I don’t how common is for you but we use to enjoy the christmas not only by the Christmas carols or the tremendous amount of food we are accustomed to eat but by the fact of decorating our home, specially the part of untangling the lights and check every single light bulb in order to find the one that has passed away, it was a pain in ass. Now on we have lights that comes with led's, but you probably still have an old one as my case and you want to do something to do with it, so let me show you a little project with that old light and a couple of led’s...
The old christsmas light
A diode 1n4004
The decoration (Such as artificial flowers, paint, and other stuffs)
Step 1: The Electric Part
Before unrolls the light as in christmas, let's consider how many leds are we gonna use and how the the light is wired. They normally come with three wires, as the first image. This allow us to connect a light after another, as you can see in the schematic we have an extra wire that is not necessary and we are going to remove it later on and finish with something like the second diagram. For lights with five or more wire we have a combination of the first image and the third which means that working with them will be a little more tricky, due the led's are connect both in series and parallel.
To know how many leds consider the output voltage of your house. For example here in Mexico we have 124 V, and I´m using 2 differents colors of leds the orange and the white (with 2.1 and 3.4 Volts respectively) so in order to know how many leds I'm gonna use, I create a simple formulae 3.4x + 2.1y = 124 where the x represents the number of orange leds and y represents the number of white leds I can have connected at the same time a obtain something like 24 orange leds and 26 white leds.
Step 2: Add Colour to the Light
Let's get creative, untangle and to give some color to the light. Count how many terminals for the leds are you gonna use and paint until there. Take as first terminal the one that is directly connected to the plug. Beware there is two wires coming out of the terminal, so just follow the one who has a nearest terminal and count how many terminals do you will need.
We choose the brown to simulate the color of a tree trunk. Trust is easier to start decorating because if we begin modifying the wiring we could end up with a spaghetti.
Step 3: Remove the Light Bulb With the Capsule /
Remove the light bulbs and its capsule until your mark.
Step 4: Insert the Leds Into the Capsules
Once you have retrieve the light bulbs it's time to insert the leds into the capsule and mark the cathode (normally the shortest pin of the led or where is a little cut in the led cap) side of the capsule.
Step 5: Put the Leds Into the Light
it's time to put the leds into the terminals. To know how to connect the leds take as reference the first terminal and its three wires: Connect the cathode side to the part of the terminal where two wires are together (See inside of the terminal, you can see that they are two wires to close).
Continue through the wire following this pattern the anode side should be connected to the wire coming from the cathode of the previous led, until you finish.
Step 6: Cut the Rest and Merge Your Circuit
If you have a light with three wires you probably have ended with all the terminals connected to one another. Now cut the wires that connect to the rest of the circuit, now you have the three wires, one is the ground (easy to spot due that it goes straight forward from plug to plug). After the cut you can locate the third wire by separate it from the ground and the one connecting the leds, once found cut it, merge the ground to the last terminal. And your circuit is almost ready.
Step 7: Add the Other Components
Now let's connect the switch and the diode 1n4004, but first let me explain the role of the diode in the circuit. As you know the alternate current comes a sinusoidal wave it means that it has positive and negative voltages, being the last ones dangerous to the leds, so we just avoid the pass of the current while it has a negative value by using the diode the diagram should help you to understand.
And a warning the diode have a polarity you can distinguish it by looking a gray line in the diode. This line should be pointing out to the first terminal and then weld it.
After the installation we courage you to connect the light to the current.
Step 8: Finishing Touches
before start the project my sister and I were thinking how much does she likes the blossom trees, so we wanna do something similar, the things that we used was inspired in that, color of the leds, the flower style, and leaves.
We try to simulated the trunk tree with the brown color, and two different color for the LED´s; using a pink flowers with white led’s and amber led’s for yellow flowers. We open up the flower and with the petals start to sorround the terminals and glue it with silicon.
After that we mounted it to the wall and begin stick the leaves to the light. And with that we finish the lamp and we wish to have show you up installed in her room but we haven't enough time. See yeah.