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Gadget Freak Case #230: The Inexpensive Dimmable LED Desk Lamp

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JustAnotherEngineer
User Rank
Iron
Have you solved the power dissipation problem?
JustAnotherEngineer   12/3/2012 9:15:32 AM
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As a casual observer of LED happenings, it seems that you  have eliminated the biggest problem that LED manufacturers are having:  how to get rid of the heat from the electronics.  Pretty neat.

armorris
User Rank
Platinum
Model railroading
armorris   12/2/2012 12:07:17 PM
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I have a friend who is a member of a model railroading club. He wants to replace hundreds of small energy-hogging incandescent bulbs with LEDs. He is currently using triac-based dimmers. As long as he uses an isolation transformer or completely insulates all wiring, my circuit will be a safe and simple solution to his problem. I'm going to help him with that.

armorris
User Rank
Platinum
The lamp is still available
armorris   12/1/2012 10:39:46 PM
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I just received an almost identical lamp from Amazon.com.

Globe Electric 5240101 Fluorescent Desk Lamp, Black

The lamp is identical to the one I demonstrated in the video, except that it is black. This lamp body is ideal for the LED conversion and it costs under $15 plus shipping. I like its compact footprint and the fact that it can be folded or rotated to shine light in any direction. I bought the last one they have in stock, but Amazon says that more are on the way.

Rob Spiegel
User Rank
Blogger
Re: You could create your own lamp.
Rob Spiegel   11/30/2012 9:19:36 PM
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Good idea, Chuck. Last year, the slide show of holiday lights was very impressive. This year it should be even better.

armorris
User Rank
Platinum
Re: It's just what I need.
armorris   11/30/2012 8:18:14 PM
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Because the LEDs are very directional, the lamp can illuminate your reading material very brightly if desired, without lighting up the room, disturbing your spouse's sleep.

armorris
User Rank
Platinum
Re: You could create your own lamp.
armorris   11/30/2012 8:15:15 PM
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The isolation transformer is not actually part of the project. It is a safety device for people who breadboard and test line-powered circuits that are not isolated from the power line. You should have an isolation transformer already if you do this kind of work. The components that are part of the lamp itself are quite cheap. If you just build the circuit and don't breadboard it or test it with anything but a voltmeter, you won't need an isolation transformer.

NadineJ
User Rank
Platinum
Re: It's just what I need.
NadineJ   11/30/2012 7:25:34 PM
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This is cool for bedside use too.  You can dim it enough so that it doesn't disturb your spouse and still read.  Nicely done!

Charles Murray
User Rank
Blogger
Re: You could create your own lamp.
Charles Murray   11/30/2012 6:33:32 PM
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Nice application, Andrew. Looks like the only significant cost here was the isolation transformer, at $21. By the way, if you or any reader has a good LED holiday light application, please send me a photo. As we did last year, we'll be running good photos of LED light strings at the holidays. Send to charles.murray@ubm.com.   

armorris
User Rank
Platinum
Re: You could create your own lamp.
armorris   11/30/2012 11:55:57 AM
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Thanks for the kind words. I'm a retired electrical engineer, living alone with nothing else to do. I don't sit around looking for stuff to create. It just happens. I see a want or need and create a solution. This blog needs more gadget submissions from other people. My ugly face is showing up a bit too often. :-)

Tim
User Rank
Platinum
Re: You could create your own lamp.
Tim   11/30/2012 11:09:48 AM
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Good job in creating what you need. It looks like it will last for many years. I have built standard incadescen lamps for family gifts, but next year, I might switch to LED. Great article.

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