As a kid I was a electronics hobbyist and could get mixed bags of LEDs
very cheap but am finding it hard to source these now. They are either
high brightness or sold at a ridiculous price for the modelling
Anyone know a good source of low brightness standard colour leds other
than Maplins or eBay?
I get white SMD LEDs from Mouser ( mouser.com ) - I _don't_ know if they
ship to the UK...
However, I'm not sure they have anything at all in a "low brightness"
LED... most all white LEDs I've seen are high intensity.
I use them for installing top of the cab twin strobes in N scale DCC
That's one of the ideas I had along with lighting for buildings and
I was just about to repost when I read your message but I have found a
couple of sources for 5mm & 3mm white LEDs after much searching. About
the cheapest 5mm I have found works out at 21p each which includes the
resistor & par postage. On eBay there is a guy selling 3mm at 50p or
I've ordered some 5mm for inside buildings but I'm going to see how
far I can file one down in size and shape before it stops working for
Most LEDs now are high brightness. I guess I will have to run them at
a lower voltage and can also paint out some of the surface to reduce
emission or etch the casing to produce a more diffused light.
One idea that crossed my mind was to use fibre optic fillement which
gives the added advantage of needing only one LED to transfer light to
numerous points.. (remember those old 1960s dinky cars with the clear
plastic rods that transfered light from the roof to the lamps?) That
would also reduce light output.
RS? After a brief flip through the Maplin catalogue recently, the LED
range available through RS seems more extensive (e.g. it includes
those yellow alphanumeric LED clusters that make good theatre route
indicators in 'O' gauge).
David E. Belcher
Rapid Electronics are cheaper than Maplin but you can't order online - you need
to buy their catalogue and order from that (catalogue only valid for 6 months).
In general, white and blue LEDs are more expensive than ordinary ones.
Cheap Train Tickets:
Rapid have recently upgraded their site, full on-line ordering is now
available, and works well.
And you did not get either in those multipacks you used to buy! They
had not been invented.
Make friends in the hobby.
Garratt photos for the big steam lovers.
They are there. MENU: \ semiconductors \ Optoelectronics & Indicators
I'm not sure when the first LEDs were developed but it is often the
case that electronics have existed for a long time prior to them being
widely use or known about.
But having visited the RS site after I posted that, it seems they
don't do them any more. Maybe it was the Farnell electronics catalogue
I was thinking of? Either that or Roger Murray has bought up all UK
stocks of yellow LED displays in one fell swoop!
David E. Belcher
Thats OK David. I have had some white 5mm shipped in from Germany that
cost 21p each including the resistor and P&P. I ordered on Thursday
evening and they were here Monday morning.
As to 3mm. There is a seller on eBay who ships from Taiwan I believe
and they seem cheaper than most directly from the UK.
I wish I had seen this before I had ordered my 5mm as I could of got
them from him also. If you get the bid right they cost around 14p+
each per 100.
At these prices it might be worth my time buying bulk and selling the
surplus at cost.
As I said in the original post it seems that the prices marketed at
modellers is well over the top...
did some research and a man called John Logie Baird the inventor of
television used LEDs. back in the early 1930s. to make the flicker which
disected and reconstructed the image that was sent.
Funny old world. ..............................Leslie