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Thread: LED lighting question

  1. Default LED lighting question

    Alright guys, after much searching on the internet that has only confused me further, I need some opinions on how to light our airport. The airport is in 2 sections, with about 15 or so LED's per section. My goal is to have a batter pack (using AA batteries) and a switch to turn them on and off. Now my question is, what is the best way to light them? Should I wire in a series or parallel? My original thought was to power them in parallel using 1 1.5v AA battery (the max voltage on the 3mm LED is 2.2V, so 2 AA would blow it). I wasnt sure how long the battery like that would last however. They also come with resistors for use with 12 volt systems. Any help would be greatly appreciated. http://www.ebay.com/itm/260767377511...84.m1439.l2649

    These are the exact LED's I have.

  2. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by TRAINFAN9510 View Post
    Alright guys, after much searching on the internet that has only confused me further, I need some opinions on how to light our airport. The airport is in 2 sections, with about 15 or so LED's per section. My goal is to have a batter pack (using AA batteries) and a switch to turn them on and off. Now my question is, what is the best way to light them? Should I wire in a series or parallel? My original thought was to power them in parallel using 1 1.5v AA battery (the max voltage on the 3mm LED is 2.2V, so 2 AA would blow it). I wasnt sure how long the battery like that would last however. They also come with resistors for use with 12 volt systems. Any help would be greatly appreciated. http://www.ebay.com/itm/260767377511...84.m1439.l2649

    These are the exact LED's I have.
    You could go to radio shack and get one of those 3v/6v/12v AC powerpacks and build yourself a self-contained system for it. Just an idea.

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    I wire my bulbs in series to dim them down, don't think that works for LED's tho.
    I'd go with parallel and a resister.
    Now the batteries are another matter.
    Putting them in series or parallel changes the amperage but not the volts.
    If I'm wrong let me know.
    My wife always says I don't pay attention, or something like that.

  4. #4

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    I use the resisitors on all of mine & power them w/a small train transformer.
    I just run a small 18ga. set of Buss wires for the lights in the area that I am powering. I do all of my lights in sections because the layout is so big, that way I don't get to many lights on one transformer. Today I'm going to change a lot of the smaller transformers over to Computer Power Supplies that I have. Batteries is not the way to go. Those batteries will not last very long. You need to solder the resistors to the lights & solder the wires to the Buss wires.
    If you go to my Blog under my signature there's a section explaining all of the lighting I do on my layout.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zTkyR5kFJwI

    (This is the only Video left of my Train layout before I took it apart in 2012)

  5. Default

    Ok thanks for the help guys!

  6. Default

    Series does change the voltage of the bulb need, parallel doesn't. For a 12 volt transformer, you can run 8 1.5 volt bulbs, 4 3 volt bulbs in series. In parallel, you can run 12 volt bulbs until you exceed the mA capacity of the transformer. I just asked an electrician and that is what he said. You will need to add up the mA of each bulb and that will limit you, whether in series or parallel, if it is larger than the mA output of the transformer. I'm planning on doing a string of building lights and have the same question. I found a 12V DC trans 1000 mA so I should be able to do a heck of a lot of 30 mA 12 volt bulbs (my guess is 30) in parallel. In series, it would be smaller voltage bulbs with multiple strings as each would max out at 8 bulbs if they were 1.5 volts. Stay away from batteries as you probably have a bunch of the "wall wart" style ones laying around from things that quit working. Edit: I hope this is correct but so far it seems logical and matches my minimal research!
    Last edited by bwells; 02-08-2012 at 08:51 PM. Reason: addition

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    Shoot howdy! Just reread the specs on what you have and I see 2 volts per bulb so with a 12 volt power supply, you can series 6, and then parallel another 6 in series from the supply, and then parallel another 6 in series from the supply, etc. At 20mA per bulb, you should be able to power 20 with a 400mA wall wart (cell phone , rechargeable flashlight, dust buster, or whatever charger). You will have multiple LOOPS back to the supply. This is cool stuff and I need to know what you come up with, keep me posted as I love this wiring thing as it seems like a way to beat the system!

  8. Default

    Huh, I never thought about the loop idea. And the only reason I wanted batteries is that the airport is far away from any outlets, and out in the middle of the layout by itself. But i will just have to play around with it and find out what works. Ill let ya know what I do.

  9. Default

    Ok I decided to do a bit of experimenting today, just to see if my original idea would work. The LED's wont light up with one double A (kinda figured that since the min stated is 1.9) so I decided to see what would happen if they were connected in a parallel series with 2 double A's. They seem to be working just fine. Im timing them to see how long they last (currently an hour.) If I can get 5 hours or so out of them I will be happy, since the lights wont be on that long for a time, and since the airport is in the middle of the layout, the lack of a cord to an outlet would be nice. The resistor is 620 ohm, and it appears to be doing just fine (for any of you electrical savy people out there, would this be enough, to much, not enough?) After a quick calculation, it looks like it is around 4.83mA (3volts/620 ohm's, X1000) well below the 15-20, so this should be good. If I am wrong or dont know what Im talking about please let me know lol. But, I shall see how this goes.
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    Last edited by TRAINFAN9510; 02-18-2012 at 08:22 PM.

  10. #10

    Default

    If you are running off the 2 batteries shown in the picture, remove the resistor as it is not needed. In fact it is putting a draw on the batteries but you aren't getting anything from this draw - no light.
    J&A Paint Shops
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    - LED's from 2MM - 5MM - super bright white, wired with resistors now in stock

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