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DESPERATE DAMSEL! LEDs help... Answered

Well, okay... I'm not really desperate but I am in (slight) distress-- needing someone to storm the castle of knowledge to save me from pounding my head against the walls of google-search any longer.

Looking for some specific LED information. I have looked through several LED-throw-y Instructables but so far I haven't found the information I need. I am mostly electronics-retarded and so if anyone can give me the correct info I would sincerely appreciate the assistance. I just need to know the batteries/battery power/models needed to power smaller than 10mm LEDs. My project involves a very small space-- 1.8mm-3mm-5mm sized LEDs would probably be best-- I would need to know the kind of batteries I would need (least bulky and least number of batteries I could utilize for each size 1.8mm-3mm-5mm) and how many I would need for each single LED to operate effectively.

Also-- is there any real concern of a fire hazard with such LEDs housed in an acrylic/urethane and resin container or would the output of the LED be such that I wouldn't have to have concerns of fire (or melting in the case or urethane/acrylic/resin) ? (Sorry if this question seems dumb, but again I stress how electronics-retarded I really am lol). Furthermore, if the LEDs had vellum or translucent paper covering them to diffuse the light-- would this additionally create any fire-hazard? The housing will probably vary between 14mm-20mm  for the LED with the batteries able to sit outside the LED-housing.

I appreciate any assistance in getting the information I need and offer many thanks in advance for any helpful replies!

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kelseymh
kelseymh

10 years ago

There is no fire hazard from the little low-power LEDs you're talking about.  These are the kind they use in Christmas lights and flashlights.  You can hold them in your hand indefinitely and they don't get warm.  There are projects where people seal them up in clear resin, and they're just fine.

You can definitely use the little button batteries to power them -- in fact, to power several of them in parallel (i.e., put all the negative leads together and all the positive leads together).  If you want people to be able to turn them on and off, you'll be putting a switch between one of the leads and the battery.

There are Web pages available which do the sorts of calculations you need.  Some of the LED projects here (especially the "LED cubes") should have links, or a Google search for "LED circuit calculator" should work.

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lemonie
lemonie

11 years ago

I wouldn't worry about the fire-hazard, it's not known for this type of device.

What colour are they, how long do you need them to stay lit, what are the dimensions of the small-spaces?

L

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pneumadragonfly
pneumadragonfly

Reply 10 years ago

Appreciate the fire-hazard feedback :)

Color possibly would vary but most likely just clear/white LEDs.

As far as how long staying lit... I would hope for the life of the initial battery/s and then be able to have a new battery inserted and still be able to work. So repeat use.... at least I know I would prefer that it have the option of the LED being used repeatedly without burning out after a few uses. Ideally LEDs that would have a long shelf life with a type of on/off switch. The application I plan on using the LEDs for are not throwy-type but are more stationary light up objects that can be turned on and off at will by the user.

I can't really answer how small the dimensions would be since I don't yet have a prototype in my hands at the moment to answer the question accurately.  Hope that helps a bit more.

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lemonie
lemonie

Reply 10 years ago

White need more power than e.g. comparable red, yellow, green.
I'll have to get back to you on this later...

L

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caitlinsdad
caitlinsdad

11 years ago

I'll leave it to the LED whizzes here to answer you LED specific questions but in general I approach things by gutting out stuff that has LEDs in it.  Hopefully you live somewhere with discount stores that sell LED flashing blinkers or tiny book lights or keyrings that you can take apart.  It has the switch, circuitry, and batteryholder.  If you are new at electronics, you can practice with extending the wire leads by desoldering and soldering new wires.

LED devices can be powered by one or more coin cells or utilize regular batteries in a battery holder.  How many depend on the requirements of the LED size and power.

You can do anything to really diffuse the LED, sandpaper the lens covering itself, get a piece of packaging plastic scuffed up, tape, cloth, and vellum should do since LEDs - the low power ones, do run cool.

Good luck.

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pneumadragonfly
pneumadragonfly

Reply 10 years ago

Sounds like a good plan. I'll have to take a look at what I can find in my size range. Thanks for responding :)