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idea for fence finials

3171 Views 5 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  NecroBones
many of us are building the PVC cemetery fence - I know I am right in the middle of it. And Siggy had a great idea - I was wondering if anyone has done this?

She suggested putting little LEDs in the eyes of each skull whistle finial. I've seen project here using LEDs and if you started at the beginning with all the parts, it should be no great engeneering feat to wire the skull whistles with LED eyes and run the wire down each pipe, the out and collect them all in the power unit (with a battery) on the inside botton bar of the fence. Each section is independently powered this way using a simple AA battery.

It's too late in the process for me, but I wish this had come up in August - I would've done it for sure.

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I'm not sure how small the eye sockets are on the whistle skulls... but LEDs come in a variety of sizes. One of the most common in terms of Radio Shack purchases (and power lights on computers etc) are the 5mm size, but presumably you'd want smaller.

Just need to get the voltage correct for the LEDs. A pair of red LEDs in parallel will probably need to be in series with a small resistor with a pair of batteries in series (AAA will work here) depending on the color. This'll maximze the battery life.

With small red LEDs you can probably get away with a single 1.5V battery and no resistor. These LEDs prefer 1.7V usually, but 1.5V should be above that "starting" voltage**. With other colors, you'll need to check the voltage of the LEDs you buy. Many amber and green ones expect about 2.2V. Frequently blue LEDs expect 2.5-5V. This is why I was saying a second battery might be necessary, and then add a resistor.

**(LEDs require a certain minimum voltage before they start illuminating. Once they have that, the voltage can be backed off to dim them, but they won't come on if started at the low voltage).

Here's a good link for calculating necessary resistances:

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