckpuck driver I would recommend the 1000 mA http://www.luxeonstar.com/1000mA-Int-Dimmable-BuckPuck-Driver-PCB-Mount-p/3021-d-i-1000.htm
this one have the same specs as the one you mention, but the output current is higher. the tri-star-rebel LED that you want to use is actually the same that I am currently using in my new headlamp, and it really shines :) although I use one with a bit more natural lighting in it, the "warm white".
it works in the same way as with less powerful LEDs, but it of course needs more power to work on absolute full. thats why i choose the 1000 mA one...
as for two of the stars?, havnent tried it but i see no reason why it should not work, as long as you have sufficient heatsinks, and battery power.
for batteries i use 18650 lithium batteries, 3 or 5 of them depending on what activity i am in. they do the job very good, and deliver a constant current very efficiently. it feels nice to light up areas of a footballcourt with a headlamp :P
if there is anything else you are wondering about, im happy to try to answer any questions. almost forgot, yes, we do manufacture these casings among others. have had a few qustomers already :)
have a nice one!
You have some of these cases for sale?, where would I find that info,?
thanks and incredable build by the way
LardaLot (author)  ypsifrog3 years ago
Hi! and Thx! i do not have any more ready to go right now. if you like to buy one, im afraid the production will take a week, because my partner in crime is on a short vacation. but if you can wait?.....it should not be a problem. :)
the info on what buckpuck are good for what and so on, ive gathered partly from DAN, from luxeonstar and various forums on the subject.... i basically just googled it in the beginning. then experiments on my own.
nice to hear people have interest :)
I'm just starting to look into this, I know nothing about electronics, so it will be a bit before I'm ready. Wonder what price range for the casing, because of couse I'm cheap thats why I'm here, but in the end I should end up with the most badass head lamp for ice climbing, cycling, ect...
LardaLot (author)  ypsifrog3 years ago
this one, even though it is smaller than my first case, takes longer to manufacture, and that makes it a bit more expensive, so that would make the price to around 50$, with good quality aluminium.
but the design is partly up to you also. how would you like the design on the back to be? a flat back with a simple hole through it? think about that also :)
i know what you mean with having the most badass lamp around :) that was what i had in mind when i started this.
mike03693 years ago
Would this same setup work with brighter P& LEDs?
LardaLot (author)  mike03693 years ago
I have now tried it with the tri-stars I mentioned somewhere, and it seems to work vey well. although i only use 2 of them, it seems to deliver much more compared to the four 1w-LEDs anyway...
the driver is very good, and it should be able to deliver even more than what I take from it. The power source might take some more thinking about if it is to power 4 high power LED for a long time.
kill.cactus4 years ago
 Just curious, engineers use mm, right?
LardaLot (author)  kill.cactus4 years ago
very true :) my engineering friend robin has corrected me on that several times...
Siress LardaLot3 years ago
We use any and all units. There is a *preference* to use SI units because, as the initialism implies, they're the International Standard; due mostly to the fact that they're in base 10 so the mathematics compute much more nicely. The numerical prefix, milli- centi- et al, only exists to make the notation easier to read...so they change based on the application. I work with surgical tooling, where I denote mm most of the time, and research nanotechnologies, where I am almost always denoting, gasp, nm. :P
steveo625c63 years ago
That would be a CNC (Computer Numerical Controlled). I just started my new major as a Automated Machining Engineer, and in a few semesters will start using a CNC.
LardaLot (author)  steveo625c63 years ago
thats correct. and hope you will get what you want from your education. i have only basic knowledge about cnc, but it is very fun. good for me that i have an expert as friend :)
Very nice Instructable! Do you happen to have the CAD file for the aluminum casing?
cdousley4 years ago
i didnt know you had an instructable that's a bit much for me i think ill glue mine to the heatsink
LardaLot (author)  cdousley4 years ago
you do that :) I just like to see what I can do with a project to take it to the next step...