Working On A Dream: The O Scale Bond's Funeral Home Diorama Project
Part Ten: Making Spot & Flood Lights With LEDs
One thing I do like in doing this tutorial is sharing different techniques with all of you. This one we are using LEDs because I need the brightest light possible but the process does work with bulbs too like Miniatronics 2.4mm and 1.7mm 12 & 14V bulbs.
You will need the following items to make these (Figure 1):
3mm Hi-Bright White LEDs (You can get these @ Radio Shack if you need them in a pinch, but best bet is All-Electronics. If you want them already made up, Evan Design is a great choice)
Fluted Cone Spacer Beads for the hooded lamp holder (Can get them at any Craft Store like Michael?s, A.C. Moore, etc. The brand is Jewelry Essentials # bd0564. A pack of 12 is 1.99 and come in three different sizes and all ones that can be used.)
Hook up Wire ? I like using Evan Designs Kynar 28AWG hook-up wire
CA Glue (Gel or regular, not shown)
Hobby Knife & Small Scissors
3/64" & 3/32" Shrink Tubing
Resistors (value depends on the voltage of your LED and your input voltage & type)
Sand paper or Emery cloth (Not Shown)
In this segment we are going to make spot and floodlights in a hooded holder. This gives a great look on the side of a building or for lighting up landscaping or signage. It also gives it a nice finished look. (Figure 2)
For the lamp holder I love using Cone Spacer Beads. They are used in bead crafting and can be obtained at any craft store like Michael's and A.C. Moore. Even artist supply stores like Pearl carry them. The ones we are using here are a plain cone spacer in silver (Other colors are available or these are easily paintable too). I have used these in many builds in the past and some you even seen here on the forum. They even have more "fancy" ones you can get too. And while on the subject you can use "Bead Caps" for light fixture shades also. Those too are available it different shapes, colors and types and are readily available at the same stores. (Figure 3).
First step I do is solder two leads onto the LED legs. (If you have premade ones, skip this step). I leave the legs are their made length and it is for a reason later on (Figure 4). Then snipping the excess wire on the end of the solder splice I take two lengths of 3/64" shrink tube and cover each lead & heat to seal it. (Figure 5) I now have my LED made up for the most part.
I now take the leads of the LED and thread it into the cone (From the large open end HAHA) and see where the leads bind up. Sometimes you will get lucky and it won't bind. But if it does, remove the LED from the cone. Take the tweezers and put it through the small hole of the cone and gently twist to pry the hole a bit bigger. Remember to just do a little at a time so you don't make the hole too big. (Figure 6).
Now decision time. Do we need a flood or a spotlight. For those that don?t know, the difference is in the spread of the light beam itself. A spotlight is more precise pin-point lighting and floodlighting is widespread lighting a larger area evenly. Most of this is projected for the bulb and the parabolic of it. (As in this case). In some cases light in HID (High-intensity discharge) lighting like Metal Halide (MH), Mercury vapor (MV) High Pressure Sodium (HPS), etc. it all depends on the relector and/or parabolic lens then.
In this case, we are going to make a floodlight to show you what can be done to the LED to create it.. Take a piece of sandpaper or emery cloth (Fine to Med-Fine is best used) and place it on your work surface. Take the LED and gently sand the top of the LED to create a flat surface to it. The closer you do sand to the Leadframe on the inside of the LED, the more intense the light will get. Also be sure you don?t sand too deep into the LED causing the Leadframe to be exposed. The LED will blow then and then back to square one. Once you are happy where the sanding is too, wipe the sanded end of the LED with a cloth. Also by doing this, it also difusses the light coming from the LED giving it a nice effect. You can also do this with a Dremel Tool and a hobby vise. (Figure 7).
Almost home now. We take the LED and insert it back into the cone. See where the LED sits in the cone. The higher the LED is, you get more lightspread. The lower into the cone, it becomes more narrow the beam.. When you are happy where it sits, put a dab of CA glue where the leads and the cone are.. After it dries, take a piece of the 3/32" shrink tubing and butt it up to the cone, even overlapping it a bit if you can and heat it.. (Figure 8 & 9)
You now have a nice finished look to the fixture now that is paintable. Depending on your input voltage power and type, you can install your resistor of the value you need..WAA-LAA. IT IS FINISHED ! (Figure 10)
BONUS TRICK TIP. When using Hi-Brite White LEDS, you have that harder white color rendering. If you like a like a more warmer white look without using the proper LED for that, here is a trick for you that does work pretty good.
To achive that look on this type of LED, I use 1 part Tamiya Color X-24 Clear Yellow Paint with 5 or 6 parts Tamiya X-20A thinner and brush it on the LED before I install it in the cone spacer bead. This dilutes the brightness of the LED a lot giving it a close warm white effect.(Figure 11).
We hope you liked this latest update on the Bond's project. This one I know a lot of you can use on different projects you have going on with your pikes.
Yes, once again I wrote this from a hospital bed, but no worries I get released on Friday after a week of different therapies for my left leg. The next installment of Bonds will be on building the back addition of the building where the garage door is. This should be on this weekend. Maria has been going to town on it while here. Even I been working on the roofing here while stuck here. The staff here is great putting up with me LOL. Hope you enjoy? Mark