LED lighting progress in a Maui Home.


First up was simple "night light" for ingress and egress.

Two Nichia Jupiter fixtures (above) were installed in wall at top of vaulted area above entry way and living room:

On full power, ample ingress and egress light as well as background illumination is available for evening activities. On low power, when eyes are acclimated, there is more than enough illumination for navigation around the common areas.


Outside, the lanai and front steps are illuminated with a series of 6 Jupiter fixtures, flush mounted in the overhead; 5 of them on 4' centers and one dropped down and in a beam over partition from steps to garage alcove:

The electronics control station is located in a large storage closet at the top of the stairs and behind the wall of the interior fixtures. The control station consists of a break out panel having four separate and fused circuits. Power is provided by a 12V SLA battery and a smart 3 stage charger (110VAC) keeps the battery charged. A photo sensor mounted in attic fan shroud turns on the system through a signal to the break out board at dusk and off at dawn.

The interior lights have a dimmer control mounted on the wall, under one of the lights, at the top of the stairs. The deck lights have a dimmer control recessed into a copper down tube mounted adjacent to the front door:

The lights on the lanai are sufficient, at full power, in providing illumination for dining and casual reading. On low, they provide enough illumination for safe ingress and egress as well as a comfortable ambience for visiting and resting out on the deck. For task work and concentrated reading, an adjustable concentrated flood light was installed over the table:

This 1 watt high power Nichia LED with reflector provides a concentration of light for "serious" meals and reading and other table tasks. The down stalk has pivoting links to allow for adjustment of the beam away from table center. There is a pull chain for switching the light on and off, independent of the overhead LED series. The components are brass and a titanium sleeve of tubing is over 1/8" threaded pipe to compose the stalk's shaft.

A small coral fountain in pot has been added off the base of front steps, below the lanai and it has a single tri-cluster light in the water fall chamber.


The guest and master bath rooms are each illuminated by a single tri-cluster light which is actually brighter than necessary for late evening visits. Guest bath has a light up in the corner, mounted in the wall to the right of the sink, directing a beam parallel with the ceiling and towards the shower curtain and far wall:

The master bath has a tri-cluster mounted in the roof eve, outside of the window above the toilet:


There is broken and non functioning landscape lighting around the house which will be replaced with LED lighting as time permits. One such fixture was taken and modified from its original 12Halogen core to hosting a Jupiter fixture. The halogen lamp and socket module was unscrewed from the 1/8" pipe stub and the Jupiter fixture screwed on in its stead:


A series of Tri-Cluster fixtures were mounted in lava rocks and placed in the foliage along the driveway. The lights were spliced in series with the splices buried in inverted film cans:

Back inside, 4 Cree 7090XR-E LED's were coupled with a Xitanium constant current driver in a modification to an existing sconce light fixture that was above a painting. The 50 watt incandescent was replaced with a 4 watt system. The three up lighting LED's are a warmer color temperature than the single LED in the painting illumination fixture. 10 degree x 60 degree LSD film was used to diffuse and shape the flow of light on the painting. The camera can't catch the effect:


9 ea. Luxeon Stars (LuxIII) were installed and driven by a Xitanium constant current driver and hidden above and below the kitchen cabinets:

A pull chain switch controls the 110VAC input to the Xitanium driver and is mounted between to cabinets above with the chain hanging down below the cabinets next to the stove. The 110VAC is picked up from duplex receptacle that provides power to the microwave and was handily located inside one of the cabinets. The Luxeon Stars are bonded with thermal epoxy to aluminum plates which are in turn fastened to the cabinets. The plates provide thermal mass and surface area for dissipating the heat generated by the LED's. This heat is not significant in terms of a safety hazard but is significant in the longevity of the LED's. Proper thermal relief results in warm to the touch and not "hot".


Back outside for the rear yard, an additional 12V distribution/ power box was installed on an exterior wall. It contains a break out panel with four fused circuits for LED's and photo sensor input, a 12V SLA battery, 3 amp "smart" charger for the battery, and the photo sensor and circuit:

The back yard still needs much work but this distribution box now drives a series of tri-clusters in lava rocks which illuminate some palms at the perimeter of the yard as well as a set of four tri-cluster lights mounted in the rafters above the rear deck and landing. Illumination below is from these LED's:


A 100 watt fixture below a ceiling fan in the living room/ shipping department was replaced with a custom LED fixture:

The fixture consists of a 19" diameter aluminum shade that has 24 Cree XR-E LED's on MCPCB's mounted on it. There are two Xitanium drivers which each drive two parallel circuits of 6 LED's in series (350 mA to the LED). The drivers are rated at 17 watts each which brings the total to 34 watts.12 LED's provide direct down lighting and 12 of the LED's bounce off the ceiling for indirect fill.

A flashlight head was used to host three Cree 7090 LED's, red, blue and green of color. The head was installed with a fountain pump in a custom vase to provide an ever changing palate for eye and ear.

Reflectors direct the three colored beams towards the ceiling but the light paths are in a constant flux due to the water interrupting them. The show on the ceiling is one of radical change too quick to really capture with the eye. The camera is way to slow to record a sharp image but catches a blend of numerous and distinct projections:

Although the LED's are of narrow bands of colored light, the area illuminated from the reflection of these colors off the ceiling is bathed in a warm white light that varies slightly in hue but not that noticeably. A photo of the fountain with plenty of ambient daylight present:

The "knuckle" of the water stream just rises above the lip of the fountain. It is interesting to watch a colorful dancing of light which keeps in tune and time to the sound of the water.

To continue with converting from incandescent to LED, I modified the existing overhead fixture in the kitchen:

An additional sister fixture that hangs over the kitchen table will get the same modification.

The rear landing was replaced with a small deck that hosts some patio furniture and BBQ. There is a cable rail section on the far side which has Tri-Cluster fixtures embedded in the top rail. Additional Tri-clusters were added under the eves and 6 tri-cluster modules were used to back light an onyx pedestal which supports a small wall mounted bar table. These lights provide ample illumination for enjoying the evening and still one can look up to the star field above.

For more significant illumination, an existing wall mounted exterior incandescent fixture was modified to host an array of Cree based flood fixtures. The Xitanium Driver for these LED's also drives a pair of Cree floods which are remote mounted over the BBQ. There is one Loc Line spot fixture in the group that can be aimed at any area of interest in the back yard. The array of LED's are wired in series.

With these Cree floods lit up, the deck area and BBQ are well lit for cooking and dining:

The front lanai and garage overhang were fitted with a couple overhead and one wall light fixtures on a three way switch located inside front door and in garage. The two overhead fixtures were replaced with inexpensive 12" OD overhead fixtures that were modified to host a Xitanium driver and 6 ea. Cree XR-E LED's. One fixture shown below:

The side light that is mounted on a wall was modified also to host a Xitanium driver and 6 ea. XR-E LED's:

The output from these lights is cooler in color temp and brighter than the 60 watt incandescent lamps they replaced.

A metal core PCB strip to host a linear array of 6 LED's as well as an extrusion designed to host these LED's as well as a driver is in development. Initially designed around the Cree LED's the extrusion has been tagged the "CreeBar".

The CreeBar has both fixed and portable applications.

The Cree Strip can be used in retrofit of incandescent fixtures like the example below where reflectors are also used for a more concentrated flood of light.

With regards to the Tri-Cluster lights, I have been using some new components to aid in installations and applications. Primarily there are two new components:

This flange base mount is anodized aluminum and provides for a surface mount option for use with any Loc-Line stalk.(Shown below with a Tri-Cluster stalk but it will also host a high power LED fixture)

The other component is one that will couple a Loc-Line stalk with the "RainDrip" 1/2" hose. This allows the Rain Drip hose to be used as a conduit for the wiring giving added protection to the wire as well as splices. The Loc-Line to RainDrip coupling is also anodized aluminum.

The hose is shoved into the coupling and it has a reduced barb that grabs and seals against the hose in the same fashion as the plastic RainDrip couplings and fittings. It is not the easiest or friendliest of couplings to install on the hose but the results are sound.

Back inside the house, both bathrooms were renovated with LED overhead and vanity lights.

The overheads were new fixtures modified to host Xitanium drivers with CreeStrips. One bathroom has a pair of shell fixtures that were retrofit with CreeStrips in white and a single red LED added. The other bathroom has a new fixture that was originally a fluorescent device but built out with Xitanium driver and two CreeStrips that each host a single red LED along with 5 white LED's. The addition of the red enhances skin tone and a better spectral response of colors.

In the master bedroom, the clothes closet was enhanced with a pair of CreeStrips mounted up high and at each end of the closet. A single Xitanium driver was mounted overhead and feeds both CreeStrips with low voltage, constant current.

A wall mounted reading light/ task light was added to the master bedroom:

The CreeStrip in this light was mounted with a aluminum U-channel riser as it was not fitted with secondary optics.

The LED's provide a broader flood without collimating optics. The lamp is turned on via an inline rotary thumb switch installed on the cord.

The battery backed up 12 volt supply of the home was tapped for a wall mounted bed stand light:

This one watt Nichia Jupiter LED fixture is switched on and off via a push button switch mounted in the side of the wall bracket. Power to the light is only available during the dark hours.

For a friends courtyard, I modded a few of the Portfolio wall lanterns with Xitanium drivers and CreeStrips. These fixtures are inexpensive and ideally suited for the easy modification to LED base. Before and after shot:

Upstairs, the guest bedroom and front test/ assembly work room both had fan lights replaced with custom Cree Strip/ Xitanium fixtures like shown below:

Two Xitanium drivers are riveted to the top side of the brass disk that is suspended up inside the aluminum shade cone. The four CreeStrips are riveted to the aluminum shade and their lead wires are essentially hidden by the overlap of the brass disk.


I have at this point replaced all of the incandescent lamp fixtures in and around the house with LED based fixtures. I will be using some off the shelf LED bulbs instead of incandescent bulbs in the refrigerator and other appliances as I determine appropriate replacements. The garage door opener had two 60 watt bulbs and these were quickly if not elegantly replaced by a Xitanium driver and two Cree Strips riveted to the motor shroud cover:


One of the observations I have made with using multi source LED light fixtures is that a shadow projection from any object close to the source(s) will have multiple layers due to parallax (I believe this would be the correct term).

A beautiful piece of plate coral I found which had recently been broken off from the reef and was destined to become more beach sand was added to a sconce light as means of redirecting light out and down in a more efficient manner than relying on the painted walls and ceilings. The coral has a cupped shape and nested well in the light fixture. Below is an underexposed image of the coral as well as a shot showing it in service. You can see the interesting shadow lines cast by it.


One thing I have discovered with the LED lighting is the weakness in color rendition in the higher wave lengths of light (reds). I overcame this in the bathrooms and the master bedroom by including red LED's but where this deficiency has showed itself as a problem is while cooking meat and judging the condition of the meat. Nichia makes some LED's which are not stellar in lumen output (flux) but they are excellent in color rendition (CRI). I have been evaluating these LED's in flashlight and a portable fixture and realized that I needed to get some of these in place to cover the cooking area. There is a microwave over the electric cook top and it has a lamp fixture containing 2 ea. 35 watt incandescent bulbs for illuminating the cooking area.

I fabricated a thick strip of copper formed into an angle bracket and copper riveted a string of 6 of these Nichia LED's mounted on MCPCB's to this bracket.

I added some long strips of copper which I folded over in loops and riveted these as well to the copper angle bracket. I fastened this bracket to the existing sheet metal flange which had been host to the original lamp fixtures and installed a Xitanium 350 mA constant current driver on the top of the bottom cover which is host to the light fixture itself.

What is not clear in the picture is that the angle bracket is at an angle less than 90 degrees and the LED's are aimed somewhat forward as opposed to straight down. I added a strip of MCPET reflective material (white strip) to bounce any stray light that gets reflected back up from the diffusing window and hopefully let this light make it way out and down as well.

There is more light now than there was with the original incandescent lamps at a power consumption of probably less than 15 watts compared to the original 70 watts.

The LEDs do a reasonable job of illuminating the cooking surface and in viewing my skin color with the kitchen lights on and this light off or on, I can see an obvious difference and I expect that cooking will be enhanced with better color rendition now.

At this point, in addition to the LED conversion in lighting, I have added an alternative source for powering the lighting as well as other electrical devices. Instead of making this page even longer and heavier in content, I will link to a new PV System Page.

The pair of LED's used to illuminate the BBQ have been quite effective but the color rendition of the meat and vegetables was less than ideal. I fabricated a solid copper fixture to host a 3x Nichia High CRI LED MCPCB behind a half round acrylic optic to replace the original LED fixtures:

The optic concentrates the even flood of light over the BBQ and immediate area quite effectively. I mounted the fixture in a copper stalk consisting of 1/2" copper tubing joined with crimped Viega copper connectors:

This assembly insures good thermal relief for the LED's and the copper will weather well. The stalk was mounted to the same rafter as the original fixture and the length was chosen to center the LED's above the BBQ: