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Routing Multiple LEDs to a Single Switch

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  • Power Supplies
  • Light
  • Switch
  • Connection
  • Components
Last response: in Components
August 6, 2008 6:44:18 AM

So here's my problem: I have several LEDs spread throughout my case and I am trying to connect them all together to a single switch, so that when I flip it on, every single LED hooked up to it will light up. The switch is military-style and located in a drive bay.

Actually I have 4 switches on this bay panel. My goal is to route blues to switch 1, greens to switch 2, etc.

Does anyone have any suggestions? My circuitry knowledge is some-what limited ;p.

Oh, and is it possible to connect a CCRT light to this stream?

Help is much appreciated :]

More about : routing multiple leds single switch

August 6, 2008 7:36:22 AM

okay what you want to do is hook them up in Parallel, not series...

lets say you have 2 wires, red and black on the led...series is when you string them together end to end like red to black to red...get it... ?

Parallel is when you hook all the black ends to one side of the swich or wire and all the red on the other side...

lets say you have 2 wires, in addition to your black and red wired leds...now lets say the 2 wires from yoiur power supply are blue and green okay... ? Parallel is when you take all the red wirees from the leds you have and hook them all on the blue or green side, anf you hook all the black leads from the leds to the other color wire from your ps or battery

like a ladder with the leds in the middle and each side of the ladder would be a wire (green or blue) and all your led's are the rungs, all the red or black leads on the leds go to one side of the ladder.

If this is confusing any book on dc circuits will explain it in the beginning...gl :) 
August 6, 2008 7:39:03 AM

get a book on basic circuits (dc circuits ) and you'll be all set with how to hook them into the switch and all that stuff :)  the library has em :)  and even the old ones are still correct.


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August 6, 2008 7:53:58 AM

Awesome, I'm starting to understand this! Thanks a ton for the help, I'm going to look into right now as I'm still not confident that I am capable of getting it to work :p 

Edit: Right now I'm looking at some diagrams and I have absolutely no clue what they are trying to show with a bunch of squiggly lines and Greek letters. I will attempt to draw one out myself in plain view and hopefully you or someone else can critique it.
August 6, 2008 1:28:08 PM

diagram seems ok. the thing that should be attached to the end wiring would be the last LED.
August 6, 2008 1:42:53 PM

Make sure you have the proper resistance for the LEDs. Depending on the LEDs used you need something between 1.8 and 3.3 volts each. Don't let them die!
August 6, 2008 2:04:29 PM

Slobogob said:
Make sure you have the proper resistance for the LEDs. Depending on the LEDs used you need something between 1.8 and 3.3 volts each. Don't let them die!

Well if he has 4 LEDs connected to one 12v source, they should all draw 3v, correct? Also, how would one go about making the switch, instead of turning the LEDs on and off, make the LED on a multi color LED change colors?
August 6, 2008 2:27:38 PM

To control flashing and time delays you would need an LED driver chip. You are getting complicated. You would need a microcontroller chip too along with other stuff on a bread board.
August 6, 2008 2:30:52 PM

I had a flash back of a batman movie where riddler was wearing that jacket saying it keeps him safe at night.

With those 'Super Bright LED's' with them being water proof, he could make swimming trunks so he could go swimming at night and feel safe in the water? :lol: . o O(riddle me this.. riddle me that...whos afraid of the big.. black.. AHHHHH SHARK!!)
August 6, 2008 2:59:14 PM

Asian PingPong said:
Well if he has 4 LEDs connected to one 12v source, they should all draw 3v, correct?


Correct.

Asian PingPong said:

Also, how would one go about making the switch, instead of turning the LEDs on and off, make the LED on a multi color LED change colors?


You need some control logic for the three or more pin LEDs. Usually that "logic" simply switches the flow of current between the pins, so it should not be that difficult.
As an alternative you could use a two pin color changing LED but that would switch colors randomly over time.
August 6, 2008 3:11:17 PM

Also make sure you connect LED's polarity up right as they are diodes
August 6, 2008 3:20:16 PM

niiif said:
Here's my novice attempt at trying to diagram lol..
http://img165.imageshack.us/my.php?image=41661845nc5.pn...


Excuse me, but speaking as an electronic technician, what I see on that diagram is that the switch is acting as a dead short! :non:  Close the switch and you short the supply. What "goes on the end" is of course the power feed, a plug for 12v molex or onboard header.

The switch should be in the red lead right after the positive side of the source, with the reds of all the LEDS tied together after that; and all the black leads tied together and connected directly to the negative of the source.

All LEDs produced for PCs have a built in current limiting resistor, so they usually can be directly connected to anything between 3 volts and 12 volts. If not then 270 to 2200 ohms should be added in series.

CURRENT, amps, increase with an increase in the number of units. The same voltage appears at each unit. LEDs should not be connected in series, red of one connected to black of next, and so on.

There was a LOT of misinformation in this thread, just so the OP knows that.

August 6, 2008 3:28:34 PM

fleakiller said:
Also make sure you connect LED's polarity up right as they are diodes


Yes, they should be connected backwards, pointing AGAINST current flow. Thus the anode is positive, the cathode (Arrow symbol) connected to negative. Connected WITH current flow it acts as a short across the supply, and won't light.
August 6, 2008 7:53:01 PM

Woah everyone, thanks for all the help!

So if I am understanding this correctly, I can only have 4 - 6 LEDs connected to a 12V source. If I wanted more, what would I need to do?

I think I know the way I am supposed to connect it, but to make sure I'll draw out another diagram.
August 6, 2008 8:32:02 PM

BustedSony said:
Excuse me, but speaking as an electronic technician, what I see on that diagram is that the switch is acting as a dead short! :non:  Close the switch and you short the supply. What "goes on the end" is of course the power feed, a plug for 12v molex or onboard header.

The switch should be in the red lead right after the positive side of the source, with the reds of all the LEDS tied together after that; and all the black leads tied together and connected directly to the negative of the source.

All LEDs produced for PCs have a built in current limiting resistor, so they usually can be directly connected to anything between 3 volts and 12 volts. If not then 270 to 2200 ohms should be added in series.

CURRENT, amps, increase with an increase in the number of units. The same voltage appears at each unit. LEDs should not be connected in series, red of one connected to black of next, and so on.

There was a LOT of misinformation in this thread, just so the OP knows that.


Based on your post I have produced this: http://img165.imageshack.us/my.php?image=10839976dq5.jp...
This seems a tid bit more logical than my last drawing. Is it correct?

Now I also have some CCRTs I would like to add in, do they work the same way?

How do I distinguish the anode from the cathode on the LEDs? All I know is anode = positive, cathode = negative.

August 6, 2008 10:12:44 PM

That is a short when you turn the switch on remove the ground from the switch ground to leds only, use the power from molex to one side of switch then other side of switch goes to power side of leds hopes this helps
August 7, 2008 1:42:18 AM

So you're saying only one wire needs to be connected through all the LEDs? I didn't think a ground was necessary either.
August 7, 2008 4:14:39 AM

Slobogob said:
Correct.



You need some control logic for the three or more pin LEDs. Usually that "logic" simply switches the flow of current between the pins, so it should not be that difficult.
As an alternative you could use a two pin color changing LED but that would switch colors randomly over time.

So then a resistor wouldn't be needed.....so why go through the hassle of hooking them up in parallel when you can just hook them up in a series?
August 7, 2008 12:53:08 PM

Asian PingPong said:
So then a resistor wouldn't be needed.....so why go through the hassle of hooking them up in parallel when you can just hook them up in a series?

Actually i would solder them in series. Parallel is not worth the effort considering the cost of the diodes.
August 7, 2008 1:16:54 PM

niiif said:
Not for a switch...?


To my understanding, where the bottom is, is where the switch would be, since it would be a gate for letting power through, the top would continue till your done adding lights. I thought it was a good diagram for parallel string.

Edit:

Basically, you'd put the switch on the red or pos side.
August 7, 2008 5:18:33 PM

LOL, no just added switch did'nt think op got the concept of it
August 7, 2008 8:44:44 PM

Ah, I understand now. I was confused because I thought I needed to run wire to the negative terminal instead of positive all the way through. I still don't see why a series is such a bad idea with built in resistors, but oh well.

Thanks for the help everyone.