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Seven Component Regulated LED Lamp

Circuit board installed in an automotive lamp holder, attached to a fluorescent lamp base

Seven Component Regulated LED Lamp


Updated March, 2003

Introduction
This is a minimal parts lamp made with four white LEDs. It features regulated light output from 10V to around 20V and works well as a flashlight.

Specifications
Nominal Operating Voltage: 12V DC Operating Current: 40ma

Theory
The LM317L and resistor act as a current regulator set to 40ma. Current flows from the battery through one pair of LEDs, through the regulator, through the other pair of LEDs, and back to the battery. The capacitor filters out noise on the power supply lines. The LED pairs must be matched so that the current through them is roughly equivalent. Small resistors could be placed in series with each of the four LEDs to improve the balance, but the parts count would go way up.

Construction
There is one trick with this circuit, matched pairs of LEDs must be used. Normally, a batch of LEDs from the same manufacturer will be matched close enough for this application. If unmatched LEDs are used, one LED per pair will be bright and the other one will be dim. It is best to first build the circuit on a plug-in proto board to verify that the LEDs light evenly. A small circuit board was made using press-n-peel blue film, the board was cut into a circular shape using a nibbling tool. The parts were soldered in, and the board was mounted inside of the bottle cap. The bottle cap protects the LEDs and prevents bright light from coming out of the side of the assembly. The cap came from a 1 Liter "Aqua Fina" brand water bottle. The single screw can be used to mount the assembly to an external bracket. The completed circuit board and cap assembly was mounted in an old automobile turn signal. The lamp head was mounted onto the end of an old fluorescent lamp base with a goose neck adjustable arm. The resulting lamp is quite effective for night reading, and it's not too ugly.

Alignment
If you have a variable power supply, it is best to bring the voltage up slowly the first time power is applied to the circuit. If any of the LEDs don't light, turn off the power and fix the problem. If all of the LEDs light up evenly, the circuit should work (for many years) on 12V.

Use
Connect this circuit to a 12V battery or power supply, be sure to observe the correct polarity. The LEDs should put out a bright white light. You can read by this light, and it is useful for emergency illumination. The low current draw allows it to run for many hours on a battery.

Parts
4x 1x 1x 1x 1x 1x 2x white LEDs (matched), T1-3/4 size 30 ohm 1/4 W resistor 0.1uF capacitor LM317L adjustable voltage regulator plastic bottle top from a water bottle (1 liter Aqua Fina brand) 4-40 3/8" screw 4-40 nuts

PostScript file for PC board Jpeg file for PC board (10X) The Jpeg version may need scaling down, the circle is slightly less than 1" tall.

Parts Sources
Jameco 1-800-831-4242 http://www.jameco.com/ Digi-Key 1-800-DIGIKEY http://www.digikey.com/

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Chaos
We borrow a working definition for chaos theory from Dr. Stephen Kellert: The Qualitative Study of Unstable Aperiodic Behavior in Deterministic Nonlinear dynamical systems. I should briefly dissect some of these terms to better describe what is and what is not chaotic in nature:

Chaos is qualitative in that it seeks to know the general character of a system's long-term behavior, rather than seeking numerical predictions about a future state. What characteristics will all solutions of a system exhibit? How does this system change from exhibiting one behavior to another? Chaotic systems are unstable since they tend not to resist any outside disturbances but instead react in significant ways. In other words, they do not shrug off external influences but are partly navigated by them.

The variables describing the state of a system do not demonstrate a regular repetition of values and are therefore aperiodic. This unstable aperiodic behavior is highly complex since it never repeats and continues to show the effects of the disturbance(s).

These systems are deterministic because they are made up of few, simple differential equations, and make no references to implicit chance mechanisms. This is not to be completely equated with the metaphysical or philosophical idea of determinism (that human choices could be predetermined as well).

Finally, a dynamic system is a simplified model for the time-varying behavior of an actual system. These systems are described using differential equations specifying the rates of change for each variable.

Edward Lorenz would stretch the definition of chaos to include phenomena that are slightly random, provided that their much

greater apparent randomness is not a by-product of their slight true randomness. In other words, real-world processes that appear to be behaving randomly - perhaps the falling leaf or the flapping flag - should be allowed to qualify as chaos, as long as they would continue to appear random even if any true randomness could somehow be eliminated.

What this means is when we make slight changes to a system at one time, and the later behavior of the system may soon become completely different. In Lorenz' meteorological computer modeling, he discovered the foundation of mainstream chaos: that simply-formulated systems with few variables could display highly complex behavior that was unpredictable and unforseeable. He saw that slight differences in one variable had profound effects on the outcome of the whole system. In Chaos parlance, this is referred to as sensitive dependence on initial conditions. In real

weather situations, this could mean the development of a front or pressure-system where there never would have been one in previous models. In differential plotting this took on a new form called a strange attractor (see figure 1). Initial conditions need not be the ones that existed when a system was created, but may be the ones at the beginning of any stretch of time that interests an investigator.

Exhibits

||

Lexicon

||

Timeline

The Exploratorium, 1996

Chaos

We borrow a working definition for chaos theory from Dr. Stephen Kellert: The Qualitative Study of Unstable Aperiodic Behavior in Deterministic Nonlinear dynamical systems. I should briefly dissect some of these terms to better describe what is and what is not chaotic in nature:

Chaos is qualitative in that it seeks to know the general character of a system's long-term behavior, rather than seeking numerical predictions about a future state. What characteristics will all solutions of a system exhibit? How does this system change from exhibiting one behavior to another? Chaotic systems are unstable since they tend not to resist any outside disturbances but instead react in significant ways. In other words, they do not shrug off external influences but are partly navigated by them.

The variables describing the state of a system do not demonstrate a regular repetition of values and are therefore aperiodic. This unstable aperiodic behavior is highly complex since it never repeats and continues to show the effects of the disturbance(s).

These systems are deterministic because they are made up of few, simple differential equations, and make no references to implicit chance mechanisms. This is not to be completely equated with the metaphysical or philosophical idea of determinism (that human choices could be predetermined as well).

Finally, a dynamic system is a simplified model for the time-varying behavior of an actual system. These systems are described using differential equations specifying the rates of change for each variable.

Edward Lorenz would stretch the definition of chaos to include phenomena that are slightly random, provided that their much

greater apparent randomness is not a by-product of their slight true randomness. In other words, real-world processes that appear to be behaving randomly - perhaps the falling leaf or the flapping flag - should be allowed to qualify as chaos, as long as they would continue to appear random even if any true randomness could somehow be eliminated.

What this means is when we make slight changes to a system at one time, and the later behavior of the system may soon become completely different. In Lorenz' meteorological computer modeling, he discovered the foundation of mainstream chaos: that simply-formulated systems with few variables could display highly complex behavior that was unpredictable and unforseeable. He saw that slight differences in one variable had profound effects on the outcome of the whole system. In Chaos parlance, this is referred to as sensitive dependence on initial conditions. In real

weather situations, this could mean the development of a front or pressure-system where there never would have been one in previous models. In differential plotting this took on a new form called a strange attractor (see figure 1). Initial conditions need not be the ones that existed when a system was created, but may be the ones at the beginning of any stretch of time that interests an investigator.

Exhibits

||

Lexicon

||

Timeline

The Exploratorium, 1996