Lighted Wire Bonsai Tree

Introduction: Lighted Wire Bonsai Tree

Another wire tree! Well, I won't waste your time on how to make the tree, as there are plenty of amazing Instructables out there already. I was inspired by Awesome Crafts for the construction of the tree, and suziechuzie for my wiring ideas. In this Instructable I will focus on how I constructed the LED's, and how I wired the tree.

Supplies

  • 30 AWG Magnet Wire Green and Red (I used salvaged wire from transformers)
  • 3v or lower Power Supply (I used an adjustable power supply)
  • In line switch Amazon
  • Solder Ring Wire Connectors Amazon
  • 1206 LED's
  • Soldering Iron
  • Solder
  • Flux
  • Lighter
  • Wire Cutters
  • Helping Hands for soldering
  • Hot Glue Gun

Step 1: Constructing the LED's

Prepare the wires by cutting an equal number of red and green wires 20 inches in length. Use a lighter and carefully burn off 1/4 inch of the enameled coating on both sides of the wire. Then use some medium grit sand paper to expose and clean the copper until it is shinny on all sides. On one end of each wire, trim the exposed copper to 1/8 inch, this will be the end that you solder to the LED. Tin both the LED and the wire, then solder the red wire to the positive side and the green to the negative side. Avoid having exposed copper below your solder point as this could lead to a short. Trim any excesses wire above the LED. Then add a bead of hot glue all around the LED and the wire. This will serve to help support a very small/fragile solder point as well as diffuse the LED. I then tested each one using a multimeter to make sure they worked.

Step 2: Wrap Wire and Tin Tips

Determine the location for each LED. Wrap the red and green wire through the branches, trunk, and down to the roots. I did mine separately, but you could probably do them at the same time. I then tested each one using a multimeter to make sure it worked. Once all LEDs are placed, group all of the red wires together and all of the green wires together. Trim to meet the needs of your base so all wires are the same length. Expose about 1/4 inch of copper on each wire using the technique from the previous step. Tin the end of each wire. Twist all of the reds together and all of the greens together, then solder them together so you have one positive wire and one negative wire.

Step 3: Wiring the Switch and Power Supply

I used an old adjustable power supply because it was the only 3v source that I had. I am glad I did, because 3v is kind of bright, but turn it down to 1.5v and it's real nice! Bad news, if someone accidentally turns the voltage too high it will blow the LED's. Solution, put in a fuse. Not done yet.

Using solder ring wire connectors, which, if you haven't tried, are totally awesome, connect one end of your switch to the positive and negative of the tree, and the other end of the switch to the power supply. This is where that fuse would go as well. Use a lighter or heat gun to melt the solder ring and shrink the heat shrink tubing.

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