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high powered LED project - newbie to electronics

Discussion in 'LEDs and Optoelectronics' started by neonfields, Jun 30, 2014.

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  1. neonfields

    neonfields

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    Jun 30, 2014
    Hi, so I'm new here, I'm a designer and I'm working on a personal project. I want to see if I can describe it accurately enough to communicate my questions, I'd say I have a better-than-layperson understanding of electronics, but I really basically have no idea when it comes to a lot of basic and technical stuff, so if anyone wants to chime in (it's really in the thought experiment/concept phase right now) I would extremely appreciate it.

    So essentially I am putting together a handheld, battery operated device which will have an array of extremely hi-lumen LED arrays (like those in a phone flash, maybe bigger/brighter), at least in the 100+ lumen range, that all fire in a very fast programmed sequence when you hit a trigger button, I think having multicolor LEDS may be helpful but not necessarily a must-have, so far I've determined I need them to all be green lights operating at 10hz, but that requirement might change later.

    I also want to have a directional speaker (maybe an ultrasonic like this http://mashable.com/2012/03/22/soundlazer-kickstarter-speaker/ but much smaller, maybe only three or four of the little individual cones, that would make a very loud noise simultaneous to the LEDs firing.

    So I think my main questions so far are:

    a. How many of these little high capacity LEDS can I realistically cram in a 2-3" diameter circular area? (keeping in mind the whole device has to be "pocketable", so probably a rectangular enclosure no more than 8" x 2" x 3" overall).

    b. How big of a battery am I going to need to power say, 25 super bright LEDS and this speaker? (battery life is a minor concern, if I only got 5 minutes of runtime at full power with this thing I would be happy)

    c. How big of a heatsink am I going to have to put behind the lights? DO i need a heatsink?

    d. What would the circuit board look like to control all of this? (The exact pattern that the lights fire in is probably the only real possibly proprietary element of this whole product, but let's assume I figure out what the pattern has to be ahead of time and it's a set pattern with defined delays and really only an on/off function, no need to reprogram it later).

    e. How would I go about making a testing version, no need for an enclosure, just LED's i can rearrange by hand to test different light patterns to refine this concept?

    Please bear with me if any of these questions sound exceptionally dumb, I went to art school and I didn't exactly spend a lot of time with a soldering gun in my hand (though now I'm starting to wish I had).
    On that note, bonus question: what's a really good resource for a total newbie to get started with building electronics? Books, kits, websites that anyone really likes?

    Thanks so much in advance,
    _neonfields_
     
  2. Arouse1973

    Arouse1973 Adam

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    Dec 18, 2013
    Well this website is obviously the only one you should be using :)

    So do you have an LED in mind? Surface mount or through hole version? 100 lumens isn't that bright, FYI they do a lot brighter LEDs but white LEDs are currently the brightest and the brightest module I have seen is 6000 lumens. Does it have to be green?

    The other questions will be answered once a suitable LED has been chosen. Have a look here http://www.cree.com/ for some ideas. If you could actually tell us what the project is for then we might be able to help further. Lets choose an LED first based on the application.
    Adam
     
  3. neonfields

    neonfields

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    Jun 30, 2014
    Hi

    Thanks for the reply!
    So, essentially the thing is a weaponized light, the idea would be to make a very bright and distracting/nauseating light pattern (and a loud noise). DARPA over here developed something similar, but also big and bulky, and for whatever reason they settled on green light as being the optimum for creating those effects.

    (relevant video: ).

    I only decided on 100 lumens because that's the output of my little tactical flashlight/penlight, I figured that was probably the minimum to really create flashblindness/afterimage effects, but if I can get an array of super-powered LED's in there that are way higher lumen outputs, that's even better.

    I found these: http://www.cree.com/LED-Components-and-Modules/Landing-pages/CXA, 1400-2700 lumens seems way bright enough, and 6mm is approaching the size they need to be, but I think ultimately the form factor wants a light that is more like the flashbulb on a smartphone, i.e. 1-2mm across. The more LED's I can fit the more complex the "dizzyness" flashing pattern can be. I found an article here about phone flash LED's (http://www.ledsmagazine.com/article.../implementing-led-flash-in-camera-phones.html) which I didn't understand a lot of, but I can't seem to find a good source for smaller LED's. Maybe someone can recommend something?

    PS. Had to look up "surface mount" and "through hole", (turned out it meant exactly what I thought it meant), but I think ultimately if this were a manufactured product it would be surface mount, for maximum component density and ease of manufacturing? Am i way off?
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2014
  4. BobK

    BobK

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    Since the video you posted, and the video within the video both indicated that it did not work, why are you bothering?

    Bob
     
  5. Arouse1973

    Arouse1973 Adam

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    I don't think I can help you anymore. I don't want to be responsible for making someone sick. Flashing lights can cause epilepsy. So sorry I am out.
    Thanks
    Adam
     
  6. neonfields

    neonfields

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    Jun 30, 2014
    Bob: My thinking so far has been that this could work very well, but it's all in the light pattern, creating the LED version of an optical illusion would create the effect that random pattern generation can't. I'm trying to refine it.

    Adam: Sorry to make you uncomfortable. The flashlight I mentioned earlier, it has a strobe function, I assume that can just as easily cause seizures, yet I bought it for $20 plus shipping online, I could have also hopped online bought a laser powerful enough to permanently blind someone (http://www.wickedlasers.com/arctic). This isn't supposed to be a toy, it's supposed to be used in the same situation that you might use a can of mace: as a last ditch, self defense tool.
     
  7. Arouse1973

    Arouse1973 Adam

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    Dec 18, 2013
    That's ok. Sorry I couldn't be of anymore help.
    Cheers
    Adam
     
  8. neonfields

    neonfields

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    Jun 30, 2014
    No hard feelings. Next time I have a non-raygun type project I'll ask for your advice.


    Anyone else wanna chime in about sourcing tiny high output lights?
    Also, bonus question? Starter kits/books/tutorials for teaching basic electronics?
     
  9. Arouse1973

    Arouse1973 Adam

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    Dec 18, 2013
    :)
     
  10. neonfields

    neonfields

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    Jun 30, 2014
  11. (*steve*)

    (*steve*) ¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd Moderator

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    Jan 21, 2010
    You've convinced me you're building some form of weapon.
     
    Supercap2F likes this.
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