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Ultra Compact 12v DC power supply and superbright led's.

Discussion in 'Power Electronics' started by AndyW85, May 10, 2017.

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  1. AndyW85

    AndyW85

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    May 10, 2017
    Hi, I am a long time hobby crafter and I have just started a new project to build none other than the mandalorian Darksaber from the star wars eu. I never settle for "prop" looking.... props.... so I really want to capture the look of a "real" Darksaber.
    Darksaber:
    [​IMG]
    I have already purchased plastics and what is meant to be "The world’s mattest, flattest, black art material" paint.

    (The question!)
    I now need the brightest possible lighting for inside the blade and that is where I have hit trouble. My original plan was to encase an LED strip inside a diffusing plastic blade, then paint the sides leaving the edges clear and scratching the pattern into the paint to give the right effect. Unfortunately, all the LED strips I have been able to find are WAY too dim for the right effect. I have seen you can get 800 lumens LED strips, but they all require 12 volt DC power supplies which to my experience will not fit in the hilt. Do any of you far more experienced folk out there know of any super compact 12 volt DC power supplies that aren't ridiculously expensive? Or, alternatively, do you have any other idea's to provide adequate brightness to the blade. I really don't want to be able to see the plastic for the light coming off it (like when you look at a super bright led household light bulb you don't see the bulb, because the light is so bright).

    I realize I may be disappointed when reality slaps me in the face, but I have to ask as I really want to complete this project. Any help anyone could give would be very much appreciated.
     
  2. Audioguru

    Audioguru

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    Sep 24, 2016
    A light strip uses tiny low power LEDs. Larger LEDs with much higher power ratings make much more light but they get hot and need a heatsink that maybe you do not have space for. LED streetlights use many large LEDs that are mounted on a big heatsink.

    Will the power supply be plugged into electricity or will it use a battery?
     
  3. AndyW85

    AndyW85

    3
    0
    May 10, 2017
    Firstly thank you for your response! It would not be plugged in. I was hoping there was some sort of 12 volt battery I could use but the only ones I've seen are huge. I am guessing it's the DC part (assuming that stands for direct current???) that is causing me issues. I know you can get tiny 12 volt batteries but the led strip I am looking at says the power supply is 12 volt dc. Could I run them off a 12 volt battery or is that completely different?

    Maybe I'm wrong, for context these are the led strips I'm currently looking at. It says 12 volt dc but further down it just says volt without the dc bit. Sorry, rank amateur here.

    https://www.wholesaleledlights.co.u...VVcorw6YkpR54DOEDqIh07v3qwtRc9lpn1BoCQ57w_wcB
     
  4. Audioguru

    Audioguru

    3,383
    727
    Sep 24, 2016
    The chemistry and size of a battery determines how much current it can produce for a certain amount of time.
    The voltage from many types of batteries drops as they run down which will cause the brightness of simple LED strips to become dimmer and dimmer.

    The LED strips you linked to show they need 9.6W for one metre length at 12V so the current is 9.6W/12V= 0.8A. Many small batteries cannot produce such a high current. Lithium rechargeable batteries used in cell phones and model airplanes can produce this high current.

    A 3 cells 2Ah Li-PO battery for model airplanes will produce 12.6V when fully charged, 11.1V when half-discharged and 9V when it should be disconnected. One charge will power the 9.6W one metre long LED strip for about 2A/0.8A= 2.5 hours.
    Many battery sizes are available. These batteries and their chargers are available at hobby stores.
     
    BobK likes this.
  5. AndyW85

    AndyW85

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    May 10, 2017
    I will look into the model airplane ones! I have a model shop near my work so that'll be perfect. Thank you for your answers.
     
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