Instructables

Using transparent silicone glue and conductive threads to make flexible LEDs Circuit

FeaturedContest Winner
 
Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up

Step 1: Materials for mounting the LEDs circuit

Picture of Materials for mounting the LEDs circuit
.The circuit consists of 3 flat square LEDs, connected to the Conductive Thread.
. The anode and cathode of the LEDs were cut and bent.
. Three ends of the conductive thread were twisted together so as to improve the conductivity.

Step 2: Making the LEDs Circuit

Picture of Making the LEDs Circuit
. The Anode and Cathode of the LEDs were bent over the conductive thread.
. The LEDs were connected in Parallel.

Step 3: Testing the LEDS circuit

Picture of Testing the LEDS circuit
. The Circuit was tested by connecting to a DC power supply

Step 4: Sealing the circuit in the silicone paste

Picture of Sealing the circuit in the silicone paste
. A rectangular piece of Aluminium, of size 8 cm by 5 cm with 3mm thickness, was used as a mould. 
. The circuit was sealed in the wet silicone paste.

Step 5: Removing the silicone from the mould

Picture of Removing the silicone from the mould
. Once dried, the silicone was easily removed from the mould.
. The silicone is very adhesive and normally will glue to most materials.
. The surface of the aluminium mould was made very smooth and this prevented the silicone to adhere to the surface.

Step 6: Testing the silicone LEDs circuit

Picture of Testing the silicone LEDs circuit

. The silicone circuit was further connected to a power supply and illuminated instantly creating a nice strong glow.
 

Step 7: Bending the silicone circuit

Picture of Bending the silicone circuit
. It was interesting to note that the silicone could be bent to almost 360 degrees on either side.
. While bending the silicone circuit, the LEDs inside, continued to stay lit.
. The silicone circuit was hand-washed several times.
. After each washing and drying, it was tested by connecting to the power supply.
. Amazingly, the circuit lit up.
. The sample was further washed two more times and the results were all the same.
. All LEDs lit up opening a wider scope for more experiments.
brahmdanger3 years ago
Im in California, USA, does anyone know a good place to pick up raw silicone like this? it makes me want to run some tests of my own. Is there anything you could add to the silicone mix to reflect or amplify the led brightness? Great work!
BrahmDanger- I don't know about "raw" silocone, but I like to use GE type II waterproof silicone for projects. You may find it in a better hardware store. I did not find this specific version in a smaller hardware store, but the people with the orange aprons had it on a huge wall of "goop" at the paint department.

Warning: I have not tested the conductivity, I just like the way the Clear Type II dries into a soft and flexible mass.
Gadget932 years ago
This is cool but I have a couple questions.
1) Where can one get conductive thread?
2) What kind of batteries and how many would this circuit take?
asvin.b (author)  Gadget932 years ago
Hi there,

please visit the following site, you may buy your thread from there.

http://www.mindsetsonline.co.uk/index.php?cPath=418_464

Also you may use 2 AA batteries to power up the LEDs (3V).

Thanks and have a nice day.

asvin.b
bkennelly2 years ago
Love this. Trying to come up with ways/places to use it and my mind is spinning. Thanks

The only thing slowing me down is the lack of local availability for iwde ranging electronics components - thank goodness for the internet :-)
siafulinux3 years ago
Excellent; loving it!
Opsenica3 years ago
faster way of making same effect is using hot glue gun... i did same thing when isolating led's for using them underwater... same can be applied for all electronics + it wont get dirty or broken if u make something urself =)
asvin.b (author)  Opsenica3 years ago
Hi there,
the problem with hot glue from glue gun is that it dries up very quickly and you have to work fast. i have tried melting glue stick in a container, but it took too long and it dries up very quickly as mentioned before. it will work if you apply it on individual LEDs but difficult to use on a whole circuit. with the silicone, you can get an even and regular surface.
I've been told that hot glue has nontrivial conductivity, that is putting gobs of glue on two terminals is equivalent to adding a 1 Mohm resistor. I've been advised to use liquid electrical tape as a result.
asvin.b (author) 3 years ago
Hi there,

thanks for the comments. i am actually doing some more reseach on the silicone circuit and i have been able to reduce the thickness further (2mm) by using smaller LEDs. i am now trying to implement the silicone circuit in garments in the form of a raised print.

cheers and have a nice day....

asvin.b
Ashemha3 years ago
Great testing. Wouldn't this be a soft circuit entry? I would love to see someone test to see if you can "sense" a touch a a certain point to make this an interactive software layer!

Again - good idea, good test, and good write up.
Pro

Get More Out of Instructables

Already have an Account?

close

PDF Downloads
As a Pro member, you will gain access to download any Instructable in the PDF format. You also have the ability to customize your PDF download.

Upgrade to Pro today!