Glowies, Blinkies, UVies & Other Illuminations

A place to discuss all things involving power and lighting. Generator tips, alternative energy, lighting your camp/bike/art/self and more.

Re: Glowies, Blinkies, UVies & Other Illuminations

Postby ricochet » Wed Jul 13, 2011 11:21 pm

I poked around on radioshack.com but couldn't find a link to the battery packs. But you cut off the PC power supply connectors and replace them with those connectors for 9V batteries, which fit on the 12V battery packs of AA batteries. I'll try to come up with the link so you can see what I'm talking about. Or you could ust go to Radio Shack and poke around in the bins in the back, gotta love that you can still do that.

I won't promise that the UV Lazer LEDs will light up what you want properly. I tried one a couple years ago out of curiosity and it looked OK, but I'll be interested to hear what anyone does with them.
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Re: Glowies, Blinkies, UVies & Other Illuminations

Postby Foxfur » Wed Jul 13, 2011 11:30 pm

Eric wrote:
ricochet wrote:Consider PC mod LEDs for body art. They run off 12V, which means an 8-pack of AA batteries will last with several of them for at least a few nights.

http://www.xoxide.com/lazerled.html

Not sure the UV ones will really light up a lot, but they're worth checking out. I especially like that these are flat so you can hide them under whatever you're wearing.


What kind of adapter would you have to use to make them wearable? They're designed to hook into PC/car/boat power sources.

The UV ones are for blacklight- they'd work great with fluorescent paints.

Radio Shack has battery holder that hold 8 AA's. They have a 9volt style connector on the pack's top so you can easily disconnect your creation from the pack. You could use it in place of a switch even by just snapping it on when needed. They have the 9volt connectors in 2 packs as well. If using rechargeable batteries you'll get a nominal 10.8 volts (closer to 11v in actuality).
That should be enough to run most 12volt items at almost full strength. Some items may be picky but not many. Just running lights or LED's? Shouldn't be a problem.
Small 1 to 2 amp-hour gel cell batteries are fantastic! They'll easily recharge with small solar panels during the day. Find em online at battery retailers. Beiter Battery has good prices as does batteries plus.
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Re: Glowies, Blinkies, UVies & Other Illuminations

Postby junglesmacks » Thu Jul 14, 2011 1:05 pm

All Electronics has a killer supply of battery holders and what nots too..

http://www.allelectronics.com/make-a-st ... ers/1.html
Last edited by junglesmacks on Thu Jul 14, 2011 4:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Glowies, Blinkies, UVies & Other Illuminations

Postby ricochet » Thu Jul 14, 2011 1:15 pm

Yes, including cheap connectors.

Something about modding mod kits strikes me as funny, btw.
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Re: Glowies, Blinkies, UVies & Other Illuminations

Postby ricochet » Thu Jul 14, 2011 8:31 pm

Foxfur wrote:
Eric wrote:Radio Shack has battery holder that hold 8 AA's. They have a 9volt style connector on the pack's top so you can easily disconnect your creation from the pack. You could use it in place of a switch even by just snapping it on when needed.

Yes, I do that, but you have to be careful to connect them correctly. The LEDs would burn out if you tried to connect the batteries backwards.

Tell more about gel cells. How small do they get? I'm finding a lot of big, heavy ones but not something you could put in your pocket.
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Re: Glowies, Blinkies, UVies & Other Illuminations

Postby DustHand » Thu Jul 14, 2011 8:39 pm

Here is a link to a spec sheet on gel cells. Page 3 stars the specs on size and weight as well as amp hours and volts.

I bought two PS-1250 for my bikes led stuff.

http://www.power-sonic.com/images/powersonic/literature/SLA_Batteries/PS_PSH_and_PSG_Catalog_Web_Ready_July_5_2011.pdf
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Re: Glowies, Blinkies, UVies & Other Illuminations

Postby SnowBlind » Thu Jul 14, 2011 10:45 pm

Eric wrote:Yes, I do that, but you have to be careful to connect them correctly. The LEDs would burn out if you tried to connect the batteries backwards.


They shouldn't. LEDs are Diodes (the D in LED). Diodes conduct current one way, but block it the other way. So if you connect an LED the wrong way around, it will block and no current will flow. It will not get damaged. (Unless the voltage was very high, but then you'd probably fry the the right way around too).

Now, if you buy some assembly with several LEDs that has any electronics in there, you could fry those if you connect it with the wrong polarity. But LEDs will handle wrong polarity without damage.
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Re: Glowies, Blinkies, UVies & Other Illuminations

Postby junglesmacks » Fri Jul 15, 2011 4:46 am

Savannah wrote:It sounds freaky & wrong, so you need to do it.
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Re: Glowies, Blinkies, UVies & Other Illuminations

Postby junglesmacks » Fri Jul 15, 2011 4:49 am

ricochet wrote:I poked around on radioshack.com but couldn't find a link to the battery packs. But you cut off the PC power supply connectors and replace them with those connectors for 9V batteries, which fit on the 12V battery packs of AA batteries. I'll try to come up with the link so you can see what I'm talking about. Or you could ust go to Radio Shack and poke around in the bins in the back, gotta love that you can still do that.

I won't promise that the UV Lazer LEDs will light up what you want properly. I tried one a couple years ago out of curiosity and it looked OK, but I'll be interested to hear what anyone does with them.



Check out the link that I posted above to All Electronics. They sell all kinds of battery packs, and some with 9v snap type connectors, plus the snap connectors themselves.

Check out the 4-AA pack that's wired for 3v. Since pretty much all LEDs like 3v, you could wire them all in parallel and not have to use a resistor. Super quick wiring. I've also had great luck with this LED supplier on Ebay. Dirt cheap, and they are to my door in like 10 days from China. I've wired up exactly 1360 of these now.. Check his other auctions for any other colors. :twisted:

http://cgi.ebay.com/50-pcs-5mm-Round-UV ... 19c17378f2
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Re: Glowies, Blinkies, UVies & Other Illuminations

Postby illy dilly » Fri Jul 15, 2011 9:23 am

OK, so I don't know a whole lot about LED's. Hopefully you can help me figure some stuff out.

From the previous post, you said most LED's like 3v, DC? yes?
The UV LEDs on the Ebay link has that little chart for voltage, it says the UV like 3-3.4v. So, if I use 4 AA batteries in 2 pairs. 2 AA in each pair in series, to get 3v. Then each pair in Parallel, to stay at 3v but longer life. I should be able to just run leads to each LED right?
Will I need to run the leads from each LED back to the batteries, or will I be able to run the LED's in series (daisy chain)?
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Re: Glowies, Blinkies, UVies & Other Illuminations

Postby Workinonit » Fri Jul 15, 2011 9:40 am

illy dilly wrote:OK, so I don't know a whole lot about LED's. Hopefully you can help me figure some stuff out.

From the previous post, you said most LED's like 3v, DC? yes?
The UV LEDs on the Ebay link has that little chart for voltage, it says the UV like 3-3.4v. So, if I use 4 AA batteries in 2 pairs. 2 AA in each pair in series, to get 3v. Then each pair in Parallel, to stay at 3v but longer life. I should be able to just run leads to each LED right?
Will I need to run the leads from each LED back to the batteries, or will I be able to run the LED's in series (daisy chain)?


That is the minimum voltage. There is likely a maximum voltage too... you also need to pay attention to the current rating. You should buy a resistor to put in line with the LED to limit the current so that you don't burn the LED out. Here is a calculator you can use http://www.sengpielaudio.com/calculator-ohmslaw.htm or if you are old fashioned Voltage = Current * Resistance :P However, I think that if you use the exact voltage you might not need a resistor? Not too sure... resistors are cheap, just go with a resistor.

I am pretty sure you will need to run the LEDs in parallel. Each LED will cause a voltage drop and thus any LED after that one in series will get a lower voltage and thus be dimmer.

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Re: Glowies, Blinkies, UVies & Other Illuminations

Postby Foxfur » Fri Jul 15, 2011 11:23 am

These are the forward voltages for common LED's: (also called fwd bias voltage & voltage drop)
IR 1.5
red 2.0
orange 2.0
yellow 2.1
green 2.2
true green 3.3
blue 3.3
white 3.3
UV 3.3
blue (430 nm) 4.6

Typical drive current is 20mA You can drive them higher for increased voltage but life will suffer at a non-linear rate the higher you go.
Plug these numbers into this calculator:
http://ledcalculator.net/
It will show you either a wiring diagram or schematic, your choice.
There are many calcs online. Electronic creations are much easier than you'd believe. It's just like any artform. Start off painting by numbers and eventually you can start from a blank canvas. There are plenty of soldering FAQ's and instructions online. MAKE magazine is a great source of ideas and instruction. Find out if there are "hackspaces" / "hackerspaces" in your city. People of all skills and skill levels get together and collaborate or build individually and they are glad to help you become addicted.

Hackerspace directory:
http://hackerspaces.org

Instructables is a terrific resource for not only electronics but everything else as well.
[url]http;//www.instructables.com[/url]

A handy thing to do that is fun too is to deliberately wreck a few or a few dozen LED's. Drive them at increasingly higher current by reducing the value of the current limiting resistor or using a potentiometer. You'd be amazed how bright they'll get!
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Re: Glowies, Blinkies, UVies & Other Illuminations

Postby capjbadger » Fri Jul 15, 2011 1:56 pm

junglesmacks wrote:Check THIS little toy out.. :twisted:

http://cgi.ebay.com/5M-SMD-5050-RGB-Wat ... 3366cdaf1c

Better deal:
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vi ... K:MEWNX:IT

I just bought 3 reels for $30 a piece + free shipping ($30 was their counter offer to my bid offer)

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Re: Glowies, Blinkies, UVies & Other Illuminations

Postby illy dilly » Fri Jul 15, 2011 3:42 pm

Workinonit wrote:
illy dilly wrote:OK, so I don't know a whole lot about LED's. Hopefully you can help me figure some stuff out.

From the previous post, you said most LED's like 3v, DC? yes?
The UV LEDs on the Ebay link has that little chart for voltage, it says the UV like 3-3.4v. So, if I use 4 AA batteries in 2 pairs. 2 AA in each pair in series, to get 3v. Then each pair in Parallel, to stay at 3v but longer life. I should be able to just run leads to each LED right?
Will I need to run the leads from each LED back to the batteries, or will I be able to run the LED's in series (daisy chain)?


That is the minimum voltage. There is likely a maximum voltage too... you also need to pay attention to the current rating. You should buy a resistor to put in line with the LED to limit the current so that you don't burn the LED out. Here is a calculator you can use http://www.sengpielaudio.com/calculator-ohmslaw.htm or if you are old fashioned Voltage = Current * Resistance :P However, I think that if you use the exact voltage you might not need a resistor? Not too sure... resistors are cheap, just go with a resistor.

I am pretty sure you will need to run the LEDs in parallel. Each LED will cause a voltage drop and thus any LED after that one in series will get a lower voltage and thus be dimmer.

As always...
Workinonit

Yeah looking at the ebay page, it says 3v min-3.2v max. It doesn't say what the voltage drop is. But screw it. For 5 bucks and free shipping, I'll hook em up to some AA batteries. Throw the multi-meter on them and see what happens. LOL.

Yeah I always remember it "Power Is Valuable" and "Value Is Resistance" so P=I x V and V=I x R where P is Power, I is current, V is volts. And in the sister equation R is Resistance or Ohms. And then from those two equations you can do all sorts of algebra to figure out other stuff. And that is pretty much the extent of my electrical engineering daily routine.
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Re: Glowies, Blinkies, UVies & Other Illuminations

Postby junglesmacks » Fri Jul 15, 2011 4:00 pm

When you're hooking up a bunch of + sources to the same daisy chain, there is no voltage drop as you go. Every + contact is seeing the same amount of voltage as the previous one. Think about it. Wire goes to the + and wire leaves the + to the next +.. so on and so forth.

1 AA or AAA battery is 1.5 volts, so 2 would be 3 volts.. or you can get one of those 4 AA holders that are wired to give 3v.. just they would last longer using 4 AAs instead of 2. You can run LEDs that require 3.2-3v off of less.. they will just get dimmer as the night goes on.

They really are so very easy to work with. Check out my thread about the pants that I'm building. Once you play with them for a few minutes its like.. dude.. I'm sticking these things everywhere. They're so easy. I'm making my girl a skirt with like 30 purple LEDs embedded using one of the 4 AA/3v holders, and just daisy chaining them together. Push the LED through the fabric, and bend the contacts outwards and they stay in perfect. So.. easy. Sew in a little pouch in the back to hold the battery pack and wire it all together with some 22 gauge stranded hookup wire from Radio Shack or wherever. Solder the joints for best durability.

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Re: Glowies, Blinkies, UVies & Other Illuminations

Postby ricochet » Fri Jul 15, 2011 4:37 pm

SnowBlind wrote:
Eric wrote:Yes, I do that, but you have to be careful to connect them correctly. The LEDs would burn out if you tried to connect the batteries backwards.


They shouldn't. LEDs are Diodes (the D in LED). Diodes conduct current one way, but block it the other way. So if you connect an LED the wrong way around, it will block and no current will flow. It will not get damaged. (Unless the voltage was very high, but then you'd probably fry the the right way around too).


OK, I did hesitate when I was writing that. I have burned some out but not for a long time, maybe I had done something else. So maybe now I'm just superstitious about it. Hmm, I should try that again.

BTW, that was me, not Eric with the false warning.
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Re: Glowies, Blinkies, UVies & Other Illuminations

Postby SnowBlind » Fri Jul 15, 2011 5:11 pm

ricochet wrote:BTW, that was me, not Eric with the false warning.


Oops, must have messed that up when I edited the quotes down. :(
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Re: Glowies, Blinkies, UVies & Other Illuminations

Postby SnowBlind » Fri Jul 15, 2011 5:23 pm

illy dilly wrote:OK, so I don't know a whole lot about LED's. Hopefully you can help me figure some stuff out.

From the previous post, you said most LED's like 3v, DC? yes?
The UV LEDs on the Ebay link has that little chart for voltage, it says the UV like 3-3.4v. So, if I use 4 AA batteries in 2 pairs. 2 AA in each pair in series, to get 3v. Then each pair in Parallel, to stay at 3v but longer life. I should be able to just run leads to each LED right?
Will I need to run the leads from each LED back to the batteries, or will I be able to run the LED's in series (daisy chain)?


LEDs are highly non-linear, that means you can't just do the usual V = IR to figure things out. You could in theory run them without a resistor, but that would only work if you have the exact right voltage. Small changes in voltage can result in big changes in current, and damage them. So unless you are using a special driver, which keeps the current constant, you should add resistor to limit the current.

Other than adding the resistor, you can do the battery setup you describe. If you run two LEDs in parallel, each should get their own resistor. If you run them in series (I assume that's what you mean by daisy chaining), you can run them with a single resistor. However, then you need to double the voltage, since each LED will drop 3 volts (or whatever their forward voltage is). You should also have some headroom, since the resistor will eat some of your voltage. (So if the forward voltage is between 3 and 3.4, you might not be able to run them of 2 AAs. You'd then have to use 3 AAs and drop the difference over the resistor.)
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Re: Glowies, Blinkies, UVies & Other Illuminations

Postby junglesmacks » Fri Jul 15, 2011 5:30 pm

Go here: http://led.linear1.org/led.wiz

Play with the numbers. Once you see it with your own eyes, it's much easier.

Also.. LEDs are not as fragile as you are making them out to be. They will only get dimmer as the voltage drops out.. not spontaneously combust. Running multiple LEDs off of 2 AA batteries is not going to harm anything.. :lol:

By "daisy chaining", I mean having multiple LEDs.. right? A wire comes from the positive source of the battery and goes to the first positive lead on the LED. A wire then connect to the first positive pin, and then goes to the second LED positive pin.. so on and so forth. A parallel circuit.. just linking them all up by common positive and negative wires from one to the next like a big chain.
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Re: Glowies, Blinkies, UVies & Other Illuminations

Postby illy dilly » Fri Jul 15, 2011 6:27 pm

See, and to me, Daisy Chain means run in series.
Funny how not specific terms can be flip flopped to mean two different but similar things.
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Re: Glowies, Blinkies, UVies & Other Illuminations

Postby junglesmacks » Fri Jul 15, 2011 10:49 pm

illy dilly wrote:See, and to me, Daisy Chain means run in series.
Funny how not specific terms can be flip flopped to mean two different but similar things.


Very true.. we should be more specific when giving instruction/advice :D
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Re: Glowies, Blinkies, UVies & Other Illuminations

Postby theCryptofishist » Sat Jul 16, 2011 7:32 pm

I won't say what "daisy chain" means to me.
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Re: Glowies, Blinkies, UVies & Other Illuminations

Postby Eric » Sat Jul 16, 2011 7:46 pm

theCryptofishist wrote:I won't say what "daisy chain" means to me.


and you thought you didn't have a mind as dirty as me & Yggy.
I did avoid posting a picture, much to my credit...
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Re: Glowies, Blinkies, UVies & Other Illuminations

Postby theCryptofishist » Sat Jul 16, 2011 7:52 pm

Eric wrote:
theCryptofishist wrote:I won't say what "daisy chain" means to me.


and you thought you didn't have a mind as dirty as me & Yggy.
I did avoid posting a picture, much to my credit...

But, but, it would be so...eduCAtional...
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Re: Glowies, Blinkies, UVies & Other Illuminations

Postby MyDearFriend » Sat Jul 16, 2011 8:28 pm

theCryptofishist wrote:
Eric wrote:
theCryptofishist wrote:I won't say what "daisy chain" means to me.


and you thought you didn't have a mind as dirty as me & Yggy.
I did avoid posting a picture, much to my credit...

But, but, it would be so...eduCAtional...


Yeah I am voting for pix too.
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Re: Glowies, Blinkies, UVies & Other Illuminations

Postby BBadger » Mon Jul 18, 2011 11:29 pm

How to properly rig up your LEDs so you don't burn them out and so you can power up multiple LEDs at your desired brightness:

  • Assume your battery has voltage V+
  • Assume your LED has a "forward voltage" V_f and that V+ is greater than V_f
  • Assume that your LED has a "maximum continuous current" of I_c

Your goal: find a proper resistor with value R that will give you [i]I_c so that you have the brightest LED for your battery (without burning the LED out).[/i]

The resistor limits how much current the LED receives. With too much current the LED can burn out. The LED is connected in series (end to end) with the resistor so that the resistor limits the current passing through both.

  • Compute how much voltage you will have across your resistor. This is your battery's voltage (V+) minus the forward voltage of your LED (V_f):

    V_r = V+ - V_f

  • Determine the value of the resistor R, using Ohm's law. This involves your max current (I_c) and the resistor voltage (V_r):

    Ohm's law: voltage = current * resistance --> V = I * R

    Therefore: resistance = voltage / current --> R = V / I

    R = V_r / I_c

Example:

  • Bright green LED from Sparkfun Electronics (http://www.sparkfun.com/products/8285):

    V_f = 3.4V
    I_c = 20mA = 0.020A

    (please note that you should probably buy your LEDs from eBay, as $0.95 from Sparkfun is a very expensive LED.)
  • Battery pack: 4xAA batteries

    V+ = 4 x 1.5V = 6V
  • Compute V_r:

    V_r = 6V - 3.4V = 2.6V
  • Compute the necessary resistance R:

    R = 2.6V / 0.02A = 130 ohm

Great, now choose a resistor that is close to that value. We're in luck, because 130ohm is a pretty standard value at parts shops like Mouser.com. I would buy 100 at a time, since it's only $1.80 for 100 compared to $0.10 in singles.

A word on resistor wattage:

If you're powering high powered LEDs, you might need to have resistors that can handle that much power. Resistors have power ratings (in watts), usually 1/8W, 1/4W, 1/2W, 1W, etc.

  • You can compute the wattage as follows:
    Power(Watts) = I_c * I_c * R
  • Example using the above:
    0.02A * 0.02A * 130ohm = 0.052W

So a 1/4 W or 1/8 W resistor will do.

Paralleling your resistors:

Simply attach the LED + resistor series-pairs as described above to the same battery voltage. E.g.

Code: Select all
     V+
     |
+----'----+----+
|         |    |
L         L    L
E   ...   E    E
D         D    D
|         |    |
R   ...   R    R
|         |    |
+----.----+----+
     |
     V- (battery negative, i.e. ground)
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Re: Glowies, Blinkies, UVies & Other Illuminations

Postby junglesmacks » Tue Jul 19, 2011 5:16 am

Dude. I could hear that going over people's heads like a Scud missile. Instead of trying to explain and rationalize Ohm's Law, use the wizard here: http://led.linear1.org/led.wiz
Savannah wrote:It sounds freaky & wrong, so you need to do it.
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Re: Glowies, Blinkies, UVies & Other Illuminations

Postby DustHand » Tue Jul 19, 2011 7:15 am

junglesmacks wrote:Dude. I could hear that going over people's heads like a Scud missile. Instead of trying to explain and rationalize Ohm's Law, use the wizard here: http://led.linear1.org/led.wiz


That is a very cool wizard. Me like.

FWIW...I thougth is was nice for someone to fully explain Ohm's Law. I'm the CE for a couple of radio stations, and some folks like to see the fine details spelled out for others...

But for the novice...that wizard rocks.
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Re: Glowies, Blinkies, UVies & Other Illuminations

Postby illy dilly » Tue Jul 19, 2011 3:31 pm

BBadger wrote:
[*]Battery pack: 4xAA batteries

V+ = 4 x 1.5V = 6V

[*]Compute V_r:

V_r = 6V - 3.4V = 2.6V

[*]Compute the necessary resistance R:

R = 2.6V / 0.02A = 130 ohm[/list]


OK so then from what you're saying, if I'm using 4 AA batteries, and these UV LEDs http://cgi.ebay.com/50-pcs-5mm-Round-UV-purple-Superbright-LED-Light-/110619752690?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item19c17378f2 (from a previous post)
In the chart on the page it shows they have a forward voltage of 3.2 and everything else is rated at 20mA. So if:
6-3.2= 2.8 then 2.8/.02= 140ohm. I'm with ya up to there.
But when I plug the same info into the LED Wizard previously mentioned with lets say 10 LEDs, it tells me I need a 150ohm resistor.
Help me out here. Both 140 and 150 ohm resistors seem to be pretty easy to find, but which would be better?
Why don't ya stick your head in that hole and find out? ~piehole
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Re: Glowies, Blinkies, UVies & Other Illuminations

Postby junglesmacks » Tue Jul 19, 2011 3:34 pm

10 ohms isn't going to make a visual difference, and your voltage will drop on you as you use them.. so go 140ohm. The wizard must just be doing some rounding.

Purple LEDs are also very dim, FYI. I've got a bag of 1000 here that I was going to use until I saw how dim they were. Now they are going on the girls outfit embedded in the long white shag fur for a cool purple glow..

Also, that seller is great FWIW. I've order 5 different orders through him, and they are always at my door within like 10 days.
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