I wanted to experiment with a lot of LED;s on AC mains, and this is the result.

I have used 160 white LED's for this project and it has been a success.

It gives a bright light and is suitable for the Drawing room, or the Dining room.'

You can have a Candlelight dinner without the candles.

Hang it from the ceiling and you have a decorative light. It is easy to make and is also cheap.

Step 1: STEP-1

Picture of STEP-1
List of parts.

1. Extra bright white LED's =160 pieces
2. Motorcycle Wheel SPOKES = 4 pieces
3. Perforated Hard board of required size = 1 piece
4. Stepdown Transformer 220 volts to 12 volts 1 piece of 2 Amps.(Used in Stereo Amplifier)
5. Male Electrical 2 pin PLUG = 1 piece.
6. Solder wire.
7. Connecting Electrical wires as needed.
8. Tools for Electronic wireing.
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Dear sir,
in between also is it to be soldered MEANS WHERE FIRST ROW AND BELOW ROW(2nd) WHERE THEY ARE CROSSING (top one to bottom 2 and bottom 1 to top 2 at this junction)
Dipankar (author)  laludesiraju1 year ago
Yes the crossing is to be soldered.
nicholasm2 years ago
can i have the schematic digram?
Dipankar (author)  nicholasm2 years ago
It is the same as in STEP-3.
Wow! It's amazing!I like it,really it! I will try out this!
meanpc3 years ago
This is a fantastic project, well done!
Treknology4 years ago
Very nice idea. I was thinking of something similar but caculating the number of LEDs to run directly at 260V (should be high enough to avoid spike damage).

I notice that all mains LED bulbs are only rated at 230V, when here in Oz we're 240V, which means the odd encounter with 260V is not uncommon.
Truth is... A/C mains are all engineered to ABOUT 240 volts. 120/240/480 is the theoretically convenient figures with the way mankind engineered power generation. In the US, some things say 110, some 115, and some 120 volts A/C, but it is ALL SEMANTICS. My home measures 113 VAC, at my office, 116VAC... my office, by the way, it AT the power plant! heh heh

your issue in OZ is a matter of semantics still... 230, 240, 220, BAH! It's all the same and NONE are exact. the nature of the power systems doesn't require it to be exact. AC circuits dont need to be exact, and when we need more exact power for precision devices, we use DC circuits that are rectified, stepped down and regulated to the precise power needed, which is always WAY WELL BELOW the 120 or 240 volts from the mains...!

Hope this informs people... I know I had a EUREKA moment when I put it all together years ago!

Dipankar (author)  ckoellein3 years ago
Very Correct, AC voltage is never stable..................
Dipankar (author)  Treknology4 years ago
Hi Treknology,
This is NOT run on 230 volts but through a transformer which brings down the voltage to 12 volts.
You can use a transformer of 240 / 12 volts.
then calculate the number of LED's to use in one line.
So, to find out what a transformer can support:

Measure its output:
- If it is AC, use the V-AC scale on your multimeter, and multiply the results by 1.4 to get V-peak
- If it is DC, use the V-DC scale read out V-peak.
The number of white (or blue) LEDs it can support is:
- Vpeak / 3.3 and round up to the next integer. (E.g 4.2 is 5)
(Use V-peak / 2 for Red, Orange and Yellow LEDs)
That is the number of LEDs you can put in a series to operate off the transformer safely.
For AC circuits, you will need to duplicate another chain in the opposite polarity.
LEDs can be any current, as long as they are all the same, and the transformer has the current (A or mA) to support it.
Note: AC transformers can also have a VA rating instead of amps - just divide that number by the volts to get amps.

I was aiming at maximum efficiency and longest life. The LED specs that I used for my calculation came up to 80 LEDs running on 240VAC as a single string consuming approximately 5W. I allowed up to 260VAC so that it wouldn't just blow out suddenly. That was using a bridge rectifier, or I could increase it 160 LEDs if I ran two strings in reverse to each other as you have suggested.

I certainly agree that if one wants room to play with the LEDs then ELV is pretty much compulsory. It would be so much easier and cheaper if we all used the 400VAC 400Hz standard.
bombix4 years ago

Wouldnt it be possible to make a series big enougf to connect it directly to 220V?

Nice work!
Dipankar (author)  bombix4 years ago
Yes but risky,
230 x 1.4 = 322
322 divide by 3.5 = 92 LEd's.
92 LED's on + side and
92 LED's on - side
total 184 LED's are required to run it on 220 vols AC.
But sir if we add a bridge rectifier, we would only need 92 leds, right?
Also sir why did you multiply 220 by 1.4?
Dipankar (author)  qwerty1563 years ago
READ MY ANSWER TO Treknology, below
to know the mystery of the 1:4
Don't you have to worry about the current jumping gaps eventually...?
Dipankar (author)  violentorchid3 years ago
AC current is a plus minus thing, first it goes one way and then the other way. That is why all four legs of each LED's are connected at the center.
tyler3030474 years ago
ok I have a question I get what to do with those three rows for the sides but what do you do for the bottom because I don't think you explained it?
Dipankar (author)  tyler3030473 years ago
Study the circuit carefully and you will get your answer.
tyler3030474 years ago
Also for step 2 in the middle are they all connected or is the negative led snaking under or over the positive line?
all four leads(not leds) are soldered in the middle.
Dipankar (author)  josh13243 years ago
1 leg of all 4 LED's are connected at the center. RIGHT.
I assume you could add a Capacitor to smooth the supply and limit the flicker if it did bother you!?
Because this is fully AC, not DC with an AC component, a capacitor will not do anything to reduce ficker. Some addtional changes would be necessary: change the polarity of all the diodes to point the same way, add a bridge rectifier to the output of the step-down transformer, then add a substantial amount of capacitance to reduce flicker.
Dipankar (author)  Plaidomatic6 years ago
Make this Instructable and then see it practically, the flicker is negligible as the LED's are close together.
The flicker is more if the distance of the LED's are more.
Adding a bridge rectifier will not work on AC.
This is intentionally made for AC current.
Some people are more sensitive to flicker than others. At any distance, looking at the lamp out of the corner of your eye is likely to show the flicker. While I can understand your desire to reduce part count and cost, as well as increase the simplicity of the design, the change from AC to DC is small, and eliminates any flicker. You've already used a transformer to drop the voltage to a more manageable level. Many AC-only designs even skip the transformer and use much longer serial strings of diodes. Aligning the polarity of the LEDs and adding a bridge rectifier and a smoothing capacitor are pretty trivial, if someone were building a new lamp.
You possibly wouldnt need to use four standard diodes as you have 160 of them sat in front of you :)
Dipankar (author)  Plaidomatic6 years ago
Hi Plaidomatic, Changng to DC becomes costly with many addtional parts. A little un- noticeable flicker is overlooked. Your 4 ft. fluorescent tube also gives a flicker.
No, to change to DC you only have to add a single monolithic bridge rectifier and a single large electrolytic capacitor. A fluorescent tube does have flicker, yes, but it will be less than AC LEDs because of the persistence of the phosphor in the tube. Also, I said before, some people are rather more sensitive to flicker than others, and are even disturbed by the flicker of fluorescents.
Dipankar (author)  Plaidomatic6 years ago
Hi Plaidomatic, Only adding a Bridge Rectrier will not work. You have to change the circuit to DC. I don't think One capacitor will work and what about resisrors? You have said " then add a substantial amount of capacitance to reduce flicker." If you change the circuit for DC then there will be no flicker, agreed, but DC circuit costs more as you still have to have a Transformer.
As I stated before, changing the rest of the circuit to DC primarily requires aligning the polarity of the LEDs. No resistors are necessary. The amount of capacitance necessary would be substantial, but there are large individual capacitors that can do the job. There's nothing wrong at all with your design. I applaud its simplicity and elegance. However, should someone want to convert it to DC, I was only trying to point out that it could be done simply and with little additional expense.
Dipankar (author)  Plaidomatic6 years ago
Thank you.
Mmmm it was a passing thought and the answers are often explained better in the comments which I now read before leaving a comment as it gets taken the wrong way. (Spoke out loud really lol!) Moving away from this topic my concern swiftly turned to controlling the current which I know is easily achieved by converting the design to DC and as you kindly mentioned would also eliminate any flicker. Which would bother me! (Personal choice) Having learned alot about LED's and DC set ups, my comments were NOT intended to undermine Dipankar's design but left in an attempt to fully understand it and learn more about AC Circuits. I personally would NOT attempt to use any homemade LED Light AC or DC in my home without fully understanding its Concept. Many thanks Plaidomatic for your constructive answer
Dipankar (author)  phoenixdoitall6 years ago
There is practically no flicker, as the LED's are so close together.
lauralbaby4 years ago
Could you attach a dimmer knob to this?
Usb power this is this possible 12v usb??
Dipankar (author)  rory.ashton114 years ago
This is specially made to run on 220 volt AC.

To run it on 12 v USB a different type of Circuit in required.
bombix4 years ago

Woulnt it be possible to make some series big enoughf to connect directly to 220V?

Nice work!
hrschbck5 years ago
great project!!! im looking to try out this weekend. i am going to order some parts; do you have a part # or specs for the LEDs? also, what is the current rating for the wiring as i'm looking to make it as sleek and trim as possible.


PS any voltage/amperage/power calcs are nice (or links to them)...
Dipankar (author)  hrschbck5 years ago
Extra bright white LED's 5mm, 10000 to 20000 mcd.
Better to follow the same circuit but you can change the shape as you like.
I designed this circuit on my own so I don't have any link for it.
Good hunting.

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