LEDs are getting more capable and more powerful every year. And this one claims to have the crown at the moment as the world’s most powerful COB LED designed specifically for video use. It costs an insane $1,350, requires 1500 Watts of power, it’s 5600K daylight and has a CRI of 95+. As an LED addict, Matt at DIY Perks managed to get his hands on one to test, but in doing so, he blew up two power supplies.
The first task with such an LED is to figure out how to cool it. While LEDs don’t give of as much heat as their incandescent counterparts, they can still give off a fair amount, especially when they’re this powerful, and heat is a big killer of LEDs. So, Matt custom-built his own liquid-cooled heatsink to stick on the back of this thing, and then pumped it through four huge PC tower radiators.
According to Matt, it didn’t even get warm. That’s the good news. The not-so-good news is, well…
With an LED that requires this much power, you can’t just hook it up to a V-Mount battery or a regular 12v power supply and expect it to work – at least not at anywhere near its maximum power. At 12v you’d need to be able to supply 125 Amps of current, which is going to fry most 12v power supplies.
So, to get the wattage, you need to bump up the voltage in order to reduce the current. At 24v, that current requirement drops to 62.5 Amps. Still pretty hefty, but a bit more manageable. To achieve that higher voltage, Matt wired up two 1,000W server power supplies in series. But this still wasn’t quite enough to power the LED, which requires at least 30v. So, Matt connected the output through several buck-boost converters to raise up the voltage even further, and share the load for each of the six segments on the COB LED.
You can see once he gets it up and running on the test bench, just how powerful it is and how much light it puts out. Even with only one of the six segments lit, it’s incredibly bright. But with all six lit up, it was just too much for the power supplies to handle and, well, you can see what happens in the video.
It should be noted, and Matt mentions it in the video, it’s not a great idea to wire up such power supplies in series. So, don’t try this at home, folks. Not that most of you would spend $1,350 on such an LED anyway.
Matt says he’ll be back with a follow-up video, to turn this into a more portable and contained unit at some point in the future. Once he finds a more suitable power delivery system.