More 120VAC LED Experimentation – The Frankenstein PAR20

In the process of retrofitting lighting into new and existing designs, I come across particularly problematic situations that no products on the market seem to exist. The most recent was a single head pedant I needed a light source with a light pattern somewhere between an old R20 spot and a PAR20 Flood, at around the R20 flood light output. The fixture was designed around the R20 and its soft beam.

I tried a couple commercial R20 LED products, and found them all to be too harsh and splashy, and too narrow in distribution. So, I figured, how hard can this be? I was impatient and tired of buying stuff that don’t work…

Igor! gather me up some parts!

With a heat sink from an older project salvaged from a spare parts bin, a PAR20 cadaver, a tortured to its death screw-base CFL lamp, a fresh 4W 120VAC Acriche LED and my precious collection of epoxies (glue is what holds the world together) – I headed to the lab. The surgery started with cutting the PAR lamp apart with a glass-cutting band saw to separate its optic head from the body. Next was to cut the socket off the plastic CFL ballast compartment, leaving its remains on the floor. After soldered the leads onto the LED, it was glued it to the heat sink with thermal epoxy, then joined to the PAR 20 optic with standard 5 minute epoxy. Wires lead through the heat sink into the socket, grafted to the internal lead wires left from the CFL separation. I filled the socket with epoxy putty to stabilize it and keep the nervous system in its place, then pressed it onto the back of the heat sink. It was done… and not a drop of blood was spilled.

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