Archive for January, 2010

01/22/10 – This week is going to explore another new direction. How many times have you hunted around the house for that flashlight that just isn’t there? When the power goes, how are you going to find it then? What if that flashlight was also a great looking table torchere? Would it not then be easier to find? If it also included a constant battery charge, maybe even getting its juice from a solar panel – the frustration of finding that precious flashlight only to find it’s batteries are dead vanishes. This week we’ll see if we might solve this, and have some fun with the design of it all to boot. White Acetyl body and polished aluminum seems appropriate. Nice to look at when the power is on – easy to find when its dark.

01/26/10 – Batteries in hand. Had to find a drill bit for boring a 1″ hole through a 10″ long lump of plastic to start to body sections. That’s not a cheap tool, and looks like something from a gore flick. Got the main bodies roughed to size and bored out. Have some material coming today for the base and center shaft sleeve. The plastic I’m using is Delrin, or acetyl plastic. This is food grade stuff and has a really pleasant translucency to it. Unlike modled plastic, this material is warm to the touch and feels solid as a brick. It’s also fairly good to machine, making big piles of spiral strips.

01/28/10 – All the rough in stuff is done, now for the gritty details. Going to have to wait a little, as I’ve got to hop off to Tennessee to do a rough-in inspection of a project site I’m working on. Will get back into it this weekend. Have some cool flat wire stuff coming as well. Got the batteries and charger, 6 2V batteries in series will give me 12V to work with, and 2.5Ah to run the light. That will work out to be around 3 hours at full brightness on batteries alone. The charger is 500mA, so when the lamp is plugged in an running, it will operate at full brightness for around 8 hours before the batteries are depleted, dropping output to the 500mA charger rate. This all seems reasonable. Since the light operates always on the batteries, and any time it is in the saddle, its being charged, this will be the perfect decorative accent for any place that looses power periodically, or where someone wants a bit of security. Hear a bump in the night, grab the light and have a look, this thing wiull put out more light than any flashlight you have ever owned. It’s also a little heavy and built like a tank, so should someone get too near for comfort, it can function as a weighted bat. Now THAT is putting an LED product to good use!

Give me some color!

I know, there are those spending millions to blend RGB light to eliminate color separation. I prefer in this case to embrace it, and enjoy the effects. By placing these devices at different angles and distances in relationship to a subject, the effects on walls and ceilings is interesting and painterly (odd word, but fitting.)

Each of these modules includes a 1A driver, 3 Lumileds Rebel LEDs, 25 degree optic and individual intensity control. Just aim and adjust the balance between the colors and dig the results. I chose to use the Red-Orange, Green, Blue combination, as it produces the best whites in blended areas, and can make yellow.

The heat sink is thermally bonded to the aluminum body, while the end caps are Delrin. The little diffuser surrounds are Teflon and produce a nice glow.

The pattern areas will be a combination of mixed light background, or can fade from one color to another. Shadow patterns can be intense, and are magenta, cyan and yellow. The light the three modules delivers is impressive, totalling around 650 lumens total.

More details can be found at the Lumenique site.

01/18/10 – Week Three
I like gadgets and toys as much as anyone. I particularly enjoy clever little doo-dads that put out. This week I’m going to indulge myself with a trio of little gadgets in matte black, powered by Lumileds Rebel R-G-B LEDs, producing around 150 lumens per gadget, with a 25 degree optic to get things under control, the individual control  and aimablility will create interesting mixes and special effects in the corner of a room. Rather than hide the hardware, I’m thinking t them hang out and be seen, all black oxide, black anodize and a little italian gloss red to create a touch of contrast. Stay tuned!

The uplight washes the wall behind or ceiling, while the downlight accents below.

Steam Punked!
A little late, but not completely lost. What a week this has been. I love working with the lathe, but forget houw time conuming it can be, shaving each layer off, until the final shape emerges, several minutes later. This design also presented several challenges in the head, both to control movement, as well as making connections. There are no wires in the stems, they are the conductors, and the horizontal pivot pin makes connection inside the head itself. Then, the control became an issue, as the driver 0-5V system defaults to full on when there is not connection across the reference voltage, which meant that changing light levels would go to full bright between settings, obviously not good. This meant integrating controls that short the control connection as the bob is moved between settings. In other words, this was a pretty abitious project for a 7 day week, thus the extra days. Complete details are available at: Lumenique Design Two of 52

01/07/10 – And now for something completely different. Ever heard of Steam Punk? It’s a design vocabulary founded on Victorian styling blended with technology as it might have been had we not moved into micro-electronics. Time machine movies are excellent examples of the aesthetic. Applying this to an SSL product just seems too ironic not to do, so this will be the week two project. This one is going to use Bridgelux 400lm LED arrays as uplight and downlight, within a pivoting head. Driver will be from Luxdrive, and operated at 1A. Control is going to be via placing a plumb bob in one of three sockets, which will control the driver dim level. Finishes will be powder coat red, powder coat black, polished aluminum and polished brass. This one is mostly lathe turnings, my favorite tool.

Bent part - tip of vertical members

01/11/10 –  Got a lot of parts made and some details figured out. Had a bit of an issue with the ball turner, which decided to grab a part and bend it over on me. Really a pain since the ball is the last thing you turn after cutting the rest of the part. Had to re-invent the tool a little before I trashed another blank, then started all over to replace the bent part. Been making a few adjustments in detail as I go through each part – some to fit materials I have in stock and to improve detailing, since there is nothing quite like having the metail in hand to fine tune detail. Working the light heads now – a lot of stuff packed into a somewhat small space. Last bit to work out is the swivel so it will hold the head in place and not sag, but will be easy to adjust. So far so good. The Bridgelux LEDs put out so much soft light, this one should make a nice general space illuminator, with back/uplight and down/tasklight.

01/15/10 – Been a tough week, but the project is progressing. Just finished the base plates, have the vertical conductor towers ready to finish, have figured out how to make the controls work properly, and have the head 90% complete, just need a couple of holes drilled and everything is ready to finish. While the target is to finish each of these on Thursday or Friday of each week, projects like this one are abit more complex, so will take a day or two longer. By the end of the day today, everything on this will be in finishing, with assembly tommorrow (Saurday), just in time to startweek 3, which has already beed designed. This is going to be tough to keep up with, and requires I think clearly and not make any serious mistakes that eat time.

Cllick on the image for a larger view

So… the first week went well enough. Even with taking time off for the holidays, working in a deep freeze workshop, and managing to mess up several blocks of metal, I managed to get this one done. I’m also breaking in a new powder coat oven and learning to use a couple of new tools, like a virbatory deburring machine that works away at the sharp corners and file marks while I get on with other work. Generally this one worked out about as I had invisioned, except for shortening the arm a little. I’m also thinkin that the next iteration of this will use finishes a little differently. I’ve created a matte white powder finish I really like the look and feel of, will need to find more places to use it. In any case, with this in the done file, its time for a couple days to regroup and get into the next one.

I’ve got an idea in mind for use of Bridgelux 400lm LEDs in a steam-punk looking design that will light up and down, providing good ambient as well as accent downlighting. Something a bit less edgy, maybe use a lot of lathe turned parts and do a little polishing. Might even use some brass I have on hand for just such a purpose.

52 in 52 Design One Specification Brief

24″ wide x 20″ tall
Lynk Labs 12W Snapbrite strip (12VAC) on SnapDriver power supply
Custom switch design and fabrication
Tumble finish aluminum with clear gloss topcoat, wrinkle black and matte white finishes

More images and details available at: D1 of 52 at Lumenique

Let me know what you think!