Instructables

LED wiring and soldering help needed

Hey everyone! New to the forum here but not to instructables. For quite a while i've been looking into making an iron man arc reactor. I've learned how to wire and solder regular LED's but i am at a loss for how to wire and solder surface mount LED's. I've tried searching and googling for some answers but i haven't really come up with much. Can anyone help me out? Oh and a bonus question for not only surface mount, but also regular LED's. I know how to hook up one LED to a battery pack...but what about hooking up multiple ones? Thanks for any help! I appreciate it!

AmandaGbur (author) 3 years ago
Ok i'm good to go on my project now! Thanks so much caitlinsdad and kelseymh for all your help, i very much appreciate it!
kelseymh3 years ago
(Side note...to reply to someone else's comment, hit the orange REPLY link below and to the right of their comment).

If you're running multiple LED's off a single power supply, you don't need resistors for all of them. 

If the battery puts out enough current, you can run them all in parallel, and a single resistor on the battery side will take care of the voltage drop.  In that case, you connect all the + sides together to a single lead, and all the - sides to another lead.  Those leads are what you connect to the battery.

If you're going to run them in series, then you chain them all together (+ to - to + to -).  There will be a resistor up front, and resistors (with different value) in between.  Now you just have one free lead at each end, to go to the battery.

No matter what, you'll want to use an "LED calculator" (put that into Google) to tell you what resistor values you need, given the particular LEDs and battery you're using in your circuit.

Good luck!
AmandaGbur (author)  kelseymh3 years ago
thanks to both kelseymh and caitlinsdad! The links and information you provided have helped further my learning for both LED's and my project.

I've decided that i am going to wire 11 regular standard LED's to one power source and need a resistor for each. I will be doing this set up in parallel. (don't worry i know the voltage and resistor type etc i did the led calculator) I'm going to set all the LED's up in a circle and one in the middle my question is though, i know i only use one wire to go from the battery to all of the LED's so must i strip all of the wire in order to connect them? I'm a bit confused when it comes to that part. Once i figure that out I'll be good to go! Here is a sample video of the design i'm looking at: Thanks for all the help you've provided me with once again!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-l3H9H88GyI

Just strip off enough insulation to wrap the wire around the first lead of your LED chain.  Solder that.  You can use your spare wire to extend the leads from the battery pack to whatever length you need it.  Just connect and solder that to the tab on the battery pack or extend the wire coming off of it.  Get some heat shrink tubing or electrical tape to insulate the joint afterwards so it doesn't short out anything.
AmandaGbur (author)  caitlinsdad3 years ago
Awesome! That makes things so much easier for me, i'll definitely be doing that. It is a six volt battery. Do you know where i can purchase this red and black wire/ what type it needs to be?
For your low power projects, you don't need heavy duty house wiring rated at 15 amps.  You should be able to find a spool of thin electronic hookup wire  AWG 24 size? anywhere from electronics shops, if there is one, to home centers to auto supply parts places.  I am sure you can salvage stuff to use like old headphone cables, computer cables, gutted out electronics, bits of speaker cable, antenna cable, doesn't matter if it is solid or stranded, usually copper wire.  Insulation color is only for convenience.
AmandaGbur (author)  kelseymh3 years ago
Thanks for all your help you two! I just have one more quick question, where can i buy the red and black wire? Thanks for all your help once again, i really appreciate it!
Any hardware store, or Radio Shack, or electronics parts store (not like Best Buy, but a components shop).  You'll want thin wire; "28 gauge" is good for a project like this.
AmandaGbur (author) 3 years ago
(removed by author or community request)
This one gives a good look at how to wire things up.  Have an extra spool of wire to cut up and make the connections.
 www.instructables.com/id/How-to-make-an-Iron-Man-Arc-Reactor/step2/Wiring-of-the-LEDs/  





caitlinsdad3 years ago
 Just put in "surface mount soldering" in the search box above.  You can hook up LEDs in series or parallel or get advanced with matrices or LED arrays.  Just look at the many LED instructables  that may do what you need to see how it is done.  Depending on the configuration, you have to figure out the power requirement and resistor to put in the circuit to protect the LEDs.  Search on "charlieplexing" for those mega LED projects.  Good luck.
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