10mm Color Cycling LED

Automatic Color Changing RGB LED

10mm Auto Color Changing LED Banner

The Color Cycling LEDs are a very different type of LED. Each features three separate LEDs connected to a dedicated microcontroller inside of the LED. Instead of having multiple connection pins, there are only two leads – power and ground. When powered, the LED will perform a slow fade cycle through the rainbow of colors, all automatically. There is no way to change the program or rate that the effects happen; it is burned into a little microprocessor chip that is inside the LED itself.

Encased in each 10mm LED module is a Red, Green, and Blue LED element, along with a tiny microcontroller which performs the color changing process. The color cycling process takes approximately 11 seconds before it starts over and repeats the sequences.

The LED feature a water-clear housing and have a viewing angle of 42 degrees. The intensity of the output varies by color. Red (620-630 nm) has a Luminous Intensity of 1,200 to 1,500 mcd, Green (515-525 nm) has a Luminous Intensity of 1,900-2,300 mcd, and Blue (460-470 nm) has a Luminous Intensity of 1,500-1,800 mcd.

These LEDs are available for purchase through our online store. See the listing for the 10mm Color Cycling LED.

A short video showing the 10mm Automatic Color Changing LED in operation.

It is running from a 3v CR2032 Battery Holder combination. You can expect several days of continuous operation with this type of button-cell battery.

Extended run times are possible by using higher capacity batteries such as AA batteries (see our 2 AA Battery Holder with Switch).

Power Requirements

The current and voltage requirements vary as the color patterns change. Overall, the LED is rated to run from 2.0v DC to 4.5v DC with a maximum current rating of 25mA. While operating, you should strive to maintain a safer operating current of 20mA for maximum product life.

Because this LED only requires low power and minimal current, they are an excellent choice for use in battery powered devices.   

Each LED can be driven directly by a coin cell like a CR2032 battery, directly connected to the battery without the need for a series dropping resistor.

For power sources above 3v, care should be taken to maintain a current draw of 20mA (25mA absolute maximum).

Connections

10mm Color Cycling LED Pinout

The 10mm Color Cycling LED has two connection pins where power is applied. Like a standard LED, one pin is the Anode (positive) and the other the Cathode (negative).

The two pins are each slightly different in length. The shorter of the two pins is the Cathode (negative), while the longer lead is the Anode (positive).

This method of identifying the Anode and Cathode on LEDs is universal. At one time, the flat on the LED side was used for identification but in recent years, that method of identification has become less reliable.

Dropping Resistor Requirements

VoltageDropping Resistor Value
3v DCNo resistor required
5v DC68 ohm 1/4 watt resistor
6v DC120 ohm 1/4 watt resistor
9v DC270 ohm 1/4 watt resistor
12v DC430 ohm 1/4 watt resistor
15v DC560 ohm 1/4 watt resistor
18v DC860 ohm 1/2 watt resistor
24v DC1.2k ohm 1/2 watt resistor

Current Limiting Resistor

For power sources above 3v, care should be taken to maintain a current draw of 20mA (25mA absolute maximum).

The Dropping Resistor reference chart quickly shows the necessary series resistance value to use with the LED to maintain a current draw of less than 25mA.

When using multiple LEDs of this style, each must be powered by a separate current limiting resistor. 

Connecting a Single LED

Hooking Up a Single 10mm Color Changing LED

Single LED

Connecting a single color changing LED to a power source, use a series dropping resistor is required to limit the current to the LED. The value of the dropping resistor is dependent on the power sources voltage.

From the Dropping Resistor chart, reference the supply voltage you will use, and the resistor value will be specified.

The recommended resistor will limit the overall current to the LED to approximately 20mA.

Connecting Multiple LEDs

Hooking Up Multiple 10mm Color Changing LEDs

Multiple LEDs

When running more than one color cycling LED, the connection process is the same as with a Single LED.

Each LED require its own separate limiting resistor, and are connected in parallel as shown.

From the Dropping Resistor chart, reference the supply voltage you will use, and the resistor value will be specified.

The recommended resistor will limit the overall current to the LED to approximately 20mA.

If using multiple color changing LEDs in a display, the color changing patterns will not be synchronized, over time they will come in and out of sync with each other. This is due to the manufacturing process. If synchronized displays are required, consider WS2812 LEDs and ribbons.

Candle Flicker LEDs

The design of the Color Cycling LED is similar to our Candle Flicker LED. Each model requires a separate series dropping resistor in order to operate reliably due to the current changing characters.

1 thought on “Color Cycling LED

  1. Nice instructions. We received a 10-pack of the LED and the 12v resistors and have them running inside our PC case. Makes for an impressive display.

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