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Designability Ecolamp project

Discussion in 'Design and technology' started by zglw, Jan 18, 2012.

  1. http://www.designability.com.au/projects/ecolamp_gallery.asp

    I found this project idea from a link from another thread on here and thought it would make a really good Yr 9 product design project. The only problem has been costing it, as the 12V adaptor they suggest is coming in at around £8.00 minimum in the UK. I have contacted Designability - who are based in Australia, they have theirs manufactured in China for about £2.00 each. They have said that they would be happy to organise UK distribution but would need to order in a minimum of 3000.
    I would need a maximum of round 600 (based on a project running for three years) Is anyone else interested?
    BTW I have sourced details of a company that can produce the LED strips in this country for around £8 a meter.
  2. I have been looking at this project and it looks awesome, I have been meaning to do costing as we are poor....I'd definitely be interested if the cost per pupil was low enough....how low do you think it can go? :)
  3. not got an exact figure - I think around £5. Which is what is spent on electronic projects - about time PD was upgraded in my school. Needs 600mm aluminium, Jarrah base - is this a bit of wood????, screws, heat shrink (steal from electronics cupboard after 4pm!) inline switches (no idea how much), Flexible LED strip (£8.00 meter - presuming 100mm per pupil).
    I would be asking pupils to pay towards the cost of the power pack...
  4. Does it need to be 12v? If you get the pupils to bring in old phone chargers they can be recycled and used as power supplies, normally providing about 6v which is enough to power some high intensity LEDs. Just a matter of chopping the phone plug off the and identifying the positive and negative wires inside with a multimeter.
  5. bigpedro

    bigpedro New commenter

    that is beautiful!

    its very very do-able but as said above, its gonna be pricey!
    It depends how you're going to do it, Ali is gonna be the major expense especially when the kids bend it beyond recognition, most LED strips are going to be 12v and expensive.
    If it was me, i'd be building bespoke LED strips using acrylic, that sticky copper tape stuff and LEDs which i'd charge for individually if they wanted more than 3 (which would be plenty anyway)
    By using my own LEDs which run at 3 - 4.5v i could use recycled phone chargers as stated above and adjust the resistance in the circuit depending on the output of each individual charger.
    Its a good starting point though, lovely looking product!
  6. I would put this in as a KS4 project as its expensive for a KS3 project, 200 pupils x £5 = £1000, thats 60% of my budget gone before I've started.
    I too have been investigating this product and looked at Kitroniks for the LED strips and 12v mains power plug.
    Also, look at the USB colour changing light from kitroniks as this could be adapted for the project. You will only get 1 LED but it would be colour changing and it starts at just under £2...... just a thought.
  7. Yes - I got the Klictronic catalogue yesterday afternoon and noticed it then...:) Looking at Yr 9 as seeing it as an investment for KS4 PD and raising the quality of pupils (started looking at this approach last year and now have a far more able set of Yr 10 groups compared to our normal intake) that opt for the subject. My dept is quite well funded (dont tell them that though) compared to others, but I had every intention of selling the powerpacks to pupils to help cover the cost.
  8. I've seen this project done with Yr9 when I was on placement, except that they were using vacuum formed plastic for the base.
    The schools technician had printed PCBs to run 3 LEDS off of a 9V battery
    It was a nice project, apart from the quality of the vacuuming :/
  9. I notice a couple of people have mentioned that Kitronik stock both the LED strips and power supplies. The strips have cut points at 5 cm intervals, so if cut to 10 cm would a row of give 6 LEDs and if you are buying a full reel would work out at 90p per student, see:
    We also do a 12V power supply that can power the LED strips, up to a length of 2m. See:
    The question of minimum voltage has been asked, so I’ve just tried it on the power supply. At 9V the LEDs are very dim, to get the full brightness they need to run off 12V, at around 10/ 11V they are OK but not at full brightness.
    The other suggestion is that batteries could be used to keep the cost down. In the case of the 10cm strip this would take about 25mA at 12V. To get to 12V, 8 AA batteries would be required and would last about 60 hours, so you would be looking at spending about a £1 on batteries (if you actually supply them).

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