Suggestions and tips required when soldering single smd led chips to long wires instead of pcb or st

Discussion in 'The Projects Forum' started by Craig O'Neill, Jun 1, 2016.

  1. Craig O'Neill

    Thread Starter New Member

    Jun 1, 2016
    2
    0
    Hello,
    I want to light up single smd leds essentially floating/hanging in mid air on wires.
    I havent even begun the project yet but thought it maybe wise to see if anyone else had any tips that may save me time/money.
    Im more an a.c engineer than D.c and normally deal with 230v minimum so out of my comfort zone. I understand the theory but have little practical experience with soldering these components.

    Many thanks in advance......
     
  2. mtonge

    New Member

    Apr 19, 2016
    24
    8
    I have seen some beautiful displays with strings of tiny LEDs hanging from the ceiling. Impressive as they were, I kept wondering where I could get the same type of wire that was used. The strands were very fine wire with a thin, clear insulation. I want to get some similar wire to use with hanging, LED lighted ornaments. I have searched Mouser and Digikey endlessly, but I cannot find a wire description to suit. Do you have a lead on some appropriate wire?
     
  3. Craig O'Neill

    Thread Starter New Member

    Jun 1, 2016
    2
    0
    Maybe.......but only if you have help for me? :) just kidding.
    Well I planned on simply stripping down a standard stranded cable and leaving it bare with spacers between the cores to prevent contact (like national grid transmission lines but without the huge voltage). I plan to use the bare elements of the lighting structure as the features and will all be enclosed behind clear acrylic so safety isn't an issue for me in this case hence leaving bare. However, if I needed to insulate them I would probably use a cat5 cable or similar? Should be insulated to at least 50v to cope with telecommunications and very tiny when straightened....
     
  4. mtonge

    New Member

    Apr 19, 2016
    24
    8
    I'm looking at surface mount (SMD/SMT) standard LEDS at Mouser Electronics, and there are 5,291 products listed. Do you have a specific idea of color, size, viewing angle, etc? There is a large selection of 3mm, through hole type with cylindrical lenses that have 180 degree viewing angle. You can spend hours looking at parts, but you may get a better idea of what will work for your project. As for wire, I've tried cat5 patch (stranded) wire, and it's Ok if you don't mind colored twisted pairs.
     
  5. Sensacell

    Well-Known Member

    Jun 19, 2012
    1,132
    267
    I recommend using wire-wrap wire, it's #30 AWG solid, thin enough so it will not stress the components too much, insulated and easy to strip.
     
  6. MrAl

    Well-Known Member

    Jun 17, 2014
    2,440
    492
    Hi,

    You can solder SMD components to wires but you should be careful not to apply the heat for two long.
    One of the main ideas is you have to have a way to hold the SMD part down while you solder the wire on, because the cohesion from the solder will pick the part right up off the work bench, and thus it will overheat while you try to figure out a way to get it off :)
    Tweezers with one hand, iron in the other hand. Tin the tip of the wire, putting a small amount of solder first so you can 'tack' on the lead to the SMD part. Make sure the connection is strong by gently pulling on the wire.

    SMD parts were not really made for this but i've done several in the past this way, LEDs and resistors.
    You might find a better way to hold the part down while you solder it too. Maybe a gentle clip like a clothes pin with something coming off one tip, and the other side clamped to the work bench or glued down.

    I also did one by gluing it down with Elmers Glue :)
    The glue comes right off after your done, but have to wait for it to dry so that's not as good.

    The wire you can use is magnet wire, sometimes called "enamel" wire or "transformer" wire, etc.
    You can get very very thin sizes, down to #40, but i've had good success with #32 AWG.
     
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