Technology
Color temp tunable lamp prototype

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From the MAKE Flickr pool

Another interesting project from Flickr member jiskar – he’s developing a high-power LED light with adjustable color temperature.

The goal of this project is to develop an energy efficient lighting system that not only produces light, but that produces light with a color and spectrum that actually has a positive influence one one’s biological and mental state. Just like sunlight.
[…]
Humans reacts on the different colors and intensities of sunlight. It influences one’s biological clock by making feel awake or sleepy, it influences productivity and mood. A lot of research has been done on this topic and it shows that lighting can have significant impact on one’s state. You probably notice this yourself; when you’re working its nice to have bright white light and when you’re relaxing you like a cozy yellow light more.

Of course those high power LEDs produce a fair amount of heat, hence the impressive heat sink –

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The current iteration mixes the four LEDs via an ATTiny44’s PWM outputs. Should be interesting to see how this one turns out – if nothing else, it’ll make one heckuva custom desk lamp. Follow his progress on the Ledmodule wiki page.

8 thoughts on “Color temp tunable lamp prototype

  1. As this lamp outputs a few distinct wavelengths you can probably get a ‘correct’ color temperature, but there is no way to actually mimic sunlight.

    For that you need a continuous spectrum, which you can just not get with a few discrete LEDs.

    This makes the color of the light appear normal, but any reflections seem somehow ‘off-color’.

    LEDs have a lot of potential for lighting homes, but it also has its drawbacks. The spectrum being one of them.

  2. Clicking thru to the Wiki page reveals a really intersting, thoughtful post-mortem. You don’t usually see the inevitable warts honestly presented.

    Like with everything, it all seems so simple until you actually do it…

  3. This is a pretty cool idea and its a lot easier to implement now than before. About 10 years ago I found an article from a group of students at some university in CA that were doing the same thing. They used a much larger quantity of LEDs and were able to reproduce a variety of color temperatures accurately. The whole purpose was for photography as the color temp can drastically effect the outcome of the photo, especially with film.

    Their setup also cost much much more. So, its cool to see a DIY’er actually attempt this successfully.

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