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Does anyone know where to get LEDs with ICs that flicker like candles? Answered

 Like those used in electronic tea lights / candles? I'm only looking for the LEDs, and not the entire candle package.


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4 years ago

I just found this site.



11 years ago

 @Jack A Lopez
I'm not in the States, so that's not an option. The local shops I've seen selling these "cheap" electric lights aren't exactly cheap at $2 a pop.

I've found out about those blink/flash-ing leds, though they don't flicker randomly like candles but considering that there are a lot of these electric candles, I thought it would be easy to get just the LED with ICs.

Thanks for the link. It's close but not exactly what I'm looking for. 

Jack A Lopez
Jack A Lopez

11 years ago

If you want LEDs that flicker like "used in electronic tea lights / candles",  I think the cheapest, easiest way to obtain these will be to buy the LED candles, and then disassemble them  to get the parts you want.

But you're probably not going to just take my word for this, so some explanation is necessary.

It is possible to manufacture an LED and an IC driver together in the same package.  Some examples of this from the wild, can be seen on this page:

However, if you look closely at this page, you'll notice that none of these IC-LED combos is the flickering-candle type.  There's the kind that blink on and off, and there's also those color-shifting rainbow kind, but no flickering-candle type.

I can't say for sure that discrete flickering-candle LEDs don't exist somewhere, in your choice of six different colors.  However, I have never seen one.

For the next step in our journey of enlightenment (pun intended),  we are going to take apart one of those plastic flickering tea light candles to see what's inside. 

The first picture is what they look like upon purchasing them from the local dollar store:  a package of 2 for 1 USD,   I found mine from this place:
They've got brick-and-mortar outlets all over the Former U.S.

Next we pry apart one of these little candles to see what's inside.  The picture shows a tiny little PCB, with a T1+3/4 size LED on one side of the board, and a little IC covered by a drop of black epoxy on the other. 

I suspect it would be easy enough to just disconnect this little board from its wires and move it to whatever your application is.  The price is low, 0.50 USD per unit, plus the small amount of labor it took to separate it from the plastic candle housing.

As a bonus many (but not all) of these LED tea light candles also play cheap, electronic melodies, as explained in this instructable: