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Leo U

Why not build your own

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Before I start my post I'd like to introduce myself. My name's Leo and I'm 37 yrs. old and have been a victim of mild/moderate acne since my teens. I found this board about 2 years ago and discovered Vitamin B5's use as an acne preventative treatment. Since then my skin has improved dramatically and I'm grateful to all of you for that. Lately I've grown tired of the B5 pill-popping ritual and I'm concerned about side effects from mega-dosing as well so I started reading about the blue light studies that have been done and am encouraged by all of the posts from people that have benefited from blue light treatment.

So you're probably wondering why I'm posting for the first time after 2 years and the reason is because I'm really pissed off! We basically have 3 types of blue light devices available to us as consumers. The LED tabletop models from acnelamp, the flourescent tube tabletop models from verilux, and the handheld led models from lumiport or acnelamp. Out of all these options the acnelamp models seem to be the best as far as total output of usable blue light is concerned. The problem with all of these options is that they are all ridiculously overpriced. They're taking advantage of all of you!! Please remember that these are really not complicated devices. They're all just basically lamps and flashlights after all. Once I saw the outrageous prices on these devices I decided I would be better off building one myself. There are a couple of problems I became aware of as I looked into this.

1) The lighting used in the studies had a dominant wavelength of 405 - 420 nm. 99 % of the blue leds on the market are in the 470 nm range which is basically useless for our application. There are also plenty of UV leds on the market but 99% of them are in the 380 - 395nm range which is great for checking counterfeit bills and watching your cat's piss glow in the dark but it's surely not a good idea to expose your skin to UV in this wavelength.

2) I did locate some suppliers of 405 nm leds but since they only sold single 5mm leds, I decided I didn't want to get involved with all of the soldering required to put together a decent light not to mention calculating voltage drop resisistance values and locating a power supply. I'm too lazy to exert that kind of effort.

So my search continued for a decent LED to use for my project until yesteday when I stumbled across a web site www.yesled.com. Take a look at this bulb,

YL-UV-0138 / 38 UVA (Ultra Violet) LED Mini Spot Light

The bulb has a total of 38 LEDS and is available in the 410 to 420nm range which is what we're looking for. They also give you the option of choosing how it's packaged. These guys are a big supplier and deal primarily in large quantities at wholesale but said they would sell me as many of these as I want for samples at $7.50 USD each. That's really cheap folks. 2 of these bulbs will supply more blue light than acnelamps 250 dollar tabletop model for only $15.00!!! Now let's build our lamp...

The 5 headed Medusa model:

1) Order 5 bulbs mentioned above. Request that they be packaged in the E27 base. The E27 is your basic edison screw type bulb used in 90 % of the table lamps in existence today so this type will give us the most flexibility for choosing a fixture. Also request either 410nm or 420nm leds. All LEDS manufactured basically have a +/- 5nm tolerance for the dominant wavelength which means a 410nm led will actually measure somewhere between 405 and 415nm which is perfect for our use. Also make sure you specify 110V if in the USA or possibly 240V if you live overseas.

2) Go to you local department store and buy a lamp. Any lamp that takes a basic screw type bulb will work . Since I'm building a 5 headed monster I'm going to buy one at target which looks like this:

Target 5 headed floor lamp

This is your basic floor lamp. Yes I know it's too tall but the support mast assembles from three tubular sections. If you want to assemble it to be the height of your bed then leave one of the sections out or leave two of the sections out if you want something you can set on a tabletop. You get the idea. Each of these 5 heads has a flexible gooseneck similar to the 3headed acnelamp model. You can aim 2 heads at your cheekbones, one at your forehead, and 2 at your jawline. You get the idea... If you don't have a Target department store nearby then check your local department store. I'm sure they'll be selling something very similar that you can use.

3) Assembly could not be any easier. Take you bulbs and screw them into the lamp, plug the lamp in and turn the thing on.... Done.

This lamp will cost less than $60.00 to build ( $37.50 for the bulbs, $20.00 for the fixture) and will rival the 3 headed tabletop lamp from acnelamp which sells for $699.00. Now tell me they aren't robbing you. The acnelamp model has a total of 210 leds( 3 heads X 70leds). Our lamp has a total of 190 leds( 5 heads X 38). Both will emit blue light at the target wavelength.

The single headed cheapo model:

1) Order 1 bulb as mentioned above . 410 nm E27 screw type base at 110v or 240v if living abroad.

2) Go to your local department store and get a basic gooseneck flexible desk lamp for about 8 to 10 dollars.

3) Screw bulb into lamp. Plug lamp in. Turn lamp on. This lamp will fall somewhere between the acnelamp handheld model and the acnelamp tabletop model as far as lumen output goes and will cost less that $20.00 to build.

Well there you have it folks. Now that I've enlightened you a bit I'm pretty sure I'll be hearing from the lumiport guy and he'll probably mention that the reason their single led flashlight costs 150 dollars is because of all of the research that went into it and so on and because of the stringent quality control they use in manufacturing, etc... Please don't forget it's just a flashlight and that all leds used in these devices come from the same place, China. Let me remind you that Lumiport was involved in a recall last year for incorrect chargers and exploding batteries. This is from the food and drug administrations web site and public record:

PRODUCT

DermaStyle Chroma 2-blue and red light device indicated to be used in treating skin blemishes; portable home therapy, Recall # Z-0156-2007

CODE

All units sold before August 1, 2006.

RECALLING FIRM/MANUFACTURER

Recalling Firm: Lumiport, LLC, Provo, UT, by email or telephone beginning September 28, 2006.

Manufacturer: Ningbo Haishu Qualik Optoelectronics Corp., Ningbo, China. Firm initiated recall is ongoing.

REASON

Incorrect charger, batteries may overheat, catch fire or explode while being charged with the charger enclosed with the device.

VOLUME OF PRODUCT IN COMMERCE

2,480 units

DISTRIBUTION

Nationwide and Internationally

As you can see they get their materials from CHINA too :)

Please excuse this long, long post but I had to get this off my chest. Thanks for listening and let me know if you have any questions. I've ordered the bulbs to build the 5 headed medusa( Is that a good name or what?) and will be posting pictures once I've put it together.

See ya,

Leo

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Wow. Awesome post Leo. Thanks for going thru all that effort in researching this and sharing it with us. Looking forward to learning more.

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If you check out the yesled web site you'll see they also make a UV led flashlight with 28 leds. Common applications for this type of flashlight are forensic science and counterfeit bill checking. For that type of thing you need UV light between 380 and 390 nm but they do also offer this flashlight with 410 nm or 420 nm leds which are perfect for acne treatment.

UV 28 led flashlight from yesled.com

I didn't get a price on this one but I'm sure it would cost less than $15.00 and would be a nice handheld solution with greater light output than the $149.00 21 led model from acnelamp.

http://www.acnelamp.com/product.php?id=1101

It's just a flashlight and nothing more. You really shouldn't have to pay more than $15.00 for it right ? I must admit the acnelamp model has a nicer ergonomic design but not enough to justify a 10x increase in price :)

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Guest ~Wolfy~

The only fly in the ointment is I can't see anywhere where they specify the optical power these lamps give out.

The optical power is critical- you need a *really* bright lamp for this to work. One LED I looked into needed a couple of hundred LEDs to give a 15 minute treatment time.

Just being the right colour (405-420nm) is only half the battle. I don't know how bright these are.

As a rule of thumb you need ultrabright LEDs to get the power.

These dissipate about 60mW each. But the efficiency isn't specified anywhere. Some LEDs are maybe 2% efficient. Others are 16%. It matters a lot. You would need the more efficient versions.

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Wolfy,

You have a good point about the efficiency of these LEDS. All I know at this point is that they operate at the typical 20ma current with a forward voltage drop of 3.5V typical and 4.5 V maximum which would mean they run at about 70 mW at 3.5V ? Is that correct? I did find a review of one of their LEDS which shows a spectrometer analysis of the light but doesn't really give me a clue as to how many lumens per watt I can get out of these. It looks like a single LED puts out a decent amount of light but I'll have to look into it further.

Reviews of violet LEDS

I know there are some really new developments coming out in LED technology where the LEDS are drawing anywhere from 1 to 4 watts and putting out serious light but most of these require heat sinking and aren't available in Violet yet as far as I know so I doubt acnelamp or lumiport are using this type of technology.I'll send an email to the manufacturer and see what i can find out. What figures should I be most interested in exactly?

Thanks,

Leo

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If all else fails... SciArt will have a 90 dollar drop in LED available by the end of next month at exactly 415nm.

no LED you can purchase on the market is more powerful than their bulbs. I researched the hell out of it and they have all these patents on their bulbs (EnLux) and they are currently the brightest LED lamps on the market by far. I have a red one and had some blue ones (470) that i have since returned upon finding out about the soon to be arriving 415nm bulbs.

They will be the closest thing to medical grade lamps on the market for the average consumer, when i held my hand up to the blue bulbs or to the red one, you can see light filtering through your enitre hand over 4 inches away, which means that they are able to penetrate deep into the dermis, epidermis, etc .... they are also a terrific price compared to all the rip offs you mentioned...

Only problem is you'll need to wait at least another 30 days to get one. which totally sucks.

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If all else fails... SciArt will have a 90 dollar drop in LED available by the end of next month at exactly 415nm.

no LED you can purchase on the market is more powerful than their bulbs. I researched the hell out of it and they have all these patents on their bulbs (EnLux) and they are currently the brightest LED lamps on the market by far. I have a red one and had some blue ones (470) that i have since returned upon finding out about the soon to be arriving 415nm bulbs.

They will be the closest thing to medical grade lamps on the market for the average consumer, when i held my hand up to the blue bulbs or to the red one, you can see light filtering through your enitre hand over 4 inches away, which means that they are able to penetrate deep into the dermis, epidermis, etc .... they are also a terrific price compared to all the rip offs you mentioned...

Only problem is you'll need to wait at least another 30 days to get one. which totally sucks.

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Guest ~Wolfy~
If all else fails... SciArt will have a 90 dollar drop in LED available by the end of next month at exactly 415nm.

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Wolfy,

Based on the spec from my last post I came up with this:

1 38 led bulb at 4000mcd per led puts out 42 lumen and consumes 1.4 watts. So I guess this works out to 30 lumens/watt and a luminous efficacy of about 4.4%. Does this sound about right? I still dont see how to use the spec from yesled to come up with a uW/cm2 figure like acnelamp uses so I can make a head to head comparison. Still I'm not interested in something as good as acnelamp, only good enough to meet the requirement used in the research. If the lamp used in the research was the typical flourescent tube model and the acnelamp single head table top model alone blows it away(per acnelamp comparison chart) then wouldn't 5 of the 38 led heads from yesled still fall somewhere in between? I'm just looking for a solution that costs less than these options and can do the job. Let me know what you think.

Thanks

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Guest ~Wolfy~
1 38 led bulb at 4000mcd per led puts out 42 lumen and consumes 1.4 watts. So I guess this works out to 30 lumens/watt and a luminous efficacy of about 4.4%. Does this sound about right?

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Wolfy,

I don't remember for sure where i got the efficiency figure from. I think I saw a chart with various types of bulbs and their efficiency ratings on wikipedia and these LED characteristics matched up with one of the lights of that chart pretty well. I'll try to get a watts/cm^2 figure for comparison to acnelamp but if i can't then I'll probably just take one for the team and give this a shot.

As far as i know the spectrum for this LED pretty much mirrors the curve for every other colored LED out there. I'm not sure that a lamp is available that would match the 'ideal' curve with all light emitted at the same bandwidth and none outside of that bandwidth. Still, aren't LEDS generally much better in this area than flourescents? I haven't seen a spectrometer display for the flourescents yet. Do they match an 'ideal' curve?

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Leo U -

the lights are definately bright... they tell you to sit two feet away from them... but told me on the phone to do what i felt was comfortable.

the red and 470nm blue will be much brighter than the 415nm bulb sinc the lower you go the closer to ultra-violet you get.

the dominant wavelength of the bulb should be 415nm with a +/- of 8nm i would say. I get this number from the other bulbs +/- differential they have listed on the EnLux site.

But SciArt did tell me that they would be putting a warning on their site about UV emitted from their new bulb... since there will be a trace amount.

But AcneLamp, if you look at their graph, also emits UV.

Wolfy -

Are you serious about december?! That would really piss me off.

But it wouldnt surprise me at all. The lady that owns SciArt has no scientific background, she is an artist and think that light is light... and the only thing that matters is color.

When I told her that her 470nm bulbs wouldnt work, she said she didnt know if that was true or not. Then I told her that the very study they have on their website proves that their very own bulbs dont work, and she got totally quiet. LOL.

Anyway, they are very confused over there about lights and the hard science behind it... but if they have been saying the lights would be here since December, that is worrisome.

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If all else fails... SciArt will have a 90 dollar drop in LED available by the end of next month at exactly 415nm.

They've been promising it since December still not here...

no LED you can purchase on the market is more powerful than their bulbs.

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Guest ~Wolfy~
Wait... if all 415nm light penetrates equally, than why do they say that professional treatments are done in shorter intervals and at home is almost everyday... and the reason is that the medical grade lamps are much more powerful? are they actually saying that there are more w/cm squared in the medical treatment as opposed to the at home?

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Guest ~Wolfy~
Sure you could build your own but i'm pretty sure it has to pass some certification/safety standard tests no?

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Wolfy, If you get a chance I could really use your help with this. I've been away a couple weeks but I did go ahead and order the 5 led bulbs and I'll be getting them tomorrow. I've spent some time reading about photometric vs. radiometric units of light and I realize that you're 100% right about the specs I have for these bulbs. They really don't tell me what i need to know at all. I guess the ideal way to make a real comparison would be with a radiometer but they're too expensive and I don't have access to one so that option is out. I did borrow a nice light meter (EXTECH model 401025) from the metrology lab where i work but this will only measure illuminance/Lux and not irradiance like I need but i did find some interesting reading about conversion from photometric to radiometric units for monochromatic light sources like LEDS using the photomic luminous efficiency function. A link to the table for the function is here but I'm pretty sure you're familiar with it.

LEDs- photomic luminous efficiency function

I have a LED flashlight with 3 leds in it that are spec'd at 660nm and I did a test with the light meter and was wondering if my math sounds about right.

I figure since the meter measures in Lux which is the same as Lumens/sq.meter that i could apply this function using the radiometric counterpart of that which is Watts/ sq. meter. I set the flashlight on the photodetector in a dark room and it measured 1356 lux .

1356

__________ = w/m^2

(683 X .061)

I did the algebra and came up with 32.5469 w/m^2 and converted it to 3254 microwatts/ cm^2 since that's what acnelamp uses in their comparison chart. I hope you'll check my math and my interpretation of what I've read and let me know if this is right because if it is then my flashlight with 3 LEDS falls right between the dermastyle and the acnelamp penlight in regards to power which isn't bad since it only cost me 4 dollars.

If you agree then i'll do a similar test when i get the blue bulbs tomorrow and post results here.

Thanks in advance for your mental powers.

leo

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i have beautyskin lamp, 2 months old. I dont need it anymore. If you are interested PM me, i will give you great price on it.

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Pics of my 210 LED blue light. Sorry for the poor focus but the lights are really bright and my camera was going nuts whether i had the flash on or not. Definintely need to get some eye protection, I was standing 6 feet away when i took these and still seeing them when I blink.

Slideshow

Wolfy, I'll post my measurements when i get to work tonight.

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The pictures of the lamp look great but reading through the info is......... :wacko:

When you all come to a consensus can you post it so us lowly-minded folk don't have to read through the math and techno-stuff to be able to get the info to make our own?

Thanks,

MWS

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hey leo, are you putting on sunscreen or something to prevent uv radiation? I would have done this but then I read that the leds emits uv, which could cause cancer.

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hey leo, are you putting on sunscreen or something to prevent uv radiation? I would have done this but then I read that the leds emits uv, which could cause cancer.

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Guest ~Wolfy~
hey leo, are you putting on sunscreen or something to prevent uv radiation? I would have done this but then I read that the leds emits uv, which could cause cancer.

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Guest ~Wolfy~
Definintely need to get some eye protection, I was standing 6 feet away when i took these and still seeing them when I blink.

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