Using just a single IC and few other passive components, a beautiful LED Christmas tree decoration can be built. Find out more about it here.
The little LED ornament circuit described here may be used in numerous places for the purpose of decoration. Especially when it's Christmas time, the present circuit will find its best application as a beautiful LED Christmas tree decoration.
I have already written an article regarding the pin designations of IC 4060. Here the same IC has been used and clearly shows how versatile and flexible it can be as far as its applications are concerned. The IC single handedly performs the whole function of flashing the LEDs and producing different switching patterns for the LEDs.
How the Circuit Functions
The circuit is wired around IC 4060 which is basically a 14-bit binary counter and has an internal built-in oscillator. A couple of resistors and a capacitor is all that is required to set the IC “ticking." The value of the resistor at pin 10 or the capacitor at pin 9 may be altered to get different oscillating frequencies at the outputs of the IC.
There are in all 10 outputs that produce pulses of different frequencies. The frequency is multiplied by 2 or is doubled at each consecutive output in the order of pin nos. 3, 2, 1, 15, 13, 14, 6, 4, 5, and 7 respectively.
How to Build a LED Ornament Circuit to Decorate a Christmas Tree?
This LED Christmas tree decoration circuit is very easy to build, will take less than an hour to complete, and will cost you no more than a couple of dollars.
It is completed through the following easy steps:
- As shown in the figure, first finish making the LED assemblies which will be required to be fixed at various different places on your Christmas tree to cover its entire area.
- It is easily done by cutting the leads of the LEDs into small lengths of around 6 mm.( just check the polarity before cutting and remember it).
- Now solder red (positive) wires and black (negative) wires of different lengths to the appropriate leads of the LEDs.
- Do not forget to put ½ an inch of insulating sleeve on the wire joints of each LED. Glue them so that they do not fall down.
- Next make a series of 4 LED assemblies by joining the positive (red) wire of one LED to the black (negative) wire of the other LED, such that each LED series assembly is left with a single red and a black open ended wire.
- In the present circuit, in all 40 LEDs are used. One may increase the number to 100 if desired.
- Different measures of wires may be joined to the LEDs in order to position them at various different points over the entire area of the Christmas tree.
- After this, referring to the circuit diagram, begin assembling the circuit by simply soldering all the electronic components over a small piece of general purpose board.
- Just recheck the assembled board for any possible mistake and dry solder points.
How to Test the Circuit and Use it For Decorating My Christmas Tree?
The circuit is tested by following the below given simple methods:
- Solder the positive wire of a single series LED assembly to pin 15 of the IC, join its negative wire to the negative point in the circuit.
- Connect a 12 volt DC supply to the circuit. Instantly the LEDs should start flashing at a particular rate.
- Alter the variable resistor’s position to make the flashing vary according to the adjustments. This will confirm that the circuit is functioning perfectly.
- Now you may connect all the 10 series LED assemblies to the 10 outputs of the IC. Switch ON the power, the sight will be awesome! All the 40 LEDs will flash at different random rates to produce a real visual treat.
- The entire circuit along with the power supply may be housed inside a nice looking plastic box.
- Finally distribute and fix the LEDs at different positions over the entire area of the Christmas tree. Try experimenting with the positions corresponding to the different outputs of the circuit, so that the final result of this LED Christmas tree decoration may produce the most impressive and pleasing effect.
Image Courtesy: http://www.freefoto.com/images/90/15/90_15_57---Christmas-Tree_web.jpg