The end of the first white-LED bulk-buy...greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
Greetings all you Y2K preppers! OddOne here, back on the attack and yet again talking about white LEDs...
I'm sure most regulars to TB2K remember (and some even participated in) a bulk-purchase of white LEDs direct from the manufacturer en masse for the sake of decent per-unit pricing. Well, the even came, the event went, the order went, the LEDs came, and the LEDs left again, destined for those that paid for some.
As of this writing, most of the folks that ordered LEDs have received their shipments in the mail. Mattered not how many were ordered (the smallest order was 7 LEDs; the largest, 350; the total, 1809 LEDs @ $1.60 US each), everyone that sent their money in got or will shortly get theirs.
Only ONE of the interested folks that placed an order didn't follow through with payment. This is a risky adventure to partake in, both from my end and from the end of the end-users that bought them through the bulk-buy, especially where there's money-up-front involved. Nobody wanting to order LEDs knew me personally and I knew none of the participants personally, save my younger brother who placed the seven-LED order. Still, over three thousand dollars was sent in for LEDs and nobody got ripped off (including me.) Some folks even sent in a few extra dollars here and there, for which I am grateful, as my only profit from this exercise was to keep any monetary overage that was sent in. (No, the per-part cost was NOT marked up. Nor was shipping. No handling fees were assessed either. What Nichia charged me is what I charged everyone else. $ 1.60 per LED for 1,000-4,999 quantity.) A hearty thank-you to the folks that slipped me a few-dollar tip here and there. :-)
But, I digress. All in all, the first massive white-LED bulk-buy was a runaway success. And its ramifications are already becoming evident. For example, one fellow created a white-LED message board on Yahoo! (the URL: http://clubs.yahoo.com/clubs/whiteleds) for discussing these little gems, their uses and applications, and how best to use them without popping them. My LED driver page is still up at http://www.geocities.com/SiliconValley/Bay/4397/led/led.htm and it's gotten over a thousand hits strictly from TB2K visitors alone.
On the personal front, I'm seriously considering forming a branch of my company to manufacture and sell ready-to-use lighting modules that use the white LEDs. The module uses 18 LEDs in a round array and drives them with cheap, simple, reliable, ultra-high-efficiency circuitry. It's self-protecting against excess voltage to the LEDs thanks to an onboard voltage regulator and puts out a strong blast of light for under two watts of power. (12VDC supply, by the way, which makes it easy to feed. Maximum current drain @ 12VDC is 150 mA, which is nowhere near the 540 mA drain that the LEDs would have if not driven with this circuit but were instead connected directly to a power source.) The prototype is going into its tenth total hour of intermittent use on a set of 8 'AA' alkaline batteries and shows no signs of diminished light output. Complete info, including pictures, resides at http://www.geocities.com/SiliconValley/Bay/4397/led/led_driver_module.htm. When it's orderable an order form will be located there. As of now there's been small-level but decent-strength interest but I need to see that it'll be worth it to scrape up the thousands of dollars necessary to build 50 or more of these at a time to sell to folks needing such a light for emergencies, Y2K preps, off-grid lighting, etc. etc. etc. If you're interested, please drop me a line so I'll have an idea of the potential sales.
The white LED bulk-buy has come and gone, and now everyone that bought gets to discover new and exciting uses for them. The time will soon come to test the waters and see if the collective "we" of the forum want to do this again. If anyone that got some LEDs wants to get more, or anyone that missed out wants another chance, tell me below. If we have enough folks willing to do the deed again I'll see about arranging another bulk-buy in the next month or so. :-)
-- OddOne (email@example.com), May 05, 1999
Thanks OddOne, I was in on the buy and will be making up experimenter's kits to send to WRP members. These are not for sale, but perhaps someone, you maybe, might be interested in continuing the effort once I get rid of the LEDs.
I'm thinking about making up kits with some cheap red and yellow LEDs, some resistors, wire, solder, and a couple pages of instructions. The crown piece of the kit will be the white LED.
This will be enough to get someone started, even if they've never soldered before.
Once they understand the fundamentals, they'll be ready to tackle your circuits.
By the way, I heard what happened to the missing payment. The USPS messed up and sent the fellow's check back to him. I'll send him a few LEDs if he wants.
Hank (in Hawaii) has run 3 white LEDs and measures a 30 mill drain on 4.5 V and dropping resistors. 3 LEDs is plenty bright enough to use for emergency lighting and 30 mills against Alkaline D-Cells, I figure, months and months of evening use.
-- cory (kiyoinc@ibm.XOUT.net), May 05, 1999.
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