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Sharpe19's avatar

LED wiring tutorial: Parallel

This is a rough tutorial on how I wire LED(light emitting diodes) for fursuit eyes, noses, horns, etc. Materials with a * next to it means the item is handy, but not necessary. This tutorial, in order to understand it, you must need to know how to solder properly as well as know the basics to a complete circuit.

A. Materials: Those listed are needed to wire, solder, and make a complete harness for an LED circuit. Some people may do it differently, this is just what works for me.

*1. Craft/fly fishing vice. Holds the wire you are soldering steady.
*2. damp sponge: clean the soldering gun tip.
3. LED's (these shown are high intensity white)
4. 20 gauge plastic coated copper wire (doesn't have to b 20 gauge, just similar)
5. * Heat shrink tubing
6. resin eye blanks
7. battery pack with a switch
8. lighter for heat shrink tubing
9. wire snips
10. Wire strippers (very handy)
11. soldering iron
12. solder

(all electronics and tools bought at Radio Shack.)

B. LED's have a positive and a negative connection. The red wire on the battery pack is the positive lead, black is negative. Longest lead (and smallest piece inside called the annode) on the LED is positive, short (and large, a.k.a. cathode) is negative. It's imperative that you remember this or else your circuit won't be complete.

B.1. Take some wire and make leads to lengthen the distance from the battery pack to the area needing the LED. You will also want some leads in between the LED's. Once cut, remove some of the plastic coating on the tip.

C. Take your lead (this one shown is connected to the battery pack) and put it in your vice. Twist the fibers (if any) until they are all uniform and tight.

D. Take some solder and, with your soldering iron, melt a bit onto the lead.

E. Take the end of your newly cut lead that will connect the pack to the LED and twist it around the soldered piece. PUT MORE SOLDER ON THIS TO STRENGTHEN AND SEAL THE CONNECTION.

F. Slip a small piece of heat shrink tubing over the soldered joint and heat it up with a lighter, heat gun, or your soldering gun. Repeat D-F on the other lead.

G. Now for the connection on the LED. You can see I already have tubing slipped over it. Take the end of your now long lead and take the small section that will go inbetween the LED's. Twist those together and solder. Place the proper lead from the LED upon the exposed wires, solder that, and snip off the excess lead upon the LED, slipping the tubing over and up to the base of the diode.

I. Repeated step of G. with the other LED lead.

J. Take a larger shrink tube, slip if on 3/4 way, and shrink it. This will secure both leads together, clean up the look, and help direct any overspill light.

K. The completed lead. There are two more LED's in sync with this pair so my leads continue so I'm only showing what is there to avoid any further confusion.

I had noticed there wasn't really a tutorial for LED wiring so I hope this one helps a bit. If you don't know how to solder, I would suggest talking to someone perhaps at a hobby shop, Radio Shack, or Googling/YouTubing to show/tell you how. Same goes for completing circuits.

For a more complete tutorial, look here: [link]
Image details
Image size
1134x1935px 348.19 KB
Shutter Speed
10/300 second
Focal Length
5 mm
ISO Speed
Date Taken
Jul 16, 2012, 6:27:54 AM
© 2012 - 2022 Sharpe19
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CrazyShibaLady's avatar
Just a quick question that may sound silly. When you say "Place the proper lead from the LED upon the exposed wires, solder that, and snip off the excess lead upon the LED", what exactly am I snipping off? Just want to make sure I don't cut off the wrong thing. Thanks for the great tutorial!
Sharpe19's avatar
You will be snipping the excess tail on the LED once its soldered to the wires :)
CrazyShibaLady's avatar
Great! Thank you so much, this really helps. Please keep up the incredible work you do. It is very admirable! :D
DragonGames's avatar
how much would all of this range from?
thank you so much for posting this, i was actually trying to find a tutorial on this the other day! is there a way to make thise with some sort of switch so you can turn them off when not in use?
Sharpe19's avatar
"7. battery pack with a switch"

There's a switch upon the pack.
AH okay, i'm sorry my eyes are bad and i need to have my glasses updated (but have not the insurance to do so :/) i didn't see it ^^'
PawthenticCreations's avatar
opps- added to the wrong favorites folder... lol sorry
PawthenticCreations's avatar
What kind of battery pack is it? double A?
Sharpe19's avatar
You can use either AA or AAA.
PawthenticCreations's avatar
Thank you! And where did you put the resistor?
Sharpe19's avatar
If one is needed, I believe it would go upon the positive lead, at the joint where the battery pack and the main long lead connects.
PawthenticCreations's avatar
so if i were to connect 2 led's in a series and not need a resistor, what power leds would i need?
Sharpe19's avatar
anything above 600 I THINK. Ask the guy at Radio Shack if/when you go back, he will know more than I.
PawthenticCreations's avatar
Thank you soooo much! I will post pictures when I get back ;) this helps a ton!
AtFirstPlush's avatar
thank you! i LOVE you for this!!!!! *evil laugh* I LOVE LED's!
Dragon-Lover18402's avatar
You need capacitors. My mate does work with this stuff all the time as he wants to be an electronics engineer.
Do you mean Resistors? Capacitor can help but no resistor the LED will not last long...
Dragon-Lover18402's avatar
Sorry yeah. My bad. I forgot which one he said I guess lol
Hey you're "learning" :)

Both can be used, Capacitor = battery (in a way) and Resistor is well a resistor (used to limit the current passing into the LED preventing it to burn).
Dragon-Lover18402's avatar
Well my fiance does all the electronics work. I just forgot if he said capacitor or resistor. :)
Nerver mind I've seen that you were using AA batteries... so you will be good but resistor will allow you to use higher wattage batteries and they'll last longer.
Sharpe19's avatar
Thus far I actually haven't needed any. While in some cases yes, but with most of my work I haven't needed it.
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