Garage Opener Light


Time to change the garage door opener light. Originally meant for two 50W "appliance bulbs" I'd been running a CFL or two in there. Work great, but take forever to come up to full brightness in the cold. Plus they're just so wasteful! For 12W, I get as much light as the original 100W of incandescent offered - and it is instant-on and vibration-resistant.

First, V1: Two strings of six Cree XRE emitters running in parallel off a 700 mA Xitanium driver.

I tried running the lights without the plastic diffuser. It certainly threw more light out this way - but the diffuser throws it out to the sides much better - where I typically need it more! Plus it just looks more finished with the diffuser in place. Everything is hidden.

Nothing much to see. These are taken with the light "on" and with camera flash on.

And while that was great, V2 was in order. I added a second Xitanium driver (This one a 350 mA) and strung nine more emitters pointing out of the exterior. Three emitters pointing North, two pointing West. (Yes, I could clean up the wires better. Lots of them now!)

And three more emitters pointing South.

Then, just to be fancy, I popped one red into the down-firing mix. Softens up the light considerably, and I had the extra headroom available on with the new driver. Just created more wires, is all! This is the only emitter that I have glued into place. Everything else is screwed in. Oh, and you can see that I moved the driver up to the top of the motor housing too. It was blocking a bit of the light coming out the side. Don't need that!

and finally, the result. Yup, it is like daytime in here! Just about all the light on that far wall is produced from the three Crees firing in that direction. Made a huge difference when trying to find something on those shelves in the dark. The lens fires down and lights up the cars just fine. But what I mostly need the light for is everything else!. The next and final step is to add motion-sensing control (on order!). And then I'm all set. Grand total is 21 emitters, so this should be in the neighborhood of 2000+ lumens from 23 watts. But the real secret is now the light being produced is going where it does the most good.


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