We’ve talked previously about making simple LED pumpkins with candle flicker LEDs. Lately we’ve been playing with making better looking flames by using multiple independent flickering LEDs with different colors and lens styles. It makes a spectacular difference: it goes from something that looks like, well, a flickering LED to something that really looks like there might be a flame in there.
The end result is pretty neat: A compact battery powered “flameless flame” that looks great in a pumpkin, luminaria, or as a stage prop. The interplay of the different LED types and colors gives an ever-changing and shifting flame display.
Other than the candle flickering LEDs, the parts are commonly available. We’ve also bundled them together in the Solderless Flickery Flame Kit.
- Battery Holder (2×AA with switch)
- 6 × candle flicker LEDs (2 red diffused, 2 yellow diffused, and 2 yellow clear lens)
- 6 × 68 ohm resistor
- 2 × wire jumper
- White paper bag (optional)
- 2 × AA Batteries (not optional)
- Wire clippers, cutting pliers, or “beater” scissors (optional)
Hook up the battery holder to the breadboard several rows apart to give enough room to install the resistors and LEDs. Optional: peel off the backing on breadboard and adhere it to the battery holder. Connect each LED with its own 68 ohm resistor. (Use the “in parallel” method from this article.) The extra jumpers are included to help bridge across the center gap in the breadboard.
Trimming the resistor leads will keep the breadboard tidy, and help prevent short circuits. Trimming the LED leads to varying heights will help distribute the light in different ways.
The white paper bag included with the kit can be used for creating a traditional luminaria or for making a ghostly halloween decoration.
You can find more Halloween decor projects in our Halloween Project Archive.
We’ve rounded up our Valentine projects for your last minute preparations:
If one of our projects inspires you make something, we would love to hear about it in the comments or see photos in the flickr pool!
Last year we released a set of six equation-heavy ”Download and Print” cards for Valentine’s day. This year, we’re doubling the size of the collection (to twelve!) by adding six more cards, this time heavy in symbols, not equations:
“You turn me on” …with an SPST switch.
“I can hardly resist you.”
There is room for a future superconductivity joke here, involving a phrase like “I can’t resist you (below a certain temperature).”
You can download the full set — including the 2013 cards — here, a 500 kB pdf document.
As with last year’s set, print them out on (or otherwise affix to) card stock, and [some steps omitted] enjoy the resulting lifelong romance.
Chris Connors from How2Today posted about making lots and lots of holiday ornaments using his Eggbot.
From Maniacal Labs comes this unusual use for a Bulbdial Clock.
Paul writes on twitter:
I ported your snowflake generator sketch from 2008 to js and added SVG export for easy laser cutting!
Also good for other kinds of CNC snowflakes, too.
We’re running a Thanksgiving sale in the shop: save 20% or more on selected kits and components, Black Friday through Cyber Monday with free US shipping for all orders over $75.
Despite what you might guess from the name, our Egg-Bot kit is not just for eggs. In fact, it turns out to be a pretty freaking amazing machine for decorating and personalizing your own Christmas ornaments!
Today we’re releasing the “Eggbot Holiday Super Pak” — a set of Eggbot-ready holiday ornament designs to give you a head start. The set includes the designs above and many more. It’s free, available for download here (2.2 MB .zip file), and will be periodically updated as we add more designs.
Read on for some additional tips and tricks for using ornaments in the Eggbot!
Andrew Probert, the designer of the Cylons for the original Battlestar Galactica TV series, wrote to say:
Years later, now, I just was made aware of this great pumpkin idea of yours and wanted to thank you personally for keeping my toaster ’alive’ in a fun new way… this is SO cool.
Our Cylon Jack-O-Lantern project and Larson Scanner kits are carrying on the tradition!
Matt commented on our Snap-O-Lantern kit:
I took the more DIY model and built a LEGO Snap-O-Lantern.