Tis the season for low-cost White LED’s

Who DOESN’T need a big bag of white LED’s? They’re long-lasting and easy to drive, altogether ideal for those home hobby projects. But the price gouging? Ow! A buck an LED is really too expensive.

And your other choice is to send your money to some no-name distributor in Asia who may or may not ever send your beloved sack of LED’s. And if they do arrive, they’re usually beat up. Crusty leads, dirty packaging that has undoubtedly been labeled as “samples” with a value of a dollar to try to cheat customs for the three cents owed. Risky..

So if you want some cheap LED’s and just can’t wait – you’re in luck! As we enter this holiday season, the current economic madness has inspired manufacturers to drive the price of LED Christmas lights to deliciously low levels. Just head down to your local superstore and pick up a couple of packs of white or LED light strands for a couple of bucks and start disassembling.

Tray full of White LED's from disassembled Christmas Lights

Fig 1 – Tray of 50 White LED’s obtained for $4 bucks. Not Bad!

Now we agree – it’s totally common sense, and maybe even seems dumb to you LED aficionados! But for all of those who were not sitting around thinking of ways to lower their LED cost, it may inspire some fun projects at a low price. So run down to your local Wal-Mart (ugh) or other megastore and load up! Here’s what you’ll need for the next step.

Bundle of White LED

Fig 2 – Your standard bundle of a strand of White LEDs.

Now grab your pliers and keep reading. In our opinion, the best type of pliers would be ones with a flat (not ridged) face so the leads don’t get too scuffed up.

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