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Circular Lights for Vehicle

Discussion in 'LEDs and Optoelectronics' started by Decimat, Jul 25, 2016.

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  1. Decimat


    Jul 25, 2016
    I purchased some aftermarket LED lights for my car a couple years back, the cheap Chinese construction has caused me to rebuild them with new LEDs and/or voltage regulators. While in the process of rebuilding them I always thought it would be cool if they had a certain effect instead of just on/off. I understand that making them blink a couple times before complete on would require a controller and as good as that would be for getting peoples attention like most of the other newer cars on the road today It's still pretty plain. I've been working on a circuit that I made back in middle school but cannot for the life of me remember how I did it. Back then it was just a straight line of LEDs turning on one after the other, but in this case it would be the same concept but around a circle going clockwise(counter clockwise for the opposing/passenger side). Looking at the circuit in my head I know it was some sort of combination of transistors and a capacitor with each transistor that would fill and then activate said transistor using the capacitor as a timer of sorts, each one of these circuits would be used to slowly(or quickly depending on the capacitor) light up each LED in tandem until they all turned on. Remove current and they slowly die in tandem as well. Like I said I have no idea how I did it and I can't seem to replicate it. If anyone has an idea as to how I did this or maybe even a better way (besides a microcontroller) please help. The reason why I don't want to use a microcontroller is each LED will need a logical on wire and the amount of LED's I need to use(20+) it would be alot of wiring vs a series circuit.
  2. Harald Kapp

    Harald Kapp Moderator Moderator

    Nov 17, 2011
    Sounds to me like you're after an LED chaser circuit like this one.

    You can use a shift register to output data as a serial stream from a controller, then use the parallel output of the shift register to drive the LEDs.
    A microcontroller will give you so much more flexibility in creating patterns of light...
  3. BobK


    Jan 5, 2010
    Here is a circuit that popped into my head, and it simulates well.


    You can add as many stages as you want, alternating between an NPN and PNP. Each stage after the first one connects to the previous stage's collector. Basically each stage is an RC delayed on switch. Once the first is on, timing for the second one starts, etc.

    duke37 likes this.
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