This is an aircraft light I designed a few years back. I decided to make a tutorial for it so others can make and hopefully continue to improve the design. The light is base around CREE’s XM-L or XHP-70 LED.
- CREE X-ML2 or XHP70 mounted on 20mm copper MCPCB.
- 20x20mm star shaped heat-sink.
- 21mm reflector for XM-L.
- 20-24awg wires.
- Some heat-sink glue or paste.
- A 3D printed mount.
First, solder on the wires to the MCPCB, try to keep solder near the external edges to make place of the reflector.
Insert the lens in the 3D printed mount.
Apply paste to the back of the MCPCB and place it on the heat-sink. Those heat-sinks have holes for screw mounting, try to align the MCPCB with those holes like in the picture.
Slide in the LED and heat-sink guiding the mount’s rail in the heat-sink’s holes. Make sure the LED goes into the reflector, press firmly and let the paste dry. (The reflector entry will need to be enlarged for the XHP-70)
The light is now ready to be powered. LEDs cannot be connected directly to a battery, you need to limit the current. A resistor for a XM-L2 will need to be huge, a LED driver must be used instead. Around 3A model for a XM-L2 and up to 6A if you choose the mighty XHP-70.
The lamp need airflow and a good deal of it, fortunately aircraft tend to have plenty. Be cautious powering the lamp without airflow for more than 20-30sec. With the XHP-70 at 6A, this is even shorter.
We had taskLED design custom driver for us: the RC6Flex. A 6.6A capable buck driver that can be dimmed via a RC channel. Very useful not to overheat the lamp setting up the aircraft or saving batteries when the light is not or less needed.