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More  LEDs   Flasher

High Power LED Flasher     August 3, 2008
designed by David A. Johnson, P.E.

Power LEDs are becoming more popular these days.  The DC input power to these devices ranges from 1 watt to 5 watts.  Normal LEDs only receive about 0.05 watts.  At this higher power, these devices can emit a lot of light. 
You can buy them in just about any color in the rainbow but white seems to be the most popular.  One application for these devices is a flashing light.  If the flash duration and flash rate is kept low, the average current can be low enough that even a small battery can last quite a while.
The circuit below is designed to power any 1 to 5 watt power LED.  It is designed to run from a +3v supply, which includes two standard alkaline or NiMH AA cells.  It uses a charge pump method to provide the higher voltage needed by white and blue LEDs.  It also has an active current liming circuit, set for 250ma.  This is sufficient current to produce an intense light flash.

The circuit uses a classic two transistor oscillator to produce the pulse train.  With the components shown, the circuit generates a 20ms pulse at a frequency of about 0.5Hz.  The 2.7 ohm resistor sets the LED pulse current at about 250ma.  The average battery current is only 1.3ma, so a pair of standard AA cells should power the flasher for about one month.  This intensely bright flasher might find uses in warning lights and might be great for those who ride their bicycle at night.  The intense bright flashes are impossible to miss at night.

Click on Drawing Below to view PDF version of Schematic

SchematicHigh Power LED Flasherdesigned by David A. Johnson, P.E.

More  LEDs   Flasher

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