Convert old (1994 vintage) UK lights to LED?

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geoff w

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I searched but didn't see this specifically. I've got a couple of really old (early-mid '90s) UK lights with halogen bulbs from when we first got certified and needed lights for our advanced open water certification. I think one has 8 C cells and the other has 8 or 12 D cells, and the things burned so hot they could only be switched on under water. Each has a single halogen bulb.

Has anyone converted these to use multiple bright LEDs? If yes, any tips, pointers, references or directions? If no, any suggestions on doing a conversion, or where to start? I started realizing I could stuff a lot of superbright LEDs into the D-cell light and it would have a long burn time. As it is, these lights have just about no value otherwise and have been sitting in the closet for years
 

350xfire

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I searched but didn't see this specifically. I've got a couple of really old (early-mid '90s) UK lights with halogen bulbs from when we first got certified and needed lights for our advanced open water certification. I think one has 8 C cells and the other has 8 or 12 D cells, and the things burned so hot they could only be switched on under water. Each has a single halogen bulb.

Has anyone converted these to use multiple bright LEDs? If yes, any tips, pointers, references or directions? If no, any suggestions on doing a conversion, or where to start? I started realizing I could stuff a lot of superbright LEDs into the D-cell light and it would have a long burn time. As it is, these lights have just about no value otherwise and have been sitting in the closet for years

It can be done, but being a plastic housing the main problem will be thermal management. If you want to run say a single P7 or Cree MCE LED (10-12W), you can probably do OK if you build the right heatsink. However, for multiple high powered LEDs recommend an aluminum host to dissipate heat. Otherwise you will end up frying them.

So, yes, can be done with may be 1 high powered LED and limited run time. Would I personally do this, NO! There are better smaller hosts out there like the MagLite that you would be much happier with. Eight D cells and the space to house those is a lot of housing to carry around!

Hector
 

geoff w

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I searched around some more and found this thread on another forum where someone did manage to put 6 LEDs onto a heatsink and mount into a UK1200 (which is one of the lights I have). It doesn't sound like heat is an issue with this setup underwater. Anyone see this and try it?
 

DIWdiver

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The guy in the thread you linked certainly thinks it worked!

There are a number of options now, like the P7 mentioned by 350xfire, or an SST-50. I'm looking for an aluminum Darrell Allen light so I can put a couple of SST-90's in it and get 4000-6000 lm! That would melt the plastic light, but if a 12W halogen is okay, then 12W of LEDs are okay too.

The thermal protection is a good idea though, unless you can run some tests and verify that the heat isn't a problem. The halogen bulb can get really hot without damage. The LEDs cannot.
 

bronk

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Having built 4 LED lights so far, I would think if you stay in the 10w range with a decent aluminum heat sink inside. I think 1/4-3/8" aluminum disk the diameter of the housing you should be OK. This would give you 3 cree Q5 or equivalent . Run in series with 1A . More and you are likely going to exceed what you can safely dissipate though the plastic housing. My movie light with 3 SSC P7s (30w) definitely gets warm out of the water in a few minutes even with its aluminum housing.
 
https://www.shearwater.com/products/swift/

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