Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Best Lightbulb Ever

My wife will tell you that I have a real obsession with lighting. I just like tinkering around with various lights. For Christmas I got the most expensive little lightbulb I've ever seen, an EverLED. ($40 and no, I'm not getting any kickback from the EverLED people.)

Like the Princeton Tec EOS I blogged about last week, this is a 1 Watt Luxeon LED plus some circuitry but the EverLED crams all the smarts into a little package the size of a conventional PR flange bulb. So I get to mess around with putting the bulb in various housings, trying out various beam patterns and battery packs. The EverLED can run on anything from one to six batteries and it regulates the voltage and current to draw the most from your batteries while giving nice, white light of a constant brightness. When it's drained the batteries, it just winks out and you really don't get any warning, so you want to make sure you've got backup batteries and something handy like a helmet light but this really is a nifty device. Some pretty cheap flashlights and inexpensive halogen bike lights actually have pretty good reflectors and this very expensive bulb lets you tinker to your hearts content.

9 comments:

Jimbob said...

Kent,

I saw this lightbulb talked about on the Topica randon lists back in December. The folks felt that the Bisy lamp from PJW had good reflectors and were affordable. LED technology is definetely getting better and better.

Jim

Tammy said...

Hey there friend... You've been tagged. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is on my blog. :)

Keasty said...

Thanks Kent. We pick up our bike in Miami on 15 March, and I haven't even thought about lighting! Guess I just need some basic stuff. I'll bring our "helmet lights" with us so at least we'll have those.

Kent Peterson said...

Hey Tammy,

I responded to your challenge over on your blog. People will have to go over there to find out all the interesting bits of Kent-trivia!

-JimG said...

Kent, where did you buy your EverLed?

Kent Peterson said...

I got mine from the folks at C. Crane

http://www.ccrane.com/

Prices seem about the same everywhere and the C. Crane folks have a lot of cool radio stuff in their catalog as well.

Kent

-jimg said...

Kent,

Thanks for the source link. Now I'm very curious! One thing I've just read is that these bulb-replacement LEDs tend to get HOT and need a heatsink -- one website mentioned favoring Maglite-brand flashlights due to their all metal construction for heat conduction. Wonder what would happen if I stuck this bulb in my cheap Vistalite Road Toad?

Brad said...

Does it have to use a battery or can it get by on a generator?

Kent Peterson said...

About the heat thing, I think both the EverLED and the Princeton Tec EOS bias their circuits more towards maximal battery life versus pushing the LED to the max power levels. It's at the max that these things throw out a lot of heat. I'm running the EverLED in a cheap Bell headlight right now (similar to the Road Toad) and haven't had any problems with the reflector melting or anything.

As to running the EverLED off a generator, you'd have to rectify the current. Generators put out AC and LEDs need DC. In fact, they make a couple versions of the EverLED, the more common one has the plus terminal at the tip, but they make another one where the tip is negative. It depends on the layout of the batteries in your fashlight or headlight.

The EverLED circuit is really optimized for batteries. If you are going to run an LED off a generator, there are other lights based on the one Watt Luxeon that are designed for just that purpose.

Kent