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How to Solder LED Lights

Updated April 17, 2017

Light emitting diodes (LEDs) are long-lasting and efficient lighting devices. They don't require much power and can be used for a variety of lighting needs from the home to the car to elsewhere. LEDs also come in a variety of colours and sizes. These lights can also be homemade with just some simple soldering.

"Tin" the soldering iron tip. This is when you cover the tip of the soldering iron with solder so that you can easily melt the connection together. Working with a dry tip will reduce the amount of solder used when making the connection. This will make it harder to create a strong bond. Plug in the soldering iron and wait for it to become heated. Coat the tip of the iron in solder.

Clean dirt and other impurities off the circuit board with a steel wool cleaning pad.

Insert the two leads of the LED into two of the holes on the circuit board. Bend the protruding ends of the LED to hold it in place while you are soldering.

Solder the LED to the circuit board. Touch the solder-covered tip of the soldering iron the LED where it meets the circuit board. Create a very small bead of solder around the each of the leads.

Allow the solder to cool and dry for several minutes. Dry solder will be solid and smooth.

Examine the cooled solder and the LED connection. There should be a solid connection between the LED and the circuit board. Repair a loose connection by heating the solder with the soldering iron, wiping away the solder, and resoldering the connection.

Things You'll Need

  • Steel wool cleaning pad
  • Flux remover compound (methyl hydrate)
  • Soldering iron
  • Rosin core solder
  • Circuit board
  • LED light
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About the Author

Kim Sarah has been a writer since 2000. Her work has appeared on NECN, WCTR-TV3 and in the "Torch" university newspaper, among other publications. Sarah received a Bachelor of Arts in communications from Worcester State University and a Master of Arts in journalism from Roosevelt University. She is also studying nursing and computer science at Indiana State University.