Introduction: Solar Power From LED

I've always wondered why the Arduino programs shuts off when I take pictures of my LED projects with flash. With a little investigation I learned that LEDs, in and of itself, are photodiodes, and with the high intensity brightness form the flash generates electricity that overloads the Arduino.

This projects is a demonstration and project on how to use a simple light emitting diode (LED) as a solar cell.

Step 1: BoM

  • LED(s)
  • Multimeter
  • Light source
  • [Optional] Breadboard (for single LED's)

Step 2: Connecting the LED to the Multimeter

Connect all the anodes (positive, rounded edge) of the LED together by plugging all of them into the red rail on the breadboard for a solderless solution. Then, connect all the cathodes (negative, flat edge) of the LED together by plugging them into the blue rail on the breadboard. Pretty simple, eh!

Step 3: Let There Be Power!!!

Connect a red male-to-male jumper wire on one of the pins on the red rail, and a black male-to-male jumper wire on one of the pins on the blue rail. Now, turn on your multimeter to the "2V DC" setting and touch the red probe with the red jumper wire and black probe with the black jumper wire.

The LED needs to be very close to the light source since it's relatively weak when it gets to the LED (in comparison with a DSLR's flash). The closer it is to the light source the higher the voltage levels. Of course, it is expected that the values fluctuates, but it's still power from LEDs!!!

Step 4: LEDs in Series

Connecting the same LEDs in series on the breadboard, I was able to harness 0.110 V !!!

Makerspace Contest 2017

Participated in the
Makerspace Contest 2017

MacGyver Challenge

Participated in the
MacGyver Challenge