DIY: LED Strobe Light

Written by scarlett gauthier
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DIY: LED Strobe Light
LED strobe lights are commonly used on police vehicles. (police car up close image by Aaron Kohr from

Strobe lights produce regular flashes of light and serve a range of uses. They are commonly found in aircraft and emergency vehicles, as well as for advertising and entertainment, such as sources of ambience in clubs and parties. They are an efficient way to create excitement, or signal danger because the flashing lights attract attention. Strobe lights are commonly made with LED lights because of their relatively low power consumption. You can build your own strobe light for personal entertainment or to attract attention. This project requires knowledge of how to use a soldering gun.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Newspaper
  • 3 LED bulbs and sockets
  • Needle-nose pliers
  • Ruler
  • Electrical wire
  • Wire cutters
  • 3 resistors, 3-volt
  • Soldering tools
  • Soldering gun
  • Electrical tape
  • DCx16 circuit board
  • AA battery holder
  • 2 AA batteries

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  1. 1

    Lay a sheet of newspaper on a flat surface to establish a work area.

  2. 2

    Remove the three LED light bulbs from their respective sockets.

  3. 3

    Use needle-nose pliers to straighten out the two pins attached to the end of the LED. The positive contact is identified by the longer conductive pin, while the shorter one is the negative contact.

  4. 4

    Place the three LED bulbs on the newspaper side by side approximately 2 inches from each other. The negative contact (shorter pin) should be on the left side of each LED.

  5. 5

    Attach one of the ends of the first resistor to the first LED's negative contact. Solder the connection to secure the resistor to the negative contact. Wrap the connection with electrical tape for additional strength. Repeat the procedure to solder one of the leads from each resistor to the remaining two LED's negative contacts.

  6. 6

    Use a ruler to measure four 6-inch pieces of electrical wire. Cut the six pieces with wire cutters.

  7. 7

    Use wire strippers to strip approximately half an inch of insulation on each end of the four electrical wires.

  8. 8

    Attach the positive contact of the first (left) LED to the first electrical wire. Use a soldering gun to secure the connection and wrap the connection with electrical tape. Repeat the procedure to connect one end from the second and third wire to the positive contact on the remaining two LED bulbs.

  9. 9

    Connect one end of the fourth wire to the bare end of the resistor attached to the first LED. Solder the connection with a soldering gun and material. Wrap the connection in electrical tape.

  10. 10

    Attach the free end of the fourth wire to the DCx16 circuit board by soldering the end to the contact labelled "negative signal input."

  11. 11

    Attach the unoccupied end of the first wire to the free end of the resistor attached to the centre LED's negative contact by soldering the double connection. Wrap electrical tape around the connection for security. Repeat the procedure to attach the unoccupied end of the second wire to the free end of the resistor attached to the third (right) LED's negative contact.

  12. 12

    Join the free end of the third wire that is attached to the third LED's positive contact to the contact labelled "positive signal input" on the DCx16 circuit board.

  13. 13

    Position the battery holder next to the DCx16 circuit board. Join the battery holder's red wire to the contact labelled "negative power" on the circuit board. Attach the black wire to the contact labelled "positive power."

  14. 14

    Power the LED strobe light by inserting two AA-batteries into the battery holder.

Tips and warnings

  • Draw a diagram on a scrap piece of paper before commencing the steps to further understand the connections. This will help make sure the system is wired correctly.
  • Take caution when handling soldering tools and materials, as well as electrical materials. Always wear gloves for protection against potential hazards.

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