How to light a two car garage for under $30

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Vegas LED Fan
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How to light a two car garage for under $30

This layout uses seven 20” (50 cm) 5630 SMD bar lights powered by a 60W driver. The output is about 7000 lumens evenly dispersed over a 20’ X 20’ two car garage. The garage originally came with a single 100W wall mounted, bare bulb light near the door and a light switch to operate it. Over the years I tried a 2X 40W fluorescent light in the middle of the garage and 2X 20W fluorescent light over the inside door. A couple of years ago I added a 102 SMD 5050 LED bulb ceiling mounted light as a supplement. None of this evenly lit the garage. Some parts were brightly lit and others not so well.

When bar lights got really cheap a couple of years ago, I put up the current configuration. I like the amount and even dispersal of light so this is a keeper. The bar lights are very lightweight so easy to install. The only electrical modification was to remove the original light fixture and mount a double receptacle box in its place. This operates on 12V DC and the driver serves as an isolation transformer so you don’t need conduit or Romex wiring to meet code. You can substitute brighter bar lights (SMD


Current sources for the parts
Bar Light 36 SMD 5630 LED
DIY DC 12V 50cm 0.5M LED Rigid Strip 5630 SMD Car Bar Light Lamp Aluminum Shell $1.85 postpaid https://www.ebay.com/itm/DIY-DC-12V-50cm-0-5M-LED-Rigid-Strip-5630-SMD-C...

Bar Light with cover and ends
$1.99 postpaid 36 SMD 5730 LED 12V 0.5M 5630 4014 7020 5050 SMD Hard Bar Led Strip Light+Aluminum Groove+Cover https://www.ebay.com/itm/12V-0-5M-5630-4014-7020-5050-SMD-Hard-Bar-Led-S...

12V 60W Driver – US seller
$7.99 postpaid Kasonic Universal 12V/24V DC Power Supply Driver Adapter For LED Strip https://www.ebay.com/itm/Kasonic-Universal-12V-24V-DC-Power-Supply-Drive...

Wire connectors 10 pair color coded
$1.29 postpaid 10Pairs 2PIN Male and Female Connector Wire Cable For 3528 5050 LED Strip Lights https://www.ebay.com/itm/10Pairs-2PIN-Male-and-Female-Connector-Wire-Cab...

Wire clips for holding wire to wall and ceiling 30 pcs $.99 ’30X Cable Clips Adhesive Cord Black Management Wire Holder Organizer Clamp 30X Cable Clips Adhesive Cord Black Management Wire Holder Organizer Clamp https://www.ebay.com/itm/30X-Cable-Clips-Adhesive-Cord-Black-Management-...

FPV
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That looks amazing, thanks for sharing. Didn’t expect a well-lit garage for under 30 bucks! well done.

dchomak
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Really nice that you list and source all the parts. I see stuff I didn’t know was available.

WillyD
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Wow, those lights are really cheap. Thanks for sharing. I see you got the natural white tint. How does that look? For some reason I would think they would all look blue for only $1.99.

Lexel
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I made not good experience with light strips in cold weather outside, after 2 winters 60% on the LED pairs quit working, likely the lead free solder

If the garage stays above 0°C its likely no problem

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EagleShield
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Beamshots!!
No really, got some pics of your garage with the lights on that you could share?
Interested in how it plays out.

Edit: I read this for the driver “3.without flickering light & ensue the life span of your LED.”

Do you possible have access to an iPhone that you could download the flicker tester app and put a piece of paper in front of the led and check?

Link: http://www.visosystems.com/products/flicker-tester/

Edit again: not necessarily to check the flicker (would be fun to know tho) since I can only find that us seller that sells them and I don’t want to pay that shipping + tax.

Anyone else knows a good driver without flicker from Chinese seller that have that sweet free shipping?

FPV
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I have played with LED strips in my garage before and the issue has always been the same: not enough light. If someone would need to inspect vehicle paint, not only would you need more light but also better CRI. Neither of it was possible so far with the strips I had. My garage appears to be a black hole right now.

Thanks for highlighting the BOM.

EagleShield
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FPV wrote:
I have played with LED strips in my garage before and the issue has always been the same: not enough light. If someone would need to inspect vehicle paint, not only would you need more light but also better CRI. Neither of it was possible so far with the strips I had. My garage appears to be a black hole right now.

Thanks for highlighting the BOM.

Sounds like you need some led strips with the Yuji VTC-series D50 5730-size midpower led.
But those won’t be cheap since those small LEDs cost about 1 USD each.
But for that price you get 98CRI.
Specced for 38 lumens at 150 mA.

Djozz tested them Here

DoubleA
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You could have just used these Integrated driver COB chips. Costs only a couple of bucks for a 50W chip. You don’t have to invest extra on a driver.

You could get easy 10000 lumens for just 10 or 12$

and on the first day he said "Let there be light"...

ChibiM
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DoubleA wrote:
You could have just used these Integrated driver COB chips. Costs only a couple of bucks for a 50W chip. You don't have to invest extra on a driver. !{width:50%}https://ae01.alicdn.com/kf/HTB1bcMpOpXXXXcmXXXXq6xXFXXXV/SMD-Led-Cob-Chi...! You could get easy 10000 lumens for just 10 or 12$

Where would you get those?

FPV
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I have bought a few of those integrated COB LEDs on Aliexpress. cheap too.
But
1) when selecting cool white, the tint is pretty bad (the room feels like 1980s fluorescent tubes). CRI is awful, a red or orange object looks terrible.
and
2) it runs on AC voltage. there are additional expenses to build something useful which complies with building & electric codes. Especially if used in the garage or outside.

kiriba-ru
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Lexel wrote:
I made not good experience with light strips in cold weather outside, after 2 winters 60% on the LED pairs quit working, likely the lead free solder

If the garage stays above 0°C its likely no problem


Im using similar scheme as topicstarter. In my experience any non-waterproof dc power supply with more than 50% load are failing much before you will realize leds degrate or recognize many non-working 3-led segments.

Meanwhile in Russia: https://twitter.com/CrazyinRussia

DoubleA
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ChibiM wrote:

Where would you get those?

It’s available on Aliexpress and Banggood.

FPV wrote:
I have bought a few of those integrated COB LEDs on Aliexpress. cheap too. But 1) when selecting cool white, the tint is pretty bad (the room feels like 1980s fluorescent tubes). CRI is awful, a red or orange object looks terrible. and 2) it runs on AC voltage. there are additional expenses to build something useful which complies with building & electric codes. Especially if used in the garage or outside.

Mine I used 2x Cool white and 2x Warm white alternatively and I got a Neutral whitish tint. I use them as outdoor floodlights so I did not have any high CRI requirement.

About the electric code compliance there are AC to DC drivers out there which doesn’t even have their ground wiring connected to their shell. There are many other safety problems to consider when using AC to DC drivers so I don’t see this running on AC as a drawback when compared to that.
Another thing is that these COB chips run on milli Amps whereas those DC drivers pumps out 6 Amps or more, so you could also save on power transmission.

and on the first day he said "Let there be light"...

Vegas LED Fan
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Sorry for not having pictures of the actual garage but there are a bunch of things suspended from the ceiling (recumbent bikes and trikes among other things). I used the diagram because it is much clearer as to how the bars are located. I’m also not sure about the problem of bluish lights from LEDs that has often been mentioned. I just like my LEDs to be as close as possible to natural light and these fit my needs. I don’t see any flicker. I don’t own an iPhone so can’t do the flicker test requested.

I provided the link to the US seller for drivers because the price is about the same as what I paid when I ordered them from China. I bought all of my drivers like the ones shown from Banggood in China but that was a couple of years ago. This one appears to be what I ordered https://www.banggood.com/DC-12V-5A-60W-Switch-Power-Supply-Driver-Adapte.... I checked the ground on the driver. The ground lead post is connected to the shell. When I put a meter to the ground wire screw and to the shell I got zero ohms for a reading.

These bar lights are cheap enough you could buy one and test it with any 12V DC converter like those used for printers and other electronic equipment. I used them for powering this same light as an under-counter light. At the worst, you would be out $1.85 if it wasn’t suitable. They have been in use for about two years now and all LEDs are still working. The garage temperatures here never get below zero but range from about 30 degrees F in winter to 125+ in the in the summer time. Heat is our problem, not cold.

I ordered a bunch of the IC Driver |COBs that are shown above. They are cheap, very bright, and compact. The seller I bought from has reduced the price again so now the 20W chips are $.99, 30W $1.55, and 50W are $1.59 with free shipping. 110v 220v LED Floodlight 20/30/50W Cool/Warm White COB Chip Smart IC Driver Lamp https://www.ebay.com/itm/110v-220v-LED-Floodlight-20-30-50W-Cool-Warm-Wh... You need a pretty good heat sink, thermal paste, and then mount them in an enclosure on a metal base. I bought mine to convert the round lamps in a bunk room in the main lodge at my local Scout camp. The lighted portion of the chip is about an inch square so they generate a lot of heat and will self destruct if run without some way to dissipate the heat. Wiring them and meeting code is a lot more expensive and they are not suitable for use without an enclosure since there are exposed leads that are at 120V. They would make a nice retrofit in an existing fixture though. If they had been available when I converted the large fixtures in the house from fluorescent to LED I might have used them. Even so, the bar lights and strip lights still might be a better choice because I can use this inexpensive dimmer with remote control to dim the lights if desired. Mini RF Wireless Remote Switch Controller Dimmer For LED Strip Light 11 Keys $1.66 postpaid https://www.ebay.com/itm/Mini-RF-Wireless-Remote-Switch-Controller-Dimme... Just wire it in series between the lights and the driver. You can not use the universal drivers (85-240V AC) with a wall mounted dimmer switch even if the dimmer is rated for LEDs.

DoubleA
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Vegas LED Fan wrote:
You need a pretty good heat sink, thermal paste, and then mount them in an enclosure on a metal base. I bought mine to convert the round lamps in a bunk room in the main lodge at my local Scout camp. The lighted portion of the chip is about an inch square so they generate a lot of heat and will self destruct if run without some way to dissipate the heat.

You can substantially reduce the size of the heatsink if you opt for active cooling. Oh, and I forgot, these COB chips will not heat up and self destruct like those old DC COB chips because these ones have a thermal regulation built in. If I’m correct the regulation is done by a Brightpower IC. Big Clive has done a neat review of these AC COB chips.

Vegas LED Fan wrote:
they are not suitable for use without an enclosure since there are exposed leads that are at 120V.

Additionally they also sell a Lens and Reflector which will act as a makeshift enclosure for these chips.

If you want more brightness they’ve also got 150W units.

and on the first day he said "Let there be light"...

Enderman
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DoubleA wrote:
You could have just used these Integrated driver COB chips. Costs only a couple of bucks for a 50W chip. You don’t have to invest extra on a driver.

You could get easy 10000 lumens for just 10 or 12$


Yeah sure, 10000 fake lumens.
Half of the emitters in the COB won’t work, the lumen ratings are like 10x more than what the true value is, they won’t light up uniformly, and they won’t have consistent colour temperature or tint.

A real COB that is actually good quality will cost anywhere from $50-500
dchomak
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Here are 2 CREE’s that I got.
This one from a reputable dealer. Not all LED’s light up at the same voltage but as voltage is increased, they even out.

This one came from FastTech, and it is flat out defective. I suspect FastTech of supplying seconds.

I also ordered a half dozen or so of the cheap no name ones as described above. They were soooo bad I never bothered to use them.
TOTAL WASTE OF MONEY.

EagleShield
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I wanted to check for the invisible light flicker.

Can you do a simple test?
Just start your camera on you phone and hold it close to the light.

Does it look like:

This? Or

This?

leaftye
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Nice project. I hope that works well enough for you. I’ve found that even 16 thousand lumens doesn’t satisfy me in a 2 car garage. About 10x more might be okay as long as it’s spread out. Having open space against the walls would also help more light reflect into and under my vehicles.

DoubleA wrote:
Additionally they also sell a Lens and Reflector which will act as a makeshift enclosure for these chips. !{width:50%}https://ae01.alicdn.com/kf/HTB10BA0QFXXXXcuapXXq6xXFXXXe/MingBen-1set-LE...!

I’d like this, but I can only find them up to 50W, not for 100W that I have.

The low mode should be lower.

Reviews: Efan IMR18350 700mAh 10.5A, <a href="http://

DoubleA
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Enderman wrote:
DoubleA wrote:
You could get easy 10000 lumens for just 10 or 12$
Yeah sure, 10000 fake lumens. Half of the emitters in the COB won’t work, the lumen ratings are like 10x more than what the true value is, they won’t light up uniformly, and they won’t have consistent colour temperature or tint. A real COB that is actually good quality will cost anywhere from $50-500

Nope real 10,000 lumens. For the sake of argument let’s take 2,000 lumens per 50W COB chip. So 5×50W COB = 10,000 lumens and 5×2$ = 10$

Facepalm The picture of the faulty COB you showed was the old DC type COB works by a series parallel bead array combination. They were mostly rejects sold at a very cheap price by chinese vendors. Big Clive has done 2 videos about them and I can see that on your screenshot.

The AC driverless COB I linked will light up their beads evenly and here are some pics showing that, you can check those videos and see for yourself if you still don’t believe, One of those videos was done by Big Clive himself.

leaftye wrote:
I’d like this, but I can only find them up to 50W, not for 100W that I have.

You can find them in Aliexpress.

leaftye wrote:
I’ve found that even 16 thousand lumens doesn’t satisfy me in a 2 car garage. About 10x more might be okay as long as it’s spread out.

For me ~5,000 lumens from 2× 40W T8 fluorescent tubes in my 250 sq ft dining room was like overkill.

and on the first day he said "Let there be light"...

dchomak
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These look very promising. I just ordered 5 each of the warm white and white 50W version. $1.59 each, free shipping. We’ll see.
If you watch Big Clives videos you may see that it might be possible to reduce the 50W version that I ordered to the less powerful 20W and 30W versions. All 3 cost the same.

DoubleA
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dchomak wrote:
These look very promising. I just ordered 5 each of the warm white and white 50W version. $1.59 each, free shipping. We’ll see. If you watch Big Clives videos you may see that it might be possible to reduce the 50W version that I ordered to the less powerful 20W and 30W versions. All 3 cost the same.

It is really good and works fine too. You can mix warm whites with cool whites and you’ll get a neutral whitish tint if you like.

and on the first day he said "Let there be light"...

garrybunk
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Awesome! So Vegas, did you choose the “warm white” bar lights? How’s the tint? I’d be looking to replace cool white florescent T8 strips in my garage. Seems I’d prefer to be between the cool white & warm white.

In any case, I need to get some of these bar lights to experiment with!

-Garry

leaftye
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Do you have to replace? I’d be inclined to add warm white to your existing cool white to get your somewhere in between, with bonus lumens since you’d have both.

The low mode should be lower.

Reviews: Efan IMR18350 700mAh 10.5A, <a href="http://

garrybunk
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I don’t have to replace, just thought that was the natural place to start to try them out. I figured they’d be way more efficient. Right now one garage bay has 6 florescent light units (2 32wt TO bulbs per unit) total around perimeter of 3 sides and the other bay I never finished (that side is mostly storage while the first side is my “working” side). I could wire up the unfinished side to directly compare the two.

How well would the tints mix? If I bought 1 of each tint of these bar lights, should I figure on mounting them side by side for best tint mix? Would you choose the model with the diffuser lens or just use the bare strip? (I’m leaning toward the diffused, but not if it blocks a lot of the light.) Guess I could order the diffused and easily remove the diffuser to compare. Sounds like I need to order a few & a driver to play with (hey, they’re cheap enough!). It’s just such a long wait when I need to place the 2nd order of what I decide on.

Thanks,
-Garry

Vegas LED Fan
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It turns out that three of the seven bar lights are natural white and four are cool white. It wasn’t intentional to do it this way but I purchased quite a few bar lights from different suppliers and they are not always the same. I like warm white in my bathrooms but used cool white throughout my house otherwise. The 7W bathroom fixtures did not produce enough light for my needs so I added a 7W cool white COB strip to the top of the fixture. The result is more light that is a combination of white and warm white. Mixing them does work. Some people find cool white or natural white harsh but I wanted the maximum lighting with minimal wattage and cool white produces more light per watt. It is just so nice to have even illumination all over the garage compared to one 25W COB bulb in the center of the garage or the old 4 foot fluorescent fixture. Most sellers offer warm white and cool white. A few offer natural white which is supposed to be closer to sunlight.

I bought a dozen 20 and 30 watt COB IC chips recently. They work quite well in enclosed lamps with milky covers. They were not available when I installed my garage lights but I would not have used them in the garage. The first reason is that they are not low-voltage so require wiring to 120V AC. Wiring them is a lot more complicated and expensive in order to meet electrical codes. The other reason is they are a concentrated light source. I wanted even light well spread out. The bar lights do that. Four of them take the same watts as one 30W COB but spread the light much more evenly if you position them correctly.

A couple of people who responded here and in a different thread complained the COB IC chips weren’t bright, produced off-color light, or flickered. I had none of those problems with the ones I bought and they were right around $1.50 each. I didn’t purchase any 50W COBs. I couldn’t see all that much difference between the 20W and 30W chips so would use the 20W chips in the future for lamp conversions.

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Hmm as far as wattage consumed & possibly even light output, wouldn’t it be more efficient to just install standard E27 light bases (i.e porcelain or plastic lamp holders over a plastic junction box) and use standard cheap E27 LED light bulbs (probably 40 watt equivalent)? This was my original thought for my garage (after I had already hung the new florescent lights). Sure there might be more install hassle & cost, but it’s easy maintenance! In my case, much of the electric is already in place. There’s no drywall to deal with so it’s easy to access to rewire. Thoughts on just going that way?

Just looked at my 40wt equiv bulbs and they are rated 5.5wt for 450 lumens. The 60 wt equiv bulbs are rated 9wt for 750 lumens. I don’t know if the lumen ratings are accurate on the strips, but I think I saw them rated just over 1000 lumens (and going by your statement that they are 7wt.) So I guess the strips are more efficient (unless more strips are needed to get the coverage that less E27 bulbs would provide). Still not a huge difference.

The only “natural white” I came across also listed 6000k same as the cool whites (but I didn’t look around thoroughly).

-Garry

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dchomak wrote:

These look very promising. I just ordered 5 each of the warm white and white 50W version. $1.59 each, free shipping. We’ll see.
If you watch Big Clives videos you may see that it might be possible to reduce the 50W version that I ordered to the less powerful 20W and 30W versions. All 3 cost the same.

I’ve just received 5 of each also.

They appear awfully small – do you think they really are 50w?

Any idea what sort of heat sinking they will require? Don’t really want to be mounting fans, so will be looking at passive cooling.

dchomak
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heyho wrote:
dchomak wrote:

These look very promising. I just ordered 5 each of the warm white and white 50W version. $1.59 each, free shipping. We’ll see.
If you watch Big Clives videos you may see that it might be possible to reduce the 50W version that I ordered to the less powerful 20W and 30W versions. All 3 cost the same.

I’ve just received 5 of each also.

They appear awfully small – do you think they really are 50w?

Any idea what sort of heat sinking they will require? Don’t really want to be mounting fans, so will be looking at passive cooling.

Today I received a couple of those modules. I had ordered 5 warm white and 5 cool white from a vendor, but I also ordered 1 and 1 from another vendor, just in case his arrived earlier. They did.

These are not the same exact modules that Big Clive reviewed so hopefully the 5 and 5 batch will be better.

First off, they are a big disappointment. They are not very bright and they consume a LOT of power.
My estimation is that they are about as bright as a 7W LED bulb (about 800 lumen) but consume probably in excess of 30W.
The ones I ordered should have been rated at 50W with 4 driver chips on the right. I got modules with only 2 chips

Here is one held up against a 15W, 1600 lumen “dedomed” LED light bulb.

This photo was taken during the middle of the day, hard to tell how much light is output. For this shot I placed identical domes over each light, and also took a shot of the ceiling over both lights running at the same time.

It’s dark outside now so I did a further test to show just how bad these modules are. It’s too bad, I had high hopes for them and as bad as they are, they are much better than the ones I ordered previously about a year ago.
On the left is a 1600 lumen, 15W LED light bulb. To the right is a module with an identical dome covering it I cut off another bulb.
It’s pretty apparent from this picture that the bulb on the left is much brighter than the module on the right

Next I held a box up halfway between the 2 lights. I adjusted the height so that the shadows are directly over each light.

At first this may be counter intuitive, but the lighter shadow on the left is over the brighter of the 2 lights, the 1600W LED bulb. It is important to realize that that shadow is cast by the module. The shadow on the right is cast by the bulb.
The darkness of the 2 shadows show the relative brightness of each light And from this picture it is obvious the bulb beats the module by a large margin!
Next I measured the wattage of each light. Believe it or not, the brighter of the 2 used half the watts! Further proof these modules SUCK.
LED bulb on left, module on right.

DoubleA
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heyho wrote:
Any idea what sort of heat sinking they will require? Don’t really want to be mounting fans, so will be looking at passive cooling.

64sq cm per watt is what I would recommend for passive cooling. But since these COBs are packing all their beads into a tight space I really recommend you go for active cooling with a fan on a CPU heatsink or similar. For active cooling I would say you need only about 14sq cm per watt. If you were using 3*20W COBs you could get away with passive cooling.

dchomak wrote:
The ones I ordered should have been rated at 50W with 4 driver chips on the right. I got modules with only 2 chips

That’s odd since each one of them BP chips can only handle about 10W of power. They could be using some other chips? can you confirm what chip the COBs you got are using?
Where did you buy it from, and which seller?

dchomak wrote:

Could you please show the PF reading for that COB ?

and on the first day he said "Let there be light"...

dchomak
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Yeah, the one Big Clive tested out had 2 chips. 1 on the left and 1 of 4 possible on the right.

The ones I have received so far do not have that chip on the left and only 2 of 4 possible on the right.

I ordered 50W versions, I expected to see all 5 chips mounted.
The ones I received came from here. they are now saying the 50W ones are out of stock. I received the 20W ones and they should have been 99 cents each.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/20W-30W-50W-LEDs-Floodlights-COB-Chip-110V-220V...

Here is a shot of the power factor.

my previous shot of the Wattage was wrong, that showed the VA, the Watts were really 28

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