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Looking for cheapest, simplest way to randomly light multiple led's? Prefer not to use arduino or similar. Maybe 555? Answered

I am working on a project to sell which will have multiple led's lit at different times. I guess it would be like those old pictures or posters they would sell that had led's in places where the lights might be in a cityscape (windows of skyscrapers etc.), or the taillights or headlights of a car, or the street lights lining a city block. Since I am wanting to sell these items, I obviously need the cheapest, most efficient way of doing this in order to make a profit. Using an arduino is not how I want to go. I do have some electronic knowledge, however, could use any ideas/ suggestions. Also need ideas on smallest brightest led's available. The led's that are in led strips really seem to be what I would like to use, but don't know if these can be purchased and used individually. Thanks.

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steveastrouk
steveastrouk

7 years ago

It will be cheaper to use something like a self-programmed arduino chip, using its on chip clock, than messing around with 555s. In modest quantities the ATmega 168 can be had for less than a dollar.

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rickharris
rickharris

7 years ago

Buy self flashing LEDs red is common but the red ones can be used to flash other colours (put in series.)

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iceng
iceng

7 years ago

Take a bunch of 555 ICs to self oscillate LEDs
Even if you use identical RC components .

After a time they will flash at random times
As long as you make sure the power supply is decoupled and filtered
to prevent phantom synchronizing through the DC plus wire ripples.

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mpilchfamily
mpilchfamily

7 years ago

If you want random control of multiple LEDs you will need a micro controller. An arduino is a great way to get started and work out the prototype. From there all you would need is the $4 chip, a clock crystal and a programmer to upload the sketch to the chips and your good to go with connecting it to the rest of your setup.

The LEDs you want are bright surface mount LEDs. Difficult to work with especially if your not very good at soldering. Check big parts retailers like Mouser to get good deals on the parts you need and discounts for buying in bulk.