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Old 03-06-2012, 11:11 AM   #1
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Homemade LED light bar

Here is my writeup on my DIY/homemade LED light bar. First, I will start off with the finished picture and the start from the beginning and work my way to the end.



From my calculations it puts out just under 7100 lumes at 6000k. Not bad...
Now for the parts. I will give you a list and where I got them but I do not work for any of these places, just found them on the internet.
1. Ledsupply.com CREE XPG-w417 (x6)
2. Ledsupply.com Carclo optic 10507 (x4)
3. Ledsupply.com Carclo optic 10510 (x2)
4. Ledsupply.com Buckpuck 1000mA driver(modded for 1400mA) 10023- D-N-1000. I'm not even getting in to how I did this. Let's just say I'll never do it again. Should have just bought two 700mA drivers.
5. Newark.com Heatsink 23T0438
6. 220fu 50v capacitor(I had these laying around)
7. Amazon.com 36" 1 1/2x3 angle 1/4 thick(aluminum)
8. Artic-Alumina thermal adhesive(I had this already)
9. JB weld(who doesn't have this...)

There is more stuff, but it's in the writeup. First the LED light:

Then the buckpuck. This is the driver for the LED lights, it maintains constant voltage and amperage for the LED light:

Then the capacitor. As you can see, I put shrink wrap around the ends to keep any shorts from happening. Since my power supply is farther than 18" from my lights, I installed this per the LuxDrive(buckpuck) spec:

This is the buckpuck and capacitor all wired up:

Here is the optic:


This is the heatsink being drilled because the wires come up through the center:


and here are all the heatsinks drilled, be sure to drill in the center:


Here is the wires soldered from the buckpuck to the LED star(I grabbed this picture from Thumperjockey.com):


Here is the front with the heatsinks and LEDs attached. I used the Artic-Alumina thermal paste to attach the LED to the heatsink. A little goes a long way and there is only about a three minute working window. I did two at a time:


Here is a picture of the back of the angle bracket with all the stuff attached. I used platidip on the inside to help insulate in case anything came loose and hot glued the buckpuck and capacitor to stay in place:


on the aluminum be sure to sand, clean really well and remove any oils that may have come off your fingers(I used isopropyl alcohol 91%) and then apply this:


I then painted over the primer on the angle bracket with this:


The cap that I used over the LED optic is the back of a flashlight that I got at Home Depot. They had a package of eight for $8. I just unscrewed the back off and popped out the switch and rubber boot:

I place two drops of JB weld on either side of the optic cover(flashlight back) then used clear silicone to seal it:


Here is how I routed the wires in the back:


After this I used a dremel with a wire brush where I put the two pieces of angle together to make a box for the back. I used JB weld for this. Sorry no pictures of this.

Here is the test firing of the lights before I joined the angle together, just in case I screwed something up and had to redo something:


Now of course I had to buy a switch to turn all this on:


Here are some quick night pics just in my driveway. All pictures wewe taken with a 1 sec exposure and 3.5 f/stop:
Low beams...


Lows with factory fogs:


Low beams, factory fogs and LED light bar:


The specs say this: 417Lumes@350mA so overdriven to 1400mA I get 1355 lumes per LED star X 6 = 8131.5 Lumes. I had to correct for the optics efficiency @ 87.3 so total lume output is roughly 7098 Lumes. All I know is it is bright and I did it myself. My wife says I should have just bought a F@#king LED bar...but where is the fun in that?

I will get some pictures down a back road tonight or tomorrow night.
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Old 03-06-2012, 11:49 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skycam3 View Post
Here is how I routed the wires in the back:




The specs say this: 417Lumes@350mA so overdriven to 1400mA I get 1355 lumes per LED star X 6 = 8131.5 Lumes. I had to correct for the optics efficiency @ 87.3 so total lume output is roughly 7098 Lumes. All I know is it is bright and I did it myself. My wife says I should have just bought a F@#king LED bar...but where is the fun in that?

I will get some pictures down a back road tonight or tomorrow night.
Looks great! I bet you could build a few of these and sell them on here.


so does each LED star require a buckpuck and capacitor? then you just run all the wires in a series or parallel?
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Old 03-06-2012, 11:53 AM   #4
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Old 03-06-2012, 11:54 AM   #5
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Oh im subbed... Good work dude!
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Old 03-06-2012, 11:58 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IluvTEA View Post
looks great man! Sorry if I missed it but how much did all of the materials cost? That switch is awesome, where did you get it?

Sub'd for more pics!
ahhhh..I guess it helps if I put how much money I spent.

LED stars are $16.87 ea (x6) $101.22
Buckpuck $13.73 ea (x6) $ 82.38
optics $ 1.50 ea (x6) $ 9.00
Heatsinks $ 3.47 ea (x6) $20.82
capacitors are about $0.50 ea $ 3.00
aluminum angle bar was about $12 $ 12.00
shipping $6.00 $ 6.00

So I have about $234 invested from parts. The rest of the stuff I already had.
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Old 03-06-2012, 12:03 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zombie Runner View Post
Looks great! I bet you could build a few of these and sell them on here.


so does each LED star require a buckpuck and capacitor? then you just run all the wires in a series or parallel?
Each one requires a separate buckpuck. The forward voltage wouldn't be enough. If you use the 1000mA buckpuck(non modded) it come out to about 6000 Lumes and would be a hell of a lot easier.
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Old 03-06-2012, 12:08 PM   #8
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[QUOTE=Zombie Runner;4690502]Looks great! I bet you could build a few of these and sell them on here.


I don't think my wife would like that too much. Between the house smelling like solder one day and paint the next...I believe the terms "I have broke out the Ban Hammer", and "sleep on the couch" was used by her, hence the write up!
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Old 03-06-2012, 12:09 PM   #9
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very impressive!
I bet you could sell them too...
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Old 03-06-2012, 12:10 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IluvTEA View Post
That switch is awesome, where did you get it?

Sub'd for more pics!
http://otrattw.com/products.php?cat=14&pg=5
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Old 03-06-2012, 01:01 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skycam3 View Post
I'm not even getting in to how I did this. Let's just say I'll never do it again. Should have just bought two 700mA drivers.
You say you should have just bought 2 pucks for each light.... is the additional $82 you spend to do that really worth it? What's the upgrade process involve?
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Old 03-06-2012, 01:14 PM   #12
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Holy shit Batman! I would hate to accidentally look into that bright ass light! Well done sir, well done indeed!
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Old 03-06-2012, 01:52 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skycam3 View Post

I don't think my wife would like that too much. Between the house smelling like solder one day and paint the next...I believe the terms "I have broke out the Ban Hammer", and "sleep on the couch" was used by her, hence the write up!
at least we know who wears the pants at the Skycam home



No work shop or garage?
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Old 03-06-2012, 06:54 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zombie Runner View Post
at least we know who wears the pants at the Skycam home
As long as she is wearing hers I wear mine...



Quote:
Originally Posted by Zombie Runner View Post
No work shop or garage?
Have a garage, too cold for me, I'm from Texas. Anything below 70 deg F and I'm inside. I used to be in the Army and I've done my time in the cold.

Here are the pics I promised. The tree line is about 50 yards from the front of the truck. Shutter speed is .8 sec with 4.0 f/stop with a 15mm lense on a canon D30:

Low beams:


Lows with factory fogs:


Lows, fogs and my LED bar:


This project was a lot of fun, but it took longer than expected. Total hours were roughly 25 or so but that included installing a BlueSea 12 block terminal and all the various stuff that goes with that.
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Old 03-06-2012, 07:02 PM   #16
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this is freaking awesome!
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Old 03-06-2012, 07:02 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TurboGT View Post
You say you should have just bought 2 pucks for each light.... is the additional $82 you spend to do that really worth it? What's the upgrade process involve?
If I had to do it again, I would just go with the 1000mA buckpuck. The difference between 6000 lumes and 7000 lumes isn't enough to justify the extra money. The upgrade process was tearing into the buckpuck and changing a lot of things. One of my freinds is an elcetrical engineer and he told me what to do. He said it might work...it might blow up. There were waaay too many small circuits that got soldered and changed for different parts. Time will tell if it last. If the buckpuck blows, I'll just replace with 1000mA. Sometimes it's better just to buy parts off the shelf.
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Old 03-06-2012, 07:06 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BEEFY_CHEESY_TACO View Post
Ha!! I've been looking around at materials to make one myself! Good work
To seal the optics and the optics holder(flashlight backing) I used O rings out of the plumbing department. The ID was just over 3/4 inch. Box of ten cost something like $0.98
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Old 03-10-2012, 07:19 AM   #19
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One last thing that I forgot to mention. The Power draw from this bar is only 30 watts so only 2 amps! They have some newer stuff out now, so when I kill this one, I'll make a new one. For any of you that want to make your own, this will be a good baseline. If you have any questions please ask and I will do my best to answer. For anyone with a basic working knowledge of electronics, this will be a breeze. The throw is a little bit too spread out for me, but I feel with a little research on the optics, and it would be perfect. There is a lot of good info @ candlepower forums.com . Cheers and I hope you guys enjoyed this project..
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Old 03-10-2012, 04:15 PM   #20
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Cool... can you control the type of beam (fog/cornering, driving, or spot/pencil) and thus combine types? Sorry if I missed that, as well as what was the material cost to make one?
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