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Can I zap the light in a flickering LED without killing the flicker thingy?



I want to make a single LED flicker.  As far as I know, the only way to do this is to buy a chip and all the equipment needed to program it.  I don't know how to do that, and it's quite expensive.  So...

I bought one of those dollar store flickering LED candles and tried using the light from it as my flicker circuit. It's the LED itself that flickers, not a separate circuit. I sadly couldn't find any where the circuit was a separate chip.   I can't use this light as my light because they only come in yellow (I need white). So I painted the flickering LED black and attached it to my battery.  Now my actual project LED did flicker, but the other light was draining all my battery power so that my main light was a bit dim and died quickly.  So my brilliant idea for a $1 easy flicker method doesn't quite work. Unless somebody knows how to zap the light without killing the flicker thingy. Is this even possible? I've no idea how those flickering LEDs work.

Thanks.

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Kiteman5 years ago
Did you connect the black-painted LED to both terminals of the battery??

aliasjanedoe (author)  Kiteman5 years ago
Yes. It wouldn't work otherwise, right? It did work the way I had it and did make my second light flicker. My problem is that I'm using tiny coin cell batteries, and they're dying quickly because they're lighting a light that's painted black.
Your painted LED is shorting out your battery, which is why it's dying to fast.

Connect the painted LED in series with the one you want to flash (connect long leg of one to the short leg of the other), and you should be fine.
F.Y.I (not kiteman's I but the OP's I), this is how flickering christmas lights (the old ones) work. the first bulb on the string has a mechanism that causes the light itself to blink (AFAIK it's something like a bimetal switch or something that actually disconnects the circuit when it reaches a certain temperature...which is why the string has to warm up before it starts to blink) and then every other light on the string is in series after it. so the first one blinks, makes the rest of them blink since the electricity can't get past the first light until the circuit reconnects.
Except here it seems the author is using a FLED?
well, i'm not assuming that i know how a flashing LED works (apparently some kind of built in circuit), i was just trying to offer an analogous concept. the mechanism that causes the first light in the series to blink doesn't really matter with regards to why it makes the rest of the lights in the series blink.
I know, I was just offering a little extra information, in case the author thought his FLED needed to warm up...
ah, it could need to warm up, but only if it's lips are blue and it's shivering
aliasjanedoe (author)  crapflinger5 years ago
Okay, I think I understand better now how the flickering works. But I'm still powering two lights instead of one, so won't my battery die twice as fast?