question from a complete novice

I am designing a table that has a light source shining through a lucite top. I wanted the source to be battery powered so there would be no wires coming through, and it has to be safe so incandescent bulbs would obviously get too hot...I am debating between fluorescent light source or LEDs...any suggestions as to the battery life that these will have on regular batteries? Also, which will provide me with a move evenly dispersed light?


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The only thing really wrong about an incadescent for your application is that there's a lot of intensity in one place. Spread a lot of bulbs out uniformly and that's no longer a problem.

For white light the king of efficiency (which NECESSARILY implies the least heat for the same quantity of light) is the fluorescent. Long fluorescent tubes also solve the dispersion along one axis automatically, and there are funky shapes available for many applications too.

Battery-powered inverters along with smallish fluorescent tubes (e.g. backlighting LCD's) and spreading sheets are ALL OVER the surplus market right now.

An option that you didn't seem to have considered is luminescent panels. Not cheap, not easily relampable, but they have their niches and what you describe may be one of them.


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Tim Shoppa

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