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TOPIC: LED Mod Guidance
#60620
LED Mod Guidance 8 Months ago  
After admiring all the amazing pics posted here, I've been inspired to try some LED mods myself (torch walls and braziers).

Do you who have successfully made these things have any recommendations on materials to use?

I found this link to a battery holder and LEDs from a post by Fizzikx:
shop.evilmadscientist.com/productsmenu/partsmenu/537

Beyond that I have a number of questions:


    What size/color LEDs do people use?

    What sort of switches do you like? And where do you get them?

    What type of silicone do you use for making the flame effect?

    What gauge wire do you use?


Any other tips from people who have done this would be greatly appreciated.

And please keep all the wildly creative pictures flowing. It's so cool to see what you guys come up with.

Thanks for the help!
natetaylor
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#60636
Re:LED Mod Guidance 8 Months ago  
natetaylor wrote:
After admiring all the amazing pics posted here, I've been inspired to try some LED mods myself (torch walls and braziers).

Do you who have successfully made these things have any recommendations on materials to use?

I found this link to a battery holder and LEDs from a post by Fizzikx:
shop.evilmadscientist.com/productsmenu/partsmenu/537

Beyond that I have a number of questions:


    What size/color LEDs do people use?

    What sort of switches do you like? And where do you get them?

    What type of silicone do you use for making the flame effect?

    What gauge wire do you use?


Any other tips from people who have done this would be greatly appreciated.

And please keep all the wildly creative pictures flowing. It's so cool to see what you guys come up with.

Thanks for the help!


Hi Nate,

I'm glad you are enjoying the pieces and the pictures. I'll try my best to answer a few of your questions below;

What size/color LEDs do people use?
Typically it depends on your purpose. A wall torch (3mm) is smaller than your typical Brazier (5-10mm).

What sort of switches do you like? And where do you get them?
I usually recycle switches from tea lights. You can use whatever you can fit under the base depending on how big you make the holes in the pieces.

What type of silicone do you use for making the flame effect?
I'm still experimenting with a good silicone but for now I use a hobby silicon i got at hobby lobby.

What gauge wire do you use?
The thinner the better. Just make sure you can still strip the wire without damaging the piece.

If you would like a few example pieces I'm still runnning a sale on tiles (10$ ea + Shipping - i'll modify your tiles, 15$ ea + Shipping and I'll sell you my own pieces, Custom orders are also available upon request and availability of my time).

you can reach me at: sfoshmvjc@gmail.com

Best of luck!
Fizzikx
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Last Edit: 2014/02/02 16:24 By Fizzikx.
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#60739
Re:LED Mod Guidance 7 Months, 3 Weeks ago  
Do you who have successfully made these things have any recommendations on materials to use?

I found this link to a battery holder and LEDs from a post by Fizzikx:
shop.evilmadscientist.com/productsmenu/partsmenu/537


I bought my battery holders from Ebay. They're much cheaper. Compare at $9+shipping for 10 at evilmadscientist vs. $14 for 50 (free shipping) from HK (url: www.ebay.com/itm/171124026571?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1423.l2649).

Beyond that I have a number of questions:


What size/color LEDs do people use?


There are two typical sizes: 3mm and 5mm. You can also get 1.8mm which are used in lighting for doll houses and lighting in dioramas and 10mm which are great for large braziers and the like... I think I've even seen 7mm LEDs (but those are specialized for LED sign boards).

There are three "shapes": the typical dome shape, the concave (also called 'straw hat') shape and the flat top shape. The flat top and concave give a wider spead of light. see here for explanation: electronics.stackexchange.com/questions/2089/what-is-the-advantage-of-a-straw-hat-led

There are 3 types of clarity(?): clear, crystal clear and diffuse. You can figure each out for yourself. The diffuse ones have the plastic coloured, not a coloured LED with white frosted case. See here for a good demo of the differences (this one compares clear, diffuse and straw hat LEDs):

Brightness: There is another factor, which is brightness. There are charts you can find which will list the brightness of LEDs. Typically, the coloured LEDs range in brightness. Listings on Ebay will usually state if they are ultra bright LEDs as well as usually give their millicandela value (MCD) unless comparing to regular bulbs, then it's in lumens.

Lastly, there's a type of LED called a surface mount device LED (SMD). They are very flat and can get very small. You can see examples here: www.modeltrainsoftware.com/smd-chip-leds.html and here: www.superbrightleds.com/cat/surface-mount-smd/
They can be very bright too.


What sort of switches do you like? And where do you get them?
I have used the switches (actually, the whole unit) from a tea light. I have also bought (again, from Ebay) my own on/off slide switches and tactile push buttons... it all depends on what action you are looking for.

What type of silicone do you use for making the flame effect?
I use a product by the brand name, "Golden Artist Colors" and it's an "Extra Heavy Gel (Gloss)". It looks like very thick, white paste and dries clear.

What gauge wire do you use?
I basically have a lot of old computers and cabling so I cannibalize the small gauge stuff from there. I have used some pretty thick wire, but i'd recommend going as thin as possible - one reason being that it's easier to hide on a miniature piece.

Any other tips from people who have done this would be greatly appreciated.

Painting/Colouring: I have two styles of colouring the flames which I will post later. One is where I mix a yellow ink in with the gel which tints it when it dries clear, and the other is painting with opaque white (base), yellow, orange and red paints so it looks like a stylized painted flame when it's not lit.

Batteries: I also purchase my 2032 batteries off of Ebay. But if you buy the tea lights from the dollar store then you can usually get 2 in a pack for a buck which means you are getting the batteries, battery cases and flickering LEDs for pretty cheap, altogether.

jchunick
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#60745
Re:LED Mod Guidance 7 Months, 3 Weeks ago  
Thanks for the master class in LEDs. You guys rock!

Hopefully at some point in the near future I'll post some pics of my mods (probably after a couple of rounds of tests once I've worked the kinks out and gotten things relatively presentable).
natetaylor
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#62481
Re:LED Mod Guidance 6 Months, 1 Week ago  
So, would something like This link work? It's hard to tell if the wiring would be to thick or not as I have zero experience with this (total n00b).
Sakabra
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#62609
Re:LED Mod Guidance 6 Months, 1 Week ago  
So, I went ahead and did some more interwebs research and took the plunge. I decided to just go with flickering tea lights, since they ended up being cheaper and came with everything needed (except for the wire and solder) including flame-looking plastic cap for the LED.

As a n00b I'd say the hardest part was drilling into my tile. Once the fear of that was overcome it really was simple. The wiring was easy (I've never wired/soldered anything in my life until today) and the end result while not perfect, was pretty good imo.

Thanks for the inspiration all.
Sakabra
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#62611
Re:LED Mod Guidance 6 Months, 1 Week ago  
Sakabra wrote:
So, would something like This link work? It's hard to tell if the wiring would be to thick or not as I have zero experience with this (total n00b).

LEDs function at about 3V so if it says 12VDC then it means there's likely a resistor soldered into those prepared pieces, probably at the top where the shrink tubing is. Those prepared wires are usually used in dollhouses and train sets or dioramas where all the wiring is usually connected to a 12V battery to provide power to all the LEDs in the scene.

If someone wants to connect an LED directly to a 3V CR2032 battery like you have with the tea lights then you cannot have the resistor in between.
jchunick
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