Best way to make LEDs blink

I'm looking to make an LED strip blink on a switch. wondering which way would be the best way build the circuit. Open to opinions, was looking at a 555 timer, dual transistor and relay circuits. Was thinking of using the relay or dual transistor for the circuit for simplicity and size, am going to use it to make multiple led strips light up. A few strips must blink while the others can just stay on. Here is the battery and  lights I'm going to be using. What would be the best for the most power efficient and consistent "tick".

sort by: active | newest | oldest
rickharris2 years ago

555 but you may need to have a driver transistor to supply the current

A flashing LED in series.

An Astable - google for circuits.

chorn1 (author)  rickharris2 years ago

Awesome! thank you for the quick reply, the more i looked into it the more a 555 timer seemed to make sense. Still a complete noob with electronics and am excited to post my first inscrutable.

loke this.

I totally reccomend you get some bread board to experiment on - it makes connecting quick and easy.


kmossman2 years ago

Relays are only good if the blink rate is low. Don't forget they also need power, but can control a lot of current/voltage at almost no loss. Noise might be an issue. You still need a timer circuit to control the relay. Don't forget a diode to stop the back EMF. Relays can fail to 'latch' and dis-engage and they can 'chatter'.

The other choices for a switch are transistors or mosfets or such. To my mind transistors have a slightly higher power loss, but are easier to drive. The cheap and easily available 2N3055 transistor can handle 10A.

For the timer circuit...........

The 555 is flexible, cheap, and very well documented. . However bear in mind that the 555 can not drive to the full supply voltage - its max output voltage is about 2V less the supply voltage. You can use a transistor in CE mode [though it inverts the signal] to up the voltage. [A second transistor in CE mode would 'restore' the signal].The CMOS version of the 555 consumes little power.

Or you could use micro-power op-amps in an astable configuration. Or discrete components wired as such.

The 555 for the timer is my recommendation, despite the disadvantage mentioned. It is stable and reliable.

Hmmm, these LED strip controllers are often under 3 bucks on Ebay.
If you don't mind switching them seperately go for the controller switches unless you need something fancy...