9-Star lamps are the bigger brother to the popular MicroStar and Tri-Star LED modules, made by Suncor Stainless. The 9-Star has 9 wide-angle white Nichia LEDs arranged in a square 3x3 matrix. The rustproof stainless steel housings come prepped with a 18" long, grey rubber insulated cable that contains color-coded (red and black) wires for connecting
them to any 12VDC power source. They are weatherproof and submersible, so they can be used in the fishtank or in a fountain.
The samples I was provided with were affixed to a short, 4-segment length of flexible Loc-Line stalk for easy mounting and aiming.
They measure 1" in diameter, and approximately 1 7/8" tall including the Loc-Line socket.
To make them light up, just connect the red wire to (+) and the black wire to (-) on any 12 volt DC electrical system. They will operate at anywhere between 8 and 15 volts,
so they are suitable for automotive & some marine power systems. (Hint: For a 24V system, just connect two 9-Stars in series).
They can also be operated from 110VAC if you use a 12VDC "wall wart" transformer. Don't just plug 9-Stars into the wall, or they will go out with a bang (you'll let out all the magic smoke and they'll quit working) and you'll be out almost eighty bucks. :(
Each lamp draws just 50mA (0.050A) at 13.8 volts (32mA at 12 volts even), so you can connect quite a number of them on the same circuit.
Mounting them is totally up to you though.
Put them under counters, in ceilings, in walls, in railings, behind furniture, behind toilets, inside your bed's headboard
(they can be used as reading lights at night), around mirrors, in gardens, on your deck or patio, or anywhere else you can drill a small hole and get 12 volts to.
Stick them anywhere you need just a bit of light, aim them up at plants for a beautiful nighttime accent, or aim them down to use as path lights at night.
Mounting instructions and more hints for hiding these things around the house can be found at the Berkely Point web address.
The samples I received were prepped with a 4-segment Loc-Line stalk and terminator; this was equipped with a threaded brass thumbwheel type fastener. One was also equipped with a transluscent silicone insert that further diffuses and softens the light.
See product photos on this page.
Operates from +8 to +15 volts DC only.
This can be from disposable batteries, solar cell rechargeable pack ("off-grid" applications), automobile or marine power, or an AC adapter.
If lights are to be used on a transformer with an AC output (commonly found in garden light installations), you must install a bridge rectifier on the low voltage side before any of the LED lights; this is to ensure they receive DC and not AC.
9-Star lamps are made from 316 stainless steel, and are all epoxied up inside for total water/weather resistance.
They are durable, dimmable, and waterproof - you can use these things indoors, outdoors, or anywhere in between.
The possibilities for use are numerous - only a small handful are listed above.
Got a fishtank? Then you've found a home for a 9-Star.
Garden? Fountain? They love the punishment.
Agumenting marine cabin lighting fixtures is another use. Berth or cabin lights, map lights, reading lights, footlights, you name it.
If you can poke a hole in it and get 12 volts to it, you can put a 9-Star in it.
Connection is by way of a pair of wires. Looks like 20 or 22 gauge to me.
You can extend these with any kind of thin low voltage wire, like bell wire, telephone wire, fire alarm wire, or even speaker cord.
The Berkely Point website offers suggestions for wiring, including the different types of wire you might want to use depending on your particular application.
Samples of 9-Star lamps were received in late April 2002. One ended up going outside in my window garden in late May; the other was mounted to a PC case and aimed at my computer keyboard until I set up the second window garden in early summer.
Spectrometer plot of the LEDs in the 9-Star lamp. Ocean Optics USB2000 Spectrometer on loan from TWO-CUBED.
Nice looking units - very modern looking
All-stainless steel, rustproof housings.
Submersible, can be mounted & used underwater.
Not overdriving the LEDs means they will last and last and last.
Runs directly from 12 volts with no messy resistors.
Bright enough to be truly useful.
Could be a bit brighter
Not self-powered - but they aren't supposed to be
MANUFACTURER: Suncor Stainless, Inc.
PRODUCT TYPE: Self-contained 12v LED module with stainless steel housing
LAMP TYPE: LED, White, 3mm
No. OF LAMPS: 9
BEAM TYPE: Soft, wide-angle flood with no rings or other nasties.
SWITCH TYPE: N/A
BEZEL: LEDs slightly recessed in housing.
BATTERY: Any 8-15VDC source
CURRENT CONSUMPTION: 30-40mA at 12-13 volts
WATER RESISTANT: Yes
SUBMERSIBLE: Yes, depth rating not known
ACCESSORIES: Prepped with 4-segment stalk and 18" cable.
WARRANTY: Not yet known
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