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Individual LEDS

From Arduino robots to lighted costumes and DIY torches, LEDs are an inexpensive way to brighten any electronics project. LEDs offer a bright light from a tiny, efficient bulb. When shopping for LEDs, consider how you will be using them before making any decisions.

Type of LED

LEDs are much more than the little tiny bulb that may come to mind. You can buy so many different kinds. There are RGB LEDs that shine the three primary colours. Since you can control the intensity of each colour, you can also produce many colours in between. Flashing LEDs have the circuitry to blink without an external control. High-power LEDs are often used in torches and car headlights since they are so much brighter than conventional LEDs. They usually require a heatsink to prevent overheating since they actually produce some extra heat. You can also get infrared and ultraviolet LEDs. Infrared is often used to transmit information across short distances, as in television remote controls.

Voltage

LEDs require a specific amount of electrical power; too much will cause them to overheat and eventually burn out, too little and they will not light. In order to understand how much voltage you will need to power the LEDs on your circuit, you need to know the forward voltage. This number is derived from the number of LEDs on your circuit and their forward voltage number. For example, if you have a 5-volt power supply and 2.4-volt LEDs, you will only be able to power two of them.

Display Modules

LED and LCD display modules can be added to your project as well. You can use a display when building an LED clock, for example, or perhaps you may be working on an electronics project that requires you to get certain feedback. You may just want to build a robot with an LED face. Depending on your project, an LED display module may be a good addition.

Accessories

While you are shopping for your individual LEDs, do not forget the accessories. LED accessories include LED holders, battery holders, test clips, fuse clips and more. Of course, if you have a particular project in mind, it helps to have your list ready before shopping.

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