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Desperately Need some help with LED's
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nerys Offline
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Desperately Need some help with LED's
I know this is way off topic. But its SO important to me and I know many of you are electronically inclined. SO I am grasping and hoping for some help!

I need some help really badly. LED's are a big thing to me. I fundamentally believe they can help to change the world. To that end I have spent many years trying to convert every light I have to 100% LED

I run my bedroom on LED's over 1600 of them to be precise. Bright as daylight 27watts consumed.

I have about half the house now converted thanks in no small part to a new find of mine.

Sam's club started selling these Lights of America LED bulbs a pack of 3 for $15 1.5 watts each around 25-35 watts equivalent output per bulb.

I use them in arrays. Example in the bathrooms I use 5 of 6 in a fixture (think vanity fixture) makes it very very bright yet only consumes 9 watts each !!

I use 12 of them in the kitchen. not as bright as the FL but I would say 90-95% as bright. More than good enough. Yet only consumes 17-18 watts!

I have lowered our electric bill by almost $50 per month by switching to LED and CFL's! (and scolding people into turning the damned lights off :-)

At least with LED's if you forget to turn them off your just sipping power instead of gorging it with 75-1010 watt incans or 80-160watt FL fixtures!

Anyway they are fantastic! they are my dream bulb! Cheap. GOOD pure white to warm white light (would prefer a tiny bit warmer but NO blue which is all that really matters) Lower power and good lumen to watt consumption!

They are perfect!

well until this month. They started dying. today the 7th one died.

Normally when an LED bulb dies its because the manufacturer is clueless about how to design for LED's ie LED still convert 80% of there wattage into HEAT. They just consume So little watts we do not notice the heat. So if you have a 10watt LED around 8 of those watts is HEAT. but the LED's do. anything over 90-100' will KILL them quickly (operating temperature) without some beefy heat sinks. Typically an LED fixture needs around 9 square centimeters of passive cooling surface area per watt of power consumed. These bulbs typically have almost ZERO dedicated cooling area so you need to use LESS power than they are rated for to avoid over heating.

When you light a single LED you get what we see as no heat. When you cram 30 50 100 200 LED into a fixture and crank up the milliamps you notice it QUICKLY!! ie they DIE and fast.

Well these get warmer than I like but NOT dangerously warm. (if it feels warm when you touch it that means its over 90'f (your skin temperature is close to that) You want it to feel "cool" to your skin ie its LOWER than your skin temp. These are "right" on the edge so I think there OK.

So its not heat death. I took one apart. ONE of the components insid the bulb MUST be faulty. Problem is I lack the skill to even be able to figure out which is dead. since this one died RIGHT in front of me I got it down and ripped it open withing 30 seconds of it dieing. I was hoping maybe I would see smoke or be able to smell a burned component. No joy. they all "look" fine to me.

now I touched the board with a screw driver and obviously discharged the capacitor because all the LED's lit up for a second. CONFIRMING the LED's in this rare case are FINE (and also likely that the Capacitor is also fine??). when I screw it back in and turn it on again they light up for a split second and then off. Short it again they light up for a split second.

SO something on this circuit board has "failed" I need help figuring out what component so I can replace it and how to stop it failing again.

I have tried contacting the company but so far NO response at all. If there within 300 miles of me I WILL DRIVE to them to work with them to fix this. ITS just so important to me. THESE NEED to work if people are going to adopt them. If a bulb dies in 2 month that cost you $5 your NOT going to tend to want to buy more of them especially if you have to go through the trouble to specialize your light fixtures to make up for there low lumens per bulb IE you have to use mutliple bulbs in each fixture.

I WILL. The average joe will not.

So I need help. ANY help at all please. I took some very high resolution close up shots of every single portion of the bulbs inside and out. The 4 black resistor sized things (diodes?) the writing underneatn them is D1 D2 D3 D4 (upper right clockwise) I could not get a picture to show this. The rest of the board is visible and legible.

I could probably draw out "how" its wired it seems pretty simply. ie I do not think its a sandwich. I think its single layer traces.

HOW do I test it? I have meters but nothing more complicated than your basic higher grade consumer meter. Nothing professional.

I would even be willing to send it to someone if you all know them well and they have the know how and equipment to properly diagnose the issue.

I do not mind taking apart a working unit so I can compare electrical properties etc.. between working and non working.

I REALLY need to make these work. they are just too perfect to let them go.

The only other affordable LED solution I have is 198led tubes. They are wonderful. WAY overdriven (they get to 160' inside the tube in the summer and die fast) but I found with a variac I can lower the voltage and therefore the watts consumed until they no longer overheat. I have some that have been running for well over 1 year now No dimming no dieing or discoloration. I only lose 50% of the light but thats just fine by me at $10 a pop. Plus by UNDER RUNNING them watt wise they should last even longer! The problem is variac's are expensive. ONE to light the 8 tubes in my room is fine. 1 to light a single tube in a bathroom gets expensive and hard to hide (softball sized) ($40-$60 a pop on ebay)

Plus for some rooms decors and fixtures normal style bulbs just work better. I can also use these in closets in outdoor light fixtures. they complete my usage needs. I already have some 40 of these bulbs and I want to get MORE (use them at work too) but I need to make them work right. I would appreciate any help you guys might be able to provide!

Here is the URL with the images. http://www.nerys.com/ledhelp/

Thank you very much!
11-22-2008 11:36 PM
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thomasbala Offline
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Posts: 629
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Post: #2
RE: Desperately Need some help with LED's
nerys Wrote:I know this is way off topic. But its SO important to me and I know many of you are electronically inclined. SO I am grasping and hoping for some help!

I need some help really badly. LED's are a big thing to me. I fundamentally believe they can help to change the world. To that end I have spent many years trying to convert every light I have to 100% LED

I run my bedroom on LED's over 1600 of them to be precise. Bright as daylight 27watts consumed.

I have about half the house now converted thanks in no small part to a new find of mine.

Sam's club started selling these Lights of America LED bulbs a pack of 3 for $15 1.5 watts each around 25-35 watts equivalent output per bulb.

I use them in arrays. Example in the bathrooms I use 5 of 6 in a fixture (think vanity fixture) makes it very very bright yet only consumes 9 watts each !!

I use 12 of them in the kitchen. not as bright as the FL but I would say 90-95% as bright. More than good enough. Yet only consumes 17-18 watts!

I have lowered our electric bill by almost $50 per month by switching to LED and CFL's! (and scolding people into turning the damned lights off :-)

At least with LED's if you forget to turn them off your just sipping power instead of gorging it with 75-1010 watt incans or 80-160watt FL fixtures!

Anyway they are fantastic! they are my dream bulb! Cheap. GOOD pure white to warm white light (would prefer a tiny bit warmer but NO blue which is all that really matters) Lower power and good lumen to watt consumption!

They are perfect!

well until this month. They started dying. today the 7th one died.

Normally when an LED bulb dies its because the manufacturer is clueless about how to design for LED's ie LED still convert 80% of there wattage into HEAT. They just consume So little watts we do not notice the heat. So if you have a 10watt LED around 8 of those watts is HEAT. but the LED's do. anything over 90-100' will KILL them quickly (operating temperature) without some beefy heat sinks. Typically an LED fixture needs around 9 square centimeters of passive cooling surface area per watt of power consumed. These bulbs typically have almost ZERO dedicated cooling area so you need to use LESS power than they are rated for to avoid over heating.

When you light a single LED you get what we see as no heat. When you cram 30 50 100 200 LED into a fixture and crank up the milliamps you notice it QUICKLY!! ie they DIE and fast.

Well these get warmer than I like but NOT dangerously warm. (if it feels warm when you touch it that means its over 90'f (your skin temperature is close to that) You want it to feel "cool" to your skin ie its LOWER than your skin temp. These are "right" on the edge so I think there OK.

So its not heat death. I took one apart. ONE of the components insid the bulb MUST be faulty. Problem is I lack the skill to even be able to figure out which is dead. since this one died RIGHT in front of me I got it down and ripped it open withing 30 seconds of it dieing. I was hoping maybe I would see smoke or be able to smell a burned component. No joy. they all "look" fine to me.

now I touched the board with a screw driver and obviously discharged the capacitor because all the LED's lit up for a second. CONFIRMING the LED's in this rare case are FINE (and also likely that the Capacitor is also fine??). when I screw it back in and turn it on again they light up for a split second and then off. Short it again they light up for a split second.

SO something on this circuit board has "failed" I need help figuring out what component so I can replace it and how to stop it failing again.

I have tried contacting the company but so far NO response at all. If there within 300 miles of me I WILL DRIVE to them to work with them to fix this. ITS just so important to me. THESE NEED to work if people are going to adopt them. If a bulb dies in 2 month that cost you $5 your NOT going to tend to want to buy more of them especially if you have to go through the trouble to specialize your light fixtures to make up for there low lumens per bulb IE you have to use mutliple bulbs in each fixture.

I WILL. The average joe will not.

So I need help. ANY help at all please. I took some very high resolution close up shots of every single portion of the bulbs inside and out. The 4 black resistor sized things (diodes?) the writing underneatn them is D1 D2 D3 D4 (upper right clockwise) I could not get a picture to show this. The rest of the board is visible and legible.

I could probably draw out "how" its wired it seems pretty simply. ie I do not think its a sandwich. I think its single layer traces.

HOW do I test it? I have meters but nothing more complicated than your basic higher grade consumer meter. Nothing professional.

I would even be willing to send it to someone if you all know them well and they have the know how and equipment to properly diagnose the issue.

I do not mind taking apart a working unit so I can compare electrical properties etc.. between working and non working.

I REALLY need to make these work. they are just too perfect to let them go.

The only other affordable LED solution I have is 198led tubes. They are wonderful. WAY overdriven (they get to 160' inside the tube in the summer and die fast) but I found with a variac I can lower the voltage and therefore the watts consumed until they no longer overheat. I have some that have been running for well over 1 year now No dimming no dieing or discoloration. I only lose 50% of the light but thats just fine by me at $10 a pop. Plus by UNDER RUNNING them watt wise they should last even longer! The problem is variac's are expensive. ONE to light the 8 tubes in my room is fine. 1 to light a single tube in a bathroom gets expensive and hard to hide (softball sized) ($40-$60 a pop on ebay)

Plus for some rooms decors and fixtures normal style bulbs just work better. I can also use these in closets in outdoor light fixtures. they complete my usage needs. I already have some 40 of these bulbs and I want to get MORE (use them at work too) but I need to make them work right. I would appreciate any help you guys might be able to provide!

Here is the URL with the images. http://www.nerys.com/ledhelp/

Thank you very much!

Don't want to sound rude, too abrupt or uppity. LED's are great and you need to educate yourself before youn go ant further. Volts kill LED's. An Led is nothing more than a diode; LED stands for light emitting diode. First of all you're paying way too much at Sam's. Check the net for better deals, not Edison bulbs like you're using, but individual LED's. The D1, D2, etc are rectifiers [also diodes] which turn a/c to d/c. LEDs only work on DC and further they are polarized. Here's a site to determine the right resister for your LED application:
http://ledcalc.com/
Sounds like you have a burned out rectifier or resistor. If you're net enabled you'll understand LEDs in about a week or so; w/in 2 to 3 weeks you'll be building your own Edison light fixtures. Wait until you discover IR LEDs; then the fun really begins. Definately do not do anything illegal like building a MIRT:
http://www.i-hacked.com/content/view/176/44/
Have fun, learn, above all be careful, especially with IR. IR burns of the cornea cause the eye lens to dissolve and stick to the inside of the eyelid. As you get into the various foreward voltage circuits always keep heat in mind; I think you'll find the pulsed circuits vastly superior to a simple resistor circuit. Good Luck
11-23-2008 12:40 AM
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nerys Offline
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Post: #3
RE: Desperately Need some help with LED's
Alas it just does not work like that man. I use over 1600 LED to light my room. I paid $80 for the tubes. I can not buy a FRACTION of the materials needed to build a 1600 LED array for $80

Lets not even get into soldering 3300 connections. Forget it. It would take me well over a year of spare time JUST in soldering. hell I bet the solder alone would equal a nice fraction of that $80

and no the price is good. I have been messing around with LED's for 5 years now (heavily lightly before that as they were too expensive before that) I probably have more LED Edison bulbs sitting in my room than most people have seen total in there lives. Everytime I have enough money or one gets cheap enough on ebay I grab one and I torture it (run it 24/7 to see how long it lasts. Lumen testing (I can even start quantifying this part as lumen meters are finally in my budget range!) Burn Testing. Temperature testing (I have more digi therms than I know what to do with all stuck in or taped to an LED somewhere) On a rough guess I have about 6000 LED in my house right now in use (not counting the well over 5000 I use during christmas. I used to consume 3200 watts for my christmas lights. Now I easily have 2-3 times the bulbs and even with 2 colored CFL's (replaced for this year) I maxed my meter out at 228 watts :-) So I am definitely not "new" to led's I am big into them. I just don't have much electrical knowledge. I can make a small array for my models and rockets but anything more is pointless in cost time and effort expended with such affordable options available. So I am way deep into them already.

You can not BUY a 1.5 watt good warm/pure white LED bulb that puts out 30-35watts eq for $5 ANYWHERE on earth that I am aware of easily. Sure I have seen some cheap "par" style bulbs but they ALWAYS die (100% death rate so far) are almost always BLUISH and are 99% of the time never this cheap. Not in quantity anyway.

Plus I am not interested in it for me. Call me quaint or childish but I want to CHANGE THE WORLD.

to do that I need John Q Public to get into this and NO average john Q public is going to solder 10 20 30 THOUSAND solder joints to switch his home over to LED's

What I need is for these cheap $5 bulbs to WORK maybe if I can fix them I can send the fix to lights of america and THEY can fix them before people sour on the bulbs. I do not care if they EVER acknowledge the fix or its source I JUST want them fixed. If for nothing else to make my home an "example" to get people stoked which will get corporate stoked for the potential profits. IE they will do it right.

I mean can you even BUY 198 (that is how many are in 1 tube) Pure White (non blue good quality nichia leds) for $10? I have yet to find a source that cheap and I am getting the WHOLE FIXTURE for $10. last time I checked NOT EVEN CLOSE to $10 (well over $100 dollars for the good stuff but that was a few years ago that I checked)

The best deal I could find is actually a shocker to me (very cheap) $9.99 shipped for 100 LED's but alas they are the nasty blue cheap asian crap and still thats JUST for the LED's for a penny more I get the whole fixture and another 98 LED's on top of that. owe and there only 15k mcd units. not that bright.

The "best" deal was $32 for 20 1watt 200k mcd units. they seem a little blue but not too bad but man those are a PITA to cool properly. not a lot of surface area to transmit the heat with so I would probably have to run that at half capacity just to avoid using active cooling.

thanks for the links I will definitely check them out and add them to my library.
11-23-2008 02:33 AM
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