Archive for July, 2010

Okay, so this is another toy like the ray gun. Adults like toys too, right? This one is inspired by my interest in formula car racing, and a term rattling around in my head “light engine” I decided it was time to put the two together here. In fact, this puppy has three light engines. Conceptually, the light thrusting toward to rear is intended to evoke the air disturbance you see behind F1 cars when the track is wet, only using light so one can avoid having wet carpets and drapes.

The wheels turn, although that is hardly a useful feature here. The centerless wheel design is an idea I am playing with for a remote control toy that will have steering and will roll under power, but that’s a whole ‘nuther project.

So, while this is hardly a commercial light fixture, it is a lot of fun to look at, and the lighting effect does work, while putting a blast of light on the wall behind.

More images and descriptive stuff is on Lumenique 52 in 52 Design 27.

I’ve always like theatrical lighting hardware. Unfortunately, most of it uses huge wattage halogen sources with configurations that make retrofit to lower energy impossible. I’ve also found that in their stock form, efficiency is pretty poor in general. Often a 400W ellipsoidal (like the one here) consumes 400W, but delivers only 100Fc on a target 8 feet away. Most of the light from the lamp is lost in the housing to produce a clean beam pattern.

In past attempts to retrofit these types of products to LED, I’ve struggled finding sources with the power needed to produce a usable beam, without generating unwanted patterns from discrete LEDs projected on the surface being lighted. The Bridglux array comes pretty close, but the optics available for it do not have the center beam energy I need to project through the lens elements, and the field angle is so wide that too much light is simply lost inside the housing.

Xicato to the rescue. A few weeks ago, I received a Xicato sample kit with a 700lm spot module and an assortment of reflectors and a small heat sink. I spent some time with the spot module and reflectors. I like the module, it does an excellent job of delivering solid light output, with no color separation at its edges. I also found that the reflectors in the kit worked exceptionally well, controlling both beam and field angle very well. While the spot was not quite “narrow” by any real definition of the word, it did have very strong center power. “Could this be it?” I asked myself, and took to hacking some hardware together to test the Xicato as a light source in the theatrical light.

The fit between the Xicato and  spot reflector worked perfectly.

Kliegl Brothers made iconic theatrical lighting products for more than 50 years before closing its doors in the 90’s. This specific unit was rescued from a casino demolition in the 1980’s, and was installed sometime in 1967. Originally, this was lamped with a 400W halogen lamp, which is unsuitable for my use for interior accent lighting for many reasons.  In this retrofit, I created a light engine with locating rings that uses a single Xicato 700lm spot LED module with a spot reflector. I also made a light stand from various tripod parts and adapters, and a housing for the driver/power supply with a toggle switch.

This fixture now produces 48Fc on a horizontal target 8 feet away, and retains the ability to focus as well as frame using the standard shutters.

This compliments a Kliegl fresnel I created using Cree MPE LEDs very well, and is an approach I intend to apply to a Colortran Zoom Ellipsoidal that has not been right since I retrofitted it to a lower wattage halogen lamp a few years ago. If you like these old theatrical products as much as I do, or have one you would like to see made practical for interior accent lighting, let me know. I now have several options for retrofitting these products to LED sources and making them much more friendly for every day use.

More at Lumenique 52 in 52 D26

With an exhaustive investment of over a week of extensive design and research, the result is this portable “Photon Emission Pistol”. This small but powerful weapon blasts away  intruding darkness utilizing the latest indium gallium nitride diodic, Ytrium Aluminum Garnet phosphor semi-conductor based electron to photon conversion technology. Directing the flux generated by two hyper efficient converters are twin optical reflecto-columnators, mounted to processed bauxite thermal conductors, surrounded by bright red faux ray dissipation rings. The result is maximized dark obliteration from each electron employed, delivering low power cell drain while creating the greatest effect. The extensive use of extrusion deposition processing to form Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene materials delivers high mechanical strength, low specific mass, protection of the user against direct electron excitation, and a quite comfy grip. The hair trigger initiator mechanism is ergonomically located for comfort when employed for extended firing periods. Rotational manipulation of the large indexed user interface at the base throttles current to the photon emitters, providing a range of balance between optimizing dark destruction and longevity of the integral power source. Two 9 volt lithium ion electron energy storage cells with the potential of over 2 amperes feeds a single high efficiency 1,000 mili-ampere current controller, delivering a flow of up to 500 mili-amperes to each of the flux emitters by fluctuating voltage to the pair. The superfluous cross-hair site provides unnecessary precision in aiming, while a snap-in base cover provides charge cell access, facilitating rapid replacement of power sources (available at any mercantile exchange center offering lithium ion long life power cells)  –  should dark remain after full depletion of stored electrons.  The combination of over-kill thermals and balanced current flow through the diodic electron/photon converters insures longest possible life.

More can be found on the Lumenique 52 in 52 D25 web page, including a link to the Product Center for those brave enough to attempt to control the darkness once and for all.