LED Jewelry

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About: Software developer during day, hardware maker at night.

Create yourself a unique necklace or earrings that will glow in the dark!

Step 1: Gather All the Tools and Material

The key to success is proper material and tools. Here is what you gonna need.

Tools:

  • Narrow pliers - 2 kinds
  • Round-nose pliers
  • Side cutters
  • Soldering station with 900M-T-2C soldering tip
  • Tweezers
  • Double sided tape
  • Piece of paper

Material:

  • 1mm/0.8mm straight brass rod
  • SMD 1206 LEDs
  • coin cell battery (CR2016, CR2025, CR2032, ..)
  • tin solder
  • soldering paste

Step 2: Start With Template

I always start with a paper template. It will help you to make a precise shape. You can use some of mine own template attached or you can create your own.

Step 3: Bend Wire Into Outline

Bend the brass rod using pliers into the shape of the outline. Take your time, make it nice.

Step 4: Solder the Outline Ends Together

Use a tiny amount of the soldering paste and tin to solder the ends of outline wire together. Soldering paste will help the tin to nicely adhere to the brass.

Step 5: Place the LEDs

Another magic is to use a double-sided tape as a third hand to hold the shape and LEDs in place while soldering. Use double-sided tape to hold the outline in the place. Put all the LEDs into the proper positions while the outline wire is still on tape and solder them. Keep in mind that the LEDs have electrical polarity. They need to be placed in the correct position in order to lit. Take a look at my template there is a graphic explaining how you need to place them.

Tip: Do not use different colors of the LEDs on the same necklace. Different colors have different voltage properties so you would end up only with one color lit.

Tip: Double-sided tape will lose its stickiness when heated. So you most likely have only one try to solder the LED to the brass.

Step 6: Connecting LEDs

Now you need to interconnect all the other leads of the LEDs together to create a proper electrical circuit. Again bend the wire, place it on tape and solder to the other ends of LEDs.

Step 7: Create Battery Holder

Solder a wire on the back of the necklace to create a pocket for a battery.

Step 8: Done

Now place a battery into the necklace and see how nicely it lit up! There are different types of coin batteries with different diameters and thickness. The only requirement is to use 3V battery. The battery depending on the size and number of LEDs used will last around 24h.

You might be wondering why there is no current limiting resistor. Won't the LED burn? My design uses an internal resistance of the battery. The battery itself won't allow such high current to burn the LEDs. Nasty trick.

Step 9: Make More and Share!

Make whatever shape you like, the only requirement is to create a proper circuit for the battery to lit up the LEDs.

I am Jiri Praus.

www.jiripraus.cz

Jewelry Challenge

First Prize in the
Jewelry Challenge

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    37 Discussions

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    KarloHorcicka

    Question 6 days ago

    Can You please share the tree and the pentagram templates. I just can't make them… I tried several times but I just can't. Please

    1 answer
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    Arx

    2 months ago

    This is nice and simple, but some leds won't be very reliable without any current limiting. Also, paralleled LEDs without any individual current limiting tend to hog current. This is the reason why cheap led flashlights with many paralleled LEDs tend to be uneven in brightness, and burn out over time.

    Unfortunately, there's probably not a really good way to properly limit the leds and keep the design as simple, so I guess you have to decide on a reduced lifespan (total life of the led, not per cell), or a slightly more complicated design.

    A single resistor in series with the coin holder set to limit the current to a safe value for a single led should reduce degradation over time, though it will also be less bright.

    4 replies
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    IamTeknikArx

    Reply 2 months ago

    From an electronics point of view, this is pretty poor but its an awesome art project. As you say, no current limiting and the battery will die after about 1-2 hours of use. I think the best option would be to add small SMD resistors in series with each LED. 1206 is small but 0603 would be better and you wouldnt reduce the aesthetics of the project at all. If you can also find LED's with a Vf of 3.2V, it would naturally draw the rated current (somewhat) of about 15-20mA. Ill give this a go with 0603 LED's and series resistors for each LED. You could also get decorative with where you place the resistors.

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    jiriprausIamTeknik

    Reply 7 weeks ago

    That's true, it's no electrical beauty. But try it yourself. From theoretical point of view it is nonsense, it should not work. But experiments prove the difference. CR2032 battery can power circuit with 2 LEDs for 24h without any problem. No LED has been blown up either.

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    pjharroArx

    Reply 7 weeks ago

    I'm no expert but if I calculate the numbers right then it would need a 100ohm resister at 3v and 30mA. I wonder that the resistance of the brass wire would be? Is it true there can not be different resistance values at different points of a circuit? Or is it because they are in parallel this means it is not one circuit?

    I am interested in the answer to this :)

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    dejanf2

    2 months ago

    Amazing idea,very cool!

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    Kiteman

    2 months ago on Step 9

    These are wonderful pieces - bravo!

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    KarloHorcicka

    2 months ago

    This is amazing. I like hov you made that purple pentagram and tucked it behind out of focus. This idea is brilliant. I'll definetly make it

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    vrsolanki

    2 months ago

    Very good simple and eligent design, just add smallest vibration sensor as switch to preserve battery and it will light only when needed !!

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    Cat00x

    2 months ago

    I love this!!! Great way to combine electronics with jewelry. Very elegant design. Good luck in the contest.

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    prnet

    2 months ago

    Very, very nice shaped. Amazing idea and realization.

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    DbiswasB4D

    2 months ago

    excellent idea .

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    kaz.sommers

    2 months ago

    How sweet is this idea, and so incredibly simple!
    Brilliant idea that I'm sure many young people will just love to wear to concerts etc. :)

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    S0dyP0p

    2 months ago

    The brass wire & SMD's takes the old LED throwie concept to a whole new level. This is classy and so nerdy all at the same time!