Results of this Project
The results of this project were very promising. The LED lamp was tested against fairly new Sylvania 32 watt Octron T8 fluorescent lamp. This is one of the best quality fluorescent lamps on the market, which makes this test very ambitious. The graphs shown below show the illuminance of the LED lamp in various confiurations in comparison to the fluorescent lamp.
The first test was to determine the efficiency of the homemade diffuser. The diffuser was created by sanding a fluorescent tube protector with a high-grit landpaper to give it a matte finish. This is not an ideal diffuser, and therefor it was necessary to determine the efficiency of it. The results show that it is over 90% efficient which means that the impact of the diffuser is not easily noticed.
Fluorescent Lamp vs. First Generation LED Lamp
The second test was to determine how the LED lamp would compare to the fluorescent lamp without a diffuser. The graph below demonstrates the directionality of LEDs through the large peak directly beneath the lamp.
Fluorescent Lamp vs. Diffused First Generation LED Lamp
The third test was to determine how diffusing the LED lamp would affect its scattering throughout the room.
Fluorescent Lamp vs. Second Generation LED Lamp
The light output of the first generation is very usable, but the goal of matching a 32 watt T8 fluorescent tube was still not reached. To reach the goal, a proof of concept lamp was created with 210 LEDs. This is not the mose effective way of increasing light output, but there were still 500 extra LEDs from the first generation lamps. The ideal way of increasing light intensity would be to swap the LEDs in favour of more efficient ones which has no effect on energy consumption. This lamp was never connected to the current regulator due to the immense heat that would be created. This lamp was driven by a current limited bench power supply that was calibrated to the exact required current using a digital multimeter.
Fluorescent Lamp vs. Diffused Second Generation LED Lamp
To combat the huge peak of light created in the previous test, the light was diffused to provide even illumination to the entire room. This graph shows that the goal was still not fully reached with even 210 LEDs. The best solution to this would be to order higher quality LEDs.
The final comment on LEDs as a method of lighting is that it is definitely a possiible successor to fluorescent technology. The diodes ordered for this project were extremely cheap which comes at the cost of lower light intensity. The diodes at LED shoppe are acceptable for this project, but you may want to research different suppliers and compare specifications.