Picture of Make a hackable LED ornament.
Make an LED ornament that lets you shuffle different colours and types of LEDs at any time depending on what you want. For a really great effect try using the cheap colour changing LEDs off ebay. This project can run on a battery pack or from a mains adapter so you can use it anywhere.

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Step 1: Getting the bits together.

Picture of Getting the bits together.
For this project you're going to need some stiff single core insulated wire. It's best to use two different colours to keep track of polarity, but they can be any two colours. For instance you could use black and grey. In this version I used red and black which are the polarity colours for positive (+) and negative (-). Make sure that the wire is stiff enough to support the weight of the socket and LED or your ornament is going to be a bit floppy. I used 1-core 0.6mm CSA wire (About 19 AWG) for mine.

You'll also need some miniature sockets for the LEDs. I used standard Molex style sockets with a 0.1" (2.54mm) pitch. These are actually designed for interconnecting PCBs, but they also make great LED sockets. They are supplied as a plastic shell and individual contacts that click into place once you've attached the wire.

You'll need some resistors that will depend on the voltage you are going to use the display at. Typically 330 ohms for up to 9 volts and 1000 ohms for up to 18 volts. Normal quarter watt carbon film resistors are ideal.

Some heatshrink sleeving is good for covering the resistors with. It makes them look neat and keeps them from shorting against each other. Choose a sleeve that will slide easily over your resistors. Typically about 3mm (about 1/8th of an inch) inside diameter.

LEDs. Any type shape and size as long as the leads are on 0.1" / 2.54mm spacing. Diffused LEDs will give bright dots of light on the ornament while clear LEDs will project random splashes of colour around the room. Choose the brightest LEDs you can find. Ebay is a good resource. Don't worry if you get some cheap LEDs that fail, 'cos you can just plug in a new one in seconds!

Finally choose a suitable power supply. This could be a battery pack or a plug-in mains adapter. The adapter doesn't need to be regulated, so you could use a general purpose one. You could even run the effect from a solar power supply like the ones used for outdoor solar garden lighting.

add an arduino to flash the leds
zoltzerino6 years ago
I just noticed the clock thing is wrong - I commented after ledscreen. ZZZZ
zoltzerino6 years ago
Wow, that comment is odd. ah well, advertising is advertising... ZZZZ