Electronics > Beginners

Which LED do I need.

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Joshua:
Hello everybody.

Before I start I would just like to say that I know this is probably a super retarded question, but nonetheless, I can't figure it out.

I'm ordering some stuff to start making some circuits and what not. I'm not a total beginner as I know a fair amount about electronics and have played around with such stuff before.

I'm going to order some LEDs to play around with. The problem is, when I go to Digi-Key and Mouser, there is just so many different led's that I don't know what the difference is. So here's what I'm wanting, if such a thing exists. I just want a standard LED, that's affordable and useable for a wide range of circuits. I plan on using some PICs if that means anything.

So my questions are:

What is the standard size of LED (just the regular common LEDs you find in everthing)?
What current draw should I look for?
What operating voltage should I look for?

Also, if anyone has any part numbers or anything I would greatly appreciate it.


If there's anything that i left out that I should know, I would be thankful for that information.


Thanks,
PianoKid1994


DJPhil:
Assuming no special needs, the most common LED sizes are 5mm and 3mm. Forward voltage will depend on the color, and they'll be designed for about 2mA to 10mA (choose resistor accordingly). The cheapest ones you can find are probably just fine. When you have an application in mind you'll probably start looking into other things like power, high efficiency, viewing angle, diffused vs. clear, and multiple colors.

I haven't shopped around for LEDs at the big houses like Digikey, but you might find it cheaper/easier to get an assortment from a kit company or ebay. You can often get large assortments for less than $10US that will probably last you a very long time.

Hope that helps. :)

JohnS_AZ:
I agree with everything DJPhil said.
Here's a WIKI that will probably give you way more info than you wanted to know/  :)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LED_circuit

Also, here's a mail order outfit I've had really good luck with. They have a 100 piece LED assortment for just a few bucks"
http://www.goldmine-elec-products.com/prodinfo.asp?number=G8063

Heck, if you're around Phoenix Arizona, I'll give you a fist full.

John

DJPhil:

--- Quote from: JohnS_AZ on August 19, 2010, 03:07:19 am ---Also, here's a mail order outfit I've had really good luck with. They have a 100 piece LED assortment for just a few bucks"
http://www.goldmine-elec-products.com/prodinfo.asp?number=G8063
--- End quote ---

They've got all sorts of awesome goodies here: missile gyros, Geiger tubes, Ultraperm shielding sheets, IC die material that didn't pass QA, drill bits, etc.

Great fun just to browse. These are the sorts of sites that keep me broke. :D

JohnS_AZ:

--- Quote ---These are the sorts of sites that keep me broke.
--- End quote ---

 :D Same here.

Actually, eBay keeps me 'broker'.

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