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Old 11-12-2010, 11:06 PM   #1
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Default Christmas LED Lights as Status Indicators?

Maybe this is a little too ghetto, but with Christmas coming up, there will be tons of cheap LED lights for sale everywhere. Now, I know these won't be water proof or might look strange, but I'm thinking "Hey, you can get like 50 120 volt LEDs of different colors with sockets and wiring for $10. Even cheaper if you wait until clearance time. How can you not try?"

I'm thinking something like these, not the huge faceted ones, but those would definitely lend a unique look to any brew panel.

So, when I build my upcoming RIMS control panel with my Christmas goodies, you might find me ripping the lights off of the tree for the brew stand!

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Old 11-12-2010, 11:13 PM   #2
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Red LEDs require about 2.5V (changes with current) and current limiting (resistor). The LEDs in that string are not 120V LEDs. They are wired in series so that each one drops a bit of voltage, not the entire 120V.

Very innovative, but I think you'd be better off going down to Radio Shack. They have some panel mount lenses too. I would guess they have LEDs with built-in resistors (i.e., if it says 12V LED then it has a resistor in the pkg.)

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Old 11-12-2010, 11:24 PM   #3
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DOH! It was a moment of weakness.

In 50-bulb circuits, the bulbs run at 120V / 50 = 2.4V

Maybe I could wrap my brew stand in different colored strings and the color lit would indicate some kind of status.

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Old 11-12-2010, 11:24 PM   #4
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Very innovative, but I think you'd be better off going down to Radio Shack. They have some panel mount lenses too. I would guess they have LEDs with built-in resistors (i.e., if it says 12V LED then it has a resistor in the pkg.)
Radio Shack does sell them packaged up with a resistior in an enclosure, but they are stupid expensive.

A panel mount LED is like $1.50 or something. Panel mount with a resistor, they want $2 or more.
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Old 11-12-2010, 11:34 PM   #5
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I want to be able to add indicator lights on 120v circuits in my soon-to-be RIMS control panel. I am aware of these led panel lights, but I'm not going to buy 5 of them for $10 and pay another $13 to ship them. Too pricey.

I am also aware of circuits that allow you to run a standard LED on 120v, but that seems like overkill. I'm really looking for a cheap way to provide indicator lights on my future panel. I like the look of LED lights, but maybe incandescents are the way to go?

Any thoughts?

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Old 11-12-2010, 11:52 PM   #6
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use a 5v transformer... they can be gotten free with stuff people give away.

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Old 11-13-2010, 12:50 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by jasonsbeer View Post
I want to be able to add indicator lights on 120v circuits in my soon-to-be RIMS control panel. I am aware of these led panel lights, but I'm not going to buy 5 of them for $10 and pay another $13 to ship them. Too pricey.

I am also aware of circuits that allow you to run a standard LED on 120v, but that seems like overkill. I'm really looking for a cheap way to provide indicator lights on my future panel. I like the look of LED lights, but maybe incandescents are the way to go?

Any thoughts?
Radio Shack sells some neon bulbs for 120v circuits. http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2062374

They work directly on 120v and will work in series with a 100k resistor on 240v. I know, they're not as high tech as LED's but they are cheap and don't require any support circuitry.
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Old 11-13-2010, 01:03 PM   #8
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Try ebay. enter 120V pilot light. Look for free shipping on a lot of them.

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Old 11-13-2010, 02:37 PM   #9
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I did some more thinking about my future set up. Eventually I want to also convert my brew kettle to electric and plan to use a pulse wave modulator to control it. As such, I'll have DC power in the panel for the PWM. I can put the transformer in now and use it to power LEDs.

I ordered a 60 pack color assortment of 10mm LEDs from here and panel bezels from here. Total came to ~$11, all with free shipping. I'll have tons of extra 10mm LEDs if anybody needs some. They should be here in 3 weeks.

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Old 11-13-2010, 02:41 PM   #10
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I did some more thinking about my future set up. Eventually I want to also convert my brew kettle to electric and plan to use a pulse wave modulator to control it. As such, I'll have DC power in the panel for the PWM. I can put the transformer in now and use it to power LEDs.

I ordered a 60 pack color assortment of 10mm LEDs from here and panel bezels from here. Total came to ~$11, all with free shipping. I'll have tons of extra 10mm LEDs if anybody needs some. They should be here in 3 weeks.
PWM = Pulse Width Modulator.

FYI, if you go electric you'll be revisiting 120V / 240V indicators
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