Building your own LED-based home lighting

We see LEDs used in all kinds of projects but rarely does someone build a home lighting system from scratch with them. [Paulo Oliveira] decided to give the idea a try, included a fading power supply for the LEDs which he built himself. Here you can see the installation at full brightness, but his controller also offers a single lower setting.

We saw [Sprite_TM] use an RGB LED strip to light up his living room. [Paulo] went with individual LED modules instead, all the same color. They are Cree XM-L power LEDs so some thought needs to be put into heat dissipation. All six are mounted along an aluminum strip which serves as the heat sink. They’re wired in series and powered by an old laptop power supply. A PIC 12F683 uses PWM to dim the string via a MOSFET.

The control system for the two brightness levels uses the wall switch. When turned on, the LEDs fade in to full brightness. If you turn the switch off and back on before they are all the way on, the dimmed setting takes over. This was complicated by the capacitance of the PSU but [Paulo] solved that by adding a power resistor.

He blinded me with backup lights

When driving at night you need to be able to see where you’re going. And that goes for reversing up as well. But the stock white lights on [Ryan's] ride didn’t provide the type of illumination he wanted, so he replaced them with two sets of super bright LED modules. These are ridiculously bright, perhaps outshining some types of headlights. And since they bring a lot of heat there’s a fair amount of work that went into mounting them.

He sourced some Cree XM-L T6 LED modules, two for each side of the car. These can put out intensity approaching 1000 Lumens each. To keep them cool he grabbed one CPU heat sink for each. These include a copper core with aluminum fins coming off like a spiral starburst. To act as a bezel he used a piece of copper clad board. This gives him a surface to mount the heat sinks, and after coating it with chrome brite it also acts as a reflector. Once mounted he fires it up and the difference is remarkable.