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Impact activated LEDs in a prop

Discussion in 'LEDs and Optoelectronics' started by sonicgreen, Nov 15, 2018.

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  1. sonicgreen


    Nov 15, 2018
    I’m primarily a woodworker, so I’m a complete foreigner in this field- apologies for any blasphemy in advance.

    I had a personal project in mind to make a cool warlock/wizard type of staff with two skulls embedded in the gnarled wood. My idea was that when I would hit the staff against the ground, the eyes of the skulls would start glowing and flickering. Finding an LED with a sophisticated flame simulation was easy enough, but the impact activation is proving to be a bigger challenge.

    I know it’s possible because I have this firefly jar thing. The sensor activates the firefly when you tap the glass and is even sensitive enough to turn it on if you hit the shelf it’s standing on:

    What I need is a sleek solution to this lighting issue so that I can tuck the lights, sensor and batteries inside the staff without it being too cumbersome or complex. Attached is a sketch of how I want it to look.

    I would appreciate any help and advice- thank you!!
  2. kellys_eye


    Jun 25, 2010
    You could hack the insides of the Fire Fly jar and fit the parts into the stick......

    ...but there are many sound-sensitive, motion-sensitive, vibration-sensitive switches (knock detectors) and schematics for them on the web. Add a simple 'tilt' switch to apply power only when the stick is 'not-horizontal' and you can lie the stick down and have the power disconnected.

    or you can use simpler motion detectors like this:

    as the activation device for a 'one shot timer' (or monostable) that can drive flashing LEDs etc.

    Youtube has loads of videos on one-shot (monostable) circuits.
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