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post #1 of 13 Old 02-10-2016, 02:59 AM Thread Starter
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LED Light Woes

Honda HS724

I originally had the factory Honda accessory Halogen 55w light and wasn't pleased with it. I read through the stickied LED thread and got all of the parts together to perform the swap.

This is the light I chose:

Maxxima Work Light, Rectangular, Clear, 1850 Lumens MWL-57SP | Zoro.com

I wired everything up and have a three amp fuse on the factory AC side and a three amp on the DC side coming from the rectifier. I fired up the machine and the light illuminated for about 5 seconds and went dead. The three amp DC side fuse blew.

I suspected it wasn't a short since it did stay illuminated for a short period of time and removed the light to inspect it. I connected the light to a 12 volt DC power supply on the bench for testing. It has the ability to vary the voltage along with an ammeter built in.

If the DC voltage is 11 or under, the light will pull 5.5 to 6 amps. If I increase the voltage above 11, the amps sharply drop to around 2.5 and will decrease further if raised to 14 volts. It's almost as if the light has some kind of internal regulator that switches the loading internally based on voltage input. I'm not sure if the light is defective or this anomaly is by design.

If I recall, the stator is good for 5 amps max? I don't mind throwing in a six amp fuse, but worry about burning up the stator if I leave the engine at low idle for long periods.

IDK, should I opt for a different light? Is there a voltage regulator that would work? I'd like to keep this thing as it's really bright, but feel they should have stated it throws well over 2.3 amps below 12 volts. Then again, I don't think they had snowblowers in mind as a potential use.

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post #2 of 13 Old 02-10-2016, 06:10 AM
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I'm not smart enough or awake enough at 4 am to try and explain but yes it's normal for it to draw more amps at a lower voltage. It's not defective nor an anomaly or designed in. It's just how electricity works with a diode used for lighting (LED).

When it says it's a 12-36 volt light that means it's supposed to be used between those voltages and anything over 36 you can blow the light and under 12 it might not turn on at all or if it does it would have poor lighting performance. They tell you the minimum is 12 volts so there isn't any reason to give specs for it's performance below that voltage.

From my experience you just need a 7-10 amp fuse and you're good. I haven't seen anything burn out a stator (yet) and I have a 55 watt halogen on my troy with a China engine and it gets ugly dim with I idle it down. Never thought to check the draw and I don't have a fuse in the circuit. Nice thing is we're using them out in the cold so if for some reason you were using it in the summer when the temps are higher like the 70's or more you might want to unplug it or install a switch to turn it off if you need to run the engine for some reason.

The 55 watt light is what I had laying around from a car and it's a really poor choice. Did that about the time I started here. This winter I ordered a nice 18 watt LED and the pieces to make the AC/DC converter to run it just waiting for some warmer weather. I'm out in the middle of nowhere with no street lights so I have to have a light if I'm out at night.

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post #3 of 13 Old 02-10-2016, 09:09 AM
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I'm assuming when you did your tests on the bench, the light lit up?

It sounds like the light has a regulator built into it already so adding an external one would not be of much use. Typically such a built-in regulator would be set up to draw a constant wattage, so as voltage increases the current should decrease: V * A should remain constant. The sharp increase in current draw at 11 volts is probably a design quirk (/defect).

I agree with your concern about burning out the lighting coil. The only two ideas I can come up with, neither of which is great, are 1) upgrade to a coil with higher output or 2) install a switch for the lights and only turn them on when the engine is at high speed.

This is a little goofy but maybe you could install a microswitch on the engine speed lever so the lights only come on when the lever is in the high speed position?

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post #4 of 13 Old 02-10-2016, 09:22 AM
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OHM's law, the higher the voltage; the less the amperage.

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post #5 of 13 Old 02-10-2016, 09:23 AM
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Was the LED Bulb labeled COB (Chip On Board) ?

Did the thread you read mention installing a Rectifier ?
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post #6 of 13 Old 02-10-2016, 09:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nycredneck View Post
OHM's law, the higher the voltage; the less the amperage.
Not to be pedantic but that's wrong.

Ohm's law states I = E/R, where E is voltage, I is current, and R is resistance. So if E increases and R remains constant, I will increase proportionally.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ohm's_law

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post #7 of 13 Old 02-10-2016, 09:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R.J. View Post
Honda HS724

I originally had the factory Honda accessory Halogen 55w light and wasn't pleased with it. I read through the stickied LED thread and got all of the parts together to perform the swap.

This is the light I chose:

Maxxima Work Light, Rectangular, Clear, 1850 Lumens MWL-57SP | Zoro.com

I wired everything up and have a three amp fuse on the factory AC side and a three amp on the DC side coming from the rectifier. I fired up the machine and the light illuminated for about 5 seconds and went dead. The three amp DC side fuse blew.

I suspected it wasn't a short since it did stay illuminated for a short period of time and removed the light to inspect it. I connected the light to a 12 volt DC power supply on the bench for testing. It has the ability to vary the voltage along with an ammeter built in.

If the DC voltage is 11 or under, the light will pull 5.5 to 6 amps. If I increase the voltage above 11, the amps sharply drop to around 2.5 and will decrease further if raised to 14 volts. It's almost as if the light has some kind of internal regulator that switches the loading internally based on voltage input. I'm not sure if the light is defective or this anomaly is by design.

If I recall, the stator is good for 5 amps max? I don't mind throwing in a six amp fuse, but worry about burning up the stator if I leave the engine at low idle for long periods.

IDK, should I opt for a different light? Is there a voltage regulator that would work? I'd like to keep this thing as it's really bright, but feel they should have stated it throws well over 2.3 amps below 12 volts. Then again, I don't think they had snowblowers in mind as a potential use.
That light seems to be performing to specifications. I would increase the fuse to a 5 amp since you have a 5 amp stator and see what happens. I don't believe there's a 4 amp fuse but if so I would start with that.


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post #8 of 13 Old 02-10-2016, 09:59 AM
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If it draws 5.5A at 11V, 2.5A at 12V, etc, but the light output remains the same (an important assumption), then a bunch of energy is being turned into heat at the lower voltage. Whether by design, or by defect.

It would be clumsy. But if you definitely wanted to use this light, and always wanted to feed it 12V, perhaps you could use a DC-to-DC converter. The more common ones will only reduce voltage. But there are converters that can increase the voltage, like bringing 5V up to 8V, with reduced output current, of course (watts out cannot exceed watts in).

Now, at least for the cheap ones, I think they either increase the voltage, or decrease it, but not both. So if you were hypothetically getting 11V at idle, and 14V at full throttle, and you wanted a constant 12V to the light, that might get tougher.

Getting *really* clumsy, you could perhaps first regulate the voltage down, then back up again. Take your 11-14V down to 10V with a voltage-down converter, then use a voltage-up converter to bring the constant 10V up to 12V. A few diodes in series might be sufficient to reduce the 11-14V to never exceed 10V, then use a voltage-up converter to give you 12V.

Or use a different light. If you were using a light that wanted an input lower than your 11-14V, say 5-9V, then you could use a single DC-to-DC step-down converter.

Every conversion will have efficiency losses, of course. If you start with 5A available, and you want 4A to the light, you need to consider how many devices (converters, diodes, etc) you run the power through, before it gets to the light. Use 2 adapters, each 90% efficient, and you now only have 4A output available.

Or use a different (better) approach. I'm clearly not an EE. But if I had to solve this problem, using the tools that I know about, this is how I might go about it.

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Last edited by RedOctobyr; 02-10-2016 at 10:12 AM.
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post #9 of 13 Old 02-10-2016, 10:16 AM
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The description of the light does say it's multi-voltage. To me that indicates it to be internally regulated in some way if that's the case. I like Elaws idea of putting the "on" switch in line with the throttle lever - assuming it' works when it's in the higher RPM range, that's a cheap easy fix.




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post #10 of 13 Old 02-10-2016, 11:44 AM
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Back in the day when I did a bit of telcom work, we used to use inductive choke coils is series with a DC voltage line for the talk circuit. These coils limit current to a predetermined value.

If you do some googling, you might find an nice cheap and easy way to determine the value of you need to limit your low voltage current to say 4 amps, so your fuse doesn't blow at low engine speed. Light would be dim, but once you bring the engine up to working speed, the current draw would drop off as the voltage increased and you light would be full brightness.

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