Portable High Power LED Test Setup

Discussion in 'The Projects Forum' started by retched, Mar 26, 2011.

  1. retched

    Thread Starter AAC Fanatic!

    Dec 5, 2009
    I have been doing a bunch a work with 1w and higher power LEDs lately and I have setup a neat little setup that is good for testing/sorting/troubleshooting and doing heat sink determinations/calculations.

    I have a known heat-sink that I can gauge the temperature to see the "real world" temp co. for any particular LED.

    The sink also has a clip on fan that can be run from a 9v battery.

    SO, here is the whole setup with a meter wired in series to monitor current draw:

    Here is the sink with a stick-on thermal transfer pad, this is the bare-bones with no ammeter. Just battery, regulator, sink and LED:

    Here is a neat little thing I did. I took a few dollar constant current LED driver using a PT4115. It easily accepts a PWM signal and has a 5000:1 dim ratio. I put a dent in the (+) Positive terminal of a 9v "transistor" battery so that the regulator holds snugly:

    A neat little thing to be sure you are heat-sinking your high-power LEDs while "playing around". Many people fail to realize just how quickly LEDs heat up.

    They can heat up and destroy themselves in the time it takes to tap the wire to the LED and pull it away.

    Also, the portability is great. Using a 9v battery gives you a safety margin by not allowing you to provide TOO much current at once and do TOO much damage. ;)
  2. russpatterson

    Active Member

    Feb 1, 2010
    Nice. wouldn't you want that LED board cemented to your heatsink? So your testing the temperature of the heatsink or the round board?
  3. R!f@@

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 2, 2009
    Like to see that PWM thingy. I am currently designing a sequencer.
    My design uses 4 level of led dimming. Since PWM is the option, I have to make stand alone PWM's.
    Since I like this to be as small as possible, I left that option open for now.

    I like to see what kinda components are out there that is just made for LED dimming.
    It has to be small and should run on 12V. A control or on/off input is a must.
  4. Wendy


    Mar 24, 2008
    Just a suggestion, make a pseudo high power LED to test the drivers. You don't want to burn up a 1W LED accidentally, as those are expensive.

    Here is how I did it a long while back...


    Project: High Power LED Flasher

    High-Power LED Flasher Warning, a really long thread, really long.