diy flood light questions

Hi, I am planning on building a xml work/floodlight, and am wondering what the best driver would be to power multiple xml led’s (5-10) off of a 12v deep cycle battery (can be higher than 12v when fully charged). I have looked at the 55w KD drivers an these seem to be the best solution so far but I am not sure if they can handle the input voltage. Does anybody have any experience with this type of project? I am trying to mimic something like this, but more powerful (Page Not Found - Thanks!

I somehow doubt you need more than 3 XM-Ls. Do you have any multi-XM-L lights like a DRY or King yet?

I ordered the 3t6 to play around with, i will probably end up running it off the 12v. I can make multiple 3xml floodlights if there is a driver that works well for this application, but I would prefer something REALLY bright, with many led’s in 1 somewhat durable waterproof housing mounted to my boat

if heat is an issue (it will be) i plan on mounting the stars to thick aluminum/heatsinks, and cool the whole unit with cpu fans, even if it isnt that waterproof

What exactly is it you need to light up? I would personally suggest using a DRY driver to drive XM-Ls in groups of 3.

the water. Clear to green water specifically, I can see the bottom in 4 or more feet of water no problem (currently, with a flashlight). So little to no throw is needed if i have enough light output. I currently use the generic 1 mode t6 drop in from manafont and it works ok, but it doesnt penetrate the water quite deep enough, and it could be way more flood. I occasionally use the UF 5 mode u2 and that gets deep enough. I want to run it off a deep cycle battery, so less power cables are better. my goal is to build a unit that can put out mass amounts of (neutral tint preferred but not needed) floody light using a 12v battery, and handle the heat given off, at a budget. my original plan was to use the KD 9 led driver for 7-8 xml led’s at around 10w each.
also, colder white and throwy beams do not work well here at all. I just get blinded by the reflections on the water and cant see anything. warm is good, but bright is more important.
thanks for the quick responses!

Ok, then nuetral is definitely the way to go. Be warned this is going to generate massive amounts of heat. I measured 275 degrees from a 30w flashlight and this is going to be more powerful. You will almost definitely need fans to keep this think running.

im thinking (i took ideas from recent diy posts) a rectangular 4 sided (2 sideplates removable) auminum enclosure, with fans ran along the opening on one removable side, and the heatsinks in the middle, with fins allowing air to flow from one opening to the other. led and optics will be mounted to heatsinks. holes drilled out front just big enough to fit optics, but be waterproof. driver somewhere n there, and the sideplates can be put back on in case waterproof function is needed. (low mode or put light away)

the only main questons now is what driver to use and where to find cheap nw led’s. i planned on using the DD xml’s for $4 (lots of them, id make a few of these for my boat if it works well)

You could use a Taskled driver; B3flex for 3 LEDs or HBflex for 5 or more. 4 is gray area, probably H6flex 2s2p. A 3A Sharkbuck from Sandwich Shoppe would also work for up to 3 LEDs and I think they can be paralled for more. I’ve been playing with 105C drivers and have been able to mod one to run 3xml in series from 12v supply. See this thread.

The DD xmls are not Neutral, and they come from DD which isn't exactly dependable. I would reccomend illumination supply which has a large selection for around 9 dollars each.

would this work, powering 7-9 leds off a 12v deep cycle 9 (even if the battery would output more than 12v at full charge)

The only way to find out would be to test it. From looking at the specs it should work. I say this because it is a boost driver and a higher voltage just means less work for it.

could i power less than 9 leds off it, or would that burn them out?

It has to be 9. However there is also a 7 XM-L version and a 5 XM-L version.

also, how (generally) is a driver heatsinked? it would be inside an aluminum box and would get some airflow.

Generally it is a good idea to pot the driver. That means fill all the air around with with something conductive of heat. This is generally Fujik, you can buy a tube off of DX.

so a good idea would be to pot it to a cpu heatsink, then have air flow through that for cooling?

Yeah, that sounds like it should work. Just make sure that is a separate heatsink from the LEDs.

thank you so much for the help! I will probably bug you guys again on here once i get the project moving along :bigsmile: