Multicopter LED Lighting

I wanted to add bright Power Star LED lights to my DJI F550 as an aid to orientation in daytime flying and for night flying.  There are loads of LED tapes but I didn’t really like those products.  It’s possible to buy cheap but good ‘Power Stars’ and the CC/CV supply modules from China.  The heat spreaders can’t dissipate all the heat with these running anywhere near the full power, which depending on your power stars may be 700 mA at 2.5V for red ones and at 3.7V for green.  So they need mounting with a bracket that can give a bit of extra heat sinking, some aluminium strip is perfect.

LED Parts-b

This is what they look like mounted.  The power stars are fixed down with a bit of heatsink compound and small plastic washers to stop the cap screws touching the solder pads.

Port LED-d

Standard ‘port’ and ‘starboard’ configuration.

Starboard LED-e

The brackets are bent to about 100 degrees and screwed to the DJI airframe, though they might as well be just stuck to the airframe with double-sided tape.  I ran the red and green power stars off separate supplies, with a pair of each in series.  The brackets aren’t that big but don’t even get warm with the LEDs at full power.  The great thing about the CC/CV supplies is it’s possible to adjust the current for good brightness for the flying conditions, but if I ever get the time I’ll make my own CC/CV module that takes an RC input so brightness can be set via a TX switch.  This setup runs off the flight LiPo and pulls 1.4A at full power, but I backed it off a fair bit.

At Night-c

They seem to work fine for now, easily visible at a decent distance in daytime and nice and bright for night flying.