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Where to find an "electrical strip" for hooking up parallel LEDs Answered

I'm looking to hook up about 12 LEDs in a parallel circuit. They are each placed one inch apart. In my first attempt, I soldered each lead to a wire that I (with great difficulty) stripped in the appropriate locations. You can see what I did in the picture, but I was wondering if there was some kind of pre-made wire strip that would do this. My alternative is to try to hook each lead together, which isn't impossible given the distance. Thoughts?

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mpilchfamily

4 years ago

Does it have to be flexible? Do the leads need to be insulated at all?

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phidgetsincmpilchfamily

Reply 4 years ago

It doesn't have to be flexible. There'll be a lot of wires running around though, so I'd prefer to keep them insulated to prevent crossing signals.

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Downunder35m

4 years ago

Did you check the cables for garden lights?

They come in green strips with two wires in them.

The lamps have sharp pins piercing the insulation and making contact when mounting them on the cable.

You could drill holes through the insulation or cut it on the sides to allow for soldering.

But I would stick with normal wire, just a slightly different approach:
(used the same method for a little capacitor bank)

Take a piece of cardboard and draw lines where you want the LED's, for example your one inch - this will be your template to keep even spacing.

Get a suitable wire and a some automatic pliers to remove the insulation.

Place your template on a piece of plywood or similar and secure it place (glue, tape, whatever).

Put one nail each at the beginning and end of the rail you are doing - leave about 5-10cm distance to the first solder point.

Fix one end of the wire on the first nail and stretch it to get it nicely straight.

Hold it over the template and use the pliers to to push the insulation away from the first solder point, depending on the model of pliers you use start about 2-3m in front of the actual solder mark on the template - the insulation will push far enough.

Get the wire strainght again and solder the LED on - leave the legs as long as they are.

Make sure to have the LED sitting aligned with your marking on the template.

Continue like this on the first wire until all LED's are placed in the right spot, you might notice that the insulation starts to "shrink back" into place leaving only a small gap of exposed wire.

When finnished fix the stretched wire in place and do the same as above with the second wire.

Align the LED's properly on the way if necessary.

If you want a very thin strip you can cut the LED legs quite short and solder them on onto the sides of the wires - but this requires fast soldering at the right temp as LED's are quite sensitive to overheating.

When finnished secure and insulate the exposed wire bits with a drop of silicone.

Another way would be to drill holes into a board as required for the distance between the LED's and their diameter.

Place some baking paper ofer everthing and drop the plastic part of the LED into the holes (Punsh them through the paper) and solder the wire into place.

Trim the legs and put a niece bead of silicone over the whole rail.

Once cured you should be able to pull the strip out and peel of the paper, this way it should stay waterproof for quite a while.

Be aware that you can only use "neutral curing" silicone for the job as otherwise the LED legs will corrode, if it stinks like ninegar it is not neutral curing, usually it is makred on the pack.