Flickering and blinking LEDs

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by hp1729, Dec 1, 2016.

  1. hp1729

    Thread Starter Well-Known Member

    Nov 23, 2015
    Why devise a circuit to blink an LED. You can buy blinking LEDs. Some flicker. The difference, blinking is at a constant rate. Typical rate is about 80 blinks per minute. Some vary up to about 120. Flickering is a random, quicker rate, about like a candle.
    Voltage for flickering white LED varies as flickers from about 2.8 V to 3.2 V. Current? The distributor says they are rated at 20 mA, but I find they work down below 1 mA with only diminished brightness.

    Both flickering and blinking LEDs come in different colors including white. They even come in multi-color versions.
    I imagine they are available from other sources but I get mine from Electronic Goldmine. Part number, price and availability varies by the week, sometimes, so I can't reference anything but my last order. Size varies, 3 mm, 5 mm, 8 mm, 10 mm.

    (edited to correct seconds to minutes)
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2016
  2. GopherT

    AAC Fanatic!

    Nov 23, 2012
    Because this site is about learning electronics, Even a 3-year-old kid can connect a device to a battery.

    How do you make them stay on when you need a different, non-blinking, status?

    Do you get a commission?
  3. hp1729

    Thread Starter Well-Known Member

    Nov 23, 2015
    Re: education
    Of course. Education is also why we like to get introduced to new products.

    Re: non-blinking
    There are LEDs that do not blink for that. No the ones mentioned can not be altered to not blink or flash. I tried to find of there were a lower limit of operation where it would change. No good. Flickering continued down below 1 mA.

    Re: Association with the distributor or manufacturer
    No, I am just a hobbyist that likes to keep up on the new stuff. Blinking LEDs with a minimal of circuitry is a common topic.
  4. OBW0549

    Distinguished Member

    Mar 2, 2015
    So you can make it do what you want it to do instead of doing whatever the manufacturer designed it to do?
    Sinus23 likes this.
  5. Bernard


    Aug 7, 2008
    I do not think that I could see blinking at 80 per sec. maybe min. ?
    Tonyr1084 likes this.
  6. Tonyr1084

    Distinguished Member

    Sep 24, 2015
    What Bernard said. I don't think you can see anything above 30 CPS (30 flashes per second) Some video cameras have refresh rates of 27 frames per second. Even then it's hard to see any flicker. 80 ? ? ? That's faster than the 60 hertz AC line. Fluorescent lamps flash at 60 Hz. And you can't see that either.

    Why build when you can buy? Well, I like to build. That way I get what I'm after. Often nobody MAKES the device(s) I want, so I build them. Challenging my ingenuity and ability to solve problems. And I don't like Arduino's or other microprocessors. I'd rather build a circuit to do what I want it to do as opposed to programming something to do something artificially. I like lasers and mirrors. Arduino can do the same thing but it lacks that analog characteristic that is so pleasing. It's like listening to the difference in digitally recorded music versus analog recorded music. Analog is just richer and truer since the musical notes produced by instruments is analog in nature. The vibration of a guitar string or the note of a piano. Digital ? ? Just doesn't have the same quality to it.
  7. hp1729

    Thread Starter Well-Known Member

    Nov 23, 2015
    Sorry. did I put that wrong? Of course, 80 per minute.
    If your only requirement is "blinking LED" you can't beat a blinking LED for simplicity. I don't remember if it was this forum or another but someone posted about making a ring for their daughter. How much simpler than an LED, battery and a switch?
  8. AlbertHall

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jun 4, 2014
    From pedants corner - 120Hz.