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post #1 of (permalink) Old 07-05-2012, 05:32 AM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Vancouver, WA, USA
Posts: 545
DIY LED FAQ - Where to begin?

1. To begin, let me first state that I am not an expert.

I, like a good little parasite, have taken copious notes to keep track of all the info needed to build one of these things. The info was sourced from other hobbyists, vendor websites, and other DIY oriented information sources. After collecting these notes, it was suggested that a thread might be in order to share all of this info in one place.

I built this guide as a reference page for those like me who need to learn as much as they can about LEDs prior to undertaking a DIY build. There will be many mistakes in this first draft, but I have done my best to make this as clear and accurate as possible.

This is kind of like a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure book. It’s set up as a Q&A discussion with links to relevant sections. Start by considering your most important aspect of this project. I have provided a link to what I think is the most helpful info related to that aspect. I have attempted to provide as much info as I have learned in one location. Given the vast amount of information on this subject, I will be glad to add external links and expand, correct, or otherwise increase the utility of this info guide.

Again, I am not an expert. Consider me more of an archivist with some nominal practical experience (and thus a total nerd). I have compiled as much info as I can from those who are. I haven’t cited specific sources of info in this thread as it is not a scholarly paper, but just a humble FAQ.

A few shout-outs to the pioneers of this process who made mistakes so the rest of us don’t have to. They may not consider themselves experts, but their experiences and experiments have made some great contributions to our hobby.


(I'll add others as I remember them, as I know there are more!)


I will not accept responsibility for any projects, builds, experiments, plans, or explorations created by anyone using the information contained herein. This is YOUR build. The author claims no responsibility for any damage, injury, fire, explosion, alien invasion, supernatural habitation, spousal rage, second coming, paper cutting, molten formica, ruined pants, or other unfortunate circumstance resulting from the creation of a device using information from this guide. This resource is intended as research utility only!

That said: have fun!
Table of Contents
  1. Vocabulary
  2. Assess Priority
  3. Vendors
  4. Emitters
  5. Emitter Layout
  6. Optics/Reflectors
  7. Drivers
  8. Heatsink
  9. Controllers
  10. Wiring
  11. Build Threads and Other Helpful Links

Last edited by theblondskeleton; 07-18-2012 at 06:09 AM. Reason: Edit TOC
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