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Old 12-09-2019, 07:07 PM   #1
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Stringing LED's

Not ashamed to say it. I do not have clue one. What I am doing wrong here? Bought a packet of LED’s in various colors. Plan is to assemble 6 in a row, with a switch in a wood box I made, which I can hang underneath a cabinet in the trailer, and turn on at will.

Bought resistors I thought were appropriate to handle 12 volt trailer power. That fried resister is a half-watt 430 OHM, HW143. Seen here is the backside of the row, LED’s all soldered together, connected to the resistor and the switch at one end. No I did not do any formula calculations to determine the proper resister. (Some people “love their amps and love their ohms their radios and telephones” – but not me). Watched a couple U-Tube videos on the subject but I don’t speak electronics. Might have well been Mongo-Mandarin Chinese.. So I winged it.

When I went into the trailer for a test the LED’s came on momentarily, (yay) and then the resistor quickly fried itself. Help. I know this isn’t brain surgery but….??
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File Type: jpg LEDline1.jpg (101.8 KB, 39 views)
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Old 12-09-2019, 07:15 PM   #2
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Are you working with 120v LED's or 12v?
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Old 12-09-2019, 07:25 PM   #3
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Jim I have no idea. Got them someplace online. Ed, I need you!
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Old 12-10-2019, 12:11 AM   #4
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Well I am not sure what you have done exactly... And I did do up a reply which I have since deleted after thinking about it further. There are articles on the net that explain it better than I can.

I think the simplest would be to buy a strip of 12 volt LEDs and just cut off the length you need within the marked sections. It is usually marked by four dots on the face of the strip and you cut between the dots.

If you do want to continue working with single LEDs...keep in mind that they are heat sensitive when soldering and should use metal clips to keep the heat from reaching the led. Also LEDs have a polarity as pictured below.
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File Type: jpg 78B7C789-056D-4445-917D-106D3B811A7B.jpg (128.6 KB, 6 views)
File Type: png 92793ADB-1F4B-42B3-807F-C4DFF6E565D8.png (3.4 KB, 6 views)
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Old 12-10-2019, 12:44 AM   #5
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What size resistor were you supposed to use?
The resistor appears to be a 1% and they have
Different markings.
It could be that the heat changed the colour but
The resistor is too small.

Sorry I’m on a phone and didn’t see the 430 ohms
So yellow orange brown and no fourth colour band
Or a silver or gold fourth band

And it doesn’t look like 1/2 watt to me but again hard to tell
On the small phone screen

I would suspect that your soldering shorted
Some of the leds.

Maybe try just twisting the leads around each other
And see if that’s a success. Then you will
Know that it’s just solder practice you need
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Old 12-10-2019, 02:15 AM   #6
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I'm no expert, just going on what Google can find for me.

Edit - Just looked at your photos again. Disregard this if you used all Blue LEDS in your project. I assumed you were mixing LED colours.

You said you got a batch of LED's in different colours (or colors if they are made in the US ). I think Eggscape's response is assuming all your LED's are identical. I read that different colours of LED require different current levels. I don't think they would work being strung together in series, as they all get the same current level. You probably need to wire each colour of LED in parallel with its own resistor to allow the required current level. Each colour could have multiple LED's wired in series to draw the same current.

I am assuming that the lowest current rated LED's would have blown first, and shorted as they blew. That could increase the current for the remaining LED's, causing the next bunch to blow, and so on.

I did the math on your resistor, it is rated at 0.5W. At 13V, it will generate about 0.5W with a current of 0.04A. If all the LED's shorted, and your battery is putting out a higher voltage, that could be why it fried.

I think you will need to find a calculator to help you find one to produce the correct amperage for each type of LED.

Good luck with your project, and stay safe.
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Old 12-10-2019, 07:06 AM   #7
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Here is a diode wizard, not sure of your diode MA but from the package picture I got the other info
LED series parallel array wizard
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Old 12-10-2019, 08:19 AM   #8
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All identical blue LED's. They did not blow, I cut the power before further damage could happen. Only the resister died. I bought that resistor at a very good electronics store. Showed the clerk my detailed plan and she picked out what she thought was the right resister for the job. See no evidence of shorting anywhere.

TZBrown-- thanks, here is the results using that wizard. Of course the numbers I entered are only my guesses.
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File Type: jpg LEDline4.jpg (147.4 KB, 13 views)
File Type: jpg LED-array.jpg (83.0 KB, 15 views)
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