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LED lighting

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Stuart Badger:
Hi PDs - I need some advice and a quick course of instruction! I THINK I understand electricity (pre 1950) but electronics is the science of satan as far as I'm concerned.

I want to light my model of the Connaught (cabins, portholes etc - she didn't carry any navigation or running lights as there was no legal requirment then!). I was thinking of using these new fangled LEDs, yellow ones to give that gaslight glow.

What I need to know is in PRACTICAL terms how does one wire them? in series or parallel? are they just connected to a battery, do they require any electronic wizadery, do they come in different voltages etc.

Any help will be gratefully received!

Stuart

towboatjoe:
I just wire mine up parallel on a 3 volt source. LEDs are polarized so you have to have + to + and - to -. If they're backwards they won't work.

Eddy Matthews:
LED's do come in different voltages, as well as different light outputs (Lumens), and as Joe pointed out, they are polarity sensitive - You won't do any harm if you connect them the wrong way, they simply won't work!

Buying all the LED's seperately can be expensive, but if you take a look at places such as "Poundland" in the UK, they do LED light units used for camping at only 1 each, You could either install the complete unit as it comes, or dismantle them for the components. The slight downside is that they are white LED's, but a bit of amber headlight paint will give you the colour you require....

http://www.poundland.co.uk/pages/offers/camping.aspx

Regards
Eddy

Eddy Matthews:
Just to clarify a little (or confuse more?), When I said you can get LED's in different voltages, that isn't true strictly speaking, the higher voltage ones actually have a built in resistor to accept the higher voltage.

All LED's actually operate on between 1.5v - 3v depending on their colour. Various colours need different voltages....

Assuming the colour you have chosen needs 2v to work at full intensity, you can wire up 6 in series and connect them to a 12v battery exactly as you would with normal light bulbs. Applying too much voltage will burn them out quicker than usual, and too little voltage and they won't light at all.

So did I help or confuse? :hehe

Eddy

Stuart Badger:
That's brilliant lads -

Towboat and Eddy. Thanks very much. I think I shall wire them in series groups to operate off the same battery as the motor. I would love to power the model with steam - but it will simply be too difficult to arrange enough access.

thanks again.

Stuart

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