LED Lighting

Lighting For Astronomy

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Everyone seems to be making LED illuminators.  Here's my contribution!!

My version of an astronomer's red desklight.  It stands about 12" tall and has been running on the original two C batteries that I put in it when I first assembled it in October of 2001.

Materials needed:

10"-14" copper tubing either 3/16" or 1/4" diameter

Copper pipe cap, 3/8" for 3/16" tubing and 1/2" for 1/4" tubing

Strap or solder lug for base of neck attachment

Battery holder, two C cell (recommended) or 2 AA cell with batteries.

Potentiometer with built in shut of switch.  Should be 5K to 10K ohms.  It can be tuned with added resistors.

The interior holds a 10K ohm linear taper potentiometer and the  two C cells in a holder.

I higly recommend the Ray-O-Vac renewal Alkaline batteries.  They function much better than NiCads or NiMhd cells.  See the information on the Information Page Look at the bottom of the page.

The base of the neck has a two hole strap soldered to it.  This strap is bolted to the inside of the project box and is very sturdy.  The wires from the LEDs run inside the 1/4" copper tubing that functions as the flexible neck of the light.
An alternative mounting.  The neck is the ground for the lamp, so only one wire is run through the tubing.
Overall view of the completed neck assembly.

If you are going to flex the neck a lot, I suggest leaving it un painted as the paint will likely flake off or crack.

Close up of the completed and well used lamp. 

I used four Sloan LED # SL905RCU available from Sloan LED Corp 

 These LEDs are very bright and have a quite diffused beam without any hot spots or sharp lines.

A close up of the single LED head.  Note the ground led of the LED is soldered to the inside of the pipe cap.
A small copper pipe cap is drilled to fit the copper tubing used and slodered into place.

Copyright 1997-2012by Bill VanOrden