DIY with bridgelux eb strips


#1

Hello all!

So these are seeming to become popular enough for their own thread. I figure we could try to post all things eb strip related here and could serve as a good reference for anyone that comes along later.

Since my guy @MattyBear will be doing one of these soon, I thought a quick rundown of my most recent project would be a good place to start.

This project was designed to be an inexpensive way to get into a quantum board styled light. My goal was 100 watts high efficacy lighting for $100 at the expense of a little elbow grease. I chose 10-280mm gen2 bridgelux eb strips in 3000k color temp with a meanwell lpc-100-500 driver. That works out to be about 9.7 watts per strip on the dc (led) side. With about 105 watts total consumption with driver efficiency calculated. Led performance at that current with some temp adjustments should come out to around 167 lumens per watt.

The following items I had from making bulk purchases on earlier projects.

1- 20mm x 25 meter roll double sided thermal transfer tape. Amazon
$12.88

1- 6’ 16 awg extension cord. Walmart
$2.88.

1- 25’ spool 18awg solid core hookup wire 300volt rating. Amazon.
$6.70

2- wago 222-412 connectors. 5 pack available at menards.
$3.99

6- cable ties
6 cable tie mounts courtesy of my employer.

Here is a list of items I purchased for this particular project

12”x12”x.125” aluminum plate sourced locally $10

Meanwell LPC-100-500, mouser electronics
$23

10- bridgelux BXEB-L0280Z-30E1000-C-B3, digikey.
$45.10

2-10-32x3/4” machine screws ace hardware
.19 2- 10-32 nuts ace hardware .16

2- 10-32 flat washers ace hardware $.16

1- 5/16” rubber grommet ace hardware .33

2- #10x3/16” nylon spacers ace hardware
$.74

For a total I have $103.25. You’ll notice I didn’t include shipping. In just about all cases I had coupon code or added on to order to get free shipping. If you had to buy cable ties and mounts probably a solid $110. So I didn’t quite make the $100 mark. But the wire, transfer tape, connectors, cable ties, and mounts would enough to do several fixtures. The other stuff only ran me about $80. If you divide the other stuff over say three fixtures, should come in under $100 per fixture.


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#2

I’ll have you link this thread to my journal once I start it!


#3

So I started with my bare piece of aluminum and just lined up strips in place. Then I took a pencil and laid out where my strip placement would be. Just so I could drill some holes for hangers and driver mount before strips were mounted.

Once I seen what I had to work with, I measured out 4 points for mounting 1”x.5”, center punched and then drilled four 1/4” holes to mount 1/4” eyebolts.

Next step was to figure out driver mounting. I wasn’t completely sure how this would work, I usually remote mount the driver. But I have about 20 hours run time so far and it’s holding up. I Measured out to center my driver to layout some mounting hole locations, center punched them, then drilled with #21 drill bit and tapped both holes with 10-32 tap. Drilling and tapping not necessary. But I wanted this driver center mounted to keep light balanced. Since I had tools, and wanted to keep this sharp looking, that’s the route I went. I’ll shim the mounting bolts with something so the bolts don’t protrude the led mounting surface when the time comes. That will be the most tedious and precise part of this project for sure.
After I finished tapping holes, I installed mounting eyebolts 4 x $.99 at local ace hardware. Pretty much to make it look like I got more done than I really did lol.

Once I knew driver location, I drilled 5/16 hole on driver center for my grommet that had 5/16 inner diameter, so I could pass wiring for leds through later.

So far $14 in, next step prepping mounting surface.

image


#4

Picking up where I left off, next step was to do some sanding. What I’m doing here is trying to knock out any scratches that may hamper good contact for heat transfer, and getting a good clean surface to mount strips.
You have to be careful sanding aluminum, the dust is harmful. So do outside or wear a dust mask. Probably both wouldn’t be a bad idea. Use of wet dry sandpaper and keeping the plate wet is helpful too. I started with 320 grit and finished with 1000 wet/dry. Also, I prefer to use block over power sander. We really don’t want to create any low spots.

image


#5

From there I put frame aside and started applying tape to strips. The strips are 24mm wide, the tape 20mm, so it’s not very difficult to do. Just try to keep it all on strip pretty much. Take your time to keep tape flat though and not have a lot of creases or bubbles. The better the thermal path the better your diodes will perform.


#6

Since I drilled and tapped holes for driver mounting directly under where leds will be, I wanted to figure out what I’d need for shims to keep driver bolts from protruding into leds. So I played with driver mounting until I got it. I ended up using two 3/16” nylon spacers from ace (.37 each, two 10-32 flat washers (.08 each), and two 10-32x3/4” machine screws ($.09 each). Then removed driver and set hardware aside to make strip installation easier.
It was now time to peel protective film and mount strips. Since I mounted them along side each other, I used square to mount first strip at desired location. Then removed square and butted following strips against the already mounted strips as I installed them. The tape is super sticky, so use caution to get them in the correct location. Once your satisfied, run your fingers down each side of strip a few times applying some pressure before moving to the next strip. Once applied, you risk breaking them to remove, so try to have your locations laid out well ahead of time.

Completed strip mounting. If you notice, I staggered the strips to one end. I did that to allow room for wiring on the led side of fixture. If you want a more even and balanced look you can put them on the other side. Or however you want really.


#7

For wiring, I went with series configuration to help protect from thermal run away. Basically I’m running to the dc positive from driver to positive on first strip. Then a jumper from the negative on first strip to the positive on second strip. Then negative from second strip to positive on third strip. I followed that pattern until I was left with just the negative on the last strip. That’s where I’ll terminate the the driver output dc negative.
Just a couple of notes. I wired leds first, but can be done either way. I used like a foot of 18awg solid copper rated for 600 volts. I’m not really sure what cost would be, but I’ll quote something like a small spool. As shown in picture, push down on detent in connector, slide wire in, then release detent.


#8

Next step was to reinstall my mounts from yesterday’s post. I used 1/4” x 2” eye bolts. You can use anything though really. I like these because they’re long enough that I can sandwich the plate between 2 nuts, and enough of the bolt remains to act as a stand. So I can set the fixture face down without it resting on the leds.


#9

Then I remounted driver, installed grommet, and proceeded to terminate driver leads.


#10


#11

Bearing with me here, last step was to wire power cord. This for now is temporary, as I wanted to use 3 port wagos to have an extra port for taking some voltage and current measurements later. I’ll update later when it complete. Anyway, the acl wire from driver is ac line, that goes to black wire on power cord or “hot” wire. The acn wire on driver is neutral, that gets connected to the white wire on power cord. For the power cord on this light, I used a chunk of 16 awg extension cord with female end removed I picked up in clearance aisle at Walmart for $2.88. I bought a bunch of them after Christmas.


#12

Finished wiring


#13

Finished light.

You’ll notice I removed two of the cable ties, didn’t really need them pulled out of the way from leds, and I wasn’t particularly fond of pressure on connector.


#14


#15

Heatsink temp after 2 hours in open air, no fans.


#16

Comments, questions, concerns are always welcome! I hope you guys enjoyed following along, and find this at least somewhat helpful.

@BIGE @Myfriendis410 @Momtomask @HJL feel free to add pics and build info here if you’d like.


#17

i need to do something like this on next build…


#18

Awesome thread @dbrn32 … Forum is fortunate to have your repeated support. Great idea to post this too. I hope that this might alleviate some of the burden that gets sent your way. A good idea to post something that will answer all the repetitive questions I see sent your way. “er… ah … I’m a newbie and trying to figure out which LED to buy for my 2x2” … 4x4, etc… I know I was also asking that same question a few weeks ago too … lol. Your name always comes up as a reference in here and I’m always amazed at how you always answer with such supportive informative replies! Thanks again!


#19

Most of this stuff is probably here in more than one place. But figured somewhere at the start of a thread would be a big help.

It’s definitely good to have different perspectives too. We all see things a little differently, so different ideas sometimes make a lot more sense.


#20

It’s no big deal, but I appreciate it!