How to Connect LEDs in Parallel

Written by colin mcgrath
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How to Connect LEDs in Parallel
Wiring LEDs in parallel is used when only one power source is available. (Led blu image by Davide D. from Fotolia.com)

Wiring light emitting diodes (LEDs) in parallel is a somewhat uncommon practice. Because the LEDs are in parallel, the diode with the lowest resistance will be lit the brightest, while the other diodes will either be dimly lit or not lit at all. For this reason it is imperative that any LEDs you plan to wire in parallel have as close to equal resistances as possible. A good way to ensure this is to buy LEDs with identical model numbers and colours.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • 9-volt battery
  • 2" wire, 5 pieces
  • 2 identical LEDs
  • 100 ohm resistor
  • Soldering iron
  • Solder

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Look at your LEDs and take note that there are two wires extending out of the head. The longer wire is called the anode and the shorter wire is called the cathode.

  2. 2

    Wrap one piece of wire around the positive terminal of your 9-volt battery.

  3. 3

    Solder the other end of that wire to the anode of one of your LEDs.

  4. 4

    Connect the two LEDs with a second piece of wire by soldering the wire between both anodes.

  5. 5

    Connect the two LEDs with your third piece of wire by soldering the wire between both cathodes.

  6. 6

    Solder your fourth wire between the second LED and one end of your 100 ohm resistor.

  7. 7

    Wrap one end of your fifth piece of wire around the negative terminal of your 9-volt battery.

  8. 8

    Connect the loose end of your fifth wire to the free end of your 100 ohm resistor by soldering them together.

Tips and warnings

  • You can fasten the wires to the battery using masking tape if you find it easier.
  • Make sure that all connections are firm and metal to metal.
  • Use a stand when soldering to avoid accidental burning.

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