Mirror lights

When you feel depressed for your personal situation, there are many things you can do to stand up again and don’t think about it. Myself, what makes me feel better most of the time is bricolage. Just making a new hole for a frame, or recabling a power plug, or changing the disposition of my room. Today, it was changing the ceiling light in my bathroom.

Let’s skip over the fact that my neighbour had a new ceiling light at home, and just focus on why I wanted to change mine: the previous one was quite small and a fluorescent light wouldn’t fit, and the bathroom was the last room in the house with an incandescent bulb. Well beside a couple of desk lamps that are never turned on.

I’m not sure if it’s a testosterone thing or whatever, but punching holes on the ceiling with a 18V battery drill is something that makes me feel powerful. Am I a freak? Probably.

Anyway what I want to hear others’ opinions about is about the lights of the mirror: right now it has two E14 screws, with just one 15W incandescent bulb in it, I used it mostly while shaving (as the 75W incandescent light on the ceiling wasn’t good enough) or when I didn’t need much lighting and this was a nice power saving. Now, the fluorescent light takes 20W, so I’ll probably just turn that one on, as it has better performances when compared to the amount of light, and it shouldn’t be much of an issue while shaving.

Even if the need for the mirror light is now quite reduced, it doesn’t mean I’ll never have to use it. Sometimes you need some more near lightsource to look for instance at a broken nail. It bugs me to have to use a 15W bulb for so little light. First I thought to replace the lights with some kind of halogen bulb, but even if those have way better performances, they still consume quite a bit. I don’t need so much light, I just need to reduce the power consumption.

Then an idea was in my mind: I have a sort of flashlight in a three-in-one tool (screwdriver and spirit level are the other two tools); the light tool uses a LED, supplied by a button battery, and has quite some autonomy. This convinced me that the best thing for my mirror lights would be a LED-based light system.

Now, do you think there are already kits to set up LED lights on a mirror closet? Are there LED-based bulbs that just need a socket and a controller? Are those 220V supplied, or should I decide for something battery-based? Any pointer and suggestion is very welcome.

13 thoughts on “Mirror lights

  1. Most power efficient are the fluorescent tubes. LEDs come close to the good incadescents at the moment, which also goes for the halogens.With fluo lamps one must factor in power efficiency of the invertor circuit, but this is rarely a problem with small fluo screw-in replacements for incandescents.My advice would be. use fluo lamps with good electronic inveerter wherever and whenever possible. Just don’t use them with old inductor choke and gas bulb” starter as those have high losses.Everything else is inferior at the moment- power efficiency-wise.Above all, forget about LEDs. They might come on their own in a few years, but they are not there yet.

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  2. The problem is, there is just not enough space where I need the light for fluorescent lamps. And I’d just need temporary immediate light, doesn’t sound like a good use case for fluorescent lights. That’s why I thought about LEDs, they might not produce enough light, but that’s okay, I don’t need *so* much light :)

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  3. I did something similar with LEDs for an article in my magazine.I took a cheap adjustable table lense with fluo lights (thing that you screw on the table and adjust in front of your face when doing something delicate, like inspecting some tiny electronic circuit etc).I took the fluos out and replaced them with some 130 yellow LEDs (needed yellow light) connected in series.LEDs have to be current driven, as they change resistance too drastically when in working regime to be voltage driven as small voltage change can make big current change and kill the LED.Ordinary LED usually can work up to 20 mA of current and viltage at that point depends on many factors, but mainly on nature and colour of the LED.Mine yellow ones did 20 mA when voltage on the led was 2,28V.I connected some 125 of them in series, which meant 2,28V x125=285V DC for the whole chain.Mains voltage is 220V AC here and when you rectify it with greatz and smooth it with eleoctrolytic cap, you get something like 300V.From there it is not too hard to make electronics which would drop that excess 15V volts.With white LEDs you would have different required voltage per LED ( higher) and so could use fewer LEDs in the chain.It’s not the best solution in the terms of efficiency and mains regulation, but for its purpose its more than enough.You could also take a look ta Osram’s powerfull LumiLeds, that can put out several W per LED and are much more compact than array of simple LEDs.Otherwise maybe CCFL lamp with electronics from some dead LCD monitor wouldn’t be half bad solution…It works quite nice,

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  4. Diego,Let me know whats been up. A bit worried about you since you’ve been online in no way lately. And hearing depression doesn’t help matters.Joshua

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  5. Hi all Diego Blog’s readers.I am his friend and have bad news.I already knew Diego is in hospital since 13 August in intensive theraphy section.Tomorrow I’ll go to see him.I’m sorry for my english, I’m upset…

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  6. Hi.I haven’t seen Diego today because only his relatives can see him.He is seriously ill.If you want, for me will be a pleasure to convey your greetings do Diego, if I’ll see him.P.S. for any question send me an email to diego[at]sepham[dot]com, if I can, I’ll ask you.

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  7. P.P.S. sorry, at the end of previous comment I made a bad copy-paste writing the message… if I can, I’ll ANSWER you.bye

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  8. Dear Diego, we don’t know what happened, but we hope you get well soon, everyone of us wishes you the very best. Greetings from all over the world.–The Amarok Team

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  9. Diego,Sorry to hear that you are ill…things must be pretty serious if only your relatives can visit. Hopefully you will get better soon!!Greetings from the UK.

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