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Help on Simple Flashing LED Circuit Answered

Hello, I was wondering if someone could help me with a (hopefully) simple electronics project. I wanted to recreate the flashing properties of flashing construction signs (see video below) with LEDs. I bought a 555 timer and created a circuit similar to the diagram below. I ran into a few problems though:
  1. The period of the LED's on/off cycle was normally 90% on and 10% off. With some tinkering of the resistances I achieved about a 1:1 ratio of on to off but to replicate the traffic signs I would like about 80% off and 20% on or less.
  2. This circuit is somewhat bulky to make only 1 LED blink. Ideally, I would like to have 20 or 30 either all running on the same circuit or all self contained (with less complicated circuitry).
At this point I almost want to get my hands on an old flashing construction sign if only to copy the circuit but I know of no way to do so legally. If anyone has any knowledge of these lights or suggestions of any sort, I would greatly appreciate it.


I have a very limited knowledge of electronics, so feel free to dumb things down a bit.

Flashing Lights from Peter on Vimeo.



7 years ago

The magic, pounding heart of Instructables.com is based on 10.000 different ways to blink a led. I think Instructables.com will eventually grow into a lifeform, based on the on and off blinking of zillions of tiny leds all around the world, unconsiously connected by their makers via instructables.com.

Having said this, have a look here, or here, or, best of all, here.


7 years ago

Those are individual barricades or warning stanchions. Did you want to make a string of "blinking lights"? You can look up circuits for rope lights or multiple flashing or blinking LED circuits. Use a potentiometer instead of a fixed value resistor to tune the timing of your light. Charlieplexing is the method to light up matrices of lights with a simple microprocessor such as an arduino or picaxe. If you want to do lights that race back and forth look up "cylon lights" or "knight rider KITT" light effect. Good luck.