Low profile sexy DIY headlights

Here’s a quick guide on how to make some small headlights for your esk8 build that are quite bright and pretty nice looking. I used these headlights in a recent custom build (full build log is coming soon).

Stuff required:

  • 4x 3W LEDs (such as these)
  • Aluminum sheet
  • Thermally conductive adhesive
  • Epoxy
  • 3D Printer
  • Small heatsinks (such as these)
  • Clear acrylic sheet

The heatsinks might seem like a niche thing, but I guess I just had those laying around from an old project…not expensive though

Build steps:

  1. Solder together LEDs

  1. Cut out small pieces of aluminum sheet and mount heatsinks to back with thermal adhesive

  1. Mount LEDs to heatsink assembly with thermal adhesive

  1. Insert LED assembly into 3D printed case (STL below) and solder on wires

  1. Cut out small acrylic covers and epoxy them on

  1. Profit:

beam profile:

from the front:

STL for the case: headlight_case.zip (27.3 KB)

1 Like

What kinda power is required to drive these?

Do they need a step-down/buck converter to bring the voltage down to a usable level?

Yes, a buck converter is necessary for most situations unless you happen to have enough LEDs in series so that their forward voltage combined is approximately the battery voltage. I’m using a LM2596 buck converter putting out 15V – my main pack is 6S, which fits within the 35V max input voltage for this chip. I have 4 LEDs in series along with a 10 ohm resistor, so they’re probably pulling 100mA at a forward voltage of 3.5V each. Plenty bright though!