New LED Hanukkah Menorah Kit

Night #3. 10 mm yellow diffused LEDs.

One of our first kit projects, and one of the consistently most popular, has been the LED Mini Menorah project. For a couple years now we have meant to revisit that project, and we’ve finally got around to doing so. Here is the result: our new Deluxe LED Menorah Kit.

3mm yellow side with stands visible

The circuit board in the new kit sits on an elegant laser-cut stand that incorporates the battery box. It’s five inches wide and between 2.75 and 4.25″ tall, depending on configuration.



If the circuit board itself looks familiar, you might recognize that this is the “ix” board (“Roman for the number nine…”) which we also used on the Larson Scanner project.
Phrased another way, this answers the question about why the Larson Scanner kit has nine LEDs.

This is an open-source hardware project. The schematic diagram is here and you can find additional design files at the Evil Mad Science Wiki



The kit can be built either with the shamash (lighter candle) in the center or on the side. The default configuration is centered. If you want it on the right-hand side instead, you can solder a wire across jumper location “opt 1” on the circuit board.

The button on the board advances between nights, lighting the LEDs in the proper order. There are low and high power modes, for better battery life or brightness. You can switch between them by holding the button for a few seconds. Fades and dimming are done with 64 levels of gray, essentially flicker free due to its high refresh rate.



The source code is available for download at the Evil Mad Science Wiki. It’s designed for use with AVR-GCC and an AVR ISP programmer. If you’re new to AVR programming and want to hack the menorah, add some function to the serial port or so on, you might want to start by looking at our list of resources for getting started with AVR microcontrollers.


Additional photos of the menorahs in different configurations are available in this flickr set.
We also made a quick flickr video showing the different things that these do, fading, incrementing day, and so on. (It’s embedded here, but if you can’t see it you might want to click through.)


The Deluxe LED Menorah Kit is available at our webstore.

Complete documentation for the Deluxe LED Menorah Kit (including design files and source code) is now hosted at the Evil Mad Science Wiki.

Want to talk about this project? That’s what our forums are for.
Got projects based on this board to show off? We’d love to see your pictures in the Evil Mad Science Auxiliary.

13 thoughts on “New LED Hanukkah Menorah Kit

  1. you know the next step: candle like flickering… you send me one and i will program it for you ;-)

    1. We initially planned to have a flicker mode, but our research seemed to indicate that oil lamps are preferable to candles because there is *less* flicker, and that flicker is an "undesirable" quality. We may add one back in anyway… it’s food for thought.

      Windell H. Oskay

  2. One thing that would be interesting (but harder to set) would be to have a timer, so it would light the candles automatically. For the ultimate in lazy… (Or like me, forgetful)

    That is, assuming that lighting the "candles" on this doesn’t rate the ceremony one expects of the analog types.

    I think I am, therefore I am… I think

    1. That did occur to us, as does an automatic turn-off after a one-hour period. But… for devices this small without much user interface, it may be better to just be "on" or "off" so that there’s never any confusion about whether it’s a mostly-off mode that still drains the battery a bit.

      Windell H. Oskay

  3. Mine arrived last night, and will be constructed this evening! Looks great, and was wonderfully quick getting here. Can’t wait!

  4. When I try to download the source code, I get:
    AccessDeniedAccess DeniedE3EE6DAF0F9566F8J8loDeY4syv3pPQafsYVv4uQMxQvvrSNysS34IAtoncB3FHhvqAwVaTy8F8F4Tkn

    which I assume means that you have a permission problem in your s3 setup somewhere.

    — Mitch

  5. I just got mine today. Put it together as soon as I got home. It even turned on to the right day (seriously, although that must have just been either a random value in a register, a result of testing, or else they all start at 3). A bunch of us who work in computers and electronics in Jerusalem get together for lunch once a week and we ordered about half a dozen kits between us.

  6. If not flickering, than how about fading — pulse-width modulation for a light wave of varying duty cycle?

  7. My kit didn’t come with the 3rd page. What are Opt1 & opt 2? Which one puts the shamash on the end?


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