How to Make a Flickering Light With an LED

By Marshal M. Rosenthal

LEDs (light emitting diodes) have replaced incandescent bulbs for creating effects in theater and stage play productions. You can build an electronic circuit that will make an LED flicker so that it can be used to create the effect of a flame in a fireplace. A few parts from an electronics supply shop and experience with a soldering iron is required, as is adult supervision, if the person making the electronic circuit is underage.

Things You'll Need

  • 65 ohm, 0.04 watt resistor
  • 2 AA batteries
  • 3-volt battery holder
  • Red LED
  • Soldering iron
  • Solder
  • Needle nose pliers
  • Newspaper
  • Electrical tape
  • Electric wire
  • Wire cutters
  • Ruler
  • Wire strippers
  • DCx16 circuit board

Step 1

Place newspaper down on a work surface. Straighten the two conductive pins on the bottom of the red LED with needle nose pliers.

Step 2

Cut two 6-inch pieces of electric wire with wire cutters. With wire strippers, strip off a half inch of insulation, measured with a ruler, from each of the ends of the two wires.

Step 3

Solder the end of one of the wires to one of the two contacts on the resistor. Let the solder cool for a minute.

Step 4

Solder the other contact on the resistor directly to the short pin on the red LED. Let the solder cool.

Step 5

Solder one end of the other wire to the long pin on the red LED. Let the solder cool.

Step 6

Wrap electrical tape around the pins of the red LED and the contacts on the resistor.

Step 7

Solder the free end of the wire connected to the resistor to the contact labeled "positive input" on the DCx16 circuit board. Let the solder cool for a minute.

Step 8

Solder the free end of the wire connected to the red LED to the contact labeled "negative input" on the DCx16 circuit board. Let the solder cool.

Step 9

Solder the black wire from the 3-volt battery holder to the positive contact on the DCx16 circuit board. Let the solder cool.

Step 10

Solder the red wire from the 3-volt battery holder to the negative contact on the DCx16 circuit board. Let the solder cool.

Step 11

Insert two AA batteries into the 3-volt battery holder. Watch the red LED light up and flicker on and off.