Recently I build a pendant LED light for my ADA mini M. I like to share my build in the hope it might help other DIY enthusiasts. I myself have learned a lot from other people who posted their build on this and other forums. The main reasons to build a pedant LED light myself are that I love to making things, to save money and to have a light which meet all my requirements. English is not my native language so on forehand my apologies for the mistakes in spelling and grammar.
As a light source I choose to use five cool white Cree XPG R5 LEDs. As a power source I used two 900 mA constant current LED drivers. One drives two LEDs, the other three. The main reason to use two LED drivers was because I was (and still am) afraid that five Cree XML LEDs might be a bit too much. In this way I can turn on five three or two LEDs by simply turning on one of the two or both drivers. This, in combination with the ability to raise the pendant light makes the light intensity easily adjustable without the use of expensive dimmable LED drivers.
Each LED has a power consumption of approximately 2.8W (rated at 900mA) and a brightness of approximately 320lm. So the total fixture has a power consumption of 14W and a brightness of 1600lm. This is comparable to the ADA aquasky 361, which had a power consumption of 17W and a brightness of 1450-1550 lumens. This is not surprisingly because I intended to match the specifications of this LED light.
I really like the slim design of the ADA aquasky series but I prefer the looks of a pendant light. Also, I think it looks messy when the power cord is visible, as with the ADA aquasky. I tried to combine those items in my design while keeping the fixture fairly easy to build with standard tools.
My design is basically a sandwich of three 3mm thick aluminum plates, fully enclosing the five LEDs. The top plate contains four holes for the suspension of the light by four thin wires witch simultaneously act as power cords for the LEDs. The five LEDs are glued with thermal paste to the underside of the top plate which acts as a heat sink. The middle plate has a slot in order to house the LEDs. The lower plate has five holes in it in order to allow the light to the outside. The top plate is glued to the middle plate and the middle plate is screwed to the lower plate.
- 2 10watt LED drivers 11 USD
- 5 cree XPG R5 12 USD
- 1 Thermal Conductive plaster 1 USD
- Aluminum 10 USD
- Total expense 34 USD
Regarding the total expense, it should be taken into account that I already had wire, solder, screws, glue, etc lying around. The total expense can significantly increase if you have to buy such miscellaneous items.
The final result
I’m very happy with the final result. I like how the minimalistic design looks in real life; also the finishing of the fixture looks pretty neat. The top plate (heatsink) gets quite hot to the touch though, but is still touchable; I guess it is about 45 Celsius when the LEDs are on. The five LEDs are incredibly bright and I am concerned that it might be a bit too much for the small Mini M. I intend to have a high tech setup but I have no experience with this whatsoever. Maybe someone can give me some advice on this point?