Connect with us

How to make a blinking christmas lights?

Discussion in 'LEDs and Optoelectronics' started by drakemiller40, Oct 21, 2013.

Scroll to continue with content
  1. drakemiller40

    drakemiller40

    4
    0
    Oct 21, 2013
    Please excuse me if I'm not clear. I have no experience at all with these things.

    I want to make my own blinking Christmas lights that blink at a constant rate of one second simultaneously that plugs into an outlet and not by battery. Meaning, all leds will blink at the same time and turn off at the same time every one second.

    Would I need to use flashing leds for this? and What would I need to make this?

    Thanks!
     
  2. (*steve*)

    (*steve*) ¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd Moderator

    25,499
    2,839
    Jan 21, 2010
    Do you want to make them from scratch, or control an existing set of (presumably unblinking) lights?

    From a cost, time, safety, and effort basis, I would purchase an already made string of LEDs and build a device to flash them.

    Unless you want something very special and unique in your string of LEDs you'll find that you can buy FAR cheaper than you can build.

    You can build a simple 555 circuit driving a SSR which can switch the mains to the LED lights. This will keep you mostly away from any mains wiring.
     
  3. drakemiller40

    drakemiller40

    4
    0
    Oct 21, 2013
    I only need a short string of lights less than one ft.

    Is it possible to build a device to make store bought christmas lights blink that normally don't?

    Would it shorten the life of the leds since the store bought christmas lights aren't made to blink?
     
  4. (*steve*)

    (*steve*) ¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd Moderator

    25,499
    2,839
    Jan 21, 2010
    LEDs are fine to blink on and off.

    For a short string of LEDs you would probably be best looking for christmas lights that are battery powered because these tend to have the LEDs in parallel, are really cheap, and very safe to modify.

    Then all you need is a power pack to supply a sufficient voltage to drive an oscillator that can turn the LEDs on and off.

    This way you can completely avoid any mains wiring and everyone will be happy :)

    For 30cm in length, you could possibly get away with building a string of LEDs yourself. How many LEDs do you want? 5? 10? 20? 100?

    A simple (if not particularly cheap) option is strip LED lighting. This can often be cut it 3cm (or similar) lengths and is sold in short lengths. It also looks very tidy.

    The string of LEDs is in many respects where you need to start. So what do you want to use?
     
  5. drakemiller40

    drakemiller40

    4
    0
    Oct 21, 2013
    I like the idea of the oscillator idea to blink the LED's!
    I would say around 10-15 LED's per string.
    How long do you think a battery powered LED of 15 would last until the battery needs to be changed?
     
  6. (*steve*)

    (*steve*) ¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd Moderator

    25,499
    2,839
    Jan 21, 2010
    It all depends on the current per LED, and the capacity of the battery. For battery powered lights, the LEDs are usually arranged in parallel (preferably with their own resistors) and the total current drawn is the sum of the currents for all leds.

    If the current was 10mA and there were 10 LEDs, the current would be 100mA,. If your battery had a capacity of 550mAh, the lights would remain lit for 5.5 hours (if they were blinking on and off at a 50/50 duty cycle they would last 11 hours)
     
  7. drakemiller40

    drakemiller40

    4
    0
    Oct 21, 2013
    That doesn't run for very long..
    Would it be possible to buy LED Christmas lights that plug into the wall for power and just add an oscillator to make them blink?

    Edit:
    I saw this video and was wondering if it's a good idea to use a button flasher seen here at 2:30:
    What I was thinking is to Plug the light bulb socket into the wall, stick the button flasher into the socket, screw in the socket adapter like shown in the video and plug in my store bought Christmas lights.

    Though, would this socket work for LED's: http://www.lightbulbsdirect.com/page/001/PROD/E1008

    The one I really would like to make is the oscillator circuit shown here at 1:20 since the strobing effect is adjustable to the speed the lights blink/flash:
    But It looks complicated. :(
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2013
Ask a Question
Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?
You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.
Electronics Point Logo
Continue to site
Quote of the day

-