How to make your own LED bulbs

Reducing the energy you consume in your home and with it saving on your electric bill and emissions has a lot to do with using LED bulbs. If you are aware of these aspects and, in addition, you like to create all (or at least part) of what you need for your home with your own hands, we will tell you how to make your own LED bulbs. While this will take some time and can test your patience, this project will give you hours and hours of long-lasting home lighting.

Materials and tools required.

  • One halogen bulb without a glass cover on the front. You can use a reused one or buy a new one.

  • LED spotlights, as many as you might think, but beware, if you go past 22 the job can be tough.

  • Superglue or other compound glue.

  • Soldering iron and cable for soldering.

  • A small piece of 0.2 millimeter aluminum foil.

  • A hole punch.

  • Internet access to consult http://led.linear1.org/led.wiz to calculate the range of light. This will allow you to estimate the resistances you will need.

Manufacturing step by step.

First step: empty the ampoule.

The first thing to do is to remove the cement finish from the base of the bulb. To do this, the ideal would be to use a small screwdriver. As soon as you start this task, you will see how this finish looks as a fine powder. Do this carefully so as not to damage the bulb.

Second step: detach the bulb from the bulb.

Once you’ve removed as much of the finish as you can, tap the pegs of the bulb with a hammer. Do it carefully, but firmly. The bulb inside the bulb should come off and fall on the table you are working on. This will make the reflector empty.

Third step: prepare the support.

To make your bulb holder, you will need a template. If you don’t have it, you can find the one you need here. Keep in mind that the size of the disc will be whatever you decide, and the more bulbs the bigger the disc should be.

The first thing to do is to print the model and cut out the one you are going to use. Place it on the aluminum foil and glue it.

Then take the sheet and make the holes with a hole punch. To do this, keep the piece upside down and insert both the aluminum and the jig you glued. While this operation can take a long time, it doesn’t have to be complicated.

Step 4: Find out how to connect the LEDs.

In this step you will have to pay attention to how you will have to connect the LEDs. To do this, consult http://led.linear1.org/led.wiz. Once you have entered your settings, you will get the most suitable solution. In the picture you can see the one that was supplied for this project with 22 LEDs and 12 volts.

Step Five: Assemble the LED board.

Place the aluminum disc on a surface where it can hold firmly. Once you have it, insert the LEDs into the holes with the legs facing out, so that a cathode is next to an anode. If you do not follow this step, when welding you will have much more difficulty.

Secure each LED with glue, being very careful not to apply it to the legs as this will also complicate the soldering.

Step 6: Connect the LEDs.

Once you are done with all of the LEDs, apply glue around each one to strengthen the attachment. Wait for it to dry well before continuing.

Then, with pliers or a similar tool, cut off the LED feet. To do this, keep in mind that immediately after that you will have to bend an anode over the next cathode and so on until everything is connected. To avoid confusion, you can use a multimeter.

At this point, there will be five rows with four LEDs in each of them. In addition, another will only be added to two. The number of rows and LEDs will change based on the indications you got in step four.

If you have inserted the LEDs so that the cathode is next to the next anode, you will be happy with that in this phase of the project, where you will have to solder line by line. When you are done with one, keep the final steps at different measurements to more easily identify the positive and negative.

Step 7: Solder the frame.

Fold the longer legs as you see in the photo and weld them so that all the plus points are connected. Then you will need to solder the resistors vertically with the negatives. Try to do this as quickly as possible, as any excess heat can damage the LEDs.

There will still be some soldering work, since you will then need to solder the resistors together so that there is a single negative for all rows on the board. Finally, solder the end legs with copper wire.

If you want to strengthen the structure, you can do it with a glue gun, although welding should be enough.

Eighth step: Join the headphones and the disc.

Now retrieve the helmet from the bulb and place the disc inside. Push until the disc touches the inner reflector. Once you’ve done that, apply glue. Make sure the disc is securely attached so that the pieces do not come off. After the glue dries, write down the positive and negative, as well as the voltage, with a marker.

Step 9: Check that everything is working.

All you have to do is cut the legs so that the size is the same as the original LEDs and you’re done. Before you sing the victory, make sure the light bulb is working and now the project is ready. If the idea appealed to you, remember that you can put it into practice with light bulbs of all colors and types, although you will need to factor in voltage and current when calculating resistors.

Original project in Instructables.