52 in 52 – Design 52 Complete!

Well, here we are at the end of the year, the last days of the last week. Design 52 is the official conclusion of the 2010 challenge, and is another task and work light. This design is a work in process I have been toying with all year in use of color and white LEDs to produce color and white light, using simple controls. The first effort has been in finding the right mix of LEDs to produce the best result. This represents one version I have found works very well – specifically the GE Vio 830 white LED with two Lamina RGB Atlas light engines. This produces a wide range of white values with CRI greater than 80, and as high as 92.

The light head includes an optical mixing chamber lined with White Optics material and a fine prismatic diffuser lens. Thermal management is through the use of a Nuventix Synjet PAR20 cooler/heatsink, allowing the LEDs to be run up to the total of 24 watts without an issue of over heating.

The challenge so far has been LED selection, the next is driver design. This design is a step forward in that it is designed to use the Verde Designs 4 channel programmable current driver package. This driver can be controlled with 0-5V, 0-10V, and DMX, which will facilitate incorporation of a controls system that will add greater fidelity to color selection, as well as eventually including a feedback loop to make corrections as things heat and cool during operation.

So who cares about color in task lighting?

Well, the inspiration came when working on a wiring harness for a motorcycle project. There were more than 40 color combinations in the harness, including stripes and solids. Some of these combinations were giving me fits. For example, the faded old black wires, brown wires, and dark purple wires all looked the same to me. As an experiment, I threw together a simple RGB light and pointed it at the harness. With a little fussing around, I found a color combination that made the wire colors jump, no more mixed wires.

Since then, I have found instances where adjusting the CCT of white, or amplifying one color or another came in very handy for either matching colors, seeing color, or simply improving task visibility. This has led to the product you see here.

I also have a theory that for men with color blindness, the ability to either amp up or tune out green and/or red balance in light will be useful in aiding differentiation of reds and greens in tasks where this is important – like electronic wiring, or other color tasks where red and green differentiation is difficult, but important to performance.

So, this is the conclusion of 52 in 52. It’s been quite a year. The project did what I had hoped in getting me deeper into the technology, while enforcing constant state of design exploration. While I do not plan to attempt to repeat this in 2011, there will be new designs presented here, so please drop in and take a look now and again.

Thanks to everyone who has been following along and offering support and encouragement.

Author: kwillmorth

Photographer and Artist

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